Asking the question “what if we don’t” should open our eyes to the fact that the church today is not preaching the whole counsel of the gospel of Jesus Christ. What is being taught is a form of the gospel that denies its power, thus not the gospel. 2 Timothy 3:1 “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” When do we actually think that this is going to happen? Notice the last sentence. Why is it that people stay under this kind of powerless teaching and why people flock to the false teachers teaching the easy way, the easy life and half-truths. The answer is the cross. If the church would open its eyes, we would see the desolation is already in motion because of our disobedience to His word. This is not something that is way off in the future. It actually goes with Amos 8:11 “The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign Lord, “when I will send a famine through the land— not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.” This explains why we have churches full of the unconverted as there is no power. I know how dare you tell me I am not converted. Actually I am not telling you but asking if you are actually converted or do you just go to church? The truth is I am not the one you have to answer to but to Jesus Christ. Since there are no second chances, would it not be better to be confronted with this question before dying. Sadly at this point many deceived will say yes they are converted and then carry on with their lives.
For years now I have felt led to preach and teach about the need for revival. This has not gone well and offended many. As I write this today I realize revival is what we need more than ever and the reason for the resistance is an opposition to repentance, which is an opposition to the gospel of Jesus Christ. In our day there is minimal conviction thus really nominal salvation and definitely there is no power to fulfil the mission. As we have talked about we end up with the unconverted converted. In years gone by when revival shook the ground, people feared for their lives as they felt they were standing on the brink of hell. In our time there is no fear of the Holy One. To once again fear is the beginning of knowledge and understanding. Matthew 10:28 “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Jonathon Edwards said, “Many times persons under great awakenings were concerned, because they thought they were not awakened, but miserable, hard-hearted, senseless, sottish (drunken) creatures still, and sleeping upon the brink of hell. The sense of the need they have to be awakened, and of their comparative hardness, grows upon them with their awakenings; so that they seem to themselves to be very senseless, when indeed most sensible.”. The church today lies asleep on the brink of hell yet does not know it nor seems to care. He also preached a sermon called "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." Jonathan Edwards was interrupted many times before finishing the sermon by people moaning and crying out, "What shall I do to be saved?"
Many people in revival experience the brink of hell and call out to be saved. I came across this description that is much closer to salvation than what we are experience now. Here is how one person described the conviction of the Holy Spirit. “The morning prayer meeting was lasting longer than usual.... We all felt the presence of the Holy Spirit in our midst.... Such a mighty conviction of sin--a thing for which we had prayed for so long--came to all, so much so that with tears streaming from their eyes and arms uplifted they cried out to the Lord for the forgiveness of their sins, which now seemed so black.... The meeting continued hour after hour; yet the children showed no desire to leave. There was nothing for me to do or say, as the Lord seemed to have complete control. I did my best to stay out of His way.... Eventually an agonized cry went up, beyond anything I had ever heard or imagined, as in visions the children saw the horrors of hell, the anguish of lost souls, and the indescribably evil power of the devil and his angels. Many witnessed themselves bound and dragged to the very brink of hell. Condemnation for sins and the power of the devil over them became a terrifying reality. But freedom from this evil power through the grace of the Lord Jesus was just as real. When they experienced this liberating power from the clutches of the evil one, salvation was made as real as condemnation had been. Great joy, laughter, and peace resulted from the knowledge of what they had been saved from....” This is not happening in the church even remotely close to this example. Please note I am talking about the church not those outside of it. Revelations says repent and do the things you did at first. In our day most started wrong, so this is a complete overhaul. Jesus is standing at the door but will anyone answer? Revelation 3:20 “So be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” The church is like a warm bath that makes people feel good about themselves.
Wow the above example does not line up with what is going on in most churches today. Today so called Christians simply go to church but fail to full understand what we have been saved from. In Judges when God sent the enemy to invade the land the people at least called out in distress. When will the church realize we should be in great distress from the enemy invading the land? Judges 2:10 “After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. 11 Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals. 12 They forsook the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They aroused the Lord’s anger 13 because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. 14 In his anger against Israel the Lord gave them into the hands of raiders who plundered them. He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist. 15 Whenever Israel went out to fight, the hand of the Lord was against them to defeat them, just as he had sworn to them. They were in great distress.” 16 Then the Lord raised up judges, who saved them out of the hands of these raiders. 17 Yet they would not listen to their judges but prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped them. They quickly turned from the ways of their ancestors, who had been obedient to the Lord’s commands. 18 Whenever the Lord raised up a judge for them, he was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived; for the Lord relented because of their groaning under those who oppressed and afflicted them. 19 But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their ancestors, following other gods and serving and worshiping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways.”
Are we not just like Israel? I am asking the question are we saved? We live in a society that has no conviction of sin. If you talk about sin, you are judgemental and haters, if talk about repentance you offend, if you talk about hell you might as well look for another job. Even though people believe in hell, most feel it is better not to discuss it. Very few today want to hear if you do not believe, obey and remain you will go to hell. Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” To talk about the need to repent which would save us from hell gets you killed or flogged. People will say how dare you, who do you think you are. We live in a day that is about as close to oblivion as we could get. It is so bad people either teach there is no hell, no fear of hell or just don’t talk about it because if they did they would have to talk about sin and repentance. Like in Job people “want nothing to do with the light.” “They say to God, Leave us alone, we have no desire to know your ways. Who is the Almighty that we should serve Him. What would we gain by praying to Him?” We are much the same as this. Isaiah 30:9 “For these are rebellious people, deceitful children, children unwilling to listen to the Lord’s instruction. 10 They say to the seers, “See no more visions!” and to the prophets, “Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions. 11 Leave this way, get off this path, and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!” 12 Therefore this is what the Holy One of Israel says: “Because you have rejected this message, relied on oppression and depended on deceit, 13 this sin will become for you like a high wall, cracked and bulging, that collapses suddenly, in an instant. 14 It will break in pieces like pottery, shattered so mercilessly that among its pieces not a fragment will be found for taking coals from a hearth or scooping water out of a cistern.” 15 This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “Where are the souls white-hot for God because they fear His holy name and presence and so live with eternity's values in view? We fear God because he has the power to send you to hell. Luke 12:5 “But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.” We also need to be aware that hell exists. This was never a place made for us but for satan and his angels.” Matthew 25:41 “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” Now if we do not obey we to will go there also. 2 Peter 24 “For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment; 5 if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; 6 if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7 and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless 8 (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— 9 if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment. 10 This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh and despise authority.”
At the Rock we wanted to be like the early church, so along with it we need the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. This is what we are praying for so that, Isaiah 37:31 “Once more a remnant of the kingdom of Judah will take root below and bear fruit above. 32 For out of Jerusalem will come a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” This is what church should look like. Acts 2:36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” 37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” 40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.” Wow that is true numbers and repentance, the power of the church. If we do not truly repent we cannot expect to be saved nor have the power of the Holy Spirit.