The great social critic and philosopher Francis Schaeffer once warned that one day we would wake up and find the America we once knew is gone. We’re here. The America we once knew is gone. We’re living in the midst of a crisis.
Perhaps we’re so close to the wall, we can’t tell what color it is, but over the last few decades we’ve seen violent crimes increase 500%, divorce rates and children born without married parents up 400%, and teenage suicides up 200%. My heart is grieved and broken that partial birth abortion, which is murder, still occurs in the United States.
These are desperate days. We are a nation in crisis. I wonder if oceans of blood, rivers of tears, and seas of sweat are the price this nation will pay for flaunting Almighty God. We need ran old-fashioned, fire from heaven, sin-convicting, life-transforming, Christ-honoring, soul-saving revival in America.
Before we go further, I’m not focusing on Democrats, Republicans, or Independents. If you think I am, you just don’t understand. I’m talking about revival, where God is revered in America again.
Do you want to know what I’m looking for? I’m looking for revival that news anchors can’t explain. I’m looking for something that is absolutely of God, not somebody’s program, propaganda, preaching, or paraphernalia, but a revival of God, where the fire of God falls. Fire that consumes, fire that convicts, and fire that converts. We’ve got some problems in Washington. I don’t know how it’s going to end. But I do know we are desperate for revival.
I realize “revival” to some people is a shop-worn word. Many don’t know what revival is; others don’t believe it’s possible.
Some think we’re past the days of revival, but nothing says we can’t have revival in these last days. Abandon the notion that it’s too late. The Lord said, “Go and make disciples of all nations….And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Our Lord’s power has not diminished. What God has done before, He can do again under the same circumstances.
In the Bible, revival occurs in dark days—much like our day. In 1 Kings 18, drought and famine gripped the land as one of Israel’s most wicked kings, Ahab, ruled, aided by his wife, Jezebel.
They were open enemies of revival. But what about those less obvious?
There was Ahab’s steward, Obadiah (not the same one who wrote the book Obadiah), a believer, one who “feared the Lord greatly” but went along with Ahab. He was a compromiser, a man with absolutely no spiritual power because he had sold himself out to the world and was in league with one of the most wicked kings Israel has ever known.
Are you a compromiser, a “go along to get along” Christian who, for some reason, lines up with the enemy rather than standing for Almighty God? Compromising Christians have no power, no influence—they stand in the way of revival because they’re sold out to the world.
Compromisers are like Lot, who lived in Sodom. The Bible says that Lot was grieved, vexed in his soul with the way the Sodomites were living, but he continued to live with them. He continued to go his own way. When finally judgment came and he was trying to save his family, his sons-in-laws mocked him because he had lost his testimony.
You may be a compromiser like Samson, a man of God anointed with the Holy Spirit, but who compromised with the world to the extent he didn’t even know the Spirit of the Lord had departed from him.
The Samsons, the Lots, the Obadiahs represent so many in our churches who are backslidden, compromising, “salt without savor.” They are the heartbreak of God, the alibi of the lost, and stumbling blocks to the saved. They make pastors and angels weep.
I totally believe there’s nothing wrong in America that cannot be radically, dramatically and swiftly put right if all God’s people would stand up and speak up, if our pulpits in America and worldwide were aflame with the power of God.
On Israel’s throne sat Ahab, the epitome of evil, and his wife, equally so. He was doubly dangerous because he used religious talk all the time. He talked about being a believer. But notice God’s biography of him.
“And Ahab, the son of Omri, did evil in the sight of the Lord above all that were before him. And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat [that is, he casually sinned], that he took to wife Jezebel, the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshiped him.” 1 Kings 16:30-31.
Who was Baal? A pagan, demonic sex and fertility god, part of whose worship was the sacrifice of little babies. And Ahab “reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he built in Samaria. And…Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him.” (v.32-33).
He had a form of godliness. He used religious language. But he was mastered by his own lust and pride, and greatly influenced by his evil wife.
Now, there are many enemies of the Gospel today, many forces that would hold us back from revival. They hate all we stand for. They hate people who speak the truth without compromise. When the prophet Elijah encountered Ahab, Ahab accused him, “Art thou he that troubleth Israel? Elijah shot back, “I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and hast followed Balaam” (1 Kings 18:17-18).
To them, we are troublemakers. They say, “You’re the ones who are troubling America.”
We are thorns in the flesh of God’s enemies. Now frankly, I don’t expect to be loved or admired by these people. We ought to be giving them insomnia. We ought to speak up. The Bible says, “Lift up your voice, and show the house of Israel their sin” (Isaiah 58:1).
Let me tell you, the Ahabs and Jezebels cannot hold back revival. But the Obadiahs—the people of God who refuse to take the stand that they ought to take—can.
The actions of the king, of a court, and of a President can never thwart the power and plan of Almighty God. The Bible says of these people and their arrogance against God, “He that sits in the heavens shall laugh” Psalm 2:4. The Lord scoffs at them, “…that the living may know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men…” (Daniel 4:17). God is above all of this. There is no panic in heaven.
God is not hopeless and helpless to do something, and revival is not denied unless it is routed through Washington.
Two more categories of people can interfere with revival, and you may be one of these. Come back for Part 2, and we’ll look at this group. Hopefully you won’t find yourself among them.If you would like a copy of this message on CD, visit the e-store at www.LWF.org and request CD2128, or you may call 1-800-274-5683.
The Battle for the Soul of America contains timeless, foundational principles about human government, all rooted in biblical truth. Real truth never changes, and the truth about government is that it is God who ordains it, leaders who are responsible for it, and citizens who are accountable to it. In this book, pastor, teacher, and author Adrian Rogers reminds us that the privilege of being called Americans comes with significant responsibilities—to God, to each other, and to the world.