Urgency and sincerity are two words rolling around in my spirit as I write this. With yet another historic event—the senseless killing of now 59 people in Las Vegas—we are being warned as a nation.
At the end of last year, I wrote that 2017 was going to be a bad year for the world. I had a sense of darkness in my spirit. I was troubled and disturbed about the state of the church and the nation. 2018 will be worse. 2019 even worse. 2020 is very bad. I can't see past that right now. Time is running out.
The call of the hour is for repentance. Sincere repentance. Not lip service. Not self-justification. Not procrastination. But a whole-hearted, renouncing of your evil ways, and a permanent forsaking of sin and self.
And no, I am not a doomsday preacher. I am a prophet-hearted servant of the Lord and a preacher of righteousness. I am a voice crying in the wilderness, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord! Make His paths straight!" I sincerely believe the real church will shine in this day. I sincerely believe this is our finest hour. I sincerely believe we will have revival and awakening in our nation. How could I believe any differently and be a preacher? I have hope. But I also believe the present state of things in general in both the Church and the nation is very corrupt.
This Las Vegas tragedy comes on the heels of one of the worst storms in American history. It comes on the heels of record temperatures and raging fires in the West. It comes during a time in history where our national sovereignty is being threatened, where every kind of authority is dishonored and disrespected (especially the highest office in the land), where multitudes of university students mock God and celebrate filth and perversion, where hate and rebellion are everywhere in our society. Never has there been a time like this in the history of America and the nations.
Meanwhile in houses of worship there is no real worship. People stand in congregations, move their lips and sing their praises, but their hearts are far from God.
"These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. In vain do they worship Me ..." (Matt. 15:8-9).
Actors and pretenders they are, with no sincerity. This lack of sincerity marks the church culture today.
Much of what we do is just for show. There is always an insincere agenda behind it. Bottoms in the seats, bucks in the offering and buildings that must be paid. Another program, another project, another event, but there is no sincerity in many people. It is the spot and the blemish in our feasts and festivals.
How many more tragedies and casualties must take place before our attention is arrested and our insincerity brought to light? How many of those who were killed in Las Vegas were right with God? How many were ready to meet their Maker? How many were even conscious of Him? My guess is not very many. It is heartbreaking. The way to death and destruction is always far wider than the way to life that is always narrow.
Study the blessings and curses of Deuteronomy 28. It is obvious to even the casual observer that our nation, and many of our churches, are under the curse of disobedience. Yes, I am aware that God has a remnant, but I am not talking about the remnant. I am speaking of the masses of lost people and the multitudes of insincere professing Christians who praise God with their mouths but keep their hearts far from Him. Insincere.
The dictionary defines "insincerity" as not expressing genuine feelings; false, fake, hollow, artificial, feigned, pretended, put-on, inauthentic. Are you getting the picture? This is such an accurate description of our culture. The church is full of false converts and pretenders. They live double lives. Hypocrisy is their most glaring feature. They are living only for themselves. They do what they want and when they want. There is no fear of God in their hearts.
The judgments of God are real. Heaven and hell are real. Most people live without that sense of reality. Their eyes are dim, and they cannot see. Their ears are dull, and they cannot hear. Their hearts are layered with their own lusts and vain imaginations. Their minds are full of contradictory thoughts and destructive reasonings. Their mouths are full of excuses and self-justification. They are nowhere near ready for the judgment. They are not prepared to die and face God. They are nowhere near ready for the coming of the Lord. What will happen to them if they don't change? They will die and go to hell. Does that concern you at all?
I've given my life to the Lord and to His work, but I constantly search my heart nearly every day. I don't want to be insincere. I hate that in myself. I don't want to be wrong anywhere in my life. I want to dwell in the holy fear of the Lord. I want to love and revere Him always. Because I understand the nature of deception, I guard my heart with all diligence. I ask myself over and over again, "Am I sincere? Are my motives pure? Will they stand God's own inspection?" (See my book, Purity of Heart.)
The opposite of "insincere" is genuine, honest, open, real, truthful, upright and trustworthy. These should be qualities found in every believer, but pride blinds us. And that is the root where the axe needs to be laid. Pride. Self-admiration, self-glorification, egotism and self-love are some of its definitions. It is the opposite of humility. "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble" (James 4:6b). That is our greatest need right now in the church and the nation. Humility and repentance.
"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 Chron. 7:14).
If ... if ... if. Just one condition, and the church would be revived and our nation would be awakened, our sins forgiven and our land healed. What a marvelous promise? What a glorious remedy to all the death and darkness in our nation. What a grand solution to all the complacency and apathy in the church. And there is only one condition: If.
We need an overwhelming response to the if. Let it start with you and me.
Bert Farias' tetralogy of books speaks to these vital themes and the turning of the church and America back to God. If this article and others on this blog of this nature stir your love for truth and righteousness we highly recommend these books: The Real Salvation, The Real Gospel, The Real Jesus, The Real Spirit Of Revival.
By purchasing and circulating our books and articles, you are helping to fulfill God's plan for this ministry to carry the spirit of revival to the church and the nations through the proclamation and publishing of His Word and the demonstration of His Spirit and power. Please help us to fulfill this vision by sharing these truths with others. Thank you, and God bless you.
Bert M. Farias, revivalist and founder of Holy Fire Ministries, has authored several books with an emphasis on helping to restore the true spirit of Christianity in the Church today, including his latest book, Passing on The Move of God to The Next Generation. Follow him at Bert Farias and Holy Fire Ministries on Facebook and @Bertfarias1 on Twitter.
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