Tag: spiritual warfare

Heal the Nation? Heal the Church First!

By R.L. David Jolly 

Many people and organizations including our own are calling for a political revival back to the form of government that our Founding Fathers established.  However, when examining the history of God’s people in His Word, it has become clearly obvious that before we can ask God to heal our land that we first need to heal the Church.

By Church, I am referring to the 77% of Americans that identified themselves as Christians in a Gallup Poll released April 10, 2009.  (Sadly, that figure has dropped from the 91% in 1948.)  If the three-fourths of the American population actually lived a true Christian life, our nation would not be suffering the wrath of God that we are currently under.  If these Christians lived their lives like 77% of Muslims or Buddhists, or Sikhs, or other religions do, we would still be the Christian nation that our Founders established it to be.

Unfortunately, the Church in America has been silent and inactive in the political arena for the past 60 years.  Its silence has allowed the vocal minorities to be heard and push through legislation after legislation that has undermined and replaced the Word of God with the immoral and hedonistic desires of a godless few.

In addition to allowing this godless minority to take control of our nation, now we have a leadership that is not only ignoring the words, writings and intent of our Founding Fathers, but is looking to other nations that do not have the same Christian foundation that America has, to be our examples to follow and this is not the first time in history this has happened.  In 2 Kings 17:15 we read, They despised his statutes and his covenant that he made with their fathers and the warnings that he gave them. They went after false idols and became false, and they followed the nations that were around them, concerning whom the LORD had commanded them that they should not do like them.

Obama has used the examples of Canada and Europe to help justify his efforts to turn America into a socialistic nation.  Once again, when we turn to God’s Word, we see that God even warns us about how foolish it is to look to these other nations in 1 Cor. 1:20, Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

And when our leaders ignore God’s warnings, we see that God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, (2 Thess. 2:11) and They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart, (Eph. 4:18).

The consequences of a nation turning from God to the wicked ways of man results in God’s wrath and judgment.  If you don’t believe that the United States of America is currently under God’s judgment, then I strongly urge you to read Romans 1:18-32.  Three times it says that because we do this, God turns us over to that.  My fellow American, what I read in the last half of Romans 1 describes our nation in every way.

I recently met a gentleman that had served in the U.S. Marine Corp a few years back.  He had been stationed overseas for 4 years and then returned to a duty post in the Washington D.C. area.  He told me that when he returned to the U.S. that he was shocked to see how far it had declined in morality and godliness.  He told me that we had become a nation of lust, perversion, and hedonism unlike anything he had seen overseas and it saddened him to his very heart to realize that this is what he had been defending with his life.

Psalm 11:3 tell us that if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? I contend that our foundations are being destroyed and replaced with a godless socialist foundation that has a 100% failure rate everywhere else it has been tried in the world.  It was tried in Soviet Russia and it failed.  It was tried in China and it failed.  It was tried in Poland and it failed. It was tried in North Korea and it failed, and the list goes on.

I run into people every day that say that it is too late and that things have gone too far and that one or two people cannot change anything.  In response, I tell them that George Washington lost every battle that he fought in and lead troops in until he crossed the Delaware River and captured the Hessian troops and eventually won the Revolutionary War.  Like Winston Churchill, Washington never gave in and never gave up.

We may have lost some battles, but we have not lost the war.  However, in order to win the war to save America from the complete destruction of the current political machine, the Church or the people, need to follow the instructions of 2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Humble. Pray. Seek. Turn.  Four steps to healing the Church and our nation.

Humble. Have you ever read about a small shepherd boy named David?  He wasn’t tall in stature and considered himself least among his father’s sons.  He sought not fortune or fame, but because he regularly humbled himself before God, God raised him up to be one of the greatest kings of all time.

Pray. George Müller.  If you don’t know who George Müller is, then read George Müller of Bristol by Arthur Tappan Pierson (available online at:  http://books.google.com/books?id=EFbkOf1YoJQC).  George Müller established an orphanage in England in the middle 1800’s.  Time after time, Müller would sit the children down to the table for a meal when he knew he had no food to feed them nor any funds to purchase food for them.  Never-the-less, he would sit them down and lift up a prayer to God thanking Him for their blessings and for providing for them and time and time again, by the time he finished praying, someone would be at the door of the orphanage with enough food to go around.  Müller was a true man of prayer and his biography is a testimony as to the power of prayer, especially when offered by someone that has humbled themselves before the Lord.

Seek. Jehoshaphat  did not seek out the false gods and idols of those around him, but sought after God.  In return, God blessed the kingdom of Judah under Jehoshaphat’s rule.  (2 Chron. 17:3-5)

Turn. Not long after Jesus had been crucified and had risen from the grave, a Pharisee by the name of Saul set out to find and destroy those that professed a faith in Jesus as the Messiah.  However, on the road to Damascus, Saul was blinded by a vision from God and he turned from his ways of persecution to become Paul, one of the greatest apostles of Jesus Christ.

As a people, a Church and a nation, we need to humble ourselves like David, pray like George Müller, seekafter God’s ways like Jehoshaphat and turn from our wicked ways like Paul.  Then and only then can we have any hope of God healing our land and returning it to the Christian nation of our Founding Fathers.

