One positive thing about the ACC moving championship games out of North Carolina, the NBA moving their All-Star game our of the state, and the obscure quarterback and other NFL players refusing to stand for the National Anthem, is that many Christians are taking a hiatus from watching those games/sports. Really? Well hooray! What will they do with the spare time? I’ve a suggestion. It may raise hackles and set off the “preachy” alarm, but here goes. First, a bit of groundwork is necessary.
Many Christians agree that our nation is in critically bad condition. They agree that we appear to be on the verge of losing our democracy. I believe that we are, and will remain until the end of history, one major election cycle from serious hardships for Christians and political conservatives.
Consider the fact that out of nearly 330 million people our nation selected two of the worst candidates for the highest office. One of them has a long history of prolific and pathological lying with increasingly illegal activity. Hillary Clinton is quite possibly the most scandalous candidate ever to run for office in the federal government. It is astounding that she’s leading in the polls at the time of this writing.
Donald Trump has never been in public office, so he has no record of performance in government to compare with Clinton’s. However, as a wealthy casino and strip club owner, his social record is quite clear. However, many leading Christians are compromising their integrity to lavish praise on and support for the man. I have no doubt that they are motivated by fear of the circumstances.
If politicians with much better records are elected and perform badly in office, does America believe either of the two major candidates will serve the nation well? Apparently, yes. Christians are fully invested that America will maintain Christian freedom, push back the homosexual agenda, quell the racial hatred and hatred for law enforcement, restore the economy, defeat ISIS, stop illegal immigration, rebuild the military, appoint Conservative SCOTUS justices, ease taxation, repeal ObamaCare, and make America “great again”. Sure, and the “last days” period will be pushed back into its box and we will return to the 90s. It depends on what? The answer is—one man.
Christians are placing all hope in one man whom they confess they would never elect as a pastor. That is their strawman argument; “We’re not voting for a pastor, but a president.” That’s like hiring a pedophile to babysit your toddler and defending the decision with, “I’m not hiring a pediatrician, but a babysitter”. However, when that logically fallacy is pointed out, the delusion is further complicated by, “When have we ever had a pediatrician for a babysitter?” In other words, bad choices got us to this critical point. So another bad choice is necessary to rescue us?
The questions pile up; “How did we arrive at this precarious predicament? Why did that happen? Were we overwhelmed by the power of Satan? How did that happen? Or did we fail to do what was necessary to maintain democracy and Christian liberty? When and where did that happen?” We should think deeply and answer those questions.
Please understand that this extremely critical period did not come about overnight. The glaring reality is that Christians had many years to prevent this crisis from occurring. Christianity has been like a city without walls for decades. A constant flow of heretics and hirelings has compromised the foundation. There have been repeated warnings that a collapse was inevitable. Most Christians ignored the warnings, especially in the past 2 decades, and rode the train of liberty, privilege, and prosperity, when it was out of fuel and coasting to a stop.
Presently, wicked emissaries of Satan have made their way into high places of leadership and visibility in Christianity. As it disintegrates it is stumbling into the arms of the Roman Church. Few souls are being saved, but Seeker-sensitive, Emergent, and NAR churches are burgeoning with biological professing Christians. While the younger generations seek “slogan spirituality”, they also have developed a system of logic based on “sound bite information”. Further, it is difficult for them to establish a relationship with God when most of their relationships are text-based. They are attempting to establish stable and productive worldviews on those bases.
Concurrently, secular humanity has been slowly deteriorating into a swarming mass of volatile confusion with absent or abstract morality, sensual attractions, and one-news-cycle-outrage. Wicked people realized that all they must do is survive the initial hoopla over exposure for wrongdoing and they could continue in power. Now we are plagued with wicked leadership. America is tottering on brink of destruction as the result of near comatose Christianity, societal ignorance, apathy and wickedness, government corruption and tyranny, and pending economic collapse. Additionally, secular society is inebriated with hedonism and frothing up licentious, immoral, perversion. To say the least, we are one false step from plunging into the web of despotism. There are many hungry spiders waiting for that feast.
So here we are on the brink of a dark and uncertain future. We are going to elect one of two individuals. Both have the potential to finish destroying our nation. We know what the one is going to do, and we have no guarantee what the other will do. Once we put the reins in his hands, that is nothing we can do to stop him from whatever he wishes to do.
The harsh truth, and what many in denial may be reluctant to accept, is that if God does not intervene we will reaching the tipping point on November 8th. What they are voting for is some hope to prolong the reality of that truth. I could state much more, but it is sufficient to realize that we are not in a business-as-usual situation. We desperately need God’s help!
