America needs a revival

Pastor Greg Laurie is the Honorary Chairman of the task force for the National Day of Prayer, observed May 2. … Continued

Pastor Greg Laurie is the Honorary Chairman of the task force for the National Day of Prayer, observed May 2.

Everywhere we look in America, we see signs of decline. That’s because we have largely forgotten God, but the good news is God has not forgotten us.

In 2 Chronicles 7:14, God says, “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 I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

In other words, America has two options: judgment or revival.


DENIS POROY / REUTERS

Of course, revival is God’s work; it cannot be manufactured by men. But if we want Him to work, then we must pray.

So on the National Day of Prayer on May 2, my most fervent prayer will be for a spiritual awakening. With all of the problems in our country — political, economic, moral and social — the only lasting solution is to turn back to God.

The heart of the problem is the problem of the heart. Clearly, the fate of the country we love so much hangs in the balance.

So what does the future hold? Is America going to end up on the ash heap of history? Or are our greatest days still ahead?

No one can say with certainty. When I study the Scriptures, I can’t find America in the End Times. I can find smaller nations like Iran and, of course, Israel. But there is no passage that clearly speaks of America, the undisputed superpower on the face of the planet today.

That doesn’t mean there won’t be an America in the last days, but it will be a different America than it is now.

We know this much: America’s days are numbered. No country lasts forever. Rome, once the reigning superpower, collapsed internally before it collapsed externally.

Unlike Rome, the United States was built on a Judeo-Christian foundation, but we have strayed dramatically from the vision of our Founding Fathers. Freedom of religion seems to have become freedom from religion. We have removed God from our schools, our sporting events, our public places and our workplaces.

But the freedom we enjoy was built on the foundation of absolute truth. And when you remove that foundation, freedom can turn into anarchy.

That’s what’s happening in our country today. We don’t like the idea of a family of a man and a woman married for life. We don’t like the idea that there are things that are right and things that are wrong. We prefer moral relativism, where we can all choose our own truths.

But Scripture indicates that there is hope for America. The Book of Jonah tells the story of a wicked city that turned to God and escaped his judgment.

Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, the superpower of its day, was renowned for its wickedness and violence. Archaeologists have discovered monuments built by the Ninevites with inscriptions boasting of their cruelty.

But the Lord decided to give Nineveh one last chance, and he summoned the prophet Jonah to go to the Ninevites and preach to them.

Despite Jonah’s obvious failings and a detour in the belly of a whale the Ninevites turned to the Lord en masse and repented of their sin and he spared them.

If God could bring a revival to Nineveh, surely he can do the same for America.

Pastor Greg Laurie is the Honorary Chairman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force and the founder of the Harvest Crusades.

Harvest America 2013 will be simulcast live from Philadelphia on Sept. 28 29
.

About

  • edbyronadams

    In other news, suicide by white middle aged men is way up. Basing your life on status, possession and reason alone is a structure likely to break under strain.

  • leibowde84

    Wow … what a nothing article. Of course God should be excluded from public events. Why should we offend people unneccessarily simply to make a few feel better about themselves. Organized religion has caused so many problems, yet people like this author are still trying to claim that it would solve all of our problems. In order to be “saved” there is no rule that you have to honor God or even believe he exists. It is up to us to make the world a better place. Relying on God is a cop-out, and a travesty that will never follow thru. This article reminds me of those written by extremists. Showing distain for modern society and recommending that we all buy into a religion so we can be “saved.” This might work on children, but I am old enough to know that there is no true faith. Faith is internal, and should not be categorized, because categorization of faith leads to separation and violence.

  • leibowde84

    No matter how much the right tries to push it on us, the United States is not a Judeo Christian nation. You can use the false argument that our constitution was built upon Judeo Christian values, but that is disregarding the fact that the values present in the document aren’t only found in Christianity. They are found in countless other traditions as well. Attempting to classify the United States as Christian is to take away the very ideal that our forefathers wanted to adhere to … liberty. The freedom to live in a country and not be grouped into a faith-based group and never be ridiculed for your beliefs, as long as no victims are created as a result of them. This article disgusts me. Traditional garbage attempting to turn back the clock simply because “God is good.” Well, I can tell you at least 50 reasons why leaving God out of public forums is a good thing. I can’t really think of one, beyond speculation, that would prove it is a positive.

  • leibowde84

    And then people have the audacity to claim that the horrible events we see in the news are caused by a lack of religion. That is laughable. The entire reason why terrorists are attacking us is because of our faith. We shoud show those people that they are being ridiculous because, unlike them, we aren’t willing to fight on behalf of our faith.

