That paper was largely given over to describing good things that are happening in the Christianity of developing (sometimes called third-world) countries.
A description of the bad things happening in the Christianity of developed countries was limited to the following paragraph:
“As to Christianity in developed nations, it is healthy and fruitful only here and there (Thank God for these healthy spots, or ‘remnants’), and elsewhere it is sick, getting sicker and dying or dead, just as predicted by Bible prophecy for the end times. God willing, I will address this in detail in another essay entitled ‘The Need For Revival.”
So, here goes, in fulfillment of that promise. A proper beginning probably should include the definition of Revival as called for in this piece and the identification of developed nations.
Revival-In Baker’s Dictionary of Theology we find this, “The word, Revival, carries greater force than it (generally) bears to us today, for we have confused revivalism with evangelism. Evangelism is good news; revival is new life. Evangelism is man working for God; revival is God working in a sovereign way on man’s behalf.”
It seems like the only human contribution to this kind of revival is to pray for it. Psalm 85 was written by the sons of Korah. The sixth verse goes like this, “Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You?” Note the implications:
- The prayer was on the behalf of “Your (God’s) people;
- As such they had physical life;
- And had “new (spiritual) life” (a first revival) which produced in them a rejoicing in God;
- But they had somehow backslidden and lost their joy;
- And needed to be revived again that they might again rejoice in their God.
- The sons of Korah prayed for the revival of God’s people. WILL WE?
This same pattern occurred in the early churches as recorded in Revelation chapters two and three:
- The Church at Ephesus (2:1-11) had lost its first love (of Jesus), and needed to be revived;
- The Church at Pergamos (2:12-17) tolerated immorality, idolatry and heresies, and needed to be revived;
- The Church at Thyatira (2:18-29) tolerated a cult of idolatry and immorality, and needed to be revived;
- The Church at Sardis (3:1-6) was a dead church and needed to be revived;
- The Church at Laodicea (3:14-22) was a lukewarm church and needed to be revived;
- I believe it is just as bad, or worse, today!
The identification of developed nations-(As simplified from a United Nations document): European nations; Australia; Canada; Japan; New Zealand; United States.
These are the nations that, after the protestant reformation, provided fertile ground for the growth of true Christianity (distinct from the corrupt Roman Catholic Church’s dominance for over a millennium). Salvation by grace through faith (vs by works) and having the Bible for the laity in their own language resulted in explosive growth in Christianity and spurred development, especially when combined with the industrial revolution. The United States, with its strong Christian foundation, was the capstone. In the late eighteenth century Christians began to pray about Jesus’ Great Commission. God responded and raised up William Carey, a British pastor, to launch the Modern Missionary Movement at the beginning of the nineteenth century and which is still in evidence.
So what happened to cause the developed nations to be in such bad shape as was described briefly in the first paragraphs of this paper? Here are some salient factors:
- The fragmentation of the Church after the reformation: Germany, Scandinavia and the Baltics were Lutheran; Switzerland, Scotland and the low countries were Reformed (Calvinist); United Kingdom was Anglican (slightly modified Roman Catholicism) and some remained Catholic. All State mandated denominations have an innate disadvantage because of various unbiblical practices which diminish their spiritual power and render them vulnerable to Satanic attack.
- The plague of materialism engendered by the industrial revolution.
- The attacks on the Bible and Christianity engendered by modern science (especially evolution).
- The ravages of socialism.
- God’s judgment for anti-Semitism (Hostility to Jews, being a curse to Abraham’s descendants through Isaac by individuals, the Church and nations). This is so important that it is considered separately below.
The Abrahamic Covenant-The Judea-Christian continuum in which we live began with God’s covenant with Abraham, which was repeated in several installments to Abraham, and passed on to his son, Isaac, and then to his grandson Jacob (whose name was changed to Israel) per the following Scriptures:
- Gen. 12:1-3, “Now the LORD had said to Abram: ‘Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’”
- Gen. 26:1-5, 24, “There was a famine in the land, besides the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Abimelech, king of the Philistines, in Gerar. Then the LORD appeared to him and said, ‘Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I shall tell you. Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father. And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.’ And the LORD appeared to him the same night and said, ‘I am the God of your father Abraham; do not fear, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants for My servant Abraham’s sake.’”
- Gen. 28:12-15, “Then he (Jacob) dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And behold, the LORD stood above it and said: ‘I am the LORD God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.’”
- Gen. 35:9-12, “Then God appeared to Jacob again, when he came from Padan Aram, and blessed him. And God said to him, ‘Your name is Jacob; your name shall not be called Jacob anymore, but Israel shall be your name.’ So He called his name Israel. Also God said to him, ‘I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall proceed from you, and kings shall come from your body. The land which I gave Abraham and Isaac I give to you; and to your descendants after you I give this land.’”
