Matthew 28:18 – 20 And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
My father was an uneducated country boy and the reason was dyslexia. Most country folk of his generation had never heard that word. Like many of his time he was a man of the earth and knew how to grow various farm crops and that was about it. Also like many before him he became an alcoholic. There were troubled times in our home as I grew to manhood. Many times as an adult I tried to witness to him and as far as I could tell the efforts were for naught. After fifteen years as a pastor, my dad had heard me preach only once.
Then came the day I walked in a hospital room, he was laying there weeping, The doctors had discovered cancer in an advanced stage, and they sent him home to die. But when I tried to talk about Jesus he refused to even speak to me.
I requested every preacher I knew to visit him, none came. But God knew what was needed, he spoke to a young preacher and sent him six hundred miles to speak to my dad about his soul. The young preacher led my dad to the Lord and five months later daddy went to be with Jesus.
Why did God have to move on a preacher’s heart six hundred miles away when there were a number of preachers and churches near his home? One church was one half mile from his house and the pastor had to pass his house to go to church!
Could it be that God had to look that far just to find a man that was willing to be used? With the great number of churches in our area, why was there no one that cared enough to come share the gospel with my daddy?
Where are the pastors of years past that wept on their faces before God all night, before preaching the Sunday morning message?
Just recently I was standing in a local store in my town and there was a poster advertising an all night gospel singing and a lady told me, brother James I will be sitting there to hear the last song. She went on to tell me she gets more from gospel singings than from preaching! I asked this question, would you go to an all night prayer service, she said no.
Beloved what have we done, have we given away the power of prayer to be entertained?
How do you feel about yourself when you leave the Sunday morning service of your church? I heard this from a wise older preacher that has been a prayer warrior and soul winning preacher for over fifty years. He said the difference in a God centered church and a liberal church is this. When you leave a liberal church you will go away feeling good about yourself and when you leave a God centered Bible church you will leave feeling good about God and see yourself as the undeserving worm that you are.
Some time back I was attending a church where Wednesday night prayer meetings were used to instruct us on who to vote for! You would have thought Jesus was a republican! I no longer attend there!
Do you want a revival like those we read about in days past? Do you desire to see your loved ones get on their faces before almighty God and beg Him for mercy? What of that husband, mother, the man you have shared your life with for so many years, what would you do to see him saved and take the spiritual leadership in your home that is his responsibility before God?
There is a story told of the famous evangelist Gypsy Smith, and a young writer that was interviewing him in the last days of brother Smith’s life. The reporter ask brother Smith if there was anything different he would do if he could live his life over. Gypsy answered he would win more souls! The young man said, but Mr. Smith you are accredited with more than eight hundred thousand souls coming to Christ in you meetings! With tears running down those old withered cheeks, Brother Smith answered with a sob in his voice, it should have been twice that many!
I watch TV preachers and see the coifed hair and expensive suits and wonder if that is what America’s preachers have come to. Is that what makes a successful pastor?
There is, as I write this, a major denomination in my area that reports almost fifty churches without preachers
There are stories told of men like Charles Finny that was invited by a church member to take a tour of his manufacturing facility and as that man of God moved thru the plant people turned off the machinery and got on their faces with tears streaming and ask him to tell them how to be saved.
Where are the Billy Sunday’s that would preach and the bars would close for lack of patrons?
When I was first saved revivals would start on Sunday morning and run thru the following Sunday and now we have what is called revival , it starts on Sunday and ends Wednesday. We get in five services and call it a week of revival! We hold the services and it seems not to matter than no one is converted and we never change, yet we applaud the revival!
Just recently a pastor was told that he could not schedule a revival service on Friday night, because he was informed, that is the night we go out to eat.
Another preacher was recently called to a deacons meeting and told that the church was praying too much. A preacher I know was told he was not to preach on the subject of Hell.
Many years ago I received a phone call on a Sunday afternoon and a lady wanted me to come lead her adult son to Christ because she did not know how. I went and he was saved and two years later was killed. She had taught Sunday school for twenty years.
Plan a revival and the people will not attend, plan a fellowship supper and the building is full, why is that?
I preached and God laid in on my heart to make this statement, if your are an officer in this church and are not faithful to attend the church you should either repent or resign. I was told I will not be asked back.
I have read of revivals that are spreading across some of the third world countries and I wonder why not here and why there ? The writer said the reason is that they have nothing and come to God empty handed and we are coming to God with our hands full of the stuff that we count as so dear. Perhaps if we would become destitute we would learn to come to God empty handed with a heart yearning for salvation.
Why are the altars of our churches empty? I remember when we would gather at the church and weep over souls and God gave revival. Have we become a church more interested in the ending of the time allotted than the souls that are dying?
We have been looking for a good church and so far it has not been found. We know of one that the pastor will not speak to newcomers and his wife sits home and doesn’t attend, this has been happening for almost twenty years. We went to another and instead of preaching they were fighting, and still another that the services lasted less than an hour and the services were canceled for any reason they could think of. Then there is one just around the corner that took a vote and told the pastor he could not speak more than ten minutes. He left that church and they decided they liked it better without a pastor.
I recently preached that the best thing that could happen to the church in America today is for it to be outlawed. Oh no brother Avery that would be terrible! Yes it would be bad and the church would be small, but the folks that love God would be prayer warriors!
Jesus paid for the church with His blood, why can we not at the very least give up a little time and pray?
Beloved I am convinced that until we that name the name of Jesus as Lord, get on our faces before God and repent and seek Holiness in our lives, we will not see a revival of religion in this land.
Ezekiel 22:30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.
Will you join me and be one that will stand in the gap?
James Avery [email protected]