The more difficult the times, the more our churches need to make a difference. This difference can be made only through a real moving of God in our churches that will result in a spiritual awakening in our nation. I believe our greatest need at this hour is for a true renewal among Christians and a spiritual awakening which will restore individual and collective morals and integrity throughout the nation.
Church attendance is the highest in more than a quarter century. This is not enough unless we make Christ the Lord. Christianity must become the most important thing in our lives. We must join with the Prophet Habakkuk and fervently pray, “O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years.” (Hab. 3:2) Our lives must be marked by consistency in prayer, in the study of God’s Word and in true meditation and obedience.
Only after revival has come to our churches will we be prepared to evangelize the eighty million Americans who do not own a Bible. There is another “America” whose beliefs and values make them the other America which is totally pagan. The Gospel is not “good news” to people who don’t hear it. The unpreached gospel is no gospel at all. The church is a lifeboat, not a pleasure boat. From the captain to the cook, all hands are needed on deck to save souls. This lonely generation of lost people is looking for a Savior, not another religious show.
In 1983, at the International Congress on Evangelism in Amsterdam, Billy Graham repeated the same statement many times. He repeated it again at the second Congress in 1986. Dr. Graham said, “You have to come from the nations of the world to learn the secret of evangelism. This is the secret: wet eyes, bended knees and a broken heart.” After a quarter of a century in interdenominational crusades I have found no other secret that brings a spiritual awakening.
Futurist George Barna’s advice is most timely. “We will be tempted to downplay the importance of commitment and obedience. We will be tempted to soften the truth so that a hardened generation will give us a fair hearing. There is a fine line between clever marketing and compromised spirituality.” All our church activity should relate to winning our lost world to Christ.
The world of today is a world in chaos. Each new day finds newspapers and television cameras showing us a world in change. A society where sexual freedoms and perverted lifestyles are accepted as healthy. A society where the traditional family is depicted as “obsolete.” A society where respect for authority, neighborliness and compassion are viewed as old fashioned. Our moral decline threatens our survival as a nation. The church must stand firm against all evil. The Christian does not have the option of deciding what is right and wrong. God has laid down the guidelines and called us to follow. Some of God’s rules may seem archaic by today’s standards, but we are called to discipleship and obedience.
Only the evangelical church has the understanding and resources to save our troubled society. Experts can dwell on the cause for the breakdown in family relationships and for violence. However, the important thing is to know the solution. Our values are vanishing, and loneliness and hopelessness fill the hearts of a lost generation.
The problem is one called sin. The Christian must never compromise with sin. Those who accommodate sin join with the losers. When the church adapts to the sinful lifestyles of the world, the power of passion and caring is lost. Adultery, premarital sex and homosexuality are still sins. Our redemptive message is one of life changing possibilities. It involves forgiveness and a new beginning.
It’s time for repentance and commitment to real evangelism. We must not remain complacent when the destiny of our friends, neighbors and relatives is at stake. God’s concern is the reconciling of people to himself. The Lord is not willing that any perish, but wants everyone to come to repentance ( Peter 3:9). Jesus gave us the solution, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8).
In our citywide crusades, I have witnessed more than 20,000 in a single year coming to Christ. The real awakenings have come when God’s people experienced renewal and prayed together. The lifeline of evangelism is prayer. When unity prevails and hundreds join in prayer, the power is there which produces conviction. At Calvary God’s redeeming love was best expressed and nothing but His redemptive touch can change lives. God’s concern today, as at Calvary, is the salvation of the lost.
My heart yearns to see the church proclaiming the message of Christ to our lost world. The broken heart of the world is aching for peace, for reality and for God. The only hope for this dark night is the light of the Gospel. The world is in change. This is our finest hour of opportunity to make a real difference. A difference urgently needed in these difficult times. Let us not fail a lost generation who have known only pain, fear and the lack of fulfillment.
Wet eyes, bended knees and a broken heart have worked throughout history. Don’t lock the church doors to the Holy Spirit by self-centeredness, pride and prayerlessness.
The book I read most often after the Bible is ‘Power Through Prayer’ by E. M. Bounds. We are reminded that the church is looking for better people. The Holy Spirit does not flow through our glitz, glitter and hype but through people of prayer.
Spiritual awakening is within our grasp. This could be our greatest hour for evangelism. Let us hear His voice: “As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you” (John 20:21).
By Clyde Dupin: one of America’s most experienced and successful Crusade evangelists. He conducted his first city-wide Crusade as a 19 year-old college student. He has devoted more than 30 years to full-time evangelism and has conducted more than four hundred Crusades.
Read more HERE.