by Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
My heart is burdened for lost humanity. My soul is hungry for a revival of righteousness. My spirit is thirsty for God and His sovereign grace and mighty workings in the lives of men! My heart is burdened for CANADA!
Our nation is experiencing problems of crises proportions; spiritually, morally, economically and politically! The weight of a lost world hangs heavy upon my heart. And the sense of the soon return of Christ stares me in the face, as I see precious time slipping away!
I thank God for the spiritual victories we have enjoyed, but we need so much more of God's power, grace and love in our hearts. We desperately need to see Him work in us and through us in a much greater way in the future than we have seen in the past. Some time ago, Billy Graham prayed the following prayer:
DO IT AGAIN LORD!
“Lord do it again! Do what You did when the apostles were called. Do what You did following Pentecost. Do what You did with Saul of Tarsus, Augustine, Luther, Calvin, George Whitefield, John Wesley, D. L. Moody and William Booth. Lord, do it again and help us to win the world for Jesus Christ!”
REVIVAL: A NECESSITY!
My heart cries out for revival: The kind of revival that Luther, Knox, Finney, Wesley, Booth and Moody experienced. There is no other way! We need to see the kind of revival that has touched millions in South Korea, China, Latin America and Africa in recent years!
The Church must have revival OR there will be a total bankruptcy of spiritual power. The Church must experience a revival OR the Ministry will become leaner in spirit, drier in soul and more dependent on the flesh than ever before! The Church must have revival OR there will be a wholesale backsliding among our young people. There will either be revival in the Church OR our nation will experience a complete breakdown of moral values, decency, civility and the fear of the Lord!
Very definitely, without a revival of righteousness in the Church, there will be no spiritual awakening in the land. God’s Word states, “Judgment must begin in the House of God. If the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the sinner and righteous appear?” (1 Peter 4:18) The Bible says, “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)
JESUS CHRIST: HOPE OF THE WORLD!
The Word of God expresses His concern for His people who had sinned grievously by turning away from the Living, Eternal God of the universe and turning to empty religion, philosophy, humanism, paganism and the occult. There was only one remedy for sin and disobedience then and there is only one remedy now, and that is to Repent and Return to the Lord!
His Word states: “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be wool.” (Is. 1:18) God is calling His people back to Himself, back to righteousness and the fear of the Lord! If the Church does not heed His call, He may leave us in our sins! And if the Spirit of God departs, the Church may as well lock her doors!
Many years ago, a pastor posted this powerful statement on the large marquee outside his Church: “This Church will either have a revival or a funeral!” Jesus Christ is and always will be the only hope of the world! He is the only hope of the Church and every one of us! This is no other way. Without faith we cannot please God, and faith without works is dead! That leaves us with only one option: Seek God in sincere repentance, prayer and fasting or wither spiritually and fall away from the faith with serious consequences!
BANKRUPT WITHOUT HIS BLESSING!
A mighty Holy Ghost, heaven sent, life changing revival will bring an awareness of the presence of the Holy Spirit, the fear of the Lord and biblical standards of right and wrong. It will awaken the spirit of man to yearn after God! The hope of our nation lies in a God-given move of the Holy Spirit, the conviction of sin and God’s healing and delivering power to liberate lost souls from Satan’s grasp.
A revival always brings hope for the hopeless, peace for the troubled, joy for the oppressed, healing for the sick and life for the dying. A revival within the Church causes the Church to grow, and a mighty revival within us all will have its impact upon our homes, the community and the nation as well! I love singing the old chorus, ‘Showers, showers of blessing, Showers of blessing we need, Mercy drops round us are falling, And for the showers we plead’. Many are satisfied with the status quo, the minimum, only the mercy drops, but my soul desires more of God! I want to go deeper and soar higher with God and reach out more widely to the lost souls of this generation! My desire is for God to touch my spirit and indwell my soul and body!
A LOOK AT REALITY!
Religious programs cannot satisfy the inner cravings of a heart thirsting after God. Ritual, ceremony and tradition hold no thrill for those reaching out to touch the hand of God. It takes the Holy Spirit to reactivate a life that is out of tune with the Almighty. There is no place for the “comfortable pew” mentality in our lives!
The Gospels stir me, the Epistles enlighten me, the Acts of the Apostles sets my being on fire and the Revelation of Jesus Christ sobers me! The Church needs to be stirred, enlightened, sobered and set on fire. We must not let the spirit of complacency settle down upon our lives.
The mediocre must be done away with. Professionalism without God’s presence produces spiritual indigestion in the spiritually alert. The Church must reach out for the real, wholesome, life changing presence of the Holy Spirit, and turn away from powerless religiosity! What have we accomplished in the last 2,000 years? Oh, there have been times of great spiritual refreshing, blessing and revival, but Satan and his team have been more effective in influencing multitudes of people to do evil, than we have done to do the opposite!
The Bible declares, "Men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil". (John 3:19); “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” (1 Tim. 4:1-2; 3:1-5)
BECAUSE THOU ART LUKEWARM!
Unfortunately, too often the Church has believed the lie that, “Everything is alright! Things are improving! There is no cause for alarm!” I believe there is reason for concern regarding the slow progress we are making across this wicked world. In fact, the Church is guilty of the sin of bragging, feeling so good about our accomplishments that we are guilty of the sins of the Laodicean Church.
The Bible says, “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning (Origin, Source, Creator) of the creation of God; (Heb.1: 2, 10) “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.
“Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest see.
