5 REASONS

1. The Left will finally be blamed for the misery they have created. Trump’s Tweet ripped the mask off of the masters of misery who have taken billions of tax dollars and squandered them through corruption. Every major city in America that is controlled by Democrats is a run-down smoldering wreckage of human tragedy. There is so much violence and addiction that the people imprisoned in cities like Baltimore could justify seeking asylum in the United States.

No longer can the architects of identity politics hide behind false charges of racism. The victims in the inner city now know it is not white privilege that has been keeping them down. They are finding out that the money was sent, but it never got to them, because of Democrat politicians presiding over them like slum lords.

And the leftist misery is not merely limited to the inner city. Never have this many high school and college students been this drug addicted or suicidal. Their death spiral is directly tied to the values instilled in them by activist educators and administrators who cajoled them into experimenting with drugs, gender fluidity, and atheism.

The result was not an enlightened generation as promised, but an entire generation of catatonic, burned out empty shells. Where youthful hope and aspirations should have lived, their teachers injected only darkness and cynicism. Where confidence should have blossomed, instead liberal indoctrination brought crippling fear that drove them to embrace socialism.

When I stand in the tent and call our young people to give their lives to Jesus, I don’t have to spend time convincing them of their need for God. The Leftists have done the damage that now drives them to Christ.  Many other preachers are seeing the same thing.

2. A massive number of believers will force denominations and mega-churches to quit playing games and start winning souls. Thousands tell me they feel insulted by the diluted feel-good sermons that are lathered on them every Sunday. These believers are also sick of carnal Christians who delight in all this fast-food-faith and superficiality.

Watch out! There is a growing core of believers who have separated themselves from the world and are determined to only know Jesus. They are discovering the power and joy of God’s grace in a dark time. They will force desperately needed changes in church life.

 3. Revivals come in dark and evil times, not in good times. Hurricanes are caused by nature filling a vacuum. The Left doesn’t realize it yet, but they have created a generational vacuum. They starved our youth of the presence of God, and by doing so, they did not destroy the need for God—they made the hunger more acute.

The rampant hate for God you see among the young people in America can be misleading.  This can bring great hope to those of you who have children who are running from God. Just be aware that after you start declaring a miracle over them, they often get worse, but don’t be fooled:  remember Saul of Tarsus’ condition just before his violent conversion.  By faith, paint a mental portrait of your child serving God.  Hold it in your spirit and trust in the inevitable, supernatural intervention of God!

The greatest promise for that is found in Joel 2:28 “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy…”  Not only does that apply to a worldwide harvest of souls, but I am convinced it is our children who will be reaping the harvest!

4. Prophecy will Trump Policy. Pun intended. Donald Trump is an example of what I am saying.  Policy said he wouldn’t win. Prophecy said he would. Every generation is guided by two forces: Policy and Prophecy. Policy is the law and the edicts of man. Prophecy always swallows policy.   Christmas is a vivid example.  No doubt Caesar Augustus felt sovereign over the earth when he ordered the world to be registered.  His policy seemed to force Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem.  But policy was simply serving prophecy…namely, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One Who is to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.” (Micah 5:2)

True prophecy is a bulldozer that overrules the plans of Satan and man.  Prophecy is the WORD that will prevail when all the dust settles and the smoke clears.  The mad ravings of society will bow down before the purposes of God.

The bulldozer of prophecy is not moved by the mad railings of potentates and tyrants.  It is impervious to weather, economic downturns, and persecution.  The treads of prophecy roll over the plans of men and the intentions of armies—as well as the highest threats of mankind. Prophecy is the fire that cannot be snuffed out.   Isaiah 40: 8 declares, “The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.”

5. One of the most powerful forces in the church is Grandma. Satan fears her because she prays like no one else. She’ll keep praying and bombard heaven when even the most avid intercessor has tossed in the towel. Grandma shakes hell. Nothing can come between her and her grand-babies.  The devil may think he has an unbreakable hold on a young person, but no devil in hell, no drug on earth, no seductress, cult leader or gangster is safe from her praying.  Chains break when grandma gets to work. And there are millions of them across America praying right now.

