By any honest calculation, our nation – and indeed our world – is in serious trouble, Economists warn that the only reason our economy has not collapsed is that the Federal Reserve is printing paper money to pay the government’s reckless spending, and this will lead to an eventual disaster. Terrorism keeps raising its ugly head at various places all over the globe. Middle East tensions are escalating by the day, and a nuclear exchange is becoming more likely. Persecution of Christians and other human rights abuses are accelerating. And, perhaps most discouraging of all, immorality is considered normal by too many people.
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! – Isaiah 5:20
The good news is that these very factors could lead to a much-needed spiritual revival. As a pastor I have always taught, “As the night gets darker, the light shines brighter.” In our recent study of Church history, and especially the Period of the Missionary Church (Mid-1700’s – 1900’s), we saw that the great revivals grew out of a sense of spiritual need. The most recent one, the so-called “Jesus People Movement,” came on the heels of the sexual revolution and drug culture of the ‘60’s and ’70’s. When a godless life style leaves its victims empty, there is a golden opportunity for the Bible’s message of salvation to be welcomed and received.
A new survey by the Barna Group showed that More than 3 in 4 Americans say the country is in a state of moral decline—and almost 1 in 3 attribute the cause to a “lack of Bible reading.”
The Supreme Court struck down a California initiative that defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman. It also invalidated parts of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Throughout the year various states legalized homosexual marriage. It is now permitted in 18 states.
A morning-after contraception/abortion pill was made available without prescription to girls of all ages by order of a federal judge.
A new California law will allow school children to decide for themselves, and presumably change their minds from time to time, their own gender. Boys will be allowed in girls bathrooms and locker rooms, and vice-versa.
Pro-abortion demonstrators consider late-term abortions “sacred ground” and try to assault legislators who want to restrict abortions after 20 weeks.
The A&E television network suspended Phil Robertson, patriarch of the very popular “Duck Dynasty” series, when he was quoted by GQ magazine saying that homosexuality is a sin. He paraphrased a biblical passage (1 Corinthians 6:9).
Today’s Rose Parade will feature the marriage of two men aboard a float.
However, here are pieces of encouraging news from the “light” side of this struggle that may indicate a new spiritual revival is brewing.
At the Presidential Inaugural Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC, Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, author of the best-selling book “The Harbinger,” called for the nation’s leaders to return to God.
An audience that heard a debate between former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams and atheist professor Richard Dawkins voted 324 to 136 that Williams’ case was more reasonable than Dawkins, and that religion does have a place in the 21st century.
Numerous Muslims have turned to Christ after having dreams about Jesus in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Syria and the West Bank of Israel. Evangelist Tom Doyle has written a book about it.
In March the television series, “The Bible” was a tremendous success.
Trans World Radio announced that within less than two years they will be able to deliver Christian content to nearly 60 percent of the people of the world in their own language.
Sat-7, a Christian broadcast organization transmitting programs to the Middle East and North Africa has now launched its own You Tube Live channel to make their outreach even more effective.
Billy Graham released a world-wide evangelic message by DVD and television broadcasts on his 95th birthday of what would probably be his last public message about the Cross of Christ. In the U.S. some 24,000 churches organized groups to invite people into their homes and congregations to hear the message.
More than 620,000 Californians signed a petition against the “bathroom bill” in just 80 days. Only 500,000 were required to put the issue on the ballot for the state elections.
New York City may be on the brink of another “Great Awakening.” Before the 911 attack on the Twin Towers in 2001 there were not many churches left in the city, but since then there has been a surge of evangelicalism and a significant growth of the number of churches. Roots of a revival go back to David Wilkerson’s founding of Teen Challenge in the ‘60’s, the dynamic ministry of the Cymbalas at Brooklyn Tabernacle, and the founding of King’s College in Empire State Building.
A tremendous outpouring of support for Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson by their millions of viewers, made it clear to A&E Network that they think he had the right to express his own views and quote the Bible on the sensitive topic of homosexuality. The network decided to lift his suspension from the program.
The coming year is being called the “Year of the Bible at the box office,” with at least four major releases on Bible topics: “Son of God,” “Mary Mother of Christ,” “Noah,” and “Exodus.”
It was also revealed at the end of the year that there was a return to the practice of naming children after Bible characters.
The question arises, “If these are the end times, would God send a revival when He has already predicted apostasy and spiritual decline?”
The answer is “Yes!” He gave opportunity to Noah’s family, Lot’s family, and the believers in Jericho and Nineveh to repent and be spared. Why wouldn’t He give an opportunity, especially to the young people of our generation who have never really understood the Gospel?
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. – 2 Peter 3:9
Revival must come through God’s Holy Spirit. But His people must really want it.
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 heal their land. – 2 Chronicles 7:14