Dear American church:
I have been a Christian since 1994 (approximately 22 years). I have preached the gospel for nearly 20 years of that time period. I have met many different people from many different walks of life and have preached in many different types of churches (independent Pentecostal, Church of God, Church of God of Prophecy, Assemblies of God, Baptist, etc). I am no authority on the subject of revival, but I do know that all of these denominations were started with a mighty outpouring of God's Spirit-a revival of religion. The same can be said of every true born again Christian, they were birthed into the Kingdom of God by a life changing encounter with The One. Unfortunately, the revival fires that birthed these great movements are now merely smoke and ashes; and most would be glad to have even that. Now, I'm not saying that there aren't congregations that are experiencing New Testament level manifestations of Divine power, but I will say I personally don't know of any, and if there are some, they are very few and far between.
Some will say, "Well, I know of a church with 10,000 people in it. They have to be on fire with God!" No, they don't! People are attracted to personalities. You want proof? In 2009, a Paul McCartney concert sold out in 11 seconds! That's 40,000 tickets in 11 seconds! Is Paul McCartney on fire for God? Of course not, but he doesn't have to be because people are attracted to personalities. The truth is any preacher (with plenty of charisma) that will go light on sin and will hire some good musicians can fill a church with gullible souls! It also helps if they have good hair and an attractive smile.
Dear reader, the sobering fact of it is there is no revival in America today. Why? What happened? These denominations (and the majority of Christians I know) did not continue doing the things that brought the fire of God into their lives in the first place. Preachers became silvered tongued orators. They quit preaching on eternity. They became politically correct in order to keep from offending lukewarm Christians who might withhold their tithe. Churches forfeited their all night prayer meetings. Fasting became non-existent. Their Bibles gathered dust. The concept of the traditional family unit became perverted (men were feminized, women masculinized, children became head of the house). The end product is a church world full of unregenerate men and women who hate the holiness of God; an American church world that operates quite well with Jesus standing on the porch, knocking, wanting in; a church world that thinks they can build the Kingdom of God with the arm of flesh.
Ga 3:3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
I'd like to ask you to search your own heart. Can you remember when you first came to God? How your heart was consumed with passion and desire for Christ and the things which pertain to Him? How you sought God day and night for the baptism in the Holy Ghost? How you couldn't get enough of the Word of God? How it grieved your heart if you were hindered from going to church? How you wanted everyone to receive the same life changing experience that Christ gave you? How your heart overflowed with love toward everyone?
Now, let me ask you if you presently find that these traits are no longer a part of your every day life? That you are simply saved by association? That you claim to be born again because you go to church and no longer smoke cigarettes? Do you find that the love, joy, zeal, and desire you once had is a thing of the past, a relic of days gone by? Have you become entangled with the affairs of this life? Entangled to such a degree that you go days without visiting your secret place of prayer? Days without reading the Word of God? Months without pushing the plate back? Years without winning a soul to Christ? Are you now doing things (sinning) that you one time would never do? Honestly, have you allowed the fire of God to die out of your life? Have you allowed troubles, trials, heartaches, pain, death, sickness, sin, or something else to get the best of you?
The bottom line is this: are you on fire with God or are you lukewarm? Have you become apathetic and disconnected from God? Honestly ... are you walking in the Spirit?
For the vast majority of you, I know the answer to that question. So I want to ask you whether or not you still care that you are in this condition? Do you even care whether you get up? Do you no longer "feel like traveling on"? Tell me, do you have a desire to get up?
If you are finding it hard to get up; if you are finding it hard to locate a DESIRE to get up; I want you to do something for me. I want you to pray that God will give you a desire for a desire. I know that sounds strange, but it's not. If you're not willing to do right, become willing to be made willing. God will come to you. He will help you. If you can find even an iota of desire He will place a divine spark in your heart that you can kindle into a holy inferno!
No matter what, you cannot stay like you are. You cannot stay lukewarm. Listen to what the Bible says about the lukewarm soul:
Re 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
You will be vomited out of the body of Christ. You are not going to leave here in the rapture! You must get concerned about your soul. Pray that God will give you a desire for a desire. When the desire comes, the rest will be much easier. You will find that God will send a great fire into your hearts. You must maintain that fire or it will go out, leaving you in the same condition you were in the beginning.