Here is a picture of my wife’s mom and dad. Mike and Dorothy are the most amazing soul winners I have ever known. Her father, Mike, is still going strong at 95, and her mom, Dorothy, is in heaven. Dorothy was not only a soul winner, she was the most powerful intercessor MMM has ever had. She would seek God, often through the night. She prayed all of her grandchildren into the Kingdom. When she prayed it was so intense it felt like worlds colliding. My wife, Mechelle, has inherited that same power in prayer from her mom. Satan fears grandma!

In conclusion, I have never been so thrilled to leave the danger of the Christian preaching circuit and to find my way to the safety of the ghetto.  You and I are getting in position to receive the great American harvest. It is beginning in California and burning its way east! Glory to God!

 

A WORD

You held on to your integrity.  When the trendy shortcuts for having a big church were offered to you—the Holy Spirit told you to stay out. Somehow, you never had the stomach for big screens, skinny jeans, and fog machines. Silly you! You wanted to keep singing some of the old songs—songs about the Blood of Jesus!

The devil tried to make you feel like a fool. You poured blood, sweat and tears into a community for many years. Along comes a slick marketer who creates a buzz. Overnight, they get a crowd.  The enemy attacks you and says, “They are blessed, and you are not!”

Let me be so bold as to appropriate Psalm 73 to describe the emotions you faced:

Psalm 73:2 “But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; my steps had nearly slipped. 3 For I was envious of the boastful, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.”

The evil one whispered to you, “if you had left out those negative verses, like they do—if you would finish your sermon in twelve minutes—if you would only tell people to quit raising their hands—if you would only…” Well, you know the spiel.

Suddenly, envy tries to grip you and these words from Psalm 73 fit your turmoil and temptation:

Psalm 73:4 “For there are no pangs in their death, but their strength is firm. 5 They are not in trouble as other men, nor are they plagued like other men. 6 Therefore pride serves as their necklace; violence covers them like a garment. 7 Their eyes bulge with abundance; they have more than heart could wish.”

But these are the words that apply most: verse 13, “Surely, I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocence. 14 For all day long I have been plagued, and chastened every morning.”

The devil again whispers, “What have you got to show for all your diligence and integrity? All your prayers, all your faithful preaching of the Word of God no longer works. You have stayed pure for no reason.”

Then people you’ve known for years turned on you. Like the Israelites who begged for a king—prominent people in your congregation told you they want the bells and whistles of modern church marketing.  “We want to be like all the other churches.” And when you wouldn’t change, they left and took their tithe with them.

It all became too much.  You and your family were broken hearted. Still you did not speak out loud what you were feeling. Verse 15 says, If I had said, “I will speak thus,” behold, I would have been untrue to the generation of Your children.”

You, like David, thought about the young pastors who are coming up. You thought, “They can’t hear us saying the Word of God no longer works!”

It has all become too painful! How can you try so hard, for so little result, while those who cheapen the message are booming? Here is the Word of the Lord, beloved pastor: 16 “When I thought how to understand this, it was too painful for me—17 until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end. 18 Surely, You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction.”

Hold on, men and women of God! America is changing! A nightmare of anxiety and emptiness is changing appetites!  When a nation gorges on sin, they begin to yearn for purity and cleansing.  Nothing can protect the sin-sick soul from disgust, nausea, and the unholy hangover.

A convicted heart can reach the point where a slick church concert, outfitted with lights and fog, or a canned motivational spiel, can repulse them just as much as the sin they are trying to escape.

A soul soaked in the sludge of our current time can yearn to collapse at a simple wooden altar, sob deep tears of remorse, and welcome the warm hand of a true pastor on their shoulder.

In fact, at this moment, heaven is releasing power for miracles, words of prophetic might, and great resources to do the work of God.  Those who have kept their integrity, who have labored in obscurity and have not seen any results, will receive great power and multiplication.

Americans will want to come in from the storm. They won’t feel safe in a shallow church. In a hurricane, you don’t rush to a flimsy building. Many man-made worship centers will collapse like a house of cards. They are the ‘slippery place’ that God spoke of. They will be too easily damaged by the coming storm.

Daniel refused to change—even when they threatened his life. When magicians and false seers were all the rage—Daniel held to his convictions. Then King Nebuchadnezzar has a nightmare and loses his appetite for half-baked entertainment.  Now he desperately needs an answer—and so will America.

