As our nation deals with the current ramifications of the coronavirus, it is with a great burden and a sense of encouragement that I write this. I also ask, is this a season where the Lord can truly get the attention of the church in America?
In light of the spiritual, political, social and cultural dynamics that are present and glaring in our nation, I know that we find ourselves in deep need of God's divine assistance. With this being a reality, in no way do I want to underestimate or blindly ignore the detrimental dynamics that have been, and will continue to, weaken and erode our culture due to the resistance of morality and biblical moorings in this land. Again, we are in deep need of God's assistance in the church and in the nation, and this was true way before the coronavirus arrived on our shores!
I want to say that the subjects of revival and awakening are much more to me than just historical themes that breed a sense of nostalgia and desire in my heart. Instead, these themes have now become a source of singleness of heart for me. In other words, without God's divine intervention in this hour of history in the United States of America, we will continue to spiral out of control and implode on multiple levels. Jesus Christ is our only true hope and His church must embrace this reality.
In past decades, evangelicals have aggressively attempted to build Christian political alliances in order to further our conservative and biblical agendas. Even though this is noble and has had some positive results, the truth is that there is a false sense of security developed when we trust in these forces alone and not in the Lord and His impenetrable kingdom.
Let me be clear and say that I fully believe in deliberately being involved in multiple sectors of society, including the political arena. We are not to hide our heads in the sand and become neutral or passive concerning our role on the earth as believers in the Lord. However, something more has to happen in the heart of the church if the heart of the nation is to be salvaged on any level.
We must fully realize that in the midst of a country that violates the basic principles of God's Word through detrimental practices such as the murder of the unborn, the redefining of marriage, the promotion of perversion and so forth, our only true hope lies in God's unchanging glory and divine intervention into the midst of our moral downfall. It is not enough to implement a proper, political agenda that reflects God's character and principles alone. We must have God Himself in our midst!
As we approach our role as Christians in desiring and praying for God's assistance in our nation now that the flurry of political hyperactivity is in full swing again, and the glaring coronavirus pandemic is spreading through our nation, there are some things that we must face as we contemplate our multiple religious expressions and how they really impact American society.
Let me share with you a few thoughts that we need to seriously consider and pray about as we find ourselves in desperate need of God's power and presence in our country.
- Despite the fact that the church has presumptuously gained strides in many areas over the past several years—such as media, the arts, political alliances and so on—it is sobering to realize how little impact we really have on our society and cultural expressions. Sadly, the church continues to reflect more and more of the world instead of the opposite scriptural pattern that we behold in the Bible.
- Even though we have several megachurches and large para-church ministries in America, the fact remains that minor impact is happening on a spiritual level. Unlike ministries of past generations, the only people oftentimes being touched are those in the walls of our opulent buildings that oftentimes serve more as halls for religious entertainment and motivational speaking than they do for the changing of individuals' hearts through the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Should we not think it strange that so many people are in love with the various expressions of ministry today, such as signs and wonders, the latest worship music and celebrity preachers? But when it comes to fruit, character and life-changing power, these things at times seem to matter little as long as the religious show goes on.
- Is the American church guilty of trying to recreate a god that is in our image instead of embracing that we are created in God's image? By doing this, we promote a gospel of accommodation and tolerance that many label as love. However, in the wake of this dangerous theological error, we see no power to deliver and set the captives free. In fact, we have come to a place where many accept a gospel that no longer changes the lives of people, but often only pulls them into a religious stupor that is void of any eternal view or paradigm.
- Could it be that, due to the level of tolerance toward sin among professing Christians, America has now been lulled into sleep through postmodernism and a growing lust for temporary pleasures as the church has lost her prophetic edge? Even though we have had the ability to make noise, we have lost the ability to truly advance God's kingdom through the transformation of culture.
In light of the above statements, let me say that I have been blessed to proclaim God's Word in multiple nations around the world over the last several years. I have also been in various places where there was a strong resistance to the gospel and believers in Jesus Christ lived with the knowledge that their lives were in danger continually, with some being persecuted and martyred for their faith.
Their mindset was not set upon some political shift that would bring them into a sense of comfort and peace. Their posture was living in the knowledge that God was with them and that He alone was their provision!
Even though we still experience freedoms that are much greater in America than many other nations, we now find ourselves living in the midst of a society that will continue to resist God and His Word as authoritative. And those who are willing to stand for simple truths will be maligned as hateful, homophobic, intolerant, bigoted and so on. What does this mean?
It means that our only hope is that God will supernaturally intervene in our generation and that He will awaken His prophetic voice in the heart of His church once again as the power of the gospel is restored, despite the ramifications to our natural lives as believers and followers of our Lord and King. We must realize that an enemy much more insidious than the coronavirus is alive and well in America and it is an antichrist spirit that resists the purposes of God on every front!
In closing, hear the words of the apostle Paul in Ephesians 5:6-16 and live accordingly:
Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. For you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light—for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth—proving what is pleasing to the Lord. And do not have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness; instead, expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things are exposed when they are revealed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore He says: 'Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.' See then that you walk carefully, not as fools, but as wise men, making the most of the time because the days are evil.
Keith Collins is the founder and president of Generation Impact Ministries and Impact Global Fellowship (an international network of ministry leaders, churches, missionaries and business leaders). He is actively involved in itinerant ministry and writing, and speaks in various settings nationally and internationally on a regular basis. In recent years, Keith served as the president of the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry and as the director of FIRE School of Ministry, which were both born out of the Brownsville Revival in Pensacola, Florida. His recent book, Samuel's Arising: Waking Up to God's Prophetic Call, is now available on Amazon. You can contact Keith via his websites at keith-collins.org or impactgf.org.
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