  • tony55398

    America’s problem? Love of money, love of money, love of money, its concentrated in a tiny group of greedy money loving, insert your own name, love of weapons, love of sticking its nose into every country it should stay out of, love of military power, corrupt politicians, an everybody for himself mentality by too many people, homeless kids and their parents. We need to be willing to tax the rich and redistribute income. Too often the rich get the help that should go to those who really need it, for instance a farm program that makes it possible for a farmer to make more money from a crop failure than otherwise. I wish my little company was guaranteed a profit, and on and on and on etc. Not to mention the downfall of morals.

  • NewCovenant

    Even though I was raised from birth in the church, and actually completed half of the church’s program to become a minister, I DO NOT want the government at any level to have any involvement in religious matters in any public forum (public schools and school events, government buildings, faith-based programs, war memorials, etc.). The reason: the government cannot favor any religious creed over another religious creed, and also cannot favor any religious creed over anyone’s expression of non-belief. Our government needs to be absolutely silent on all questions of belief or non-belief. I do not want the government involved because that eventually leads to the government telling you what you can and cannot believe. Leave matters of theology to the churches/mosques/synagogues/whatever.

    If someone wants to pray or otherwise worship, they can do so in their home or church with others who also wish to do so. If you want to hold a national day of prayer, then participate in it in your home or church. But DO NOT do it in any publicly-owned building, including the halls of Congress or in taxpayer-supported parks.

  • ProLogic

    No Greg, prayer doesn’t do any revival (sorry to break this to you!). A revival happens when a nation does the right thing at the right opportuntate time, consistently for a certain period of time under a good or great leadership, while their opponents or competitors make mistakes and keep on believing foolishly that God will bring revival for them!!!
    Case in point – Gengis Khan used to pray to great blue sky, not a Christian, a Muslim or a Jewish. But he roundly defeated all his opponents and brought wealth and power for his subjects beyond imagination of a tribal nation.
    Roman were not people of book, Ottoman empire were not Hindus or Jewish.
    Persia was a great nation before Islam came knocking their doors. They were worshipper of fire. Thomas Jefferson used to have a copy of the book called “Cyropedia” written by a great Greek historian Xenophon that describes the legendary governance style of Persian King Cyrus.
    China is doing quite good even with a touch of communism!
    Who amongst us think that Jewish people didn’t pray when the SS arrived in their doorstep and took them to slaughter? Ask the Muslims in Syria – how many of us really think that they keep watching some Arabic version of Conan O’Brian on TV or read their mails in internet while bombs fall on their head or their house burns? They do pray my friend – they pray hard indeed, trust me.
    Believing in prayer might help some folks to rationalize or accept a fact or incident that happens to them, but it certainly doesn’t impact or change the happening itself. Sorry.
    So, let’s keep the Religion and State separate and keep working hard in a practical and rational way to achieve our goals/objectives, whatever those goals are.

  • leibowde84

    I would have to wholeheartedly disagree with this author. How can you look at the conflicts in the world right now and think for a second that more religion would help us?! Most of the international problems present in our world are a direct result of faith in God. And, in most respects, it is due to a belief in the God of Abraham. The very God that this author wants our country to honor more. I’m not saying that faith is a bad thing, and I’m sure there are plenty of people who could benefit from it, but to claim that the country in general needs to be more “Godly” is about the furthest thing from the truth.

    Our country needs to get to a point where religious jargon is completely disregarded in the public forum as causing conflict. Teaching our children that a persons faith is about the least important aspect of their worth. Showing our neighboring countries that religious conviction is not something that deserves respect, but, on the contrary, should be scrutinized in a way that shows a person’s true nature. Making the statement “it is wrong because the bible says so” as unimportant and illogical as claiming that the world was created in 7 days.

    The story of Jesus Christ is just about the most incredible, influential one of all time. The problem is that people take it as fact. There is historical agreement that the gospels, for example, were written, not by the apostles, but in their name years after their deaths by various christian tribes throughout the middle east and Italy. Yet, some evangelicals still hold on to the unfounded belief that the gospels were written by men who actually knew Jesus. Then, the most influential person after Jesus, St. Paul, never even met Jesus, but claimed to have “seen a vision of him on the road to Damascus.” A claim that would most certainly be laughed at today, yet most Christians don’t bother to question it.

    Faith is a personal thing, and, due to this fact, this article disgusts me.

  • Joel Hardman

    “When I study the Scriptures, I can’t find America in the End Times. I can find smaller nations like Iran and, of course, Israel. But there is no passage that clearly speaks of America, the undisputed superpower on the face of the planet today.

    That doesn’t mean there won’t be an America in the last days, but it will be a different America than it is now.”

    Allow me to offer a simpler and less tortured interpretation of the fact that America does not appear in the Bible:

    The Bible was written by men in the Middle East long before America existed. It’s no surprise that they mentioned areas they knew about and didn’t mention countries that ordinary humans could not have known about.