The most attractive force on earth is about to flood your church building: THE PRESENCE OF GOD! His Spirit not only attracts better than entertainment—it does something infinitely more valuable—it brings people in for the right reason! They will become disciples! They will not be fickle ‘lookie-loos’—the kind that leave as soon as they find something more interesting.

The same preaching that the devil mocks today will be the right preaching in the coming hour! Don’t change! The way you pray, the way you love people, the way you raise holy hands and worship the Lord − everything they make fun of now, will be perfect for the coming harvest!

Hold on! Hold tight to every promise God gave you! Tell the devil he is a liar! Confess to your people, “God has His hour of power, and even now it is at the door!”

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A Crisis Point

Today thousands of sermons will be preached to millions of people. Some of it will do more harm than good—way more than you know.

I am not taking a swipe at all preachers. Most preachers are sincere men and women of God. However, these worthy voices are often drowned out by the modern preaching that leaves out the Cross of Christ, the Blood of Christ, Bible verses on sexual sin, and hell.

The modern preachers who leave all this out do it because they say they want to offer hope. Hope is their big word. Here and now, I am accusing them of offering at best an inferior hope and at worst a false hope.

Paul the Apostle had a totally opposite view about preaching hope. He said, “Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech.” -2 Corinthians 3:12. To give hope these preachers leave truth out. Paul believed that to give hope you must leave it all in.

He said in Ephesians 6:19 “and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” Twice, he refers to boldness.

Again, in 2 Corinthians 4 he detailed why it is such a disaster to leave anything out: “Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

Handling the Word of God deceitfully and putting a veil over it makes that preacher a villain to lost souls.  Worse still, that preacher is in cahoots with the devil. They put a veil over truth while Satan blinds people to it.

Every day we are lose ground because of this artificial preaching. Since He–the Holy Spirit– is also called the Spirit of truth. You cannot be anointed unless you are telling the truth.

Here is what this preaching has cost us so far: Because the church did not take a unified Biblical stand on sexual immorality the left has systemically canonized the lie that Christian doctrine is hate speech.

Today, Chick Fil A was banned from yet another airport. What did they do wrong? They stood by their Christian values and they gave money to Christian groups. City boards voted to shut them down because they gave to “hate” organizations. Had we taken a stand, we would not be in this bind.

More damage: these preachers made their congregations biblically illiterate. That is why a huge number of Christians including famous “gospel” singers don’t know the values of the Christian faith—don’t know how to answer their culture—don’t see anything wrong with abortion or same sex marriage—and don’t know how to vote.

Back to the issue of hope. I am asking these preachers a simple question: how can you say you are bringing hope if you leave out the truths that carry the hope?

Here is what I mean: real hope comes from true conversion. Only the soul that has repented and utterly opened themselves to new life can feel the surpassing hope of Christ. Let me show some examples of hope:

The Cross: until the soul knows it is lost—until it is broken by the sacrifice of Christ the true hope of Christ cannot take hold of them. But, brother, when it does it is awesome to behold. You will have a convert that is in church for all the right reasons. You have a walking miracle that is contagious.

The Blood of Christ: Only those souls that know the Blood was applied to their sin can feel clean—a moral clean that nothing else can give them. Moreover, the most dangerous young convert is the one that knows they have power over the devil. Revelation 12:11 “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.”

Sexual sin: Millions of people who genuinely want deliverance can’t find it because society has normalized their behavior. But that does not change the damage. The suicide rate for transgender people is 33 times higher than the general population.

People look at verses like the following and call them hateful but look again: 1 Corinthians 6: 9 “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”

Two takeaways here: 1. Sin is sin. There is no sin elevated above another. Thieves, murders, idolaters, drunkards, are all sexual sin are listed equally. 

 2. It ends with true deliverance from sin. It offers hope of cleansing, sanctification, and justification. That hope is not available if we skirt the issue.

The hope of the misguided modern sermon offers little or no hope. They tout the good life. But if that’s hope, why are billionaires killing themselves? Besides, what are we doing advancing the same lie as the world?

When the lukewarm believer leaves church they are swooning the superficial glow of a happy sense that God is not mad at them. What they don’t have is the blazing reality of being set free and filled with peace that passes understanding and power to answer a sick world’s cry for help.

These happy time sermons must stop now. They are as big a threat to America as the leftist radicals.

Every night, under our tent we kill the lie of these modern sermons. Lost souls hear truth under the power of the Holy Spirit. God confirms the Word with miracles. The unchurched come running for new life. Glory to God!