There are many facets to the Abrahamic Covenant which are underlined in the above Scriptures and summarized below:
- I will make you a great nation (singular).
- I will bless you and make your name great.
- You shall be a blessing.
- I will bless those who bless you.
- I will curse him who curses you.
- In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed (by Abraham’s “seed,” Jesus, through Isaac).
- Dwell in this land, and I (God) will be with you (Isaac) and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands.
- In your (Isaac’s) seed (Jesus, through Jacob) all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.
- I am the LORD God of Abraham your (Jacob’s) father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants.
- Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you (Israel, and in the nation to bear that name) and in your seed (Jesus, through Judah) all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
- The land which I gave Abraham and Isaac I give to you; and to your descendants after you I give this land.
History is replete with examples of God’s judgment on those who attack individual Israelites or the nation Israel:
- The attackers of Daniel’s friends died in the fiery furnace.
- Daniel’s attackers died in the lion’s den.
- Haman was hung on the gallows he built for Mordecai.
- The Roman Catholic Church is a discredited shell of its former self for, among other things, labeling Jews as Christ-killers, killing thousands of them in the Crusades and institutionalizing replacement theology (teaching that the Church has replaced Israel as God’s people, and that God has no more dealings with the Jews or the nation of Israel).
- The Protestant Church in the developed nations is badly infected by doubts from the attacks of so-called science, divorce, tolerance of abortion, immorality, the curse of the prosperity doctrine and a rapidly growing shift to replacement theology. As a result it is falling apart under the judgment of god. Europe is defined as “post-Christian.” So are Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Japan has never been Christian. The United States is rapidly becoming if not already post-Christian.
- As to nations, Great Britain and the United States are prime examples of what happens to nations who “curse Abraham” (attack Israel). Let us enlarge on them separately below.
Great Britain entered World War I as the largest empire in the world and one of the most powerful nations. Field Marshal Edmund Allenby led the UK’s Egyptian Expeditionary Force as it captured the Holy Land from the Ottoman Turks, subsequent to which the Balfour Declaration was made. It was a letter dated November 2, 1917, from the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary Arthur James
“Balfour to Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community, for transmission to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland. The text of the letter was published in the press one week later, on November 9, 1917. The “Balfour Declaration” was later incorporated into both the Sèvres peace treaty with the Ottoman Empire, and the Mandate for Palestine. This is the text, “His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”
The business interests of the UK reacted to this Declaration as it greatly offended the Arab nations who controlled the vast oil resources of the Mideast. After years of tension in the British mandate between the Zionists, the Arab population and the UK, the UK took the matter into their own hands and released the McDonald White Paper in 1939 to outline its decisions. The very first point stated, “It is the not the will of the British to form a Jewish state in Palestine,” thus reneging on the Balfour Declaration.
The British Mandate over Palestine lasted from July 24, 1922 to May 14, 1948, during which they were unfavorable towards the Zionists (Jews) and favorable towards the Arabs. After World War II, Britain refused to allow Jewish refugees from the Holocaust to resettle in their historic homeland.Is it any wonder that Britain, though on the winning side of WW II, was:
- Totally exhausted.
- Terribly in debt.
- Terribly wounded (in deaths and injuries to troops and civilians).
- Devastated by bombings.
- And soon having to free virtually her entire colonial empire.
- She went from one of the world’ s preeminent nations to a third-rate county. She had been a curse to the descendants of Abraham.
What about the he United States?
- After WW II we also had refused to receive a shipload of Jewish refugees from the Holocaust.
- Our State Department, Defense Department and many Cabinet and other officials were against recognizing the new nation of Israel after it had been authorized by the United Nations.
- Fortunately, President Truman defied his advisers and recognized Israel as a sovereign State immediately, thus giving us some brownie points with God. Later, President Nixon defied his advisers and helped Israel in the Yom Kippur war of 1973, perhaps giving more brownie points.
- But thereafter Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama all adversely affected Israel, Obama being by far the most openly antagonistic. I have no doubt that their actions, as the highest officials of the US, have been a major factor leading to God’s increasing judgment upon our country.
Let’s face it! America is so far from God, and the Church is so back-slidden, that the only hope for any turn for the better is a sovereign revival from God. We don’t deserve it, but God is merciful. If caring Christians will confess their sins, the sins of the Church and the sins of America, and repent, perhaps God will hear and answer our prayers. WE NEED A REVIVAL!