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The Pastor’s Piece – July 17, 2022

The Pastor’s Piece

FCFI

July 17, 2022

As cataclysmic events are taking place all over the world, and we see so much evil manifested in so many unprecedented (to us) ways, many Christians are wondering, “Is the Holy Spirit going to revive the church before Jesus returns or is this the great falling away in the last days that the Bible talks about?

The New Testament is filled with predictions of a last-days falling away. False prophets will rise up and lead many astray. Wolves will come in sheep’s clothing, deceiving many. Wickedness will abound causing once fired-up believers to lose their love for the Lord. Jesus prophesied about these things and His warnings were meant to challenge our faith: “When the Son of Man comes,” Jesus said, “will He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8).

But the Bible also teaches that in the end times there will be a great revival. Jesus knew everything we would be witnessing today, from the horrifying school shootings, to the rise of militant social groups rioting in our streets and threatening our peace and safety, to terrorist acts taking place throughout the world. Despite the rise of evil and world-wide calamities, the Bible tells us there will be a great last day’s revival.  Acts 2:17 says: “‘In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people…’” 

So which is it? A great falling away or a great revival? Well, it will be both. There will be a great falling away and a great revival taking place at the same time. 

We don’t have to look very far to see the great falling away. We see the evil around us, but at the same time we see people coming to faith in Jesus Christ in unprecedented numbers. I am saddened when I meet with people who have grown up in Christian homes and attended church throughout their childhood and then lose their faith when they leave home. It saddens me when I hear them discredit God’s Word and consider it meaningless. Nationally, church attendance is at an all time low. And I pray for revival. 

On the other hand, I talk to people literally every day whose hearts are on fire for the Lord. The Spirit of God has awakened them to His truth and they have never been more alive. And that’s where revival starts – with each one of us – one heart and one soul at a time. 

I know many who have fallen away, but I know more who have found Jesus. Let me tell you about the two latest in my life …

A young couple waited around after church last Sunday until everyone had left to talk to me. The husband told me how he had gone to church his whole life but had never heard the salvation message of repentance and grace. He had heard plenty about grace, but nothing about repentance. One day, while he was working, with his ear buds in, he was listening to something on Youtube when a preacher he had never heard of popped up on his screen. He decided to listen to him and the man explained salvation in great detail. My new friend stopped what he was doing and right then and there committed his life to Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior. After that, he said, when he was reading his Bible it made sense to him for the first time in his life.   

After hearing that story, that same day – I received an email from another friend who told me how she came to know the Lord as her Savior. She said she was living in another part of the country at the time and there was a city-wide campaign taking place trying to get people to attend revival services. Everyday as she drove to work, she passed a gigantic billboard that said in huge letters: “Judgment Day May 21, 2011 The Bible guarantees it. ‘…Cry mightily unto God, Jonah 3:8.’” 

My friend said: “Those billboards were all over. They actually are what got me to really start digging into the Bible. I had no idea if it was right, I didn’t even know the difference between the Old or New Testament or that Jesus was Jewish. I just knew I needed to figure out if it could be right or wrong. This sign is something I’ll always remember because it made me dig in to learn. I bet they felt disappointed on May 22! God uses even these crazy things people come up with for His glory!”

She is so right about that. When God calls someone, the call is unmistakable. Is God calling you? Is your  heart primed for revival? He is moving in the hearts of His people at Martintown Community Church. You’re welcome to join us.

(Kevin Cernek is Lead Pastor of Martintown Community Church in Martintown, Wisconsin)