Warning: Culture of Positivity May Be Roadblock to Revival

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Head buried in the sand
A primary barrier to revival is the church's reluctance to honestly analyze the dark, negative condition of our culture. (Flickr/Peter)

There is increasing pressure from segments of the church in our nation to reject any negative analysis or any call to reformation that reveals that which is out of order yet still valued by the people.

I feel this pressure in our ministry often. The demand is for balance, or, in reality, an overdose on happy with a rare, occasional sprinkle of temporary sobriety. Focus on the good in the hopes that it will resolve the bad. Unfortunately, it just doesn't work that way.

I take the troubling, urgent, upsetting, all-consuming messages of my heart to the Lord daily—often many times a day. The fear of the Lord is on me, and I don't want to communicate anything that's not driven by love and obedience. I can't imagine preaching something out of my soul that God would resist. I tremble at the thought.

I also feel God's fear from the other direction—I can't imagine staying silent or giving into demands for balance or positivity at the cost of souls. I know there will already be people in hell forever because of my failure to speak the truth, and I cannot bear to let that tragedy continue.

Prophecy of the end times by 90-year-old woman in 1968: A lukewarmness without parallel will take hold of the Christians, a falling away from true, living Christianity. Christians will not be open for penetrating preaching. They will not, like in earlier times, want to hear of sin and grace, law and gospel, repentance and restoration. There will come a substitute instead: happiness Christianity. Churches and prayer houses will be emptier and emptier. Instead of the preaching we have been used to for generations—like, to take your cross up and follow Jesus—entertainment, art and culture will invade the churches where there should have been gatherings for repentance and revival.

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The true analysis of the church in our nation is exactly what this women prophesied. The sackcloth and ashes are nowhere to be found. The playful, careless attitudes have resulted in a measure of happiness but no revival.

The very need for revival reveals the true condition of the church.

It presupposes that the church is sunk down in a backslidden state, and a revival consists in the return of a church from her backslidings, and in the conversion of sinners. A revival always includes conviction of sin on the part of the church. ~Charles Finney

Positivity has invaded the church and its strategies. Even evangelism today in many places is devoid of dealing with sin and repentance. The message is, "God loves you" without also communicating the dark, depravity of the human heart. Who wouldn't want to follow a happy God who likes us? The problem is that's not the entirety of the gospel, and that message is resulting in disillusioned people following Jesus in an unsaved condition.

Church services are full of celebration but absent of grieving. This must change.

There is so little principle in the church, so little firmness and stability of purpose, that unless the religious feelings are awakened and kept excited, worldly feeling and excitement will prevail, and men will not obey God. They have so little knowledge, and their principles are so weak, that unless they are excited, they will go back from the path of duty, and do nothing to promote the glory of God. ~Charles Finney

I've said it many times before: We need to cancel most everything we do and gather together day after day and pray.

Many wonder why I keep beating a dead horse. It's simple. Because the horse is still dead.

Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. ~Rev. 3:2

It's time to shut down our conferences, cancel our church services, eliminate everything that will distract us—and pray. Continually. Together. For months or years until revival breaks out.

And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, "you heard from me." ~Acts 1:4

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