In the foreword to Leonard Ravenhill’s anointed book Why Revival Tarries we read:

Great industrial concerns have in their employ men who are needed only when there is a breakdown somewhere. When something goes wrong with the machinery, these men spring into action to locate and remove the trouble and get the machinery rolling again. For these men a smoothly operating system has no interest. They are specialists concerned with trouble and how to find and correct it.

In the Kingdom of God things are not too different. God had always had His specialists whose chief concern has been the moral breakdown, the decline in the spiritual health of the nation or the church. Such men were Elijah, Jeremiah, Malachi and others of their kind who appeared at critical moments in history to reprove, rebuke, and exhort in the name of God and righteousness…

Such a man was likely to be drastic, radical,…and…[those that] gathered to watch him work soon branded him as extreme, fanatical, [and] negative. And in a sense they were right. He was single-minded, severe, fearless, and these were the qualities the circumstancesdemanded. He shocked some, frightened others and alienated not a few, but he knew Who had called him and what he was sent to do. His ministry was geared to the emergency, and that fact marked him out as different…

Men and women I have spent much time in prayer over this and I am convinced that we are right now facing a crossroad as an Evangelical community. It is my firm conviction in the Lord that we need to begin to cry out to Him as His Church for His direction in this nation, as it certainly seems that we have sought the high ground for refuge from the storm long enough. Beloved, we just can’t stand still any longer because we have no more time to rest. May we begin to pray that Jesus will cause His true children to rededicate ourselves to God–and to each other–in our local church families in whatever room of our Father’s house we might currently worship in. And then we can move forward together into a time of renewed boldness in our Christian faith. Do you still remember when you were first saved; how you just had to tell everyone about Jesus? Well, if we humbly ask Him, our loving God will send us this kind of renewal in each of our spirits. O yes, our Lord will graciously restore us to our first love – if – we will but believe.

So many in the Body of Christ today are agreed that we are near the end of an age, if not at the very end of this Age of Grace. If this is so, then the sands of the hourglass are fast running out, and we just don’t have much time left to preach the Good News to all creation (Mark 16:15). Nor do we have the luxury of growing up slowly in our faith, and especially not for those in our churches who have just come to Christ. What I have been trying to do here through Apprising Ministries is to lay a solid foundation–to revisit what we believe and why we believe it–as the Lord is bringing more people to work together through these articles. This is all just to make sure that each of us is on the same page as these writings find their way to new people in Christ. And there is just no other way to encourage the Lord’s languishing Church here in cynical postmodern America than for all of us to go back to what the Bible actually says. So you see men and women, my ministry isn’t so radical after-all is it?

I have simply been trying to show you how much false doctrine has crept into the Evangelical community while we weren’t looking. I’m not attempting to be judgmental and to say why false prophets like Brian McLaren or Rick Warren teach what they do, rather, I am only pointing out from the Scriptures themselves what is counterfeit about a given teaching. And this is the mandate that all pastor-teachers are given; for it is written: In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, Who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of His appearing and His Kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season – [when Christianity is in a rare time of acceptance] – and out of season – [like now when people don’t want to hear the real truth and that unfortunately includes many in the Church itself] – correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction – 2 Timothy 4:1-2. And like my teacher Dr. Walter Martin I must say – “I have done my homework; I stand by what I say.”

Now here is the next verse in 2 Timothy–verse 3 – For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. And this explains the popularity of books like A Generous Orthodoxy and The Purpose-Driven Life in the Evangelical church. But A.W. Tozer brings up the critical point:

There is a great decision that every [church] has to make sometime in the development of its history. Every [congregation] also has to make it either at its beginning or a little later-usually a little later. Eventually every board is faced with the decision… Every pastor has to face it and keep renewing his decision on his knees before God. Finally, every church member, every evangelist, every Christian has to make this decision… The question is this: Shall we modify the truth in doctrine or practice to gain more [members]? Or shall we preserve the truth in doctrine and practice and take the consequences? A commitment to preserving the truth and practice of the church is what separates me from a great many people who are perhaps far greater than I am in ability.

