REVIVAL OR RUIN

I stand before you a husband by choice, a father by�desire,

but an American by birth. Like most of us, I did absolutely

nothing to deserve the freedom that we enjoy.

I want to say at the outset of this message that I am

an�old-fashioned, flag waving American who believes that America�

is the greatest nation on the face of the earth. I don't say�that

just because I am an American, or because I am prejudiced, but

because I believe that the facts bear it out.�

While other nations have, for decades, built walls and�put up

barbed-wire fences to keep their people from getting�out, the

United States of America has always had along line of people

waiting to get in.

But America did not become great because of her vast�

resources, he superior intellect, or her sheer willpower.�

America became great because God made her great. The Bible�

says that righteousness exalts a nation, and that the nation�

whose God is the Lord is a blessed nation. In 1 Samuel

2:30, God says, " they that honor me I will honor."�

God honored America because America honored Him and�

upheld His standard of righteousness. This nation was forged�

out by men who recognized their dependence upon Almighty God.�

In fact, many of those founding father had more respect as�lost

sinners for the living God and His Word, than many so-called

believers in the church today. They knew that neither�they,

nor their nation could make it without the assistance of God.

In this generation we're looking for better methods to

deal with the perplexing problems of our day, but God�is still

looking for better men, men like our founding�fathers who were

willing to risk everything for what they believed.

Many of these men had much to lose in the struggle for�

liberty. But one common thread bound�their hearts together,

and it was for this that they risked�their wealth, their sacred

honor, and their very lives to�give birth to the great experiment

of freedom that we call America.

These were men of conviction who stood for what they�believed,

no matter what they cost. They were men of�character, who refused

to give up in the face of adversity�and hardship. They were men of

creative wisdom. For example,�they didn't form a democracy based

on the changing whims of�each passing generation. Rather, they formed

a republic basedon the unchanging, eternal absolutes of God and

His Word.

They were also men of commitment. They were commited to�God,

to His authority, and to the foundational principles of�His Word.

They did not hesitate to legislate morality. For�the past 160 years

of our history, most of our laws (e.g.,�blue laws, divorce laws,

property laws, criminal laws) were based on the laws of God.

The charter of every one of our original colonies�stresses

our spiritual roots. For example, the charter of�Rhode Island (

1638) states, "We submit our persons, lives,�and estates, unto

our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of Kings�and Lord of Lords and

to all those perfect absolute laws He has given to us in His

Holy Word."

In fact, upon investigation, you will discover that all�the

documents that formed the United States, the Declaration�of

Independence, the Bill of Rights, all the constitutions of�the

various states, the inagural addresses of it's�presidents, and the

statements indelibly etched on many of�our national monuments in

Washinton D.C., all bear�unmistakable testiment to the fact

that America is one nation�under God, founded for the furtherance

of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Unfortunately, the secularists and humanists of our day�have

rewritten history, so that as to exclude the truth regarding our

spiritual heritage as a nation.

These men of conviction, character, creative wisdom, and�commmitment,

purchased with their blood the freedom that you�and I enjoy today.

Because they honored God, God honored them, and we are still reaping

those blessings today.

In just 200 years, God elevated America from a place of infancy

to world leadership in almost every field of endeavor�including technology,

industry, medicine, agriculture,�aerospace, business, science, electronics,

and�communications. When you stop to think of it, it is really�incredible!

And it never could have happened apart from heaven's aid.

But as we bask in the glory of past blessings, we have�cause

for great alarm, for thr same God who was true to His�Word and blessed

America, must exercise judgement if we do not repent.

America has a heritage that cries,"We cannot go without�God."

Yet for the past few decades we've tried. We have sown�to the wind

and now we are reaping the whirlwind. In the�60's we bgan to openly

tolerate that which was vile and�sinful. In the 70's, we began to

legitimize, condone, and�excuse what we had already accepted. And

in the 80's, we have�actually begun to legislate that which is

immoral and contrary to the laws of God's Word.

