Unity will lead us to the next great awakening? Really?

Dr. Ronnie Floyd, the president of the National Day of Prayer, tells Newsmax that he believes the National Observance being held Thursday evening in Statuary Hall could be the start of something truly historic — the next great spiritual revival to heal an American commonwealth torn by enmity, strife, and mistrust.

“Even though things are difficult and people are struggling,” Floyd told Newsmax on Monday in an exclusive interview, “we know that historically speaking we have the spiritual heritage we have because this country had some of those great moments with God that literally altered society and altered the future of the nation — and they were called Great Awakenings.”

Read this very carefully: “…the next great spiritual revival to heal an American commonwealth torn by enmity, strife, and mistrust…some of those great moments with God that literally altered society and altered the future of the nation…”

Where is the talk of “for the glory of God” or “so Christ might be honored” or “because we, as a nation, are mired in our own sinfulness”?

The article goes on to say…

Christians must learn to set aside their differences for the sake of a greater cause.

“A divided church cannot call a divided nation to unity,” says Floyd. “And we need desperately as the church, all followers of Jesus Christ, to come together around what really matters and come together for the good of the nation.”

For the good of the nation. NOT for the glory of Almighty God.

I’m as patriotic as can be. I love my nation. But the Great Awakening was not ever about us. It was about Jesus. About a nation humbling itself before God, admitting it’s sins, and seeking forgiveness…one person at a time. The Great Awakening didn’t start out to turn a sinful nation on its ear, it was about turning sinful people to their only hope: the hope that lies in the blood of Christ, the only Son of God, the blood that was shed on the cross. Jesus who lived a holy life, died a perfect death, and rose triumphantly is now and always our only hope. Of salvation. Of a future in heaven. Of our nation turning to Him…one person at a time. Remember: The Great Awakening was only called that in arrears, not sought out before time. We cannot seek it; we must seek Him.

Read on…

Rev. Greg Laurie, the pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif., agrees that Christians must model unity before they can expect comity to break forth in society at large.

He tells Newsmax that today’s church “is too divided over political issues — people are angry and are taking sides. It’s okay to have different views, but what we don’t need is red evangelicals versus blue evangelicals. Believers need to set aside minor differences for the sake of the Gospel.”

There are only two ways that I know of for Christians to come together in “unity”. One is for them to lay aside all personal preferences and read God’s Word, letting Scripture interpret Scripture, so that what God means is what the reader comes away with. When Scripture reigns supreme over denominational differences, over cultural preferences, and over personal beliefs, then and only then can people be unified through their faith. At least in a way that actually honors God.

The other way that Christians (or so-called Christians, at least) can come together in unity is by doing exactly what this article suggests: model unity…by setting aside minor differences.

Uh-huh.

And who decides what “minor differences” must be laid aside? Where is the line drawn? Who, then, becomes the arbitrator of truth? Is it this Bishop, that Elder, this Pastor, that denomination, or is it God Himself…who has already laid out truth in His perfect and holy Word?

Or maybe chaos should just reign. Because that’s what will happen, folks. If we try to come together for the gospel’s sake, the gospel is going to be left behind. Chaos will reign until first this one then that one, then someone else, decides “You know what? We no longer have to label this sinful act as sin…. If we can’t agree on it, maybe we ought to just agree not to address it.”

Isn’t that what we’ve been doing already? How has that been working out for us?

Not well, I’d say.

I’m not a legalist. I’m not a pharisee. I’m simply a believer that knows that God is who He says He is and His Word is all we need. Because of that I’m also one who believes in the Five Solas, one of which is Sola Scriptura…or Scripture alone.

Scripture alone. Scripture itself and by itself is sufficient for my faith to rest on. Not my interpretation, not your interpretation, but Scripture’s interpretation of Scripture. God’s Word, written by men who were guided by the Holy Spirit, is as it was written inerrant and infallible. God was and is perfectly capable of conveying His will, His truth, to His people through His Word. He did that when He wrote it and He’s doing it still through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Too often, when we seek the Spirit, we do it wrong and end up allowing ourselves to be led astray by emotion because we are open to a new direction, a new revelation. But that’s not what God’s Word teaches. God’s Word tells us not to add to it nor subtract from it. It says that it is sufficient. If we humble ourselves and seek God’s guidance, the Holy Spirit, who inspired the Word of God, will lead us to understand the Word of God. He will never lead us astray, nor will He lead us contrary to the Scriptures that He inspired. It’s simply impossible.

If we really want another Great Awakening, we must humble ourselves in prayer, repent of our sins, and rest on God’s Holy Word. Nothing else is sufficient.

To wrap this up, there is one part of the article that I agree with. It is this:

“I do believe that America knows it’s broken,” says Floyd. “I think that people know that politics and government will not be the ultimate answers to our problems. I think they’re important, but they’re not the ultimate answer to our problems.

“So while people may not know as a whole where that answer is, that’s where the National Day of Prayer fits in: For us to call people to talk to God about where we are, and hopefully use it as an opportunity to reintroduce who God is in this generation.”

Read Newsmax: Religious Leaders Say Prayer Day Could Bring Next ‘Great Awakening’ | Newsmax.com

…an opportunity to reintroduce who God is in this generation. I’m all for that. Let’s get out our Bibles, bow our heads, and pray in repentance and seek His guidance. Then let’s lay aside, not all of our differences, but our desire to have a after life insurance plan, and let’s actually seek to live for God’s glory. It starts in repenting of seeking our own way, our own desires, and of holding onto sins. Our church leaders should know this. After all, Jesus didn’t say “Why are you holding onto your minor differences?” He said, in Luke 6: 46, ” And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”

Or as Peter, inspired by the Holy Spirit, said, “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1: 16

In the meantime, if you want to make sure that you are reading the Bible to see what God says rather than reading into it what you, or the world, or your denomination, believes it says, try this:

Remember, context is everything. Yanking a scripture out of context is a sure way to misunderstand what God is saying. Or who He’s saying it to. Therefore, in order to know what is actually being said, know who the book the passage is taken from is written to and why it was written. Know what style of writing is it (historical? poetry? prophecy?). Is is Old Testament or is it from the New Testament? Remember that the O.T. points forth towards Jesus and the N.T. reveals Him. Read the verse in question but read the verses around it also. Better still, read the book it’s taken from. Even better, read the whole Bible over the course of several months or a year. Then start in on it again. The more you read the Bible, the more the Bible starts to fit together and make sense. Find a good commentary or study Bible and consult it in order to know the author, purpose, and audience better. And pray. Always pray to know God’s will as He has already revealed it in His Word.

Should we pray for a Great Awakening? Absolutely, but one that begins with repentance of one person at a time and that is grounded in a holy desire to honor Jesus in all that we are, all that we do, and all that we believe. It’s about Him first and foremost. May God be glorified by your, and my, efforts to truly know Him and His will and our desire to serve Him.

And, yes, may He bless our nation.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Photo by David Beale on Unsplash