Borrowing a slogan from Donald Trump's campaign, I want to inspire every Christ follower and preacher to do your part to make the church great again in 2016. As Mr. Trump says concerning our nation, I say concerning the church: "We don't win any more! We use to be great. We use to be the leader of the world, but now we're losing. It's time to make the church great again in 2016!"
It is no secret that America is no longer a Christian nation. You don't have 57 million abortions in a Christian nation. You don't redefine gender and legalize gay marriage in a Christian nation. You don't favor Islam in the various sectors of our society and disdain Christianity in a Christian nation.
We are no longer a Christian nation mainly because we are no longer a vibrant Christian church. We must bear the burden of this blame.
Just at the time when radical Islam is subtly infiltrating and forcefully invading our nation, much of the church is floundering in passivity between light and darkness and seems to be doing her best to actually water down the gospel and purge it from our midst. What a recipe for disaster! It's the perfect storm. In a time when the church should be the strongest and burn the brightest, we are weak and worldly.
While the Titanic is sinking, we have churches and preachers more concerned with having the best party on the deck. Can you imagine Noah on top of His Titanic strutting and swinging his hips and declaring to the people below, "Your Daddy God is getting ready to bless you and favor you with riches and honor!" Such has been the denial and party mood of much of Christianity today.
Woe to the preacher who seeks fans, approval ratings, and popularity while the nation drowns in a cesspool of iniquity and a flood of immorality!
Woe to the preacher who in plague-time lives in luxury and ease when so many are expecting his help in life and death situations!
Woe to the Christian who stands by and sees sinners gasping under the pangs of death and dismisses himself without doing anything to rescue them!
As for me, I have not lost all hope in our nation, and more importantly, in the church. I have also not lost hope in preachers or my fellow Christians, because I know that there is a strong godly remnant still left in America. Can I tell you that I believe there is still time to turn the tide of evil and see revival in the church and an awakening in the nation?
Statistics say that there are approximately 500,000 preachers in America. If we would just begin in all earnestness and sincerity to apply 2 Chronicles 7:14 to our lives and lead the people God has entrusted to us in it, I am sure we would see a sudden shift in our churches and even the political mood of the nation.
Making the church great again begins with humility, brokenness and confession of sin. There must be a cleansing and a purity before the power.
"For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God" (1 Pet. 4:17)
"If My people, who are called by My name, will 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 will heal their land" (2 Chr. 7:14).
My friend Dr. Michael Brown recently ministered in one of India's fasting-growing churches. According to his observations from a recent article he wrote, "7 Lessons From the World's Fastest-Growing Congregation," one of the big keys to this church's greatness is the emphasis they place on prayer and fasting. Brown reports:
"When they were about to embark on their building project, Pastor Satish called for 40 days of prayer and fasting, with believers fasting and joining together in corporate prayer as much as they were able to.
"The problem was that he called for this during the rainy season, a time when it is unbearably hot and unbearably wet. Yet night after night crowds of thousands gathered on the empty property to join together for hours, sitting with their umbrellas up as Satish preached in the pouring rain (without an umbrella). It made for quite a sight.
"When they came to the end of the 40-day period, he called for another 40 days of prayer and fasting, and when that ended, he called for 40 days more—so, 120 consecutive days of corporate prayer and fasting. It was then that he received the word to build the entire facility in 52 days.
"The building miracle and the church-growth miracle are directly related to prayer and fasting."
Additionally, Dr. Brown reports in this article several other key factors that are attributes to the quality growth and success of this church: 1) Solid preaching on vital themes of the Bible, including sin and repentance; 2) caring for the flock in many sacrificial ways; 3) exercising supernatural faith; 4) standing with Israel; 5) having a strong work ethic; 6) and using media wisely to spread the gospel.
In these days of church-growth fads, when leaders are looking for the latest gimmick or technique to bring in the crowds, it's refreshing to see how these attributes are bringing supernatural extraordinary growth to one of the great churches in India. Let us do likewise.
These attributes are practical and simple things that flow from the heart. When the Spirit of God begins moving and breathing on humble, repentant hearts, then the simple things become dear and precious. The basic doctrines of Scripture become new to us. The joy of meeting together in worship, in prayer and in the Word becomes a pure joy. Gladness and gratitude for our salvation fills our hearts and compels us to tell others of our wonderful Savior.
When the familiar things of our faith are touched by heaven they lose their staleness and become fresh again. Here is a beautiful quote from Winkie Pratney that speaks to this.
"The things that touch us in a true revival are not strange and mysterious things made clear, but plain and simple things made central and old things made new. In revival, do not seek new things from God but seek to see God through new eyes."
Be encouraged brother and sisters. This is the time when the Holy Spirit wants to make everything new, fresh, and alive again. If we cooperate with Him, this can be our finest hour.
Bert Farias' books are forerunners to personal holiness, the move of God and the return of the Lord. They also combat the departure from the faith and turning away from the truth we are seeing in our day. Cleansing the Temple is his most recent release. You can follow him personally on Facebook, his Facebook ministry page, or Twitter.
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