Could There Be Another Great Revival in America?

Bob Beltz: Preacher at Valley Mills Christian Church Indianapolis, IN click the photo to listen to the message (the message starts at the 14:56 time mark)

I recently listened to sermon preached by a great brother in Christ, Mentor, and friend. His name is Bob Beltz at Valley Mills Christian Church in Indianapolis, IN. His sermon was powerful and thought provoking at least for me.

He preached from Lamentations and really brought some perspective to the table about where exactly to look when evaluating what we need as a nation, a society, and as the body of Christ.

“Judah has gone into exile under affliction and under harsh servitude; she dwells amoung the nations, but she has found no rest; all her pursuers have overtaken her in the midst of distress.”                 -Lamentations 1:3

For the past six to eight years I have often thought of America as needing another great revival! What I mean is for those Americans who will readily and maybe even honestly claim to believe in God or call themselves Christians yet seldom or never attend church to return to putting God first in all things.

Often times these Americans will go most of their lives without ever opening God’s Word in the privacy of their own home. Somehow these Americans have fallen into the trap of believing that simply not denying God’s existence is enough to secure a spot in a place we all know as heaven. Not accepting the fact that it does not work that way.

I had often thought that if we would just pray that God would move in a way that brought about a great revival in the hearts of The Church in America then all of the wickedness and wrongdoing that seemed so overwhelming would be defeated.

The problem with that thought was that it was born and motivated by my own spiritual youth and naivety. You see, what I did not have a full grasp on was that revivals are what happen to the believers within the church, those who are actively working within the body of Christ and seeking the Lord. It is The Church that is to be the focus of a revival!

Maybe it is because I was raised in the 70’s and 80’s. Even then Americans were being taught that this nation was a Christian nation founded on Christian principles. Leading me to just assume that all Americans believed in God. At least that was the case in the Midwest where I spent a lot of my childhood.

Maybe I simply assumed that an American revival meant that many if not most would return to the Christian foundation that our forefathers stood on.

The reality of it all is simply that The Church, the body of Christ, are the people who need to be awakened. After all, according to the great commission, it is the responsibility of The Church to go into the world and make disciples!

“And He said to them, “Go into all the world and peach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.””                          – Mark 16:15-16

To simply pray that God would change the hearts of those who have not accepted His gospel and do nothing else in regard to our neighbor’s salvation is a complete act of deflecting our God given responsibility back on God Himself!

What I have come to realize over the past five or six years is that it is The Church in America that is sick. After all, it is fool hearted to expect people who have never accepted God, His Word, and the Christian life to live according to the Christian way of life! It is The Church, the body of Christ, that has become complacent.

The believers have slowly given in to the pressures of the world and compromised bit by bit. All the while convincing themselves that we are good enough. We sometimes still go to church and sometimes give our tithes. Verbally confirming that we believe in God and even Jesus sometimes. All the while allowing the foundations of the Christian family to be destroyed by the world around us without any effort to actively standing up and call sin what it is. I do not mean in the public houses, I mean within the walls of our families, our own houses and churches. While at the same time, our behavior in society does not reflect what we say we believe.

Somehow the believers, The Church, arrived at a way of life that is complacent and maybe even blending in with the politically correct mindset of the American culture. Most Americans who are Christians will immediately reject the idea of political correctness, however when confronted with an opportunity to stand firm on our Christian principles, we shrink back for fear of offending our family, friends, and neighbors. An example of fearing what the world will percieve about the Christian who is supposed to be about love and kindness.

The reality is that the believers in these “United” States of America have shrunk back. I remember when I first started full time ministry about fifteen or so years ago. There were some of the older believers in the churches that I was part of who would tell stories about protesting and picketing outside liquor stores and XXX bookstores which had been starting up in their neighborhoods. They had great success in shutting them down. People were also getting saved back then!

“Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.”

– James 2:17

I remember at that time I thought to myself, “that doesn’t seem like what God would have us do”. Even though what was being promoted by those businesses was not something that honored God and provided great temptation to sin in the community, I thought that it was a bit aggressive and might have given the wrong impression to the rest of the community about the church. Which is still the mindset of many church leaders today many times.

I look back now and think that I was probably half correct in my thinking. I was correct in thinking that it was a bit aggressive. However, I now see that it was and always is correct to stand up and call sin what it is! Maybe sometimes even when it is or would be perceived as aggressive. I cannot speak to the manner in which those older brethren took action were right or wrong. Only God will judge that.

