Since the passing of Billy Graham a plethora of voices has chimed in, each attempting to ascertain exactly what Graham’s death means in today’s world.
Graham’s daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship, and television’s Sid Roth are all saying that Graham’s death may create the “spark” for a national and perhaps an international revival.
Christianity could well use a revival in these days of worldwide apostasy and no one would discourage the move of God’s Spirit, but it is far more likely that the church may be concentrated rather than expanded in the next few years.
Lines are being drawn in every area of human endeavor as last day’s prophecies are being fulfilled today like no other time in history. Educators are either totally secularized or fully open to Biblical truths. Politicians have swung full force to either the right or the left and churches have split into fully conservative Bible based or totally liberal and apostate.
Churches are sliding off into apostasy by means of immorality and perversion. Some churches in the West are simply handing over everything including physical property to Islamization. Anyone who lived through the last world war and watched England and London resist the mighty onslaught of the Nazis; will find it shocking to see headlines like this: “London Closes 500 Churches; Opens 423 New Mosques”
The church that is remaining faithful to biblical principles and the basic gospel seem to be readying themselves to accept the approach of the full onslaught of the antichrist and his persecution of the faithful.
They are becoming concentrated, intensified and totally biblical, but the hope of a burst in numbers is probably not in line with the present decline and apostasy in the church. Add to that the rising worldwide persecution of the church in dozens of nations. The following headlines are indicators, not of a revival, but of a serious decline. This list is but a cross section.
The truth is that as we approach the last days, God will do last days kinds of things. The period of worldwide evangelism may be closing, but God has planned a new effort to meet the great falling away of the last days.
There are three ways in which God deals with the world in the last few years of time as we now know it.
- “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.” (Joel 2: 28-29)
2. “And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.” (Rev 11: 3-6)
3. “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” (Rev 14: 6-7)
These verses do not give the idea of a new and powerful evangelist to come on the scene, but they indicate a progression of steps that God uses to meet the fiery days of indignation that will sweep across the globe in the days leading up to the final judgment of our planet.
First, we see an outpouring of God’s Spirit on “all flesh” which means just that. The Spirit will fall on unbelievers in an effort to bring them into the fold, and it will fall on the believers to empower them to preach, live, and die if necessary to promote his gospel to a dying world.
Second, we see that God sends two powerful prophets with a message that time is up. They will not be well received and some will try to destroy them before their work is finished, but in vain. No evangelist has ever had the power of these two and everything they do will be seen and heard across the globe, even though they never leave the city of Jerusalem.
For those who to this day argue about the resurrection of Jesus Christ the two prophets will squash that argument forever. They will be killed and after three and a half days will be resurrected before the eyes of the entire world. (Rev 11: 7-12)
Third, we see God’s mercy extended to the very last minute of time. When the two prophets are gone and all the Christians have been removed or subdued, God sends a celestial voice (an angel) to broadcast his message of mercy throughout the earth – one last time.
These three portents are proof positive that God’s love for mankind is faithful until the very last moments of time. It is also proof that Jesus meant business when he declared:
“Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.” (Mt 18: 14)
To hope and pray for revival in America and the world is indeed a noble and worthy aspiration, but it may simply be an extravagance. What is going on today does not invite revival, but rather judgment.
The church will be cast into a state far more akin to Daniel in the lion’s den or the three young Jewish men in the fiery furnace, and countless other examples of the people of God undergoing serious testing and persecution.
These examples have been our best teachings and warnings to prepare those who have decided to follow Jesus Christ through fire or flood.
The nature of God’s next move in the earth has been designed by God to meet the deep godless decline that is emerging across the globe. His next move will not be fully recognized as a revival, it will be more of an intervention, filled with miracles, unusual people and ministers, and followed up by the millennial kingdom.
This is realism not naiveté. It is good, see for yourself:
“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” (Rev 11: 15)
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.