WHY WE NEED REVIVAL TODAY
By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
“Wilt Thou not revive us again: that Thy people may rejoice in Thee?” (Ps. 85: 6); “For My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.” (Jer.2: 13)
“If My people which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins and heal My land.” (2 Chron.7: 14)
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Is. 1: 18)
“Behold I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him and he with Me.” (Rev. 3: 20)
FRANCIS SHAEFFER, a celebrated theologian wrote in 1971: “We are on the verge of the largest revolution the world has ever seen – the control and shaping of men through the abuse of genetic knowledge and psychological reconditioning.”
Francis Shaeffer based his projection on what was happening in the beginning of the seventies, as well as the prophecies given in the Holy Scriptures 2000 years ago! Undoubtedly, Shaeffer was referring to the brain washing technique used in the Soviet Union and Communist China.
The most dangerous ‘psychological reconditioning’ however, has been slyly and cleverly forced upon millions of children in our schools and unsuspecting parents by the media, during the last two or three decades through ‘political correctness!
POLITICIAN’S COURSE DESTRUCTIVE!
In the early seventies, Pierre Trudeau charted a course that would destroy our civilized, respectable and time-honoured laws on capital punishment, divorce, homosexuality and bestiality, abortion and marijuana use!
Regrettably, he succeeded in making things “abhorrent” to most Canadians “seem less reprehensible” to a gullible public! His political cronies have since escalated his concepts and now the brain washing is almost complete!
In this little booklet I try to convey the heart - beat of God regarding the Church, for which Jesus Christ “gave His life as a ransom” and rose from the dead in power and great glory!
As true believers in the Eternal God and His Son Jesus Christ whom He sent to redeem lost mankind, we embrace the Holy Bible as “the only rule for faith, morals and ethics”. We reject all other teachings and philosophies that do not agree with His Word!
The Protestant Reformers rejected the corrupt church of the Middle Ages, by taking a definite position on ‘What is truth and what is only human invention’ regarding Eternal Salvation and the rule for faith and morals!
GOD’S WORD: THE ONLY RULE FOR FAITH & MORALS!
The term used to articulate this belief was ‘Sola Scriptura’, meaning ‘The Scriptures Alone’! The Bible alone is the final authority in matters of faith and morals. We rely on none other! We reject all teaching that adds to the Word of God or takes away from the Word of God.
Sola Scriptura means that the Holy Bible is the ONLY revelation from God to mankind for salvation. It is the only basis for truth!The Old Testament states: “Thy Word is truth” (Psalms 119:142), and in the New Testament Jesus Christ confirms that statement to the letter. In His High Priestly prayer to
His Heavenly Father, Jesus declared: “Thy Word is truth.” (John 17: 17)
Our Lord confirmed the authority of the O.T. Scriptures: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot (Greek, iota) or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matt.5 17,18; 24: 35)
“Jesus answered and said unto them: “Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God.” (Matt.22: 29). Our Master warned those who put tradition before the Word of God: “Making the Word of God of none effect through your traditions which ye have delivered: and many such like things ye do.” (Mark 7: 13)
Since only the Holy Scriptures are inspired, we REJECT TRADITION as being necessary for salvation! Forty six times in the Bible we find the words: “It is written.”
JESUS SAID: ‘IT IS WRITTEN’!
Renouncing the devil in the ‘wilderness temptation’, our Lord said: “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth from the mouth of God.” (Matt.4: 4). And He stated: “The Scripture cannot be broken.” (John 10: 35)
The Bible says: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Tim.3: 16-17)
“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scriptures is of private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1: 20-21)
HERE IS A STRONG WARNING!
The Bible declares: “Every Word of God is pure: He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him. Add thou not unto His words, lest He reprove thee and thou be found a liar.” (Prov.30: 5-6);
“And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits and unto wizards (spiritualist mediums) that peep, and that mutter: Should not a people seek unto their God, for a living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Is.8: 19-20)
“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the Holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” (Rev.22: 18-19)
Recently, a survey was taken among Norway’s Lutheran State Church pastors in the region of Oslo and district regarding ‘belief in Hell’! Out of nineteen pastors who were asked if they believed in a literal Hell as the Bible and the Lutheran Church teaches, all answered that they did not!