Remember this…Paul said it was because of how great the hope is that we are bold to tell all the truth. Amen.

 

 

 

SMALL CHURCHES: GOD’S SECRET WEAPON

Why are they God’s secret weapon?   The answer lies in what happens when a nation gorges on sin.  Nothing can protect the sin sick soul from disgust, nausea, and the unholy hangover.
A convicted heart can reach the point where a slick church concert, outfitted with lights and fog, or a canned motivational spiel, can repulse them, just as much as the sin they are trying to escape.
A soul soaked in the sludge of our time, can yearn to collapse at a simple wooden altar, sob deep tears of remorse, and welcome the warm hand of a true pastor on their shoulder.
How can a small church be God’s secret weapon? I discovered how when I read something about the birth of Christ.  Matthew Henry said, “If the Son of God must be brought into the world, one might justly expect that he should be received with all the ceremony possible, that crowns and scepters should immediately have been laid at his feet, and that the high and mighty princes of the world should have been his humble servants; such a Messiah as this the Jews expected, but we see none of all this; he came into the world, and the world knew him not; nay, he came to his own, and his own received him not.”
It was a token of their sin that the Jews believed such lavish pomp and circumstance would greet the birth of Jesus.  Are we no less wicked when we assume revival will be born  on gleaming campuses, amid varied enticements, extracted from the wisdom of fast food marketing?
We can miss the birth of an awakening just as much as they missed the birth of Christ.   America has many forgotten Bethlehems.  There are many hidden Mangers where revival can, and will be born.

Why the small church?  Maybe because a special brokenness dwells there.  Think of the couples who faithfully lead undersized churches. They have done all they know to do.  They have been called fools for passing on the gimmicks that might have grown their crowd.  They watched families leave them for the greener pastures of regional churches.
Sunday after Sunday, they sigh. and once again call up the courage to lead their people with integrity and patience.  They pray and see no great change.  However, God has shown me that when they least expect it the fire will fall.  A supernatural signal will go out.   And because they know no one but God did it they will leave their hand off of moving of the Holy Spirit.
Revival can come to any size church.  There is nothing wrong with a big church that got big the right way, and for the right reason.  And no church will stay small in revival.
Why is a small church God’s secret weapon?  Because it is the last thing Satan expects.  Even though he reads this, he will still be totally unprepared.

 

It’s time for the Body of Christ in California to do some deep soul searching. 

Business as usual has proven to be a colossal failure. The massive mega churches in the Golden State—with their tens of millions of dollars—have not made a dent in the greatest moral meltdown in California’s history.

California is just 24 hours away from a law—California Assembly Bill 2943—that can forever change how Christians will be treated in this state. It could also, easily lead to banning Bibles.

Have you seen any organized protest?  Do you hear many mega church pastor call for action on the final Sunday before the Senators vote?  My guess is not much.   I did get wind of a common theme: We don’t need to do anything because the gates of hell would not prevail against us.”

Such arrogance has taken its toll on believers.   One lady—influenced by this thinking—said this on our Facebook page: “the Church is awake and powerful in California.”  A brother responded, “Then why is California going to hell in a hand basket?”

Which begs a bigger question: why did the gates of hell prevail in so many places…even inside some churches?  Look at these verses again to see why:

Matthew 16:18 “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

Jesus said: “I will build.”  There are two kinds of churches: The one He is building, and the one man is building.  Can anyone deny California is overrun by man made religious empires?

Yes, they look right on the outside, and they are Christian, but they are disconnected from the life of Christ.  Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.” -John 15: 5,6

Christ will build something through the preacher who abides in Him. But relying on a fad growth model cuts them off of from the life of God.  Cut branches don’t dry up instantly—man made churches can thrive for a season on leadership skills and marketing talent. Human powered religious centers are sustainable until the right crisis arrives.

There is a devastating cost to these manufactured churches—and they anger God.  He is angry that they have dulled the Body’s natural ability to sense danger.  He is enraged that they kept his sheep from preparing for the moral landslide in California.

It grieves the Holy Spirit that they not only remained silent about wickedness, they actually opposed those who tried to obey God.  Heaven is screaming at their guilt!  Just when they needed to drive back demonic power, and catalyze moral awakening…they instead, tacitly approved of the wickedness.

