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Thots for Today's Church

Being faithful to God
in the last days.



  What About Modern Day “Revivals”?
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The freedom and the “opportunity” that Americans have enjoyed have made us spiritually lazy. Our personal identity and security have become “earthly,” i.e. in being “American” and in our social and economic status. We haven’t felt much need for God except to “save us” so we go to heaven when we die. Now, however, we’re starting to feel restless and we sense the need for “something more.”

Many Christians know that our nation is in trouble morally and economically and we feel encroaching darkness in the world in general. Deep down inside we know it is the contest between the kingdom of darkness and the Kingdom of Light. Evil, battling good. Yes, Satan against God and His righteousness as we move further into the End Times.

It is true, that we humans are most open to being influenced, and to change, when we feel needy. Most Christians know that the Church is no longer the primary influencer in American society and politics, and would privately confess that we do not represent Christ with the authenticity that He calls us to. Yes, we feel needy - - and there are basically three options before us.

First, there is II Chron. 7:14, “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 I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” That would do it for us, but somehow it just seems too humiliating a thing for us Americans. We want the “then,” but that little “if” is just too much and we’d prefer to try an end run on God.

So, some act as though needed change can come through conservative politics, but in our hearts weprobably know it won’t happen because the issue is deeper than that. It is, at its core, spiritual. I promise you – we are past the point where political action can bring needed change.

Thirdly, there is something else happening across the Church that is very appealing to us because it offers a new spirituality without calling for II Chron. 7:14 repentance. And without taking up our cross daily and following Jesus, as in Luke 9:23. We need to be aware of it but many, even pastors, are not. It is profoundly spiritual but it is not of the Spirit of God. It is the modern-day "Revival" and signs and wonders movement.

Instead of presenting “Christ and Him crucified,” it advocates the “wisdom” and the words of modern day so-called Apostles and Prophets, and thus diminishes one’s respect for and dependence upon the Word of God. Instead of new life through surrender to the rule of God in our hearts, it offers signs, wonders, miracles and new prophetic revelations as the mark of His presence.

This movement is an expression of Dominionism, the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), Latter Rain, Emergent Church, The Word of Faith, Kingdom Now and etc. It is serious and it is in Wooster and Wayne County, Ohio. Certainly there are legitimate supernatural events today, including physical healing, but the most supernatural “work,” and Jesus’ “Greater Works than These,” is our spiritual healing through Him.

Divergent teaching usually includes elements of truth, so don’t let that mislead you. If you are exposed to it, listen with discernment for the presentation of the historic Gospel message. And for the unbiblical promotion of signs, wonders and miracles as the evidence of God’s presence. And for the balance of “experience” versus commitment to sound doctrine. Most of all, listen for the call to identify with Jesus in His obedience to the Father by going to the cross and experiencing death - and then, new Life!

For more, see: "Revival, the Cross and the Narrow Gate" by Bob DeWaay:

This is #9 in the “Thots for Today’s Church” series and is one of many short articles on © 2012, Ken Stoltzfus, P.O. Box 228, Kidron, OH 44636 USA. May be printed for personal use and may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes without further permission as long as source is acknowledged. Unless otherwise noted, Bible quotations are from the New International Version. Posted: Aug. 17, 2012
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