Now to the suggestion concerning what to do with the spare time now that many Christians are pledging not to watch NFL, NBA, and NCAA basketball. They should PRAY. That is exactly what we should have been doing all along. If this present extremely critical crisis will not turn Christians in this nation into praying people, what will it take? Please recognize that in this most critical period of our nation’s history, all I am reading and hearing from Christians is how their teams are performing and the political policies of the organizations that govern sports. Are we going to continuing spending hours in front of the television and mere minutes on our knees?
Please permit me to get personal here. What will you be doing Sunday afternoon, November 6th, 2016 while our nation faces the most important decision in its existence? What will you be doing the following Monday night?
Leonard Ravenhill and A. W. Tozer, the men that Christians love to post quotes by on Facebook, were giants of prayer. A. W. Tozer spent two hours in prayer each morning; lying with his face over a piece of leather. Leonard Ravenhill prayed all night many times and otherwise hours each day. Has anyone today ever heard of E. M. Bounds, Rees Howells, or David Brainerd? These men realized that true theology was ineffective without “kneeology”?
Can one move mountains with the sentence, “Be removed and cast into the sea”, when that sentence is not preceded and supported by much and consistent prayer? Can we do with a vote what we refuse to secure on our knees? The major expression of faith is prayer. How can we put faith in one man to save our nation if we do not have enough faith in God to pray?
The pressing question now is, “What do we pray for?” First, we do as Jeremiah and repent for this nation. We repent for our failure to prevent the wickedness from acquiring this measure of control in our nation. Second, we fully surrender to God. If we are going to realize His solution to the problem, we need to trust Him fully. Third, we pray for a solution. We know that God can set up a leader and bring down another one. Finally, we plead for mercy. We know that God is merciful. I must insert here that there has to be a proper basis for that request. Mercy for what? To continue doing what we have done in the past? Or are we going to cease being apathetic, become passionately subjects of His will, win the lost, challenge the darkness, and be the salt and light He said that we should be?
When God is involved there is always an option that people never think about or believe is possible. I do not know what it is and neither does anyone else. All I know is that I’d rather be led by God in the valley of the shadow of death, than beside the still waters led by earthly wisdom. We cannot afford to lose this battle. If the disciples caught napping while Christ prayed was negligent, then what is it if God’s people are too involved in TV sports to pray? Let’s don’t wait until the enemy knocks down the gate before we load our spiritual weaponry by prayer.
It will take a miracle for America to recover from this crisis. We should pray and be prepared for whatever occurs. Often God does not answer our prayers according to our wishes, but according to His divine wisdom. Are we prepared for whatever we may have to endure?
In conclusion, I want to remove all illusions about what it takes to be a person of prayer. In most cases, it will not be something one can do overnight. The greatest struggle is making/taking the time to pray. S. D. Gordon once said, “The great people of the earth to-day are the people who pray. I do not mean those who talk about prayer; nor those who say they believe in prayer; nor yet those who can explain about prayer; but I mean these people who take time and pray. They have not time. It must be taken from something else. This something else is important. Very important, and pressing than prayer. There are people that put prayer first, and group the other items in life’s schedule around and after prayer.” – S. D. Gordon, Quiet Talks on Prayer, Copyright, 1904, by Fleming H. Revell Company
The life of prayer will cause praying to become rooted deep in the heart and ready on the lips. Becoming a consistent person of prayer will be one of the most difficult battles we will fight as a Christian. But it will be worth it. We will thank God repeatedly for helping us to become a person of prayer. However, we will not win that battle unless we believe that prayer is essential for spiritual life and productivity. As someone once said, “Desire is not the same thing as willingness.” We can desire until we are condemned by desire, but we will not pray until we are willing to pray no matter what the cost or obstacles. We must believe unto willingness.
We will not win the battle to pray if we are heavily invested in worldly distractions. Our old justifications for not praying will return and we will go back to a prayerless and fruitless life. The battle will be lost before it really begins unless we understand that it is the only hope to defeat or survive this dark period that has flooded the world and our nation.
I hope that powerful conviction will strike us all, leading to tears, godly sorrow, repentance, a renunciation of worldly distractions, and a deep-heart commitment to pray. However, most professing Christians have never felt conviction. They do not know what it is. They erroneously blame the one who speak the words that convicted them. Conviction is a legal term that means one has been declared guilty. The Holy Spirit is the one who pronounces that verdict. Instead of being offended, the proper and biblical response is to repent. It is dangerous to one’s spiritual health to reject conviction.
This is time for drastic measures. It’s never too late to pray and invest our hope in a prayer-based faith in God. He promises to sustain the faithful ones to endure whatever storms life may bring. It is the only thing now that can possibly make a difference.
I hope that the ones who have sworn off watching sports will join me by investing that time in prayer. No one individual, especially a politician, is going to redeem this nation from what awaits at the end of the path it is currently on. Only God is able to help us, and He is not going to force His help on prayerless people. We will have to ask for His help. We need to pray! We must pray!