The guilty know who they are.  They knew it the first time they told a saint they couldn’t raise their hands in worship.  They knew it when they began banning gifts of power, living by the clock, and leaving out Bible turths.

Now the Lord is signaling that a storm is coming.  To set the record straight and to bring revival, God must expose their false foundations.  This breaks my heart.  It makes me weep.

Jesus warned about these storms: “But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”- Matthew 7: 26,27

Think of it as mercy if God brings your house down.  At least your folly is revealed and you can repent before you stand before God.

If God turns you over and allows your charade to go on, that would be the worst.  In this case, your empire becomes a trophy of hell.  Millions of dollars are nothing to Satan to subsidize a factory of false faith and synthetic Christians.  At that point, God will see no difference between you, Hollywood, Godless liberals, or even the porn industry.  To Him you’re doing equal damage.

My prayer is that this gets to compromised preachers in time.  I know some of them.  They know what they are doing is not right…that’s why they suffer greatly.  They harbor tremendous guilt, loneliness, and emptiness.

Frances Chan is an example of a man who would not compromise—he pastored a mega church in Simi Valley.  Something profound gripped him. To the utter shock of almost everyone, he left all to begin a highly effective discipleship work in the Tenderloin area of San Francisco (an area I know well from ministering on those streets.)  God filled his hunger for the life of Jesus to flow through him.

I am not saying every pastor has to leave their church.  I am saying that worshiping size, prestige, and celebrity above the moving of the Holy Spirit has been total disaster for California.  God has declared an end because there is too much at stake.

Now that Sacramento is out of the closet and is declaring war on His Church…God will not wait for you any longer.  This could be a final warning.  God is directing these scriptures to lukewarm leaders and lukewarm churches in California:

Revelations 3: 4 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,

‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”  Amen.

GOD IS PURIFYING THE AMERICAN PULPIT

When the healing properties of sleep is most precious to me, I am awakened by the Lord to pen a warning.  Search what I have written over the years.  You will see that I rarely, if ever, write this way.  Something has happened in the heavens.

A grace period has ended for you false and carnal preachers.  You will be purified or replaced.  The time when God winked at your compromise is over.  You thought God didn’t see: Psalm 73: 11 And they say, “How does God know? And is there knowledge
in the Most High?”

Worse yet, you thought because He delayed your discipline, He gave you license for drunkenness and materialism.

Public confession of sin is coming.  Malachi 3:3 says, “He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, And purge them as gold and silver, That they may offer to the Lord An offering in righteousness.” Not everyone who is disciplined will make the cut.

Look for tragic downfalls—you who have fattened yourselves at the expense of the sheep and left them weak and unprotected.  God told you to resist the wicked winds of political change.  Instead, you hid behind a lame excuse that you didn’t want to be political.

The wicked devices of the left that wrecked marriage, and continue to kill the unborn, are but a few of the evils it was your duty to oppose.  Instead, you self-righteously said you were above politics.

Meanwhile, those political policies oppressed the sheep of God. Godless laws got them fired for being Christian.  You said nothing. Political correctness got their children suspended from school. You looked the other way.   Godless laws bankrupted Bakers and other Christian small businesses.  You were silent.

In your silence, you are taking other people down with you.   You are damaging your audience by only saying what they want to hear. You have not led them forward; you have not removed them danger.  Worse yet, when you finally speak out it is misguided.  Man of

You were silent when Obama worked his destruction.  But now you oppose a president who is doing more for the sheep of God than you. Man of God: Tell the truth.

 

Out a dead sleep God said “it is time to fulfill my promise” and He showed me Jeremiah 3:15 “And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.”

Satan is not impressed with your billion-dollar empire. He mocks it.  It has no power where it matters.  R.A. Torrey said, “The Devil is perfectly willing that the church should multiply its organizations and its deftly contrived machinery for the conquest of the world for Christ, if it will only give up praying…The Devil is not afraid of machinery; he is only afraid of God. And machinery without prayer is machinery without God.”

Then God told me how He has come to despise the word “Activate.”  He is rebuking the signs and wonders crowd who cheapening the gifts of the Spirit by promising instant activation of gifts.  God is opposed to the message that promises gifts without a relationship to the Heart of the Father.

