July 22, 2014
To restate my summation of this week’s
headlines, there never seems to be a dull moment in this old world anymore …
are we seeing the quickening of the prophesied ‘Birth Pains’ or what?! … In
just these past 7 days, we’ve seen Israel go to war, radical Muslims wreaking
havoc in many places in Africa as well as Iraq and Syria, a passenger plane
being shot out of the sky, famine and drought reaching epic proportions,
continued acceleration of the world’s declining moral standards, possible
Pandemics surfacing …. and more & more ……
OK Red, we get it! … Things are looking
grim out there! ….. But here’s the interesting thing about this …. when
looking at what today’s churches see coming, there seems to be two major
positions … they are:
1) God is using all these crises to bring
about a Great Revival which will usher in the ‘Golden Age’ and the return of
Christ …. or
2) He is soon coming to take His church
home (Rapture) and so begin the Tribulation countdown ……
After much study and prayer, there is no
doubt in my mind that we are headed for the second option. … Like most, I
would love to see a great revival break out across the world. .. I have many
Christian brothers and sisters that truly believe the Lord is going to pour out
a ‘latter rain’ revival … still others believe the church is going to ‘take
over the world’ for Christ (Dominion Theology) …. In fact, there was a time I
was close to falling into this line of thinking …. but then, as should always
be the case no matter what the situation, I turned to the Holy Scriptures to
settle this issue in my mind. …. Please bear with me for a brief overview …..
We know for a fact that there have been
countless revivals throughout the church age (the Day of Pentecost to now). ..
Here is a list of eight that stand out as having the greatest impact:
*The Pre-Reformation Revival — 1300-1500
(Lollards, Wycliffe, Hus, Savonarola)
*The Reformation — 1517-1560 (Zwingli,
Luther, Calvin)
*The First Great Awakening — 1740-1745
(Harris, Wesley, Whitefield, Edwards, Brainerd)
*The Second Great Awakening — 1798-1832
(Finney, Nettleton, Beecher, Matteson)  
*The Layman’s Revival — 1857-1861
(Palmer, Lanphier, Moody)
*The Great Welsh Revival of 1904
(Roberts, Howells)
*The Asuza Street Revival of 1906
(Seymour, Bartleman)
*The Jesus Movement (1967-1973)
Are there more coming? …The obvious
thing to me that makes Revival’ hard to grasp going forward in this church age
is the Word of God’s repeated mention of spiritual darkness as the hallmark of
the last days. .. Several prophetic scriptures describe these last days as a
time of great apostasy. .. Here are just three examples:
*2 Thessalonians 2:3 says,  “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any
way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of
lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.”
*Matthew 24:24 says,  “For false christs and false prophets
will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect —
if that were possible.”
*Revelation 3:10 says,  “Since you have kept my command to
endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to
come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.”
OK .. here’s another obstacle that
refutes the ‘revival’ thing … according to the 7-Church teachings of
Revelation, chapters 2 & 3, we are living in the last church age .. the
‘Laodicean Age.’ … Dr. David Reagan recently gave a good outline of the
seventh church as to how it relates in the prophetic view of church history:
“The last of the churches mentioned,
the one that represents the church of the end times, is the church at
Laodicea.  It is pictured as a church
that is neither hot or cold, but rather is lukewarm, or tepid (Revelation
3:15-16).  In short, it is a church that
is apathetic.  Jesus also pictures it as
a worldly church enamored with its wealth (verse 17).  The Lord is so dissatisfied with this church
that He declares,  ‘Because you are
lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth’ (verse
16). “
But I believe the greatest obstacle
against revival is man’s growing acceptance of sin – his immunity to
repentance. ..  It is even rampant in our
churches today! … Look back for a moment at the aforementioned historic
revivals and see how they diminish in number and scale over the years. .. A key
problem is that revival today means ‘getting something from God.’ .. People who
flocked to the so-called revivals at the Toronto Airport Vineyard Christian
Fellowship and Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola were mostly looking for
an emotional high or a physical blessing. .. A decade later, it’s hard to argue
with the simple fact that these events have been marked as questionable
practices, and have had nearly zero impact on today’s society. ….
In revivals of the past, saints were
given their marching orders to reach the lost for Christ. .. John Wesley, the
founder of the Methodist Church, was very direct about how to win souls:  “You have nothing to do but to save
souls.  Therefore, spend and be spent in
His work.  Observe:  It is not your business to preach so many times,
and to take care of this or that society; 
but to save as many souls as you can; 
to bring them to repentance, and with all your power to build them up in
holiness without which they cannot see the Lord.”
To sum up, the world WILL see revival!
… In fact, the Bible predicts a future revival that will dwarf all others.
… Once millions of people realize they have missed the Rapture and the
conclusion of the church age, they will find the true faith. (Revelation,
chapter 7). … The terrible and trying conditions of the Tribulation will
cause many to quickly reach a level of dedication where they will be willing to
sacrifice their lives for the Gospel. 
So yes, I believe that conditions will
become more difficult and rebellion against God will abound with every passing
moment as we approach the close of the Church Age … and the coming revival
will be seen only after the Church, Christ’s bride, is taken up to heaven to be
with Him (the Rapture). … But while we are still here and waiting for this glorious
moment, we must do everything we can RIGHT NOW to tell as many as we can about
the saving grace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! … Look to your loved
ones .. your friends and neighbors .. anyone who is either not saved or are
sitting in a ‘dead’ church taking their salvation for granted … those that
are ‘lukewarm’  … tell them to ‘wake
up’ to the truth that is theirs for the taking … Hallelujah!
Difficult times are upon us, and each
passing day proves this out. .. But because we know this, we can rest in what
Jesus said in luke 21:28 .. “When these things begin to take place, stand
up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” …
Hallelujah!
Until next time,
Red
      

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