Sex has become humiliating, filthy, and violent. Brazen�

magazines carry articles on sex with children and sex with�animals.

Male hustlers stand on street corners pouncing on passerby.

I'm talking about "Christian America!"

One out of every 10 adults is a slave to alcohol. Dope�peddlers

are destroying the minds of America's youth. This�countries illicit

drug industry is estimated at more than 75�billion dollars a year.

The suicide rate among 15-24 year�olds has risen over 300% in the

last 20 years. In "Christian�America" we now have the highest divorce

rate in the history of civilization. Child abuse is epidemic.

We have rejected the sanctity of human life. We are�murdering

over 1.4 million innocent, unborn babies each�year. In one state alone

last year, these were more babies�killed by legal abortions than all

of the servicemen who lost�their lives in the Viet Nam, Korean, Mexican,

1812, and Revolutionary Wars combined.

Our economy is on the brink of collapse. Our efforts to�stop

this runaway deficit are nothing more than band-aids on�a

hemorrhaging economy. Our families, which form the basic�unit of

society, are crumbling. Television programming is�polluting the

souls and brainwashing the minds of our young�people, and destroying

the spirit of our homes. We have�paraded the reputation of sodomy

down mainstreet as an�acceptable lifestyle. Ôéíå magazine now

reports over 20�million who claim to be homosexuals or lesbians. We

are�drinking, eating, perverting, and drugging ourselves into an early

grave.

As a nation, we have provoked the fury of Almighty God�in

heaven. America simply is not big enough to shake her fist in the

face of a Holy God and gat away with it.

Some who share this concern are saying. "We had better�clean up

our act or God is going to judge us." Dear friend,�the question

is not, "Will God judge us?" It is just a matter of how far God's

judgement will go if we don't repent.

God destroys those nations that forsake Him and reject�His

laws. Psalm 9:17 says, "The wicked shall be turned into�hell and all

the nations that forget God." "Righteousness�exalts a nation, but

sin is a reproach to any people."�Speaking through Hoses, Godsays, "

Seeing that thou hast�forgotten the laws of thy God, I will also

forget thy�hildren. I will go and return to my place until they

acknowledge their offense before me."

Amereica is on a suicidal course with destruction and�judgment

because we have forgotten the God of the Bible and�have forsaken His

commandments. Did our founding fathers die�in vain? Is this noble

experiment of freedom to end in the�graveyard, alongside of past

civilizations that likewise�rejected God? Is there no hope for

our children and their children?

Edmund Burke said, "The only thing necessary for evil to�triumph

is that good men do nothing." That's exactly what too�many of us

have done. Absolutely nothing. We are to busy�making money, watching

television, fixing our yard, and going to the ball game to save a

nation.

You and I live in a democratic republic, a government of�the

people, by the people, and for the people. That makes us�the ultimate

decisionmaker, and, before God, ultimately�responsible for what takes

place in this nation. We must rebuild this nation before it is to late.

When a nation becomes as morally depraved, as�spiritually blinded,

and as steeped in humanism, hedoism,�materialism, as America is,

there is only one power in the�universe that can meet and overcome

such evil, and that is�the power of the living God. What we need

is an outpouring of�the Holy Spirit, a visitation of the manifest

presence of�God. And that, my freinds is revival.

Desperate times demand God's personal intervention, and�on the

stage of history that has always been called a�revival. The only hope

that God will be exalted, the only�hope that he will be lifted up again

as Lord over this�nation, the only hope as our survival as a free people.

The�only hope for our children and grandchildren, is an old-�fashioned,

Holy Spirit empowered revival that will sweep back�the tide of sin

and restore the basic principles of God and His Word that made her great.

Back in the 1700's and 1800's America experienced�several such

revivals and awakenings. But we are now 89 years�into the 20th century

and with all of our greatness and all�of our bigness, we have the

greates churches, the greatest�preachers, the greatest singers,

the greatest programs and�schools ever in Christendom. Yet this

is the first century in�the history of the United States that God

has not been�bleesed to pour out His spirit and touch down in this

nation a national revival.