He will only grant gifts to those who surrender to intimacy with Christ.  It is not an overnight deal—it is a grueling journey, it is the furnace of affliction, and a season of preparation.

Instantism is bringing the prophetic movement down.  Repent or find your movement in the museum of failed revivals.  The enterprise of doling out daily words of prophecy grieves God.  He deems it a horoscope reading.  Worst of all it, has driven the sheep away from the Bible.  All of this prophesying has not led to national awakening.  Consider:

“I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran. I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.  But if they had stood in My counsel, And had caused My people to hear My words, Then they would have turned them from their evil way And from the evil of their doings.” -Jeremiah 23: 21,22

We are the cusp of a golden era of soul winning.  God sees the harvest is ripe.  Beware of God most, when He sees the lost searching for Him.  That is when He cleans house. That is when He says, I am going to save the lost—you can let me purify you for service, or get out of my way.”

ARE MEGA CHURCHES NOW A DISTRACTION TO REVIVAL?

Do you believe current church trends  will rescue our nation?  My guess is you don’t.  If you don’t, you are not alone.  A growing number of believers—many of whom will not say it out loud—question the value of attraction churches.

One day, I sat with some “hot names” in church growth in southern California.  We had talked a lot about styles of worship, preaching and marketing.  Being older than most of them, I felt a little bold.  I asked them: “Can any of you give me the name of a mega church in Los Angeles in 1906? “

Not one of them could come up with a name.  Then I said, “but you all remember the Azusa Street Revival, right?  Why is that?”  Because history remembers revivals and forgets mega churches.”  The reason is simple; revivals make history by reforming society.

Those who praise the glories of mega churches never mention how they have no impact on cultural sin.  In this golden age of mega churches, society is experiencing its greatest moral landslide.   On their watch, the number of people who claim to be atheists has doubled.  More anti-God legislation has been enacted than any other time in our history.

But do churches bear any responsibility for the moral landslide of a nation?  Charles G. Finney sure thought so!   He said, “If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are about to fall away, the pulpit is responsible.”

Some will say it is not fair to ask mega churches to reverse national destruction.   But you also can’t have it both ways.  You can’t go around extolling the wonders of these mammoth ministry centers and then say they can’t fix the nation.  If they can’t fix the only thing that needs fixing, what is the point?

But people point out, “They produce musicals as good as Broadway” Or, “They give the average person hope” These achievements ring hollow.  In a simpler time, they would be impressive.  Not today.

This is no time for entertainment.  This is no time for mild cures. Society’s condition has forced rule changes.  A demon possessed culture needs a church with power to cast out devils.  A culture reeling with unimaginable addictions needs a church were the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the fire of God is plainly presented.

Are these churches a distraction to revival?  Let me offer this parable about distraction.  A college football team is losing their homecoming game. Badly.  Halftime is a welcome break.  The people are relieved when the marching band takes the field.

The band leader sees how much the people are enjoying the distraction.  He decides “we don’t need a second half; it is a good thing to just keep the show going.”

The lyrics of American Pie put it this way, “Now the half-time air was sweet perfume
While sergeants played a marching tune We all got up to dance Oh, but we never got the chance ‘Cause the players tried to take the field, the marching band refused to yield
Do you recall what was revealed The day the music died?”

You, dear leader of a mega church, must ask yourself, is my church the band that refuses to yield.  Is my mega ministry a distracting substitute for revival?  Am I keeping the church from starting the second half?

The Bible asks painful questions about times.  Elisha’s servant Gehazi secretly took money and clothes from General Naaman after Naaman was healed of leprosy.  Elisha asked Gehazi, “Did not my heart go with you when the man turned back from his chariot to meet you? Is it time to receive money and to receive clothing, olive groves and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male and female servants?”-2 Kings 5:26,26

In a time of mass murder, mass suicide, of hurricanes floods, and fire, is it time for pastors to parade wealth, and grant mild cures?

Haggai asked another painful question: “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins?” -Haggai 1:4  The modern application for this is simple:  Pastor, are you building a personal empire, or the Kingdom of God?  Will you allow a nation to go down in flames while you live in a bubble of false victory? 

If we can truly confess that babble has replaced the Bible—that self-enhancement has replaced self-denial –that marketing has replaced miracles—and unconditionally surrender to the Holy Spirit, God will turn our churches into fire-breathing, nation-changing powerhouses.