    It’s (sadly) not surprising that a Christian would interpret the omission of America as evidence of prescience about the future, rather than evidence that the authors of the Bible were not prescient at all.

  • larryclyons

    OK so what you are saying is that its OK to shove your deity in everyone else’s faces. How would you react to the reverse. Where lets say worshiping Satanism or the Sumerian Pantheon,, and have to confront that everywhere you turn. People saying to you Hail Satan every Saturday etc or having ritual sex on every altar. You’d probably be squealing like a stuck pig and complaining to the courts, the media and everywhere you could within 5 minutes.

  • leibowde84

    Are you replying to my comment, or did you make a mistake? Because I didn’t say anything close to that. I practically said the opposite.

  • leibowde84

    Relying on God to make your life better = pathetic. Working hard to become a success and live a decent life = corageous. Whether or not God exists, we are here on earth for ourselves. We must do things for each other … never for God. And this comes from a practicing Christian.

  • Madtown

    international problems present in our world are a direct result of faith in God
    ———————
    I agree with most of what you wrote, I’d just like to add that for me, it’s more faith in religion than faith in God, that cause the problems. I think we can have a sense of a spiritual side to our existence, that there’s something “greater” out there, outside of this life. But, that doesn’t mean we have to align with a particular man-made religion. Religion divides us as a human race, we need to find more ways to come together and treat each other as equals.

  • ThomasBaum

    You should live your life as you believe you should and others should have this same option being that they should live their lives as they believe they should live them not how you believe they should live them.

    No one should force themself or their belief on others.

    Passing along one’s beliefs is one thing but ultimately he/she who it is passed to must make their own choice.

  • larryclyons

    Rather than be dependent on something that was originally written by a bunch of semi literate sheep herders from the 8th century BCE and then distorted out of shape multiple times, I prefer this simple rule:

    “Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

    ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

    Has much more honesty and integrity than your fundamentalist Christianity.

  • An-Toan

    Excerpt: “Unlike Rome, the United States was built on a Judeo-Christian foundation, but we have strayed dramatically from the vision of our Founding Fathers. Freedom of religion seems to have become freedom from religion.”

    What a distorted view of history! The principal Founding Fathers, such as Jefferson, were enlightened deists. The First Amendment is enshrined in the constitution so that freedom of religion will be ensured. Among other things, that means freedom from the imposition of Christian fundamentalism by the state.

    The so called “end times” are nothing but myth. To mistake fiction for fact in the nuclear age is to live in the problem and not the solution.

  • An-Toan

    Oh . . . and the photo is so apropos. The Jesus has nothing to do with flags and soldiers and warfare. This combination of militarism and fundamentalism in service to financial capitalism is the essence of a new form of fascism that characterizes the United States.

  • West Stillman

    Greg Laurie wrote: “Everywhere we look in America, we see signs of decline.”

    It seems to me that things are, overall, getting better in the U.S. Specifically, the U.S. is likely to be better in 20 years than it is now and in 50 years than it is in 20 years. First, life expectancy has increased fairly significantly in the U.S over the last 60 years. In 1960, the life expectancy rate for U.S. citizens was 70 years; now it is about 80 years. Moreover, in 1960, the infant mortality rate in the U.S. was about 26 deaths per 1,000 births; now it’s about 6 deaths per 1,000 births. Also, we no longer have Jim Crow laws in the U.S. In addition, women are, overall, able to make far more choices than they were in 1960. For instance, in 1960, there were only 17 women in the U.S. House of Representatives and 2 in the U.S. Senate; now there are 78 and 20. Moreover, in 1960, 2 percent of the U.S. adult population was illiterate; now it’s only 1 percent. In addition, technology is much better now than it even was 20 years ago. Computers are much more powerful, and more people have access to them. Also, internet speeds are much faster, and a far greater percentage of people have access to high-speed internet now than did even 10 years ago. Furthermore, a much greater percentage of U.S. citizens are graduating from college now than ever before. In 1960, only about 5 percent of the U.S. population had a college degree; now 30 percent do. In 1960, about 52 percent of the U.S. federal budget went to military spending; now 20 percent does. Although 20 percent is still way too high, it’s a step in the right direction.

