REVIVAL BY FIRE
By George Card
This was a time of darkness in the land of the chosen people of God. They had forsaken the Lord God and gone after Baal. But along came a prophet by the name of Elijah. He summoned the people unto a mount and there he challenged the prophets of Baal, to show the power of their god. Their god was powerless, but when Elijah called on the God of Israel, then he sent a mighty fire to show his power.
We are now in a time of deep darkness. Many of the churches of God have written Ichabod over their entrance. Most preachers are not weeping between the porch and the altar, they do not cry out loud "Spare thy people, O LORD". The heathen rule over the people of God and we are a reproach. Where is our God? I thank God for the seven thousand who have not bowed their knees to Baal, they are the few bright spots that still shine brightly, but they are mostly the exception.
The truth is that as a whole we the church needs desperately the mighty fire of Elijah. Let this fire come into our churches and consume the dross of our religion. Let it come and consumed in us our hay and stubble. Let it come and purify us like silver and gold.
We need to ask for revival, but most Christians are happy to live without it. The spirit of God is trying to move us but the majority do not respond. We are the most blessed generation and the most ungrateful. We say we care for the lost, but we do not feel for the lost, we are dead for we feel nothing. Do not show me your modern programs and equipment; let me see your tears, let me hear your crying, let me see your prayer meetings with sobs and wailings and great cries for a move of God.
We really don't want revival. How can I say that? When you really want something you will do anything to get it. Millions upon millions of sinners are dying in their sins. An incredible catastrophe of great magnitude, a disaster beyond description yet where is the weeping? Where is the woe? Where are the lamentations by the church?
Jesus paid a heavy price to save the world. The apostles and early Christians joyfully gave their lives for Christ, yet we cannot give an hour a week to pass out Christian tracks, we have a hard time inviting our neighbors to church, lest they ridicules us. We fear men much more than God.
We truly need revival, but how will revival ever come? We are complacent, while snoozing and sleeping in our comfortable pews. We go to church conference after church conference and pat each other in the back. We ask the Lord to "Bless us one more time". When what we really need is a swift and stern kick in the pants.
How can you look upon the rivers of humanity passing you by and not feel anything? What will it take to break your heart? What will it take to awaken you from your stupor? Why the apathy? Why the indifference? Please, tell me why?
Oh God we do need a baptism of fire. Send your holy fire and consume our selfishness, consume our vanity, consume our pettiness. Somebody please shake those comfortable pews and wake up the sleeping church. Put away your drowsiness, get up you sluggard!
It is time to get to work; there is still time to bring in the harvest. Get up from your couch and come to the altar of God in repentance. Forsake your lukewarmness and get the fire of God in your soul. Repent of your uncaring ways, your pride and dignity.
Christians in Islamic and other countries put their lives in danger to witness about Jesus Christ. Yet the people who live in the freest country in the world are scared to approach a stranger and tell him about Jesus Christ. We are not willing to pay any price to spread the gospel. How shameful, oh God have pity on us for we are cowards. We rather disobey your commandment than hear a reproach by men.
We want everything from you but we give you nothing. "Bless me oh Lord, Bless me oh Lord" we keep on chanting on and on like a broken record. Yet we cannot share your gospel, because we don’t want to offend or upset anyone. Away with such idiocy, God is not your genie or daddy Warbucks. He is the lord Almighty, and we are to be his servants and messengers. Now, what kind of messenger doesn’t want to give the message?
Oh, God, it is too shameful for us to spread your gospel; we do not want anyone to say that we are wild eye fanatics. Never mind that in a game we shout like lunatics and jump up and down over a stupid ball. Did I offend you by using the harsh “s” word? You should be more offended that that the church as a whole is ashamed of Jesus.
Am I offensive? Have I gone over the edge? Do I care that some of you think I am a stark raving maniac? Well, I really don't care if I offend your tender sensibilities; I really could give a hoot what you or anyone else thinks of me. All I care is that I give you the following message to all of you who are lukewarm, get in the fire and start burning again or go jump out into a lake and put out whatever little warmth you still have. Yes, I want to offend you and get you angry and mad at me, I want you to get some feeling back into you; perhaps that is what will take to wake you up from your sleepwalking.
Oh God we don't deserve a revival, we can't handle a revival. Nevertheless we desperately need one. Send your holy consuming fire, cleanse us oh Lord. Make our heart weep and sorrow after the lost, let river of tears flood our eyes over our friends and neighbors. Let us have a burning passion for evangelism.
Please Lord; send us a revival by fire. Burn out our religious programs and schedules. Burn out the dross of our soul and open our eyes to see what truly is important. Consume our man made traditions, routines and customs. Purify us oh Lord!