An Encore Presentation
A earnest plea for a day of prayer and fasting.
No fanfare; no programs; no religious leaders jockeying for media attention; no K-Street e-spin; no DVD's or MP3's to profit from; no books to promote; no CD's to sell; no reformation contests to judge; no personality focused better life agendas to publicize, etc. Just simply God's people taking leave of themselves and from the duties of their daily lives to humbly seek the Lord and His Word (read Isaiah 58) to bring revival, repentance, and reform to His church once again.
We need a new Reformation today beloved; we need another Great Awakening!
"O Christian, never be proud of things that are so transient, injurious, and uncertain as the riches of this evil world! But set your heart on the true and durable riches of grace in Christ Jesus." -ISAAC AMBROSE
TO A BAND OF BEREANS
October 31st is Reformation Day--the day Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door at Wittenberg calling a recalcitrant Roman church away from the gross sin of indulgences for legal tender to recapturing the doctrine of justification by faith alone. Today's evangelicalism needs another Reformation--a genuine move of God among His people that calls and returns His believers back to biblical Christianity and the gospel of sola fide once again.
A friend of mine yesterday (Brian H.) made an interesting comment in jest when talking about shopping--he said, "impulse buying is good; it always leads to happiness." Now, a part from the obvious hedonism of those words, here is where they strangely apply and ring true on the wanton state in evangelicalism today. Some foolishly promote the assertions that:
- Impulse faith is good; it always leads to a more happy life.
- Impulse contextualization of the gospel message is good, because it always leads to better and more effective evangelism.
- Impulse secular ownership of Christian music and publishing companies (Word, Sparrow, Zondervan, Thomas Nelson, etc.) is good, because it always leads to more market exposure to mainstream audiences, which means more opportunity for the gospel to be heard.
- Impulse Emerging Church Movements are good, because it always means that we can be "relevant and sensible" to seekers who don't know Jesus--by appealing to them through pragmatic tactics which result in significant church growth.
- Impulse Evangelical Co-Belligerence is good, because real morality and family values are sequestered through legislation not regeneration; and with an important election around the corner in our nation, nothing could be more important to deal with the ills plaguing our society than to Christianize the political process through turning the church into a religious PAC or lobbyist group.
"OPEN HEAVEN LORD": BRING REFORMATION, REVIVAL AND REPENTANCE TO YOUR CHURCH AGAIN
Beloved, this October 31st let's set out sights heavenward and off our own self-absorbed concerns and ministries to seek the Lord for another Reformation to sweep through His church once again.
Why don't we use our blogs, radio programs, websites, email lists, etc. on October 31st to lovingly, with brokenness, bathed in contrition, but yet with a holy boldness to sound the alarm and make a clarion call for true reformation to come to HIs church once again? Would others that read COT here be willing to commit October 31st as a day of fasting and prayer and humbly ask the Lord Jesus to sovereignly move among His people by His Holy Spirit to revive us, cleanse us, reform us, and embolden us to proclaim His gospel of grace to lost souls right where we live? Wouldn't it be tremendous beloved, to be a spectator of God's grace, hear from heaven, and see yet another Great Awakening in our day if the Lord would make it so? It is time to "plow up the fallow ground" and entreat God to revive His people in such a time as this.
Listen to these powerful words from an uncompromised voice of his day. Unlike today's evangelical leaders, he was not for sale and couldn't be manipulated by pragmatic allurements for the advancement of his own name, fame or financial increase. If he were alive today, he would never be found putting his own name on a Bible, charging for the ministry, courting political powers, being part of the cultural chatter of the day, or taking the easy road. Oh for men of God like this to rise up from the ashes of evangelicalism who "do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God" (Acts 20:24).
POUNDING ON WITTENBERG'S DOOR
“Everybody admires Luther! Yes, yes; but you do not want any one else to do the same today.
When you go to the Zoological Gardens you all admire the bear; but how would you like a bear at home, or a bear wandering loose about the street? You tell me that it would be unbearable and no doubt you are right. So, we admire a man who was firm in the faith, say four hundred years ago; the past ages are a sort of bear-pit or iron cage for him; but narrow-minded bigot, or give him a worse name if you can think of one.
Yet imagine that in those ages past, Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, and their composers had said, ‘The world is out of order; but if we try to set it right we shall only make a great row, and get ourselves into disgrace. Let us go to our chambers, put on our night-caps, and sleep over the bad times, and perhaps when we wake up things will have grown better.’ Such conduct on their part would have entailed upon us a heritage of error. Age after age would have gone down into the infernal deeps, and the pestiferous bogs of error would have swallowed all. These men loved the faith and the name of Jesus too well to see them trampled on. Note what we owe them, and let us pay to our sons the debt we owe our fathers. It is today as it was in the Reformers’ days.
Decision is needed.
Here is the day for the man, where is the man for the day? We who have had the gospel passed to us by martyr hands dare not trifle with it, nor sit by and hear it denied by traitors, who pretend to love it, but inwardly abhor every line of it. The faith I hold bears upon it marks of the blood of my ancestors. Shall I deny their faith, for which they left their native land to sojourn here? Shall I deny their faith, for which they left their native land to sojourn here? Shall we cast away the treasure which was handed to us through the bars of prisons, or came to us charred with the flames of Smithfield?….An ancestry of lovers of the faith ought to be a great plea with us to abide by the Lord God of our fathers, and the faith in which they lived.
As for me, I must hold the old gospel: I can do no other.... It is today as I was in the Reformers’ days. Decision is needed. Here is the day for the man, where is the man for the day? We who have had the gospel passed to us by martyr hands dare not trifle with it, nor sit by and hear it denied by traitors, who pretend to love it, but inwardly abhor every line of it…. Look you, sirs, there are ages to come. If the lord does not speedily appear, there will come another generation, and another, and all these generations will be tainted and injured if we are not faithful to God and to his truth today. We have come to a turning-point in the road. If we turn to the right, mayhap our children and our children’s children will go that way; but if we turn to the left, generations yet unborn will curse our names for having been unfaithful to God and to his Word. I charge you, not only by your ancestry, but by your posterity, that you seek to win the commendation of your Master, that though you dwell where Satan’s seat is, you yet hold fast his name, and do not deny his faith.
God grant us faithfulness, for the sake of the souls around us! How is the world to be saved if the church is false to her Lord? How are we to lift the masses if our fulcrum is removed? If our gospel is uncertain, what remains but increasing misery and despair? Stand fast, my beloved, in the name of God! I, your brother in Christ, entreat You to abide in the truth. Quit yourselves like men, be strong. The Lord sustain you for Jesus’ sake. Amen.” -C.H.S.