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THE NEXT GREAT AWAKENING
(Part 2 Consecration)
The Power of Holiness
For the last 250 years God has been sending revivals to our nation every 50 years in order to have for Himself a nation that demonstrates the working of God in the earth. God Almighty raised this nation to be what it is. But America has backslidden. It has backslidden to the place where it is peddling wickedness to the world at an unprecedented rate. Cultures around the world want to model themselves after a backslidden America. The pagan media giants are riding on the backdraft of Gods favor that was once upon this nation. They are using the influence that God established of a once Christian nation before the world to spread filth and all manor of sin. America has given herself over to materialism. America daily bows to the gods of sensuality, sports, fashion, and greed. And yet a great percentage still goes to church weekly. Paul in the last letter he penned warned us of these times. He is writes, But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God- having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. (II Timothy 3:1-5 NIV) The Greek word for form in this passage is morphosis and it means to have an impress- but not the reality. Like the image on the coin of Caesar- it was an impress of Caesar and not really Caesar. And because of this hollow pretense there is little of the power (dunamis) required to bring deliverance, healing, conviction, or miracles. The reason Paul said to have nothing to do with them is because these people appear to get along as Christians doing this and the temptation would be to call yourself a Christian and yet be filled with your own self. These appear to successfully serve self and God at the same time because they find other ways to likewise counterfeit ministerial characteristics.
Come Out of Her My People
If there is one cry that is resonating from the throne of God day and night in our generation it would have to be Revelation 18:4-5, And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. At a time when the Church can LEAST afford to be participating in the wickedness of society we have the least amount of preaching and teaching against it that has been witnessed in at least 500 years. People used to be expected to sell all out to God- lock, stock, and barrel. Today Christianity has become merely an addendum to add to a persons life.
The closest thing to revival that the Western Church has sought for has been 40 days of purpose. As wicked as the West (America) is how can a church not know that their purpose at this juncture is to fast and pray? Could it be because secret sin at the highest levels so abounds that we are living in Ezekiel 8?
True Christianity is walking in continual communion with God. It is to give your mind wholly over to things that are noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy. (Philippians 4:8 NIV) It is to constantly seize and cast down evil thoughts that come in to try and war against the knowledge of God. The enemy is capturing the hearts and minds of Christians with evil thoughts.
Are You Separate or Secular?
Secularism has exerted such a large-scale, yet subtle influence upon the Western Church at large over the last 100 years that the Church has all but ceased to be salt and light. The proof of this is how fast the wickedness is spreading. The world has for the most part won over the hearts of most American Christians. They confess Christ with their mouths but their hearts are on earthly things. Their Christianity consists of coming to Church a few times a week and that is it. Christianity to them is, coming to church. They fail to realize one fact; they are the Church. And God has sent His Church into the world to be a holy and separate people; to be the salt that will slow the process of moral and spiritual decay in our lands. When we cease to be separate we have lost our savor- and when we have lost our savor the world trods us under foot. Leonard Ravinhill asked a riveting question in the 1980s; How is it that the world could not get along with the holiest man who ever lived, but yet it can get along with you and me- are we compromised? Are we of no spiritual stature? Do we not have any righteousness that would reflect on their corruption? In our day if you live a genuine Christian life you are considered a radical among radicals. The closer to God you get the less you can relate to the average Christian. Why? Because secularism has stripped the Church of any real meaningful consecration and dedication to God. You are more likely in the modern Church to be ridiculed for being holy than for being worldly. Because the modern Church is more threatened by holiness than by worldliness. It is easier for most Christians to imagine life without the presence of God than without the worldly things that they feed themselves with continually. And because of that their Christian life consists of asking for forgiveness every week. It is dangerously close to the behavior exhibited in Catholicism. God does not want you as a Christian coming to Church every Sunday to get your sins forgiven- He wants you to walk in the light as He is in the Light and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son will cleanse you from all sin. Getting saved every week is not Christianity and has absolutely no biblical precedence whatsoever.
Somebody Do Something!
There is urgency in the air for those that are tuned to the voice of God. There is a common vexation upon the true people of God as was with Lot in Sodom. For those who sense this urgency they know that something has to give and it wont be long.