    (continued)

  • West Stillman

    However, in some ways the U.S. is worse now than it was in 1960. The violent crime rate is higher in the U.S. now than it was in 1960. In 1960, there were 160 violent crimes committed per 100,000 inhabitants versus 386 in 2011. And the percentage of people incarcerated in the U.S. is dramatically higher now than it was in 1960. In 1960, there were about 200 people incarcerated for every 100,000 inhabitants of the U.S.; in 2009, the U.S. had 743 people incarcerated for every 100,000 inhabitants. Nevertheless, overall things seem to be getting better in the U.S. A society’s incarceration rate and violent crime rate are very important variables in assessing how well the society is doing. But they aren’t the only important variables. For instance, the U.S. has a higher murder and incarceration rate than Saudi Arabia, and I think the U.S. is a better country overall. For one, the U.S. is much more democratic and provides significantly greater opportunity for women. Moreover, the violent crime rate in the U.S. is lower now than it was in 1990, when there were 731 violent crimes committed per 100,000 inhabitants. Also, the murder rate in the U.S. is a lower now (4.7 murder per 100,000 inhabitants) than it was in 1960 (5.1) and 1990 (9.4).

    Greg Laurie wrote: “That’s because we have largely forgotten God, but the good news is God has not forgotten us.”

    The problems in the U.S. are probably not caused in any significant way by people not believing in God. I’m an atheist, and I’m ethical person. Many members of my family are atheists or agnostics, and all the atheists and agnostics in my family are ethical people. I know many atheists and agnostics well. And all the atheists and agnostics that I know well are ethical people. In my experience, atheists and agnostics are, on average, no less ethical than people who believe in the existence of one or more Gods.

    (continued)

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    ” How can you look at the conflicts in the world right now and think for a second that more religion would help us?!”
    ——————————————————-
    ding ding ding ding ding! the idea that MORE religion would help is just utterly delusional. but then… consider the source.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    good on ya!

  • pjs-1965

    This guy is a complete nut case.

  • pjs-1965

    … He wastes his time pulling stupid thoughts from his mind about appeasing a Sky Daddy. He wastes more time writing them down, and then he wastes the time of all those who read this drivel and who go on to comment about it, including me. This has to be one of the stupidest pieces I have ever read. He can shove his stupid God and religion up where the sun don’t shine.

  • pjs-1965

    … and pray with flatulence.

  • Champion Castle

    “To those who are perishing, The Bible is foolishness.” I don’t know the name/number this is in the Bible because I did not do my research. If you want to make a comment like the others here about Greg Laurie, why not do the research first? I started listening to Greg on REACH FM in Fort Lauderdale early in the morning. …6am. I heard him out and found someone to respect for loving the Lord and wanting others to draw close. As Pastor Bob says (6:30am)…” They don’t want anyone to come to the Lord by guilt or fear…you come because you want to.”

  • FloridaTom

    But you did read it. The message was delivered. There is still hope. God Bless.

Read More Articles

Valle Header Art
My Life Depended on the Very Act of Writing

How I was saved by writing about God and cancer.

shutterstock_188545496
Sociologist: Religion Can Predict Sexual Behavior

“Religion and sex are tracking each other like never before,” says sociologist Mark Regnerus.

5783999789_9d06e5d7df_b
The Internet Is Not Killing Religion. So What Is?

Why is religion in decline in the modern world? And what can save it?

river dusk
Cleaner, Lighter, Closer

What’s a fella got to do to be baptized?

shutterstock_188022491
Magical Thinking and the Canonization of Two Popes

Why Pope Francis is canonizing two popes for all of the world wide web to see.

987_00
An Ayatollah’s Gift to Baha’is, Iran’s Largest Religious Minority

An ayatollah offers a beautiful symbolic gesture against a backdrop of violent persecution.

Screenshot 2014-04-23 11.40.54
Atheists Bad, Christians Good: A Review of “God’s Not Dead”

A smug Christian movie about smug atheists leads to an inevitable happy ending.

shutterstock_134310734
Ten Ways to Make Your Church Autism-Friendly

The author of the Church of England’s autism guidelines shares advice any church can follow.

Pile_of_trash_2
Pope Francis: Stop the Culture of Waste

What is the human cost of our tendency to throw away?

chapel door
“Sometimes You Find Something Quiet and Holy”: A New York Story

In a hidden, underground sanctuary, we were all together for a few minutes in this sweet and holy mystery.

shutterstock_178468880
Mary Magdalene, the Closest Friend of Jesus

She’s been ignored, dismissed, and misunderstood. But the story of Easter makes it clear that Mary was Jesus’ most faithful friend.

sunset-hair
From Passover to Easter: Why I’m Grateful to be Jewish, Christian, and Alive

Passover with friends. Easter with family. It’s almost enough to make you believe in God.

colbert
Top 10 Reasons We’re Glad A Catholic Colbert Is Taking Over Letterman’s “Late Show”

How might we love Stephen Colbert as the “Late Show” host? Let us count the ways.

emptytomb
God’s Not Dead? Why the Good News Is Better than That

The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

shutterstock_186795503
The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

egg.jpg
Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.