The great philosopher and theologian, C.S. LEWIS, wrote regarding Hell: “There is no doctrine which I would more willingly remove from Christianity than this. I would pay any price to be able to say truthfully that all will be saved.”
Being true to the Holy Scriptures, however, was more important to C.S. Lewis than to allow his natural mind to be convinced otherwise!
The Roman Catholic Church, which used to say that it never changes, changed again recently regarding the doctrine of Hell.
During his weekly address to the general audience of 8,500 people at the Vatican on July 28, 1999, Pope John Paul II rejected the reality of a physical, literal hell as a place of eternal fire and torment. Rather, the pope said hell is separation, even in this life, from the joyful communion with God.
Hell is that – separation from God – and it is a lot more! IT IS A PLACE OF TORMENT unlike anything we could imagine. It is a place of eternal regrets and torment.
Fire and brimstone is only a type of the eternal judgment the Bible states awaits Satan, the Beast and the False Prophet and all those reject Jesus Christ our Lord Who shed His precious blood to save us all!
The Bible declares the reality of hell (Heb. 6:1, 2). Jude taught that hell is a real, literal place of fire and torment (Jude 3, 7). St. Paul wrote of the vengeance of God and everlasting damnation (2 Th.1: 8, 9). St. John described hell as a real place (Rev. 14: 1 0; 20:10-15; 21:8).
Jesus Christ taught that hell literally exists, is eternal and that those who reject His perfect sacrifice for their sins will spend eternity in that place! (Matt.13: 41, 42; 18:8, 9; 25:41- 46; Luke 16:19-31).
The Bible warns: "Let God be true, but every man a liar" (Rom. 3:3, 4)
MARTIN LUTHER STOOD TRUE!
At his heresy trial at Worms, Germany on April 18, 1521, Martin Luther – the brilliant scholar and theologian - was asked to recant his Gospel writings. At the risk of being burned at the stake like John Huss, Bishop Latimer, Bishop Riddley and other reformers before him, Luther replied:
“Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other. My conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise. God help me. Amen.”
WINSTON CHURCHILL made a great point when he said: “If there was more Hell preached from the pulpit, there would less Hell in the pews.” Shortly after World War 11, Churchill was invited to speak at the University of Norway in Oslo.
Here are some of his remarks: “To make excuses for myself I could name the teachers of my youth who denied Christianity. But I will rather lay the blame on myself. Then, perhaps, I will find One Who will carry that load for me. Nothing can come up against the Christian ethic as the leading light for a people’s future. Christianity is the safest spiritual foundation for a people.”
BLAISE PASCAL, French mathematician, scientist and philosopher (1623-1662), stated: Man is an incomprehensible Monster, at once Sovereign Greatness and Sovereign Misery… If they turn their back on God, one of two things can happen. They will think they are gods and become insane or turn to carnality and become animals.”
ABRAHAM LINCOLN said: “I now see as never before the preciousness of God’s love in Jesus Christ, and how we are brought near to Him as our Father through Him. Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him, Who has never yet forsaken this favored land, are still competent to adjust in the best way, all our present difficulties.”
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW stated: “I am ready to admit after contemplating the world and human nature for sixty years, that I see no way out of this world’s miseries but by the way that would be found by Christ’s will.”
AUGUST STRINDBERG, the noted Swedish author stated shortly before his death: “Clearly said, I ascribe all my misfortune to this one fact, that I have been Godless! An individual that has broken contact with God cannot receive any blessings. All this talk about being ‘being your own man and making your own happiness’ is chaff.
“If the Lord does not build the house, they labour in vain who build it. That is the whole truth! That misfortune can also strike a person of faith, we know. But the outcome is not the same. These accidents seem only like trials that pass over and leave peace in their wake.
“A curse rests upon everything that an ungodly person puts his hand to. If money comes his way, it will disappear like it came. Nothing remains, nothing prospers in the life of the ungodly!”
MALCOLM MUGGERIGE, well-known British writer and former atheist, observer at World Council of Churches Convention (before 1980) wrote: “One may be excused for noting that institutional Christianity is inexorably extinguishing itself. At Uppsala one could clearly see that they agreed on almost everything as they believed almost nothing. They reminded me of a group of drunks that I observed in a country bar, in my youth. Individually they would have fallen over, but collectively they managed to remain upright.”
