âHezekiah began to reign when he was five and twenty years old, and he reigned nine and twenty years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done. He in the first year of his reign, in the first month, opened the doors of the house of the LORD, and repaired them. And he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them together into the east street, And said unto them, Hear me, ye Levites, sanctify now yourselves, and sanctify the house of the LORD God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy placeâ (II Chronicles 29:1-5).
One of my mentors said a statement in one of his sermons that went something like, âAs the preacher goes, so goes the church, as the church goes, so goes the nation.â No doubt the preacher has a huge impact on the church. One of my brothers in Christ used to tell me that the pastor sets the tone for the church. It makes sense to think that if the pastor is spiritually strong, so will the church be; if the pastor is spiritually weak, so will the church be. However, saint of God, you will not be able to blame your pastor for your spiritual shortfalls because you have a Bible and the Holy Spirit teaching and strengthening you. I have seen Christians in dead churches rise above the prevailing attitude of that church and go on to be men and women of God. None of us have a legitimate excuse.
When it comes to the thought that the church impacts a nation, there is great truth to that. Yet I would not be too quick to make an absolute out of it, especially when we know Rome was a morally wicked nation that persecuted Christians. In the midst of Rome; the early church was united and powerful. I am sure that the early church had some impact on Rome. When Rome did concede to the church, we got the Roman Catholic Church out of it.
You donât need super spiritual eyes to see that America is corroding at an incredible rate, and that the church in America is turning carnal and lukewarm. It seems that many of us are quick to blame the church for the deterioration of America. In some ways, we are making a correct judgment. It sure looks like America is failing because the church is failing. As we see moral failure in the church, we see America falling even deeper into the pit of moral degradation. As we see the church downplay and skirt around the truth, we see a nation with politicians bankrupt of integrity. I do think it is safe to say that as the church in America is, so is America.
However, the Bible also teaches us that in the last days, evil will abound and love will grow cold. This is happening right before our eyes. It is a fearful thing to witness, yet it is also exciting to see the very words of the Bible become such a reality in our day. Have you ever heard the term ârelevant?â I am sure most of you have. It is a term that is used quite often in church advertisements. They want to let everyone know that they are relevant to todayâs culture and that their preacher preaches relevant messages. I was having lunch one day with a pastor who was passionately telling me how he wants to preach relevant messages. I was a little confused by this statement, so I asked him to give me an example of how the word of God isnât relevant to our day. He immediately replied back, âWell, the word is always relevant.â To that I say amen, to that I say then preach the word. So I encourage any preacher who wants to preach a relevant message to just preach the word of God. Have you ever considered that I Timothy 4:1-3 and II Timothy 3:1-5 speak more of the day we live in than the day that Paul penned those scriptures? The things that Paul wrote in those portions of scripture were pointing to a future day. We are in that future time right now and these scriptures are being fulfilled in an incredible way. How much more relevant can the word of God be than that?
So I make the point that the church does have an impact on the nations, yet I am convinced we are living in the days that nothing can stop the increase of iniquity because the Bible says it is going to happen. I am not suggesting that we all lay back and do nothing, for the Lord could delay His coming for some decades. I canât help but to see that the signs are all around us and I believe that we are in the very closing hours of this church age. While society is deteriorating at an alarming rate, we must understand that we are still called to be light and salt to our nation, no matter what condition she is in. It seems that the nation is having a stronger influence on the church than the church is having an influence on the nation. If that be the case then the church is in desperate need of revival.
I believe revival of the church in America is the greatest need of this hour. The American church has become so Laodicean in that she thinks she is rich and in need of nothing, but knows not that she is wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. Yet God never chastises His people without leaving them with great hope. God invites us to buy gold tried in fire that we can be spiritually rich. He invites us to buy white raiment to cover our spiritual nakedness and anoint our eyes with salve that we can see the kingdom of God.
The southern kingdom of Judah had its ups and downs. The northern kingdom mostly had its downs. The northern kingdom was the first to fall because every king, since and including Jeroboam, did evil in the sight of the Lord. Judah had twenty kings. Eight did was right in the eyes of the Lord and twelve didnât. One of those kings that did what was right was Hezekiah. He was the son of Ahaz. Ahaz was wicked and closed the house of the Lord. Hezekiah opened it back up and brought revival to Judah. He had all the filthiness removed from the holy place. Saints, we need this kind of revival here in America. America may have gone off the deep end, but we can still experience a revival amongst the church. Revival isnât for the spiritually lost, though it affects them. Revival is for the church. You can only revive something that once had life. You can only wake up a people after they have gone to sleep. You cannot revive someone that hasnât been born again. There has to have been life at one time. However, when the church does experience revival, it has a great impact on the lost. When saints are revived there is a renewed desire for evangelism and there is a holy fearful conviction that flows from Godâs people. PRAY FOR REVIVAL!
âAnd great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these thingsâ (Acts 5:11).