There is a disturbing hardness coming upon the hearts of people who week in and week out reject the strivings of the Spirit of God. Many can turn on TV and see beheadings of Christians and then turn the channel and laugh with the world and their madness. Their eyes are dry and their prayers are cold. They can laugh- but cant cry. James 4:8-10 speaks directly to us in our day, Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. Why can we not weep for what perhaps could be the most wicked generation since the Great Flood? Why would we seek to be entertained all the time when time is running out? Why would we want to be partakers of the ruination of the world through American media?
Lessons From The First Great Awakening
In the early to mid 1700s God sent an awakening to our land that eventually gave birth to a Christian nation. God used Jonathon Edwards to do much of the preaching. It is considered by many to be Americas greatest revival. His messages would sound so strong to our ears today that they would likely be censored. People would hang onto the pillars in the Church as he read off his sermon monotone because they felt hell opening up below their feet. Many were saved at this time. But would that revival hold us over for a thousand years? The difference between the Church and the world began vanishing away before Jonathon Edwards, and yet never, perhaps, had the expectation of reaching heaven been more general or confident. There is a strange confidence that accompanies a backslidden condition. The Great Awakening changed all this for a time, but in less than half a century there was another sad relapse.
The Wesleys and Whitefield
When the Wesleys and Whitefield awoke to the claims of religion in England, the new birth was a dead doctrine, and conversions were scarcely known; while drinking, gambling, cock-fighting, and every species of popular vice were patronized by the Church and many of the clergy. When declension has reached a level to where the world is in the Church and the Church is in the world God has to do something. The Church is powerless before the world when there is compromise; because the POWER is in the holiness. Programs begin to come in where POWER once was. And before long- the world just laughs at the Church or even worse dont even think about it.
In the mid to late 1700s God sent George Whitefield to do something about the spiritual declension in his day. McClintock and Strong comment on him saying, Having no Church to found, no family to enrich, -and no memory to immortalize, he was simply the ambassador of God, arid inspired with its genial, piteous spirit-so full of heaven reconciled and humanity restored he soon himself became a living Gospel. It was not uncommon for him to wet the audience with his tears as he preached repentance. The established Church did not allow him into their pulpits- so he preached to thousands of coal miners who would at times weep with him until there were tear streaks in their coal stained faces. John Wesley was sent by God to preach holiness and righteousness to people in England and America. God would so anoint him that when he was through preaching people would be lying on the ground by the hundreds unconscious from the realization of their sins.
Twenty Nine Days to Ponder Your Sins
Charles Finney preached in Churches in New York State and other parts of the east. He would preach for three to twenty nine days spelling out the peoples condition before God before giving an altar call. He would preach Gods holiness and His laws and then point the broken laws out to the people that they were guilty of and then tell them the penalty. Just like the lawyer he studied to be, he would spend days or weeks anointedly bringing a case against the people as if they were both the defendant and the jury. When it was over with the convicting power of the Holy Spirit had compelled them to concur with the guilty verdict that God has passed down to them already. It was nothing for him to dismiss a meeting to let God deal with the people about their sin for a whole day or more. Judging by the sheer hardness of heart and stiffneckness of our day; how long do you suppose God will need to crack through a heart as hard as they are today?
Dying to Self
If there is ever going to be another Great Awakening in our land someone is going to have to pay the price. If you want to be a part of it there is going to have to be some radical changes in your life. The first thing you will have to do is die totally to worldliness and determine to utterly consecrate yourself to God. This means dying to everything that is standing between you and God. This is the one price that sends most away sorrowful. This generation has not seen such a dedication in the mainstream. It means being prepared to be counted as the scum of society. It means great persecution. It means loosing a lot of friends.
Are you prepared to fast and pray for twenty-one solid days? Are you prepared to seek God until you know what He is saying to you in your life? Are you prepared to ask God to apply the fires of distress to our nation in order to see revival? Are you prepared to go through your life and permanently remove everything that offends God? People have been saying for 30 years that America needs revival and yet it is growing wicked by the moment. Would you be willing to withstand the searing hell fire and brimstone- searching messages to see America turn around? Would you be willing to see such Holy Ghost conviction on people that they had to be carried out of the church? What we have been doing is NOT getting the job done and will not get it done in the future. We need God to send some laborers into this harvest that will meet the wickedness of our society head on without any fear or favor.