I will however say that I think that I would rather stand before God and be corrected over the manner in which I stood firm in what is right or wrong than to stand before Him and try to explain why I just stood by and did nothing or said nothing.

I think that only much prayer and fasting will allow us to be in tune with the Holy Spirit as He leads us toward making disciples and bringing in the harvest.

If we would ever be able to surrender to what God is doing, we would be quick to repent, heal, and be made strong. And by we, I mean the believers.

I believe it would be the next great revival in the body of Christ!

We must seek the Lord. We must cry out for spiritual growth and strength to go into a world of wickedness and hurt and simply love people.

We must be about our Father’s business.

The Gaslighting of America and The Church

https://www.dailywire.com/show/the-andrew-klavan-show

I recently read an article written by Andrew Klavan that was published on The Daily Wire. In that article, Klavan is pointing out something that I have been pondering for most of 2020 and maybe even a bit longer. That is this thing called “gaslighting”. What is gaslighting?

To borrow an excerpt from Klavan’s article.

“The term “gaslighting” comes from a 1938 suspense play by Patrick Hamilton called “Angel Street.” The play, which became the movie “Gaslight,” is about abusive husband Jack Manningham, who seeks to hide the fact that he’s a murderer and a thief by convincing his wife that she’s insane. He does this by trying to make her think she does not see what she sees — the gaslights dimming — or hear what she hears — his footsteps in the apartment above.”

Photo from: https://www.dailywire.com/news/klavan-gaslight-nation?

The actual definition of gaslighting is as follows:

Gaselighting:

verb (used with object), gas·light·ed or gas·lit, gas·light·ing.

to cause (a person) to doubt his or her sanity through the use of psychological manipulation:

This type of manipulation is very subtle, effective, and dangerous. Often times a person who is being gaslighted finds themselves in a serious state of insanity or maybe even worse if there is such a thing.

As a preacher of the gospel and a committed Christian to the faith in which I have surrendered myself to, I find that a healthy pursuit of the truth is absolutely necessary for success as well as survival in this world. After all, the gospel message is all about what is true!

Having said all that, I will say that I find it very hard to accept that since before January 01, 2020, until the date of this writing, August 01,2020, that such a string of catastrophic situations would occur back to back or simultaneously.

It has only been a short seven months and we have and continue to deal with Presidential impeachment hearings, global pandemics, federal and local governmental abuse of powers, social unrest (some may say tyranny), as well as the relentless challenge of any authority, racial tension and riots in our streets, and let’s not forget the audacious attempts to simply erase the entire history of the greatest nation in the world, by force no less!

I personally find it very difficult maybe even impossible for all of these events and happenings to be coincidental. Yes, some are consequences of another, but it all seems to be laced with the idea that there is a “man behind the curtain” pulling all the strings and pushing all the buttons! I cannot bring myself to accept that all of this is just happening without some political agenda driving it all.

I do not pretend to understand all of it. I cannot even begin to start assigning blame or responsibility on any one group or individual as to who might be the puppet master’s in it all. All I know is that I feel that I and every other American citizen who disagrees with any left wing or liberal minded groups are being gaslighted as we speak.

As Klavan pointed out in his article, there are groups of people as well as political groups that are engaging in hatred and discord in an effort to gain leverage and power to push their agenda all the while preaching that it is me or “we the people” that are the one’s that are the haters and dividers!

We now find ourselves in such a position that any pushback or attempt to defend ourselves actually plays right into the hands of those who are attacking America! If I stand firm in who I am as a white Christian man who is also an American Citizen as well as a Preacher of the gospel, the fingers will immediately start pointing, “see, he hates everyone because he won’t agree or fall in line with what we want and believe”!

This scenario plays out in every part of our lives from debating about how we choose or not choose to protect ourselves from a very real and deadly virus all the way to whether or not a person will submit to the regime of the Black Lives Matter movements, Antifa, or any other Socialist/Marxist organization.

What does not seem to matter is what anyone really thinks or believes about any of it. There is simply a steady stream of information being fed to society by the government, media, and all the different groups of people out there. All of it controlled by “the man behind the curtain”. There is no discussion. No attempt to open mindedly understand each other. Simply all there is to remain is chaos and confusion.