If we don’t humble ourselves, pray and seek after God and turn from our wicked ways, then our children will be asking us the same thing that God asked the people in the time of Jeremiah, what wrong did your fathers find in me that they went far from me, and went after worthlessness, and became worthless? (Jer. 2:5)

Join us in our efforts to revive the Church and heal our great land by supporting us with your prayers and finances.  Prayer is the greatest tool that we have to use in this war to save our nation.  And unfortunately, it requires financial funding to wage this war and get the Word out to those that need to hear it.

Courtesy of http://americanvision.org/2010/post/heal-the-nation-heal-the-church-first/#more-2285

Christian Communicators Mobilized to Engage, Transcend Secular Culture

NASHVILLE – Though critics of the long opposed, recently passed Matthew Shepard Act say the legislation could be used to prosecute broadcasters and pastors who preach homosexuality as sin, the world’s largest network of Christian communicators was impelled Saturday to stand firm, speak with a “holy boldness,” and proclaim with great confidence the message they’ve been called to deliver.

“It will be a matter of great concern if our government can successfully force us to stop proclaiming the full counsel of God,” acknowledged Dr. Frank Wright, president and CEO of National Religious Broadcasters, at the opening session of the 67th NRB Convention & Exposition in Nashville.

“But when we put the shackles on our own arms, that is a matter of great sadness. That is a matter of great unbelief. Because if we don’t believe in the power of the gospel, what other power do we have available to us, especially those of us who have been called to proclaim it?” he added.

In front of the thousands gathered for the four-day gathering, Wright pointed to a number of examples in which prominent Christians chose not to respond to questions about their faith with the full message of the gospel but rather self-censored versions of it.

He shared about a well-known broadcaster who appeared on CNN’s Larry King Live and was asked “Is Jesus the only way to Heaven?”

“Well, he’s the only way for me,” Wright recalled the unnamed broadcaster as saying.

In another example, Wright referred to a well-known pastor who was asked in an interview about the verse in which Jesus proclaimed himself to be “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” and how “no one comes to the Father except by me (Christ).”

“And this pastor, this well known pastor – if I named him, you would know the name immediately – said, ‘I don’t think it’s particularly helpful to preach that verse in our day,’” Wright recalled.

“[I]nstead of being constrained by the forces of legislation or regulation or even legal opposition, we’re in a place where broadcasters, where the Church, might begin to censor itself,” added Wright later.

Following Wright, convention attendees heard from author and teacher Del Tackett, who warned against the consequences of relativism, which he described as the “sand” upon which lives disintegrate – a reference to Jesus’ parable of wise and foolish builders.

“We must engage in the battle of great wisdom and grace. Speaking the truth is not an act of judgment. Speaking the truth is an act of compassion,” said the on-air personality for Coral Ridge Ministries.

“My prayer is that … we’ll begin to be the light and salt we were made to be, that we will engage our culture with the grace and compassion God has shown to us, that we would do so united in love so that the world will know that the Father has sent the Son, not for our glory, but for His alone,” he added.

Regarding how to engage today’s society while not compromising Christian values, Dr. Jim Garlow, senior pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church in La Mesa, Calif., provided NRB Convention attendees with a model from the Bible that he has been looking at in recent times.

The prominent evangelical preacher began his concluding message with a three-minute history lesson that started from 1607, when Bible-believing Christians were part of the establishment, and passed through seven stages before reaching to today – the first time in which the Church of Jesus Christ in North America can “legitimately” refer to itself as the persecuted Church.

Today, Garlow said, “we are citizens of Jerusalem but residents of Babylon.”

“Somebody moved the country. We didn’t go through a geographical change, but we are in exile in a nation called America,” he added.

So the problem today, according to the megachurch pastor, is that believers in America find themselves having to be prophetic to the same people they want to be evangelistic to.

“We have to say ‘No, stop it, that’s wrong, that will cause us all to self-destruct’ to the very same people who do not want to hear that and that we’re turning around and we want to have a relationship that they love us or trust us enough that we can share the gospel,” he said.

That said, Garlow instructed attendees on how to engage the society by referring to the story of Daniel, as recorded in the Bible, as a model.

Garlow highlighted three steps that Daniel took that allowed him to engage the people, and even the king of Babylon, without compromising his identity.

Specifically, Garlow noted how Daniel learned the language of the Babylonian, learned the literature, and fasted.

For Christians today, that would entail knowing more than just “Christianese,” knowing the research that’s already out there in secular sources that backs up biblical truth, and doing what might be very uncomfortable – i.e. fasting and forming relationships with those who may seem far different in their beliefs an ideologies.

“They’re not nearly as hostile to us as I thought, but they do not understand us at all,” Garlow recalled an evangelical working for CBS having told him when asked about what he’s learned in the secular work environment.

“I challenge you to form relationships with those who you are most uncomfortable. Learn the language of the Babylonians. Learn the literature … that we can leverage from the world. And thirdly, saturate it in fast,” Garlow exhorted.

In concluding, Garlow reminded attendees that they are “spiritual warriors” in the midst of a war, and that they have all been “made for this moment.”

“If we don’t use carnal weapons but spiritual forces, this is a winnable war,” he concluded.

This year’s NRB Convention is being held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. The gathering concludes Tuesday.

Courtesy of Christian Post at http://www.christianpost.com/article/20100228/christian-communicators-mobilized-to-engage-trascend-secular-culture/page2.html