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” (Rev. 3:14-19) For every problem there is a solution! And as we can be sure that the devil exists, we are doubly sure that Jesus Christ is much greater and has totally defeated Satan! And as certainly as sin is increasing, we know that the Grace and Mercy of God is still available to every believing, willing and seeking heart!
Many years ago, Dr. A.B. Simpson - founder of Christian & Missionary Alliance - stated: “If ever there was an age when the world needed the witness of God’s supernatural working, it is in this day of unbelief and Satan’s power. “Therefore, we may EXPECT, as the end approaches, that the Holy Ghost will work in healing of sickness, casting out of demons, in remarkable answers to prayer, in special and powerful providences, and in such forms as may please His sovereign will to an unbelieving world.”
PRAY FOR GOD’S POWER & GRACE!
Gideon was working with the wine press which was hidden because of the Midianites. God’s people were prisoners in their own land. Then, an angel of God appeared to him one day and said, "The Lord is with thee thou mighty man of valour". (Judges 6:12) Gideon asked the angel three questions:
FIRST, if the Lord is with me, why are we captives in our own land? SECOND, if the Lord is with us, where are the miracles our fathers spoke of? And FINALLY, why did the Lord choose me? My father's house is the poorest in Manasseh and I am the least in my father's house! If every Gospel Minister would be honest with God, with himself and the people, we would be on the road to revival!
WE MUST FACE THE FACTS!
If we are not winning the battle against Satan, there is something wrong! If there are no miracles, how can we say God is with us? Jesus said, "And these signs shall follow them that believe, in My name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover". (Mark 16:17-18)
If the SIGNS are no longer following the preaching of God’s Word, we certainly need to ask ourselves and God, ‘WHY’? The Bible says, "And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following". (v.20) That is Bible Way and the Model for the Church Today!
GOD’S PROMISES ARE CONDITIONAL!
Unfortunately, a vast number of God's people have no desire to seek the face of the Lord, pray or deny themselves. For them, salvation is only a formality, a tradition or an escape from eternal damnation! They have NO CONCEPT of what the Christian life has to offer the thirsting soul that has genuinely been born from Above! They live on the horizontal plane with very little vertical contact with the Holy Spirit!
May we not only sing but mean the words: "Have Thine Own way, Lord, Have Thine Own way. Thou art the potter and I am the clay. Mold me and make me after Thy will, while I am waiting yielded and still". We must allow God to have His way in our lives. Humility is hard to find in this generation. Here is a key Scripture on receiving the Blessings we need:
"If My people which are called by My name (bear His 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 sin and heal their land." (2 Chron.7: 14) Our land desperately needs healing, and there is only one way that God will forgive our sin and heal our land. The Church must repent and do the first works. The Bible says, "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God". (1 Peter 4:17) The Church must do these four things if revival is to come to us:
FASTING REMOVES PRIDE!
NO. 1 - Christians must humble themselves and desist from entertaining wicked prideful thoughts. Pride is the sin that caused ‘Lucifer’s Tragic Fall’, and he skillfully uses that same deadly sin to enslave as many as possible!
NO. 2 - Christians must begin to daily commune with God through prayer. Fervent prayer with real desire and purpose is necessary. We must become serious with God! Martin Luther maintained that, “To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing”. If Jesus had to rise early to be alone with His Heavenly Father, shouldn’t we be doing the same today? Oh, how slothful and lazy the Church has become! Let us ask God to enlighten our spiritual eyes so that we can see how cold and lukewarm we in the Church have become!
No. 3 - Christians must seek the face of God with fasting and intercessory prayer, which is extended periods of prayer and deep intercession. John Wesley was of the opinion, that if a Christian did not fast regularly (Wed &Fri morning & noon meals), they were as backslidden in their hearts as if they did not pray regularly! We must set aside special times of protracted prayer with fasting so that the Almighty will lay His hand of protection, healing and revival upon us as we labour diligently for Him!
No. 4 - Christians must repent of their sins and turn from their wicked ways. Then and only then will God hear from Heaven and forgive our sins and heal our land. “Dear Lord, give us the courage and grace to do these four things so that revival may come to our hearts, our churches and our nation.
"SEND US REVIVAL I PRAY!
Dr. Hyman Appelman, a converted Jewish lawyer and one of America’s great Evangelists, whom Billy Graham referred to as “one of the most powerful preachers I have ever heard”, made the following statement:
THE KEY TO REVIVAL!
The key to the salvation of multitudes! The key to Pentecost - Is in the hands of God’s people! The greatest need in our churches today is burdened, broken-hearted Christians. It is not great preachers. It is not advertising. It is not singing. God can use all these things. The greatest need in our churches today is weeping, agonizing, prostrating ourselves in an ecstasy of agonizing supplication before God!
The need in our churches is ceaseless, day and night, earnest, weeping prayer - for God’s intervening mercies and for a national awakening to righteousness! I have never known a revival of any sweeping magnitude that came except that it was swept in by the tears of God’s praying people. What connection there is between Tears and God’s grace, I do not know. But this I do know that when a group of us get broken-hearted enough, so that in an agony of soul we weep out our hearts and say to the Lord,
“You must give us a revival or we will die”, revival will come! Are you willing to be stripped of selfish Christianity that takes everything from God and gives nothing? Are you willing to have it replaced by a heroic, courageous, sacrificial, victorious Christianity? May God give us all grace to lay down our lives for Christ - even as He laid down His life for us! -- Dr. Hyman Appelman
Dear Friend: Please join us in seeking God in determined, diligent and desperate prayer for God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ to rend the Heavens and come among us through His Holy Spirit, and grant us a genuine Revival of righteousness across our nation and reach around the world! - Pastor Max Solbrekken