19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,[b] baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Another election cycle comes and goes. Another week of pundits explaining why we shouldn’t be disappointed, church folk complaining about why our country is so morally corrupt and the prophetic folks trying to wash away disappointment with words for renewal and restoration with the election of the RIGHT person.
Folks this is becoming a very predictable and tiring pattern. It’s almost nonsensical, at this point, to believe anything will change; unless the Church wakes up out of our politically motivated slumber. Our dependency for salvation in a political system for our nation has become idolatrous. Ironically, the more we look to elected officials for restoration, the more we hand our nation over to lawlessness.
Don’t mis-hear me, without out a doubt, calling abortion healthcare is a sick form of science denial. Socialism has destroyed more countries than any one dictator could ever have on their own. No doubt, promoting gender dysmorphia to children is a form of abuse. These are common sense stances that the Church should agree upon and talk about. We are only fooling ourselves if we believe that we can simply vote moral rot out of society. Yes, vote, and vote for people that we believe stand for righteousness, but don’t for a second believe getting the right person in office solves the root of the problem. Trying to explain righteousness to people who love lawlessness is not going to get the job done.
We forget, Jesus gave a very clear and simple directive to His Early Church before He ascended, baptize every people group you encounter in the reality of a Loving Father, a Redeeming Son and the power of Holy Spirit. Until the church takes this command seriously and acts upon it, we will never see the cultural reformation we long for and so desperately need. Until the Church gets radical about building and implementing strategies of salvation for the people and places we have been sent to, nothing will ever change. In fact, hunkering down in our churches and lobbying our complaints into the world has had the opposite effect we had hoped for.
Is this a popular stance? No, because it requires that we get uncomfortable and go obediently into a dying world. It requires that we, the Church, take responsibility for the moral decay we see and that we would purge ourselves of depending on people and worldly institutions. It requires that we faithfully go head first into brokenness trusting that Jesus goes with us, as we give our lives to save a dying world. God has a strategy for salvation for every person on the planet we will ever encounter. Unfortunately, it seems the number of people He has available to implement said strategies are rapidly dwindling. Where is the Church that is willing to lay down our lives and partner with what He is doing. Are we willing to pray for the lost people that we encounter, boldly speak truth and walk consumed by the love and fire of the Holy Spirit?
My friend, without this sort of surrender for revival within the Church, there is no hope for revival in the world.
Fortunately, in this country, we have been in this type of situation before. Most recently, in what has been called the Jesus People Movement of the 60’s. Some reading this may even remember experiencing this outpouring of grace and renewal. Some may have even been saved during this time period. If you will recall, our nation was divided and in moral turmoil. Much like today the free love movement had produced some very broken, but popular and influential subcultures of society. Fifty-five years ago our country experienced the “Summer of Love”, which was actually a cheap counterfeit of the agape love found in relationship with Jesus. Popular culture remembers the tens of thousands of deceived young people that descended upon San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury District to celebrate personal expression, drug experimentation and liberal sexuality. This movement swept and corrupted an entire generation. Our country was also angry because of a prolonged Vietnam War, and the Cold War. There was civil distrust of our government because of the assassination of JFK and the installation of a president who was not formally elected by the nation, who in fact pushed a more socialistic approach to governing (see Lyndon B. Johnson's “The Great Society ''). Sound familiar? We have been here before. The devil is only original in his application, the deceptions are always the same. These cultural crises paved the way for a radical remnant to rise up. Christian forerunners like Lonnie Frisbee, Chuck Smith, and eventually the beloved Billy Graham. These men and their ministries focused on diving head first into the most broken peoples of our society to preach the saving power of Jesus Christ. The result of their work was literally millions of people coming to salvation, which I believe turned the tide for our nation and literally saved her soul.
So here we are again…prolonged wars, threat of nuclear war, socialism trying to reassert itself, sexually confused young people proclaiming freedom is found in drugs and lewd self expression. Same story, different generation. Our nation has seen such challenges before. It’s not really a question of can we get through this. The question is whether or not the Church is willing to rise up and take on the responsibility for bringing salvation to a lost world?
I believe we are a new remnant that has been born for such a time as this. I think if we put as much effort into partnering with Holy Spirit as we do watching the news, we would see salvation sweep this country in a way we never thought possible. I think you are the perfect person, in the place you have been sent, to reveal the love of Jesus to people who may know of Him but never have surrendered their lives to Him. I think there is a new way for this new day and the set of challenges that we face. I think God is positioning and empowering every believer to be able to effectively reach the lost wherever they are sent, on a day to day basis. The mission field is not some far away land reserved for one anointed preacher. The mission field is wherever you are. It’s your job, school, sometimes church, local government, etc. It’s wherever you have the ability to influence people to receive the Kingdom of God. If the Church can grab hold of that, I think we will see our nation turn again and surrender to our loving God. At the very least let us pray as Jesus directed us in Luke 10. Lord the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Send harvesters to bring in a harvest of souls in the places where you have called us to, in Jesus name. Amen.