Chaos and confusion are what the gaslighter wants. Division and strife are what the socialist/Marxist depends on. As long as the truth is not presented, the crowd is left to wrestle with their own thoughts of what exactly is reality and what is not.

Even when the truth is plain to all, anytime anyone begins to embrace what is real or true, the mob quickly pounces to shut it down and condemn the fact finder as racist scum and told to sit down and shut up, or else.

And because no one else in the crowd who also are being gaslighted, will stand in the face of the lies, neither will anyone else. It is evidence that the gaslighting is working.

The victims are afraid to speak out about any of it for fear of being accused of or maybe revealing to the world their state of insanity. Even though there is no insanity on their part. We are simply being told that 1+1=4. If we object with what we know to be true, we are smacked down and shunned from society and any connection to it!

The insanity lies in the minds of the mob, the gaslighters. They are the ones who have lost touch with reality. They are the ones who are living in a fantasy world filled with hate and discord and calling it social and political progress. Something that no one in their right mind would ever have thought would happen. Yet here we are. Here it is.

As an American citizen I am more than upset about all of it. However, because I am a believer in Jesus as Lord and Savior of all, I must consider the Kingdom of God first and foremost in all of it. So, what does that mean?

Well, as was stated in my previous blogpost, American Christians and These “United” States 2020, The kingdom of God is the priority. That means that I must be about the work of the Kingdom. Which is basically, loving God and loving people. Sounds simple right? Well, not so much.

I personally believe that we are to live the Christian life in such a way that we honor God in all parts of our lives. Good times and bad times. I believe that God has made it clear that there are certain moral and ethical truths which He expects the believer to stand firm on and not shrink back from anything that challenges that.

We find in scripture where the book of Hebrews calls the believer to persevere!

“But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.” – Hebrews 10:39

What is happening in the “United” States of America today is a direct attack on the very core values of the Christian faith! The very thing that the Christian is to stand firm on. Our core values are the foundation of not only the Body of Christ but this nation as well! We have a duty to stand firm on those values and beliefs, which by the way all are centered on Christ our Lord! See the letter to the Colossians.

Everything that the socialist/Marxist agenda proudly stands for is intended to dismantle the family unit as God Himself had established. All of the acts of the sinful nature which are obvious according to Galatians 5, are now condoned and promoted. At the time of this writing, there are some reports of bibles being burned in Portland, OR in the midst of the rioting in the streets!

If we sit back and say nothing. If we shrink back to our pews and pulpits and preach the “safe” message that the gospel is all about going to heaven and that what goes on in this world is not our concern, I fear that we will be in error at best. It is our responsibility to fight for the morals, truths, and principles of the Kingdom of God!

“your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”    Matthew 6:10

That is how the Lord Jesus taught His disciples to pray! His will be done, on EARTH as it is in heaven! We are charged with stewardship of the gospel! The truth of the word of God! We must not simply shrink back and allow the wickedness in the hearts of those who think the gospel foolishness, 1 Corinthians, to simply destroy what God has established in the world!

It is not a matter of winning or losing a battle against the evils of this world. It is a matter of standing before a Holy God who will evaluate the hearts of each believer. He will call to account the stewardship of each one of us when it comes to the truths with which he entrusted in our charge! Refer to the parable of the talents which can be found in Matthew’s gospel chapter 25.

It is about how much are we willing work in the harvest fields even when they were on fire and being destroyed by the wickedness of the evil one. After all it is those who take the gospel for foolishness who are perishing, again 1 Corinthians, who really are the ones Jesus sent us after when He said to go and make disciples!

“…The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers in to his harvest field.”              – Matthew 9:37-38

In today’s world, in these “United” States of America, the Christian is faced with a choice. Either shrink back and allow the gaslighting to lead us into compromising the gospel and the moral foundation that Jesus died for. Or we can stand firm in Christ and stand firm in our convictions, loving God by loving people. That sometimes means speaking truth in the face of wickedness and evil. Often times if not every time it means taking harsh and/or brutal treatment from the enemies, the mobs, the gaslighters.

Here is what I know for a fact. God’s word is indeed absolute truth. His morals and principles are indeed good and trustworthy. Jesus did indeed die and was resurrected from the dead and is now at the right hand of the Father in heaven! These facts alone should be enough for me and every other believe to stand firm in truth.

Archie L. Gilmer

Call things what they are. Trust in the God in whom we claim to believe! Do not shrink back!

Stand up Church! Speak Truth! Love!