Muggeridge’s counsel to a troubled world is worth listening to. He writes: “Christ is the only answer to an insane world… they will not understand that the trouble with the western civilization is not economics, but more – good and evil! They are thinking they make things work by policies, inventions, but man will never live on this planet without God.”
CHURCH OF ENGLAND:IN SPIRITUAL TROUBLE!
The Church of England has recently been challenged by Paul Eddy to proclaim Christianity as the only way to salvation and offer strategies on how to evangelize Muslims.
Senior church leaders as well as some Muslim figures have voiced anger at the motion proposed by Paul Eddy – a lay member of the church’s General Synod, according to BBC. Eddy, along with traditionalist Anglicans, argues that the church should stop avoiding hard questions about its beliefs.
The Church of England must make it clear that it believes in what the Bible says about Jesus being the only way to salvation, he said. Currently training to become a priest, Eddy believes that being upfront about the church’s beliefs will be helpful to Muslim-Christian relations.
“Most Muslims that I’ve talked to say, ‘I really wish that Christians would stop watering down their faith and expecting us to do the same,’” Eddy said on BBC Radio Four on Sunday. “Until we start really saying what we really believe in our faith, there will be no respect.”
Also, Muslims expect Christians to believe that Jesus is the only way to God, Eddy noted. “They will expect us – if we’re true Christians – to try to evangelize them, in the same way they will expect us, if they’re true Muslims, to adopt their faith,” he said.
But the problem is that the church, in an effort to be inclusive and to avoid offending people of other faiths, has “lost its nerve” and has “not doing what the Bible says,” he noted.
"Both Christianity and Islam are missionary faiths," Eddy pointed out. "For years, we have sent missionaries throughout the whole world, but when we have the privilege of people of all nations on our doorstep, we have a responsibility as the state church to share the gospel of Jesus Christ."
He urges Anglican bishops to give church members advice on how to evangelize, and how to better support Muslims who have converted to Christianity, and are now ostracized by their communities.
WILLIAM PENN, after whom the great state of Pennsylvania is named made this powerful statement: “If there is any kindness I can show, or any good thing that I can do for my fellow human beings, let me do it now, and not detour or neglect it. I shall not pass this way again.”
DO NOT THINK ANY SIN IS TRIVIAL!
ROBERT MURRAY McCHEYNE – the mighty man of prayer – wrote in a letter: “I am deepened in my conviction, that if we are to be instruments in such a work (revival), we must be purified from all filthiness of the flesh and the spirit.
“O, cry for personal holiness, constant nearness to God, by the Blood of the Lamb. Bask in His beams, lie back in the arms of love, be filled with His Spirit – or all success in the ministry will only be your own everlasting confusion.
“Do not think any sin trivial; remember it will have everlasting consequences. O, to have Brainerd’s heart for perfect holiness, to be holy as God is holy, pure as Christ is pure, perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect…
“How much more useful might we be, if we were only more free from pride, self conceit, personal vanity; or some secret sin that our heart knows. O, Hateful sins that destroy our peace, and ruin our souls.”
McCheyne stated: “Men return again and again to the few who have mastered the spiritual secret, where life has been hid with Christ in God. These are of the old time religion, hung there to the nails of the cross!”
WILLIAM BOOTH said: “There have been more than enough conferences and congresses, and committees and deliberations. It is time to act! We have not a moment to lose. No more doubt! No more delay!
“Arise ye children of Light, and buckle on the armour bright, and now prepare yourselves to fight against the world and Satan. We are called to fight with Him and for Him with every particle of strength we have to the last gasp. That is enough!”
A.W. TOZER declared: “Any REVIVAL that comes to a nation, and leaves people as much in love with money as they were before, is a falsehood, and it’s from the devil.”
JOHN WESLEY said: “God does nothing apart from prayer and everything through it.”
ANDREW MURRAY stated: “The power of the Eternal world have been placed at prayer’s disposal. It is the very essence of true religion, the channels of all blessings, the secret of power and spiritual life.
“It is at the same time the highest and holiest work to which man can rise. It is fellowship with the unseen and most ‘Holy One’! It is on prayer that the promises of God wait for their fulfillment, the Kingdom for its coming, and the glory of God for its full revelation!”