This is my conviction, long held and deeply confirmed by a knowledge of the fact that modern gospel churches, almost without exception, have decided to modify the truth and practice a little in order to have more adherents and get along better. [Churches are] under constant pressure to have more [members], more numbers. [And in the Lord we pray that we will] never…modify or compromise to achieve that, but to tenaciously hold fast to [our] core beliefs and priorities” (Tozer On Christian Leadership, July 19).

And the only way that our local fellowships, those still standing for the truth of God’s Word, are going to grow is to leave the comfort zone to which we have become accustomed and to be willing to move in whatever direction our Lord will lead us in. Let me show you something. Turn with me in your Bibles 1 Kings, chapter 17 and verse 2. I’m not really going to exegete this, I just want to show you a secondary application.

Then the Word of the Lord came to Elijah: “Leave here and turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there.” So he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. Then the Word of the Lord came to him: “Go at once…”

In this historical account of the great prophet Elijah, maybe we can also see a spiritual picture of our own local fellowships. Many of our churches have been by “the brook” for a while now and the Lord has tenderly and mercifully taken care of us. Jesus has sent us people to feed us, just as He once sent the ravens, and our Master has sent some outreaches which, have allowed us to drink His spiritual water as we rested and we healed. But now the time has come to leave the brook and to enter the fray–His fierce battle with Satan–the mortal enemy of the souls of men. And I pray that you can understand what I have been–and I am–saying to you as I have shared my heart with you here. Men and women today I tell you in the Lord that we must move forward together, and we must leave our brook of rest, and we must – Go at once.

Founded By God

Obviously, what I have been teaching here at AM is really nothing new, it has been in actuality nothing more than going back to what has always been preached since the birth of the Church, as well as at the foundation of this very nation. And this would simply be proclaiming the absolute majesty and sovereignty of Almighty God. But there will be those who ask: What does this have to do with America? When you get the chance, take the time to look into the history of the Christian Church in this country. This nation was founded by people–known to us now as the Pilgrims and the Puritans–who came to this land for religious freedom. The fine Christian website spurgeon.org informs us that the “Puritans were English Reformers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. They were frustrated by the slow progress of the Reformation in the Anglican Church. They left a legacy of theological writing that is unsurpassed in church history. Their doctrine tended to be Calvinistic and Presbyterian, and their finest writings were both polemic and devotional treatments of theology.”

Now let’s skip ahead about a hundred and ten years or so to the Great Awakening that begins to happen in New England in the 1730’s and 40’s. A very prominent figure during this time was Jonathan Edwards–himself a Puritan–and perhaps the greatest theologian the United States has ever produced. He graduated from Yale University with a Bachelor of Arts degree a little before his 17th birthday. As many of you already know, Edwards was a sound Christian pastor and very much a part of that Great Awakening–a massive revival of true Christianity that swept through the original thirteen colonies founded by those Pilgrims and the Puritans I mentioned previously. Edwards is probably best known for his sermon Sinners In The Hand Of An Angry God in 1741. You’ll notice that this Great Awakening poured out by God upon New England was in the 1730’s and 40’s? So, let us think for a moment–if you will–what major event happens a little over thirty years later concerning the thirteen colonies where this Christian revival breaks out? How about the date July 4th 1776 and the Declaration of Independence.

Do you really think that we should be scared anymore to stand up for our Christian faith in these United States? For without a doubt God Himself caused this nation to be born, and from the actual testimony of history it couldn’t be any clearer. The time has come for us to leave our “brook” and to get dressed for battle. Ah, what a great Master we serve that our Lord should have us born for such an important time as this. Do you remember Acts 17:26 – From one man [God] made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. You are here now–at this critical time in history–because Jesus wants you here. It is His plan that you have the glorious opportunity to join us in this war for the souls of men! Will you take your place alongside, and stand shoulder to shoulder for the defense of our Lord’s Gospel in this new Nineveh?

You say: “But I cannot fight, I don’t know how.” Can you pray; for the Bible says – For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:3-4). Right now the Lord is looking for those in His Church we have the intestinal fortitude to handle the mightiest weapon He has given to us–the prayers of the saints. Today I encourage you to be willing to leave the brook, and go at once to join the battle as Christ sends forth His Army in these last days to love dead people back to life.

But Robert Murray M’Cheyne warns:

“The end of all things is at hand”—”The fashion of this world passeth away.” A believer stands on a watch-tower—things present are below his feet—things eternal are before his eyes. A little while, brethren