The only hope for turning this nation back to God is for

those of us who claim the name of Christ to turn back to God.�

God's cure for a nation proves wha the real cause was all�along.

God said if he could find ten rightous souls in Sodom�and Gomorrah,

He would spare the cities. But He couldn't. He�said if he could find

one man in Israel's day, He would spare�it. But He couldn't. God said

in II Chronicles 7:14. "If my�people which are called by My name shall

humble themselves�and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked

ways,�then I will hear from heaven, I will forgive their sin, and

will heal their land."

The reason our nation is facing judgment is because of�the

spiritual condition of the church. It is not because of�the corruption

in th halls of Congress or the reprobation in�San Fransisco and Hollywood.

It is because of those of us in who call ourselves Christians.

"Oh, you say, "but look at the grouth of our churches and�

mission programs, and the renewed interest of people in�religion.

"Behind the glimmer of much grouth today, the�piercing all-knowing

eye of a Holy God has been witness to�what has been taking place behind

the walls of our homes, our places of business, and in the privacy

of motel rooms.�

A recent Gallup poll pointed out that though there has�been in

the last decade or so a surge of those professing to be Christians,

there has been during that same period of time�a corresponding

escalation of crime, rape, incest, child abuse, divorce, and moral

perversions of all kinds.

There is something critically wrong with the kind of�religion

that has no effect whatsoever in its society.�Furthermore, there

is something wrong when people can confess�Christianity and continue

to live in their godless�lifestyles. There is something wrong when

church men can�watch HBO and Showtime pornography and then teach

Sunday School the next morning.

There is something wrong when people can abort babies�during

the week, and then sing in the choir on Sundays. There�is something

wrong when men can be unfaithful to their wives, abuse�their children,

and live with unresolved conflicts in their�home, and have

absolutely no conscience or conviction over the matter.

There is something wrong when men can live their lives�and

order their priorities for the almighty dollar and�temporal things

and then be recognized as a commited,�dedicated believer, just

because of all of the money they give to the church.

There is something wrong when people can life selfish,�immoral

lives, be proud and bitter, self-centered and self-�sufficient, and

still occupy possitions of leadership in the church.

America will be judged, not because of the wickedness of�the

lost, but because of the backslidden condition of the church.

Infact, our nation's sins are nothing more than a�magnified

reflection of the sins of the church. We complain�that our children

can't pray or read the Bible at school. But�I wonder how many of

us consistantly read the Bible and pray�with our own children at

home, where we are still free to do so.

We are overwhelmed by our nation's staggering deficit.�But

I wonder how many us us are financially free. We are�outraged by

the moral perversion, adultery, and sodomy being�flaunted on television,

movies, and books. But I wonder how�many of us men are morally pure

in our thoughts, our words, our habits, and our lifestyles.

We're alarmed at the spread of AIDS. But I believe that�even

this dread scourge may be a reflection of the condition�of the church.

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome destroys�the immune system, and

leaves a person susceptable to disease and death. What an apt description

of the church!�

The church in our day has turned a deaf ear to the voice�of God

and to His prophets who cry against sin. We have�adopted a philosophy

of life that allows people to be�comfortable at church, while living

in adultery, materialism,�and selfishness at home. Though we should

certainly love�sinners, we need a Holy Ghost revival that will cause us

to�live such holy lives and to preach so powerfully that�unrepentant

believers will be miserable every time they leave the church.

The church is the cause of God's judgement on this�nation, and,

according to God's Word, revival in the church is the only cure.

Revival is a devine military strategy to conteract�spiritual

decline and to create spiritual momentum. Nothing�else will do. Our

combined best efforts have been to no�avail. God is simply looking for

men who are available, men�who are wholly His, through whom He can

reveal Himself mighty and strong.

The days of King Ahab were dark ones in Israel's�history. Elijah

was the man God chose to use as His�instrument in turning the heart

of the nation. God which can purify mens heart. But it cannot happen

unless first, the Christian comes clean before God.

 


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