When I kicked off a preaching series on #MakeTheRightChoice at church last night, my senior pastor charged me with bringing a word about Tuesday’s presidential elections.
I knew it would be a hard word because the body of Christ is divided over whether to reelect the first African-American president or whether to install a practicing Mormon to our nation’s highest office. I had to get the message across: It’s not about skin color or religion—it’s about biblical values.
As I ticked down some of the harsh realities we’ve come to face over the last four years, most of the congregation was eerily silent. I read and report on these issues every day, but it dawned on me that many don’t follow the state of the union as closely. The looks on their faces revealed that they hadn’t previously heard much of what I was saying.
Here’s some of what I shared about the slide our nation has taken in the past four years:
- Our deficit has increased more than $4 trillion, causing the first-ever downgrade in the U.S. credit rating.
- Our nation has become more racially divided instead of more unified. According to a Newsweek poll, nearly 60 percent of Americans are now convinced that race relations have either deteriorated or stagnated over the past four years.
- Our military strategy now eliminates the ability to actively fight two major wars at once. Our military has become much weaker while world threats have grown greater.
- Abortions are on the rise, according to the Guttmacher Institute, with 1.21 million baby murders in 2008 alone.
- Violent crimes are on the rise for the first time in 20 years, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
- The economy remains weak more than three years after economists declared the recession ended.
- U.S. poverty is on track to climb to levels unseen in about 50 years, erasing gains from the war on poverty in the 1960s, according to the U.S. Census.
The Prophesied Great Awakening
I submit to you that our nation is in natural and spiritual crises and it will take an intervention from God to avoid disaster. Although “man” can’t solve the problems in our nation, electing leadership that will guide America using biblical principals rather than leadership that defies biblical principles in the name of change speaks volumes to heaven.
If we don’t make a drastic shift in this nation, I believe there's no way to escape God’s judgment. Billy Graham’s wife once said, “If God doesn’t judge America He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.” I never wanted to believe that. But now I do. I can see it. God has removed His hand of protection at times because He loves us and hopes we’ll wake up. Clearly, we haven't woken up yet.
On April 21, 2007, the Lord woke me up at midnight and I sensed Him offering this prophetic word:
There is a great awakening coming to this nation. For I have heard your cries and I long to heal your land. I am a covenant God and I will not forget the covenant I made with your Founding Forefathers. Yes, there will be a shaking, but the foundations will not crack and they will not crumble. Only those things which can be shaken will be shaken that the sin in the land may be laid bare.
Repentance. I require repentance from My people who have through the generations allowed the enemy to take ground in this nation. I require repentance for the abortions and for the prayerlessness. I require repentance for the apathy and for the idolatry. You shall have no other Gods before me. I am indeed the God of America.
Yes, there is a great awakening coming to this nation. I am the Author of it and I will bring it to pass. Just turn from your wicked ways and humble yourselves. Stand in the gap and make up the hedge. I am the Lord and I am a Warrior. I will not leave or forsake this country. I will fight through you and with you to regain what has been lost.
Be encouraged now because as you go forth boldly with My Word and My Spirit there will be the sound of truth and it will prevail in the land. Speak boldly and clearly and watch as the mighty men arise to take their positions on the wall and in the churches and in the marketplaces. For I am raising up deliverers and reformers in this generation who will not shrink back at the challenge that is coming in the days ahead.
Yes, it will grow darker before My light shines brightly from this nation again. But the light has not been extinguished and will not be extinguished. The time to rise up is now. I am calling you to war. I am calling you to repentance. I am calling you to My side. I am the captain of the hosts. I am calling you to victory. I am calling you to destiny. Will you answer?
Please, Please Wake Up!
That was nearly six years ago! There is hope for America. I believe the remnant is rising. But it has certainly gotten darker in this nation and, again, I fear God's judgment may come if we continue to stand by in silence while abortions, same-sex marriage and other sin rages in our land.
The church—AKA the sleeping giant—needs to wake up. If the church were being the church, we wouldn’t have all these problems. Of course, these problems didn’t just start four years ago. There’s been a gradual decline in morality in this nation since prayer was removed from schools in 1962. Abortion was legalized in 1973. Massachusetts became the first state to legalize gay marriage in 2004. And plenty of wickedness has taken place in between and since.
What if we all lived the Sermon on the Mount lifestyle? The Sermon on the Mount speaks against murder, which is what abortion really is. The Sermon on the Mount speaks against sexual immorality, which includes homosexuality. The Sermon on the Mount speaks against divorce. But the church is largely ignoring the Sermon on the Mount's Christianity 101 lessons. The church looks, thinks and acts too much like the world. Christians are having abortions. Christians are committing adultery. Christians are fornicating. Christians are getting divorced. Lord, help us!
At the same time, the Sermon on the Mount speaks to giving to the needy, prayer and fasting. I can’t prove it with hard numbers, but I submit to you that it’s likely that most Christians aren’t giving to the poor. It’s probable that most Christians aren’t praying for our nation. I’m sure most Christians aren’t fasting. We really aren’t the salt and the light. And that’s why it’s getting darker.
Adding insult to this injurious lifestyle, some Christians declare that the prayer rallies and solemn assemblies don’t make a difference. I believe the greatest sin of the church is prayerlessness. The government of the world happens in the prayer rooms. Yet we’re too busy feeding our souls on worldly entertainment to meet God at the altar.
Our nation is in crisis. It has grown darker over the past five years. It will continue growing darker until we turn back to God as a nation. The good news is when we do, we’ll see a Great Awakening and many souls will come into the kingdom. I’m blowing the trumpet. I’m sounding the alarm. There is hope for America, and that hope lies in the body of Christ rising up to do as Jesus commanded: Occupy until I come.
Jennifer LeClaire is news editor at Charisma. She is also director of IHOP Fort Lauderdale. You can email Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website here. You can also join Jennifer on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.
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