I have been shocked yet again by the powerlessness of our churches; Satan seems to be able to do as he pleases and the people of God are powerless to stop him. Two marriage breakdowns in South Wales recently have really rocked me. Both had tremendous potential, the men and their wives and children are highly gifted people and yet all were powerless to overcome their problems and both marriages seem close to being irretrievable, which will mean scarred children as well!
If the homes of God’s people are not Christian, then the churches are incapable of bearing fruit, their testimony is null and void! I sadly remember going to visit two homes and about to knock the doors, I heard shouting and screaming coming from inside and I quickly backed away; ashamed! It is not surprising that few children follow their parents into their churches!
A Christian home is one of the greatest testimonies to the gospel and scripture shows what a Holy Spirit filled home is like, Eph 5;21-6;4. If a church were to have a few such homes, it would be very blessed and abundantly fruitful!
Sad to say that many parents have become neurotic and even psychotic, mere shadows of what they should be and Satan can do as he likes with them and yet again the church leaders are powerless to help them. Why do we ignore scripture when it is so plain? Husbands love your wives – is an imperative command, Eph 5;25, – as Christ loved the church – so it is unconditional Calvary love – agape! But when do we hear any teaching on this in our churches? Real discipling is a now rarity so our powerlessness goes on!
If we had churches full of disciples the converts would be flooding in. We have concentrated on evangelism and neglected discipleship and so contravened the Great Commission – go into all the world and make DISCIPLES – not converts, Matt 28;19ff. And please don’t tell me that the converts have to come first! Dr J Edwin Orr often emphasises that churches full of disciples will be churches in revival!
I have written a couple of times last year about the church’s powerlessness to address the evils in our Rotten Society; remember – the light always dispels the darkness – if we build the Kingdom of God, then we destroy the Kingdom of Darkness and – Jesus Christ came to destroy the works of the devil, 1John 3;8. It is through the power of God in the gospel that the demolition work is done, but our gospel is powerless, because of a lack of disciples! It is therefore obvious that we are not building the Kingdom of God, but so few church leaders will admit to that and lamely plod on with their hopeless, competitive denominationalism!
What is the answer? We need to obey scripture and seek the Lord! It is obvious that He is not among the vast majority of churches – He is standing, knocking at the door – waiting to be let in, Rev 3;20. How will we let him in? Obey scripture and get rid of our sin! It’s still true – if my God-defined people, respond by humbling themselves, praying, seeking my presence, and turning their backs on their wicked lives, I’ll be there ready for you: I’ll listen from heaven, forgive their sins, and restore their land to health. 2Chron 7;14 – just as applicable as Mal 3;10 – Bring your full tithe to the Temple treasury so there will be ample provisions in my Temple. Test me in this and see if I don’t open up heaven itself to you and pour out blessings beyond your wildest dreams.
The New Testament is equally emphatic, especially those five letters in Rev 2 & 3; and we need to obey the Word and revival will certainly come. God wants it now! It is not a date on His calendar! If we really pray, it will come; it always has, when God’s people really pray for it! Every revival ever recorded, always starts in much earnest prayer; J E Orr again!
Laodicea characterises most churches today – I am rich and need nothing! – but how often do church leaders teach from Rev 2 & 3? The gross apathy and complacency is appalling and God hates it, the Risen Lord will vomit them out of his mouth, Rev 3;16 and tens of thousands of closed churches already testify to that! Many more that are on the brink of closure!
Who will pray for revival? Really serious prayer? I know some Calvinists who pray for revival, but they have been praying for twenty years! They will pray for another twenty years, because they believe that Revival is a date on God’s calender, so they don’t pray believing! God wants to send revival now, he hates to allow Satan his present long length of the rope. God hates all the marriage breakdowns among his people, He hates all the suffering in society and wants to shorten that rope; He will only do it through His people!
Other Christians, the New Covenant Theology devotees, believe that the church will one day have a great revival that will change the whole world and fit it for Christ to return. That is unrealistic, however, it is clear that scripture shows we do have the power to do that; Eph 1;16ff and 3;14ff. We have everything; the very fullness of God, Eph 3;19; so it is theoretically possible, but it won’t happen! I do believe that a few of God’s young people will soon get praying and a mighty revival will happen before the Lord comes again; He will take a glorious church to Himself; 1Thess 4;13ff. So who will pray for revival?
But what about these crumbling marriages? If leaders pray for revival, they will soon be fit to help these dear friends, repair the devastated homes and testimonies. The need for scripturally qualified church overseers/elders is immense! [see 1Tim 3]. The answers are all in the Word; we just have to believe and obey – love NEVER fails! – and how many times have I written that recently! That also applies to husbands and wives, as well as church leaders!