It is encouraging and refreshing to see some of America’s elder statesmen in the faith coming out with strong, prophetic words of both love and warning to their nation. In the US some of God’s great saints – even in very old age – are coming forth with strong words of the need for repentance, or face coming judgment.
They are greatly concerned about what they see taking place in a once great nation, and their longevity means they have witnessed quite dramatic and far-reaching changes in the land over many decades. They weep for what they see, and they are raising their voices, offering prophetic words of warning.
Praise God that such prophets still exist. We so very much need to hear what they have to say. And one of the most well-known Christian leaders in the US has been at the forefront of this. World-famous evangelist Billy Graham, who is now 93, wrote a letter last month called “My Heart Aches for America”.
He began his prayer letter this way: “Some years ago, my wife, Ruth, was reading the draft of a book I was writing. When she finished a section describing the terrible downward spiral of our nation’s moral standards and the idolatry of worshiping false gods such as technology and sex, she startled me by exclaiming, ‘If God doesn’t punish America, He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.’
“She was probably thinking of a passage in Ezekiel where God tells why He brought those cities to ruin. ‘Now this was the sin of … Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen’ (Ezekiel 16:49–50, NIV).
“I wonder what Ruth would think of America if she were alive today. In the years since she made that remark, millions of babies have been aborted and our nation seems largely unconcerned. Self-centered indulgence, pride, and a lack of shame over sin are now emblems of the American lifestyle.
“Just a few weeks ago in a prominent city in the South, Christian chaplains who serve the police department were ordered to no longer mention the Name of Jesus in prayer. It was reported that during a recent police-sponsored event, the only person allowed to pray was someone who addressed ‘the being in the room.’ Similar scenarios are now commonplace in towns across America. Our society strives to avoid any possibility of offending anyone—except God. Yet the farther we get from God, the more the world spirals out of control.
“My heart aches for America and its deceived people. The wonderful news is that our Lord is a God of mercy, and He responds to repentance. In Jonah’s day, Nineveh was the lone world superpower—wealthy, unconcerned, and self-centered. When the Prophet Jonah finally traveled to Nineveh and proclaimed God’s warning, people heard and repented. I believe the same thing can happen once again, this time in our nation. It’s something I long for.”
He concludes, “As I write, I am in the middle of a busy summer enjoying visits with many of my grandchildren and other family members, but also working hard on a new book that addresses some dangerous illusions about eternal salvation that are becoming increasingly accepted in many places. I want to point the world to what the Bible says.
“Although age and health restrict my mobility and my stamina, not to mention my eyesight and hearing, I am thankful for the days God has given me, and I am humbled by His continued hand of favor on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. The Lord draws people to Himself daily through BGEA’s various evangelistic ministries, and I am so deeply grateful.”
Thankfully he is not alone in making such public prophetic words. Other longstanding Christian leaders in the US have also been speaking out. For example, Jack Hayford, pastor of The Church on the Way in California, said that Billy Graham’s letter came at an opportune moment.
He said the nation is in a “very grim hour as we approach the election this year. What we need is something on the order of shock troops at this hour, and I can imagine that can be raised. I don’t feel despairing. I do feel the urgency. We are at a point that desperate action is needed…”
For another Great Awakening to occur, he said, the church and believers must engage in “gut-level, spiritually-impassioned intercessory prayer – something lacking in most churches today, few of which even hold prayer meetings anymore.”
And Rick Scarborough of 40 Days to Save America said, “Today, our nation faces multiple crises – pending economic collapse, moral disintegration and international terrorism – but all have spiritual underpinnings… The crises confronting us are beyond the power of human beings to resolve without divine guidance. Nothing short of a Third Great Awakening can save us.”
They are all quite right. Either God graciously sends the US – and the West – more Spirit-led revival and awakening, or we will be facing a very grim future indeed. We in the West are lurching toward the precipice at breakneck speed, and without divine intervention we are all toast.
I believe God is shaking the West right now, and I believe he is shaking the church. If we want to see the West turned around we must first see the church turned around. As 1 Peter 4:17 clearly teaches, “It is time for judgment to begin with God’s household.”
The church is in desperate need of revival. I have written often on this site about the many sins we must repent of. Worldliness is one of them certainly. Yesterday I was strongly reminded of the KJV version of 2 Corinthians 6:17: “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.”
Here Paul is quoting from Isaiah 52:11. It may involve several things: getting the church out of the world, and getting the world out of the church. And it may also mean believers withdrawing from churches which have clearly been corrupted, having fallen into apostasy and heresy.
The West is plunging into darkness, decay, decadence and degeneracy. A holy and vibrant church is the only thing that stands in the way of the West completely self-destructing. It is not amiss here to repeat the oft-heard plea of 2 Chronicles 7:14:
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”