Recently, I received a phone call from a dear friend. She was stirred up upon hearing of the vision of the avalanche I had received from the Lord. For more than 15 minutes she spoke with the passion of a fiery evangelist concerning the condition of our nation and its need to turn back to God. However, she was at a loss with what to do with the unsettling she felt deep within her heart. She knew something needed to change but had little hope that anything could be done. She was a single voice but I know she represents multitudes who feel the same way.
We live in a time where many are no longer pursuing sound doctrine. They have itching ears that are heaping up for themselves teachers who will tell them what they want to hear. They, in turn, are moving away from the truth of God’s word towards dangerous theology. I wrote about this in my latest book Spiritual Avalanche.
America is experiencing a blinding condition known as a whiteout. A whiteout is when fresh-fallen snow is picked up and carried by strong winds, decreasing visibility to a few inches. Spiritually speaking, there is a fresh blanket of deception and corruption that has fallen upon our nation and the church. This “snow” is being blown around from the four corners of the country decreasing the ability to clearly see and find the Savior.
However, in the midst of this whiteout, I see opportunity. Great hope fills my heart. There is something that can be done to reverse the tide and turn this nation back to God. It’s found in your voice!
Your tongue is a powerful weapon that God has given you. It is time to let Him dip yours into the oil of his anointing and set it ablaze with the fires of his altar so that your words are sent forth with great power call home the lost.
My friends, if you have experienced the power of the gospel then you have a responsibility to the harvest. It is time to heed his call to evangelism and embrace this responsibility. I assure you, we are not alone in this work. There are two ways in which we accept the mandate to further the message of the gospel:
Responsible to Go Out
I was invited to speak at a great church in Iowa for a single service on a Sunday. God moved powerfully that morning. The altars where flooded with people repenting before God. Hundreds received a fresh touch from the Lord. As the service was drawing to a close, the pastor asked if I would stay for the entire week.
My answer was yes, upon one condition. I wanted to motivate the people to go out and bring in the lost. I asked each member in attendance to write down the name and address of a lost loved one on a piece of paper. We then took those names, plotted them on a map and assigned homes to each person willing to go.
I asked the pastor if they had a bus. He said no, but he would get one. The next day he went out and bought a bus. (Talk about faith!) We went into the streets and went house to house inviting the lost in. Every night we filled up that bus and filled up the church.
This was our “modus operandi.” Everywhere we have gone we've seen similar results because we understand our responsibility to go out.
When the day of Pentecost came, the saints received a powerful outpouring in the upper room but they didn’t remain in that place. They spilled out into the streets and thousands were saved. God pours out so that we will spill out.
Unfortunately, we have reached a place in the body of Christ where we are content to remain in the upper room. We love the moving of His Spirit. We pursue His touch. But we remain indoors. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit has a purpose: to reach the lost!
Jesus said, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8, NIV). The power has a purpose!
I’ve watched aspiring evangelists expecting people to come because they simply erected a tent in an open field. They are disappointed when few people—if any—arrive. In order for there to be a coming in, there must be a going out.
Jesus shared a parable about a great banquet that was prepared. The invitations were sent but no one came. When the room was empty, the solution was simple. Workers were sent out to the highways and the byways to compel anyone who would to come in.
In Spiritual Avalanche, I spoke about the ski patrol that had the responsibility of going out and warning people of the risk of deadly avalanches. They would position themselves outside the dangerous terrain of the backcountry warning skiers and enthusiasts alike.
This is our position as well. We must go out and speak to those the Lord would send our way and tell them of the truth that will set them free. God has sent you out. He has positioned you in your workplace, school and community. You are a worker to help bring in the harvest. Embrace your responsibility to “go.”
Responsible to Train Yourself Up in the Work of the Evangelist
I was standing on stage in the pouring rain with Carlos Annacondia at one of his crusades. The night before, the crowd was incredible. There were people as far as the eye could see. They had come ready to hear the Word. Workers were everywhere, filled with eager anticipation about what God was about to do. It was a powerful evening. Thousands of people responded to the call for salvation.
However, the next night it was raining and the crowd had dipped to hundreds instead of thousands. Carlos, with mic in hand ready to preach to the handful of lost souls, turned to me and said, “This is the problem. Everyone wants to work for God as long as times are good. They will work in the sunshine, but when the storm comes the workers are hard to come by.”
His countenance depicted his disappointment with the people, but not disappointment with God. It was a great crusade—hundreds were saved. But what of the untold thousands that might have come if someone had embraced the work of the evangelist and gone out to get them?
There is nothing mystical about hard work. The lazy may run from it, but those who heed the call to go also embrace their responsibility to work. Jesus said to “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Luke 10:2). He is looking for those who are willing to work.
The reason we see cults growing rapidly is that they understand the concept of work. They send out their workers peddling a perverse version of the gospel and see a return on their work. Work produces fruit. The church holds the pure gospel, yet sends out so few. Imagine what happens when we get a fresh burden from the Lord to go and do the work of the evangelist!
Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commands”(John 14:15). His command is very clearly stated in Matthew 28:19, “Then go and make disciples of all nations.” When was the last time you shared Jesus with the world around you? When was the last time you prayed for someone in public? When was the last time you lifted up your voice to speak truth to a desperate soul? If this is not a weekly occurrence, may God refresh that burden within you and call you back to his work!
When a skier finds himself caught in the initial stages of an avalanche, his only hope is to “get off the slab.” That is, to ski horizontally across the slide in an attempt to find the stable snow that sits to the left or right of the slide. Spiritually speaking, there is an avalanche moving under our feet. Those who are spiritually attuned and alert feel the ground giving way. They realize that time is short and action must be taken immediately. We have to beat the avalanche at its game.
The church has been asleep for too long. Many are feeling the ground moving under their feet. Now is the time to wake up and get off the slide to destruction. I trust that your heart is stirring even now to go and work.
As you go, know that you are not alone in this endeavor. The Holy Spirit is also at work behind the scenes preparing the fields for the greatest harvest this world has ever seen. Even now, multitudes of workers have been dispatched from heaven. Their assignment is to prepare the soil, sow seed and water the ground. They are doing what they can to make preparations for the laborers He is calling forth.
Now is not the time to go running for the safety of our sanctuaries to sit and wait for the avalanche to pass. This is the time for every church, ministry, evangelistic association and believer to ramp up their energies towards winning the lost.
The greatest move of God this world has ever seen is before us. Indeed the harvest is great and presently the workers are few, but I see an army of fresh believers beginning to spill out into the streets once again. Soon thousands will be reaped in a single day. I pray with Him that he would send forth the laborers!
Evangelist Steve Hill preached the Brownsville Revival for five years, is pastor emeritus of Heartland World Ministries Church and has authored 13 books, including Spiritual Avalanche.