GIROLAMA SAVONAROLA, a Roman Catholic bishop stated in 1497: “Come here, wretched Church… In your lechery, you are a shameless whore. Once you blushed for your sins, but not now. The priests (Roman Catholic) used to call their sons nephews: now they are not nephews, but sons plain and simple.” – from the ‘Men of the Renaissance’ by Ralph Roeder.
MARTIN LUTHER stated: “Three things make a preacher: prayer, the Word of God and suffering. The greatest trial to undergo is to have no trial.”
Regarding prayer, Martin Luther said: “If I fail to spend two hours in prayer each morning, the devil gets the victory through the day, I have so much business I cannot get on without spending three hours daily in prayer.”
A preacher said on the 70th anniversary of his ordination: “God cannot stop loving us.”
THE GREATEST TRAGEDY!
LEONARD RAVENHILL stated: “The greatest tragedy is a sick Church in a dying world. If Jesus preached like we preach today, He never would have been killed.”
ST. PAUL declared: “For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.” (2 Cor.4: 5); “For the preaching of the cross is to THEM that perish foolishness, but unto US which are saved it is the power of God.” (1 Cor.1:18)
Christian Theology is exclusive! One is either saved or lost. There is no in between. There is no compromise! To SINNERS who reject the Gospel the preaching of the cross is foolishness but to BELIEVERS it is the power of God that brings Salvation!
Without doubt, St. Paul has to go down in history as the most brilliant theologian that ever lived. Not only was he an intellectual genius - not like many of the pin-head elites of today – but he was filled with the blessed Holy Spirit, endowed with wisdom, given a special calling, supernatural dreams, visions and even taken to Heaven where he witnessed things he could not reveal. (2 Cor.12:1-7; Luke 23:43; Acts 22:17-21; Gal.1:11-16; 2:2)
St. Paul declares: “For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to NOTHING the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
“For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to SAVE them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom.
“But we preach CHRIST CRUCIFIED unto the Jew a stumbling block and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto THEM that are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the Power of God and the Wisdom of God.” (1 Cor.19-24)
Again the Holy Scripture divides believers from unbelievers. He saves those who BELIEVE the gospel of His crucified and risen Son, Jesus Christ. All others who do not believe are lost. The gospel is also inclusive, because it saves all JEWS and GREEKS who believe!
Anyone who has taken the time to study the Words of Jesus Himself will know that He declared Himself the Only begotten SON OF GOD! (John 3:16). He stated: “I am the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE and no man cometh unto the Father but by ME.” (John 14:6)
Our Lord and Saviour said: “Come unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” (Matt.11:28); “I am the TRUE VINE and My Father is the husbandman... ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing.” (John 15: 1-7)
“I am the BREAD OF LIFE: He that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen Me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh unto Me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6: 35-37)
ONLY CHRIST CAN SAVE: ALL OTHERS ARE SUBSTITUTES
It is important to notice the exclusivity of the Gospel as well as its inclusivity! Make no mistake about the fact that there is Only ONE way to God and Heaven and that is through His Son Jesus Christ Whom He sent to be the propitiation, satisfying the demands of Divine Justice.
Through His vicarious all-atoning death on the CROSS our Lord Jesus Christ satisfied the demands of Divine Justice as the Lamb of God dying for fallen man and liberating a fallen world from servitude to the world, the flesh and the devil as well as purchasing a place in His Kingdom!
The Bible says: “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath had made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son: In Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the Living God, the first born (First in Rank):
“For by HIM were all things created, that are in Heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for him: And He is before all things and by Him all things consist.
“And He is the head of the body, the Church: Who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead (the first to die and be resurrected): that in all things He might have the preeminence.” (Col.1: 12-18).
St. Paul states: “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept (died) for since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming.” (1 Cor. 15: 20-23).
CHRIST HAS DIED! CHRIST IS RISEN! CHRIST WILL COME AGAIN!
The Holy Bible which is God's Word to a lost and dying world gives us hope. And that HOPE is Christ Jesus Who purchased our eternal salvation through His vicarious (substitutionary) death for us on Golgatha and His glorious and victorious resurrection from the dead!
He invites you, my friend, to call upon His name in sincerity and truth. He will answer you and He will save and deliver you through his shed blood and by His divine Holy Spirit! Amen.