Unless you repent, you shall all likewise perish. Luke 13:2-5
Dear Praying Friends,
Rev. Richard Owen Roberts has spent a lifetime studying Scripture and the history of revival in America and elsewhere. Like an Old Testament prophet, his words cut through our pretenses and expose our real condition. Speaking of sin, righteousness and judgment, Roberts expresses hope for America. Who else could have written Repentance: The First Word of the Gospel?
Repentance is required of entire nations! Just as the corporate sin of every entity [family, church, community, business, etc.] demands corporate repentance, so national sin demands national repentance. The national sins of which I speak are the gross sins that defile the whole land, making the nation guilty before God. They are the sins that result in the loss of at least some of God’s sovereign mercies and in the display of at least some of His righteous judgments. Several things must be said concerning these sins. First, they are, as stated, national sins – sins that defile the whole land. The general population is corrupted by them. This was true in Sodom, where God could not find even ten righteous people. This was often true of Israel. Isaiah described a particular time saying, “The whole head is sick, and the whole heart is faint. From the sole of the foot even to the head there is nothing sound in it, only bruises, welts, and raw wounds, not pressed out or bandaged, nor softened with oil. Your land is desolate… Unless the LORD of hosts had left us a few survivors, we would be like Sodom, we would be like Gomorrah” (Isaiah 1:5-7, 9). Second, they are by their very nature sins that, if left in place, are not only grossly evil but also corrupting. They contaminate everything around them. Jesus warned against the leaven of the Pharisees. We often find that one bad piece of fruit spoils many around it. Any sin, left in place, will corrupt things around it. Third, the leaders of the people are themselves sufficiently contaminated by sin that they make no serious effort to suppress it. Indeed, at a time when national repentance is urgently needed, it is not uncommon for leaders to alter long-standing laws to accommodate gross iniquities, rather than to repent themselves and to call others to do the same. We have seen this happen in recent years when our politicians have changed long-standing laws affecting abortion, usury, homosexuality, fornication, and adultery. At such a time, it is also common for leaders to grow lax in enforcing the laws that remain, sometimes because they themselves selves are guilty of gross violations. Fourth, the nature of the sins themselves, and the degree to which they are happily entertained by both leaders and the masses of the people, may profoundly affect the churches. Rather than the churches altering the world for good, the world will alter the church for evil. The nominally religious are readily drawn into the web of iniquity, and eventually it is only with considerable difficulty that the church can be distinguished from the world. Fifth, the prevalence of sin is so great that some of the remnant of faithful believers who remain are gripped by a spirit of pessimism and do little more than sit quietly by, hoping for an end-time deliverance. Sixth, sin so profoundly impacts the nation that the few servants of God who speak out against it seem to have the ear of but a handful. They are generally treated, even by religious people, as foolish and unprofessional extremists. Seventh, man’s extremity is still God’s opportunity. At the very moment when sin appears to have fully triumphed, the Lord may gift the nation with repentance and faith. It is wise and necessary to observe that nations are rarely ever destroyed before they have first been clearly warned of their sins and of the pending judgment of God, and second, have rebelliously refused to repent. As dark as the present hour appears, it is both refreshing and encouraging to realize that the voices of the true prophets of the living God have not yet been raised to such a level that the nations have heard the word of the Lord and have deliberately refused to repent. Thus far, most of the voices that have been heard have sounded a very uncertain note. No wonder national repentance has not occurred. The English-speaking speaking world, in particular, desperately needs to hear the clarion call to national repentance. Until it does, there is hope even for the Western world (Richard Owen Roberts, Repentance: The First Word of the Gospel, pp. 283-292; 2002).
Roberts later explains that we cannot repent for others by proxy. We must repent for ourselves and intercede for our nation and our unsaved countrymen, not repent for them.
National Day of Prayer (NDP) — Tomorrow, Thursday, May 5th, is the National Day of Prayer. There is no reason for any American believer in Jesus Christ not to participate in this important day of corporate response to 2 Chronicles 7:14. A Pew survey released in April found that 9 in 10 “highly religious” Americans rely “a lot” on prayer to make major life decisions. In a 2010 survey, Dr. Jeff Levin of Baylor University found that nearly 9 of 10 Americans have relied upon prayer for healing at some point in their lives, either for themselves or for others (Why Prayer Appeals to Americans; see the NDP Men’s Study & Prayer Meeting held earlier today)
- May we repent of our own sins and the national sins for which all Americans must give an account. May God’s people repent for being little distinguishable from our fellow countrymen who do not know Him. May we shake off all spiritual apathy and arise from our knees to be Christ’s salt and light to our nation. May the Lord forgive our sins, revive His church, awaken America & make us a light to the world again! May the need and compulsion to pray to God, built into human nature move people to search until they come to know Jesus Christ as their Creator and Savior?
Target Stores Boycott — We are hearing less noise and fewer threats from the anti-religious liberty, Big Business executives since our friends at the American Family Association (AFA) launched a boycott against Target Stores. Target condemned North Carolina for overturning a Charlotte, NC Transgender bathroom bill (SOGI), and pledged as a corporation to open up its own store bathrooms and dressing rooms to people of both genders, allowing biological men to share women’s and girls’ once-private facilities and placing them at risk. As of this writing, AFA has received 1,150,000 boycott pledges on its website, and Target stock dropped $2.5 billion in value during the first 10 days of the campaign. Target remains belligerent in its determination to maintain its policy. Target Stock Plunges; AFA on Fox Business News; 10 Day 2.5 Billion loss in Value; See Actual Consequences of SOGI policies & Sign the Boycott Pledge; Tony Perkins: Target Takes Stock of Pushback; Small Acts of Cowardice Are Destroying Our Culture
- May God continue to open the eyes of the leaders of culture who have been coopted by the sexual revolution so as to abandon all common sense. May He bless communities, cities and states that stand firm, refusing to bow to political correctness for the sake of our children, grandchildren, and the future of our nation (Ex 34:6-7; Num 22:31; 2 Chr 20:20; Eze 18:21-23; Dan 6:6-13; Mt 15:13-19; Acts 10:43).
Franklin Graham’s Decision America Tour — Launched in January, Graham will preach outside the state Capitol of all 50 states before Election Day. This is an evangelistic tour in which the lost hear the gospel and believers are exhorted to vote for godly candidates and to devote themselves to reviving Christian culture in our land. Graham has not only taken every public opportunity to explain God’s plan of salvation, he does not shy away from commenting publicly on cultural trends, public policy foibles and moral missteps by politicians. Upcoming State & Tour Dates; All States & Tour Dates; Graham Rebukes Boehner
- Please pray for Franklin Graham and each of the upcoming Decision America Tour States. May pastors promote the rallies; may the lost receive Christ and the faithful be stirred to action! (Eze 3:17-21; John 8:30-32; Acts 9:31; Rom 10:14-15; Jas 1:22-25)
A Free Resource to Help You Pray for the Elections — Many Christians are frustrated, even disgusted with the tone of our election process. Many are discouraged about the candidates we have to choose from. What can we do? Pray! But how to pray? America’s National Prayer Committee (FRC is a part) publishes “Prayer Connect,” a magazine all about prayer. The theme of the current issue is “There’s Still Hope: A Call for United Prayer for Our Elections.” Because it is so important, this particular issue of Prayer Connect is open to the public online. You can read the entire issue for free by clicking HERE!
Finally, please continue to pray for these matters: 1) President Obama and others (including two Republican Senators) continue to call for a Senate vote on his Supreme Court nominee (Read FRC’s Ken Blackwell). 2) Despite the Supreme Court urging the parties to work out a solution, rather than force a court ruling, President Obama appears determined not to bend for the Little Sisters of the Poor (read FRC’s Cathy Ruse). 3) The AmeriCorps scandal demonstrates how far the administration will go to deceitfully use taxpayer funds to promote abortion. Pray that all who have broken the law will be held to account. 4) Yesterday I participated in the dedication of the America Center for Prayer and Revival, across the street from the U.S. Supreme Court. The center is facilitating 24/7 prayer for the nation and guides Christian visitors to walk “prayer circles” around key buildings and monuments while praying for our nation and its leaders. Despite the struggle with darkness we face as a nation, as I sat there with senior leaders from across the prayer movement, I sensed that God has been storing up prayer from His growing prayer movement for decades, and that we are approaching “critical mass” for a spiritual explosion. God is at work in America and in Washington, DC. Thank you for praying!