One Last Revival?

I’ve been thinking about and praying for a revival. For years. Specifically, and more so even lately, I’ve been praying and hoping for a Josiah revival.

What’s a Josiah revival? It’s a last ditch kind of revival … one more mighty move of God before judgment falls. And fall it most certainly will.

Consider the sin of Sodom. Usually, we equate the sin of Sodom with overt and aggressive homosexuality. Yet those were only the final symptoms of their sin. God Himself describes what they in Sodom had done:

“Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: she and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. {50} And they were haughty and committed abomination before Me; therefore I took them away as I saw fit.” (Ezekiel 16:49-50)

First, Sodom was proud. Pride is a reflection of self-sufficiency, that somehow we have accomplished or gained what we have on our own. President Abraham Lincoln ascribed this meaning of pride to the United States, mired at the time in a brutal Civil War which would ultimately take the lives of as many as 750,000 Americans. In his 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation, Lincoln wrote of the untold blessings that our nation had received. After citing what he called the choicest bounties of heaven, he mourned:

“…We have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.” 

That is precisely what Sodom had done. They were a successful city-state, rich with agricultural and commercial success, wealthy and prosperous. But they thought they’d done these things themselves. They were proud, fat, and with much discretionary time on their hands. Their work week was short, they were materially satisfied, and so they turned their attention to pleasure and the lusts of the flesh. And because the flesh can never be satisfied, they devolved further and further from Divinely ordained sexual relations between a husband and wife. They ended up with total sexual confusion and perverted expression of their sexuality.

We (in the United States) are much like Sodom. Our lust and will to live without truth and accountability to the God who made us has led us to unimaginable national sin.

At the top of the list of our national sins has been the holocaust of abortion. This holocaust has claimed the lives of at least 54,000,000 innocents since 1973. How large is this number? It represents 1,367 million babies per year that have died. That number is far greater than ALL casualties of war from every war in which the U.S. has been involved since 1775.

President Lincoln believed that the Civil War was God’s just judgment for the sin of slavery. A former professor of mine once queried our class, “If the blood atonement for the sin of slavery was the Civil War, what do you suppose will be the blood atonement for the sin of abortion?”

It is evident to many that judgment is on its way (remember the Billy Graham quote, “If God does not judge America, He owes an apology to Sodom and Gomorrah”?).

But … perhaps … there can be one last mighty move of God prior to that judgment falling. A Josiah revival.

Josiah was the grandson of Manasseh, and the son of Amon. Manasseh reigned in Judah for fifty-five years, and Amon for two. The spiritual wickedness that accumulated in those years is unimaginable. Even though Manasseh repented and was forgiven, the damage had already been done. The LORD spoke through Jeremiah to say that judgment was inevitable, and that it would be horrible.

Then the LORD said to me, “Even if Moses and Samuel stood before Me, My mind would not be favorable toward this people. Cast them out of My sight, and let them go forth. {2} And it shall be, if they say to you, ‘Where should we go?’ then you shall tell them, Thus says the LORD: “Such as are for death, to death; and such as are for the sword, to the sword; and such as are for the famine, to the famine; and such as are for the captivity, to the captivity.”’ {3} And I will appoint over them four forms of destruction,” says the LORD: “the sword to slay, the dogs to drag, the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the earth to devour and destroy. {4} I will hand them over to trouble, to all kingdoms of the earth, because of Manasseh the son of Hezekiah, king of Judah, for what he did in Jerusalem.”

After Manasseh and Amon, Josiah became king when only 8 years old. Somehow, by the sovereign grace of God, he was cut out of a completely different bolt of cloth. At age 16 he began to seek the God of his father David, and at age 20 he began to aggressively purge idolatry from Judah and Jerusalem. And at 26 he was exposed to the Word of God through Hilkiah the priest and Shaphan the scribe.

What happened then was amazing and incredible. Covenants were made, purging and repentance continued, Passover was observed, the Word of God spread. All told, Judah experienced the effect of Josiah’s reign from the time he was twenty to the time he died at thirty-nine.  The land which had been so full of sins and idolatry of every kind was now a nation under God. Such a drastic change could only be produced by God Himself, using His Word and anointed leadership.

After Josiah died, they lived once again with no fear of the LORD. It was only a matter of time before the fall of Jerusalem and the Babylonian captivity.

A Josiah revival.

One last time when someone … when many some ones … begin to seek God with all their hearts.

One last time when idolatry and sin is purged.

One last time when the Word of God is discovered, preached, taught, believed, and obeyed.

One last time before the inevitable judgment of God falls upon America.

Can we pray for revival? Should we hope for revival? Is it possible that one last Josiah revival will come?

13 replies
  1. Tim Brown
    Tim Brown says:

    Yes, Bill – revival or ruin. Thanks for this. The judgment for abortion is already rolling like a juggernaut over the land by means of STDs, divorces, drug addiction, over-populated prisons, violence, pornography, etc. It has already corroded the soft underbelly of a whole generation. The one sin of abortion (multiplied 54 million times) has unleashed an acid that is burning the soul of America. Its practice has murdered millions and its acceptance has calloused the consciences of millions more.

    The judgment reaches even higher as it is the very men and women who legalized abortion who govern the nation. They are bringing the same moral blindness to the daily decisions they have to make. Yes, revival or ruin!

    Reply
  2. Jim Vander Spek
    Jim Vander Spek says:

    Agreed. Sorrowful repentance followed with practical righteousness being lived out by the people of God is the only way out for the Church. “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.” (James 4:7-9)

    Reply
  3. Greg
    Greg says:

    You know what, thank you… I’ve been praying for the same thing… knowing judgment is coming, has to come, but that as God deferred it for a time, we might find a similarly brief window of opportunity in this time.

    But, one thing I have to say, is that I found the evidence of the sin of Sodom in Calvary Chapel. Pride, The Moses Model… not strengthening the hands of the poor and needy, Bill Walden okay with where I was instead of strengthening me to where he is, humbling changing if wrong.

    Brian Brodersen a couple months ago mentioned during the Sunday service, that if all the backsliders in the SoCal area returned to church, there wouldn’t be enough room for them. A few weeks later, during a Men’s study, contrasted today’s church with that of the early Calvary Chapel during the Jesus movement when few churches opened their doors or hearts to receive the hippies because they didn’t conform to church dress code and such, saying how Calvary today needed to be open…

    My question is, is it? If my experience is any gauge, it clearly isn’t.

    2 Cor 6 is the complete antithesis of Sodom (Ezek)

    Reply
    • Kellen Criswell
      Kellen Criswell says:

      Hey there, Greg. I don’t know you but from your comments on this blog. I appreciate that you seem to have a love for God’s Word, and a desire to honor Him. It’s clear you don’t agree with everything that is written by every man on this site, and I don’t either. But I do want to encourage you to be careful about taking your personal experiences with a few Calvary Chapel pastors at a few Calvary Chapel churches, and then making overly broad statements about “Calvary Chapel” (without qualifier) as a whole succumbing to the sin of sodom, pride, and so on. The CC movement consists of thousands of churches, with thousands of pastors, which represent thousands and thousands of believers across the globe. One CC to the next can look and be very different. And I don’t personally want to be associated with or judged by the potential short-comings of another cc pastor. You wouldn’t want that either. If you were a cop and I’d been abused by a cop you didn’t even know from another state, you’d be less than excited to hear about me saying “cops” (without qualifier) are prideful and abusive authoritarian individuals. So I’m not saying you don’t have any legitimate case to make with any particular cc pastor. I have no knowledge of your personal experiences and affairs. What I am saying is that it’s unhelpful, inaccurate, and unfair to characterize cc as a whole as being positive or negative, when you’re only basing your statements on personal perception based on isolated personal experiences. It’s not even fare to do that inadvertently. So, again, just choose your words well when describing grievances. Many blessings to you, brother. And I hope to interact with you over blog posts on crosscon in the future.

      -Kellen

      Reply
      • Greg
        Greg says:

        Kellen,

        How many apples off of how many branches do I have to pull off before concern for the tree can be voiced?

        Reply
        • Kellen Criswell
          Kellen Criswell says:

          Find me a tree of a movement that doesn’t have bad apples on bad branches and I’ll receive that. Even Paul called himself the “chief of sinners” buddy. No pastor is perfect. No church is perfect. No movement is perfect. The church is a school for sinners, and that includes the pastors, me, and you. Some are legitimately bad. You can use dodgy little rhymes all you want, my friend. But don’t use them to avoid conviction and correction. If you wanna use a better analogy, the CC movement isn’t one tree with a few apples. It’s more like an orchard that consists of many trees with many apples. Some of the trees are totally rotten. Some of the trees have some dead limbs and bad apples. None of them are totally perfect. The same goes for any other group of churches. We will be perfect when the Perfect One comes to glorify us, and not until then. If you insist on being overly broad in your criticisms of movements and churches that have some bad things going on, ultimately you have to criticize the entire bride of Christ. And last time I checked, Jesus takes it personally when you talk trash on His bride, instead of seeking to build her up. I’m not going to have an eternal debate with you about this. My comments were (and are) intended to encourage someone I think is a brother. Feel free to respond and we’ll leave it at that.

          Reply
          • Greg
            Greg says:

            I didn’t dodge anything, I took your point and spent hours thinking and praying about it because it’s not like I’m trying to condemn Calvary Chapel or make the tree bad because I found some blight on the skin of the fruit. Even I know how to cut/peel that off and enjoy the rest of the fruit. But when it becomes consistent throughout the tree… or variety (many trees, same fruit) at what point is it permissible, in your opinion, to VOICE CONCERN?

            Paul said he was chief among sinners, but didn’t he also say, should we continue to sin that grace may abound. And that he pressed on (Phil 3). And if your point is valid, what right has Jesus to rebuke and chasten as He did the seven churches in the opening chapters of Revelation?

            Am I perfect? No! but isn’t that what bearing one anothers burdens’ is about, the iron sharpening iron… Eph 4:13; Col 1:28

            Trash talking… tell me how God feels about showing partiality?

            Iron sharpens iron… (boxing analogy, sparring in a ring) Bill’s worried he hurt me, and you’re angry because I hit back… and hard.

            It’s just dumb! I’m not ready, my family isn’t ready and none of you will engage! You talk about comfortable Christianity… forgive me if I made you uncomfortable. I’m really sorry. Angry, sure… but sorry. You talk about serving in the trenches but won’t venture into them. Thanks so much.

  4. Tim Brown
    Tim Brown says:

    Hi, Greg, we are admonished and warned against a root of bitterness that can spring up, defiling many. Obviously, you’ve been wounded by Bill and that wound has turned into an offense. By mentioning Bill’s name on this blog, you are seeking to defame him and recruit some here to take up an offense with you. This is clearly not the way of Jesus. Jesus instructs us to bless those who curse us, bless and curse not. He teaches us to pray for those who have visited hurt upon our lives. Here’s Jesus in Luke 6:37-38 –

    Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.

    Greg, The LORD bless you, and keep you; the LORD make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace.

    One of the greatest tests of spiritual maturity is walking wounded. Depending on how you walk you will experience healing or that wound will fester into an offense. Greg, I urge you to take this to Christ, leave it with Christ, and be filled by Christ.

    Reply
    • Greg
      Greg says:

      Tim, can you be disappointed without being bitter? Cite an example without casting blame? Paul resisted Peter to his face, was he seeking to defame or correct? Confront or condemn?

      Titus 1:13 comes to mind as does James 2:16

      The curse would be more like your accusing me of being like Absalom trying to recruit others away, wouldn’t it? Which only further illustrates my point that leaven has crept into Calvary and if you hope for revival, you really need to be prepared for it.

      Reply
  5. Tim Brown
    Tim Brown says:

    Hi, Greg – great distinction, I like it – disappointment without bitterness. Yes, I think it is possible to be disappointed without bitterness. I’m glad to read that your disappointment hasn’t downgraded to bitterness and that you are not an Absalom. May the Lord bless you, Greg.

    Reply
  6. Greg
    Greg says:

    Bill, appreciate the offer, but I don’t recall saying I was offended in any measure. Disappointed, sure. “Iron sharpens iron…” is nothing more than a throw-away verse, something brought out as ‘we’ joke about a minor disagreement… but look at deeper, more substantial matters, well that’s another matter entirely… ‘go be warmed and filled.’

    “If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, Then how can you contend with horses? And if in the land of peace, in which you trusted, they wearied you, then how will you do in the floodplain of the Jordan?” Jer 12:5

    http://bit.ly/HuO3qI Offensive? But even that’s nothing compared to what others have endured and is why I said in another post (Spiritually fit…) that I’d rather be corrected by a friend than an enemy… because with a friend/brother, there’s grace… well, most of the time.

    Iron sharpens iron… isn’t it time to get serious?

    Reply

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