Last week we considered a little about the power of God and how it is demonstrated in the church and in society; this week I want to think about how we come by that power; how will those young people who are going to stand in a very evil day, be able to obtain that spiritual power?
I know that holiness is not a fashionable subject in most churches, but there is no way to avoid it, it is exactly what we have to achieve, if we are to know the wonderful presence of God and the power that comes through knowing the Saviour intimately. Allow me to repeat a story that illustrates both holiness and the power that ensues from it –
A church in a large European city had become very small and only met once a week for Bible Study. Some of the twenty congregation were in favour of closing down, but others did now want to and finally they agreed to pray that God would come in and bless them. They got down to some prayer and it became very serious and soon they were praying – Lord, whatever the cost might be for You to bless our church and our city, we’re prepared to pay it!
They kept praying and they would not let go of God and in time things changed and they started to see some blessing in their predominantly Roman Catholic city. Among the first to be saved or restored to the church were children and family of the church members who had left earlier. Many Backsliders were also returning.
A British missionary was asked to take some gospel meetings and he reported that the blessing came quickly, hundreds were saved in the first few nights. God really blessed and not only was that 800 seater church soon filled, but they started a church planting program and in a few years they had twenty preaching points all over the city!
That’s the power of the gospel to salvation and it’s about time western church leaders realise they haven’t got it.
They prayed – Lord, whatever it costs – that is serious and God likes it when His people get serious! I am totally confident if any church today took that stand today, they too would see similar revival! The harvest is whiter than ever, but the labourers are fewer than ever! Matt 9:37.[italics mine!] I often speak about our secular society that is empty and hurting! I believe God could save 10,000 in one day, just as he did in Acts 4, and more, if only He could find a holy church who would fully trust Him!
How will a holy church come about? I wonder how many of our existing churches will become holy churches, because their lack of power shows that they are not holy. It will take a revolutionary change in leadership! So revolutionary that I doubt many will not make it and therefore they will close when the persecution comes. So where will these young people come from, who will stand through the evil days? Possibly, some will come out the various drug rehab schemes, who proved God’s saving power, bu t who have struggled and, sometimes failed to settle in established churches, perhaps they will get together to forge new churches that will, in that evil day, cast themselves on God’s mercy to meet the need of the day. This will lead to a beautiful holiness where in God can work!
Maybe too, there are a few young people in our established churches who can see that all is not well and, seeing their failure, will start searching for themselves for a way to find God. When the judgment day comes on their churches, they too will form new little churches and cast themselves on God. Maybe they will join with those from the rehab courses and together prove that God is sufficient and be prepared to follow His word, implicitly. I can imagine little groups desperately searching the Word, praying and praising God, even for their desperate circumstances, and as a result, finally, they will find the joy of the Lord that is their strength to stand and see revival! Neh 8:10.
First, these young people will have to grasp what revival is and does, and that God wants it, asap! They will have to understand how it will come about. When God finds anyone who seeks His honour and glory, then we can expect some great things to happen!
So where will the power come from? Paul found out – my strength is made perfect in weakness! 2Cor 12:9. God did not tell the blinded Paul in Damascus, what a great missionary he would be, nor how many people he would save, nor of the hundreds of churches he would plant; Jesus told him – what great things you must suffer for my Name! Acts 9:16. If we want to be able to stand through the evil days of judgment to see revival afterwards, [and let me assure you again, that severe judgment will soon come, 1Pet 4:17; this is not rocket science, anyone who considers the socio/political scene today must be aware that desperate days are just around the corner], then we will have to cast ourselves on God’s mercy completely and trust Him implicitly and be prepared to suffer. It is Peter who tells us all about suffering for righteousness sake, this is surest the way to Christlikeness, holiness and blessings far greater than we can ever imagine! Eph 3;20. Even in desperate days! Remember, where sin abounds, grace super-abounds!
God is not mocked, He will not allow the current situation in most churches to go on for long; sooner or later He will act and all our miserable religion will be cleared out in serious persecution; this has been happening for nearly 2,000 years! So a lean, purged, highly motivated church will be left to move into blessings so wonderful the young people will marvel at the greatness of their God and an ocean of praise and worship will arise to God and He will be glorified in His people once more before the Saviour returns for them!