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Revolution or Revival?

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20). Over 30 years ago, Dr J. Vernon McGee warned of the need for personal revival beginning first in the church. He declared that this nation needed revival or it was headed for revolution.

While there have been sporadic instances of the Holy Spirit working, there has not been the outpouring that led to sweeping changes in the nation as has occurred in the past.

So, without revival, we are in the midst of a revolution. The very notions that our parents fought several wars against have now taken root in the very heart of our government.

What Dr McGee stated then was:

“What we need today is not one politician calling another politician crooks; What we need are politicians who say, ‘I’m going to get right with God'”.

He conceded that it would be such a strange thing to happen that it would scare the people. He was right and yet it doesn’t seem to frighten people that every day we are killing over 4000 babies in their mother’s womb; nor that we are promoting homosexuality and the confusion of transgenderism. These things guarantee the removal of God’s mercy and protection for any people. (Romans 1:26-32)

Dr. McGee describes our nations condition of 30 years ago:

“Creeping socialism, political parties willing to sell the birthright of this nation in order to stay in power and the church under the blight of apostasy. Liberalism controls the church and there is a brazen denial of the Word of God even in so called evangelical circles. The Word of God has been lost in the church.  There are atheists today in the pulpit!”

Revival is Personal and Individual.

It does not begin as a mass movement. It always begins with individuals taking personal responsibility for their walk with the Lord. This is especially true with the recognized leaders in our communities.

King Josiah of Israel was one such leader. His grandfather, Manasseh, was a wicked ruler who led the nation away from God and into idolatrous practices, even sacrificing babies into the fiery altars of Baal. (Not unlike sucking the brains out of a child while it is being born – a procedure known as ‘partial birth abortion’ that one of our former presidents voted to preserve while he was a senator)

Yet when Josiah came to the throne as a young boy, he made a personal commitment to do that which was right in the eyes of the Lord. (1 Kings 22:2)

After, making this personal commitment, he turned his attention to repairing the temple which at that time was recognized as the place to learn of God. Even so, “…judgment (condemnation of wrong) must begin at the house of God.” 1 Peter 4:17

Where Can the Truth Be Found Today?

The church of today has failed to be a witness for the truth. As a result we have a whole generation that has never known the truth of the gospel. The truth of man’s depravity, God’s remedy and man’s responsibility is lost in the very place that was intended to declare it.

When Josiah commanded repairs to be made, they discovered that the Word of God had been lost in the temple of God. When it was found and read, Josiah was deeply grieved at how far from the truth that the nation of Israel had gone.

There was real repentance and a commitment “to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people stood to the covenant.”

The result was that Josiah put away idolatry destroying all of the implements of Baal worship; he put away immorality when he put the sodomites out of the kingdom.

Even so, tolerance of evil practices have no place in the church. It begins first with us. In King Josiah’s day, it was only after these evil practices were removed from Israel that they could begin to keep the passover. 2 Kings 23:31

We can apply this to our local churches: Christ will not be found in the church until we get back to the Word of God and commit ourselves to keep it. We must purge our lives and our churches from immorality.

The Old Path

In many local churches, like the first century church at Laodicea, Christ’s position at the door of the church is on the outside: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)

Notice that the call here is to the individual to open the door to the Lord. It begins with a personal commitment Him and this leads to a personal communion with Him. Even if the church that we attend is not teaching the truth, each of us can buy from the Lord “gold tried in the fire’ by investing in a personal study and application of the Word of God to our lives so that we can enjoy fellowship with the Lord.

In contrast to the church at Laodicea, the church at Philadelphia held to the truth of scripture and had not denied the Lord’s name and held that the Lord is true to His promises. There are distinctions between the promises made to Israel and those made to the Church.

The Lord reminds them that He has the key of David suggesting that the promise of His Kingdom on the earth is yet future. He promises an open door the local church that continues to preach the truth of Christ’s coming to reign in His promised Kingdom on earth. There is a closed door for the church that turns from the truth.

As our nation and our local churches go into captivity, let us each take personal responsibility to draw near to our God and once again declare the Word of God as lights shining out of the darkness.

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smc

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