Today is the National Day of Prayer, and I have spent the last several hours thinking about what to write. I have read some posts by well-known Christian leaders, politicians, and the President of the United States. As much as this is a day that depicts unity; and is full of prayers for God’s blessing on this nation, I will have to break ranks. Today, our President didn’t even mention God in his proclamation. When the new House session opened a few months ago, it opened up in prayer to Brahma. Even in my home state of Texas, the legislative session opened with a prayer to “holy mystery”.
I love this nation; I vote in every election, I enjoy fireworks on the Fourth of July, and I fly the flag. But I cannot ask God to bless a nation that does not honor Him as God. The only thing I can do is repent on behalf of this nation and ask God for mercy to cause us to turn back to Him. Today, I write this post, pleading for Christians to repent. Yes, repent for the sin of abortion, mocking God, and putting no emphasis on the family. But more than that, the Church needs to repent for its lethargy, the seeker-sensitive messages that contain no gospel, for the embrace of cultural positions of the world, and lacking the fear of God.
Much of the Church today doesn’t even believe in the judgment of God. I would say read Romans chapter one you will see we are under the judgment of God right now. We need to repent for our sins of watering down the gospel, of entertaining instead of evangelizing. We need to repent of psychological talks instead of Biblical preaching, and we must repent of our unholy lifestyles.
After we repent, we need a reformation. We need to go from simple statements of faith to robust and detailed doctrinal confessions. We must quit presenting an easy-believism approach to salvation and present a gospel that demands the fruit of salvation (Matthew 3:8). We need to get back to expositional preaching instead of inspirational Ted Talks. We need to equip students with God’s truth instead of entertaining them with games and video clips, and the more I learn about catechism, the more I wish we would have had that in the church where I grew up. Catechism (in the Protestant use) is a series of short questions and answers about what the Bible teaches. They are written on levels for children, teens, and adults. If only we started doing that in all the churches we could have more solid conversions.
It is when we repent and reform the church that we will have revival in the nation. I want God’s blessing in this nation, but I do not think it is automatically deserved just because the Pilgrims came over with a Geneva Bible. If you look at the preaching that produced the Great Awakenings in this nation, you will see that George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards preached sermons that wouldn’t go over well in most churches today. We hear Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, and we retort that such a sermon would offend people and that God is love. Yet, that sermon brought about the conversion of sinners. It was hard Bible preaching that brought about the Awakenings in this nation, and that same preaching is needed again. The discipleship of the band societies of John Wesley is needed again. Let’s return to the Puritan foundations of this nation. Search Puritan Paperbacks and pick out a few titles. See what preaching and teaching this nation was founded on and how far we have drifted from it. We need to return to God. Returning to the roots of the spiritual fathers of this nation will help us do that. Pick a Puritan, pick a preacher like George Whitfield or Jonathan Edwards. Immerse yourself in their writings, behold their God, and watch your heartbreak, watch your life change, watch reformation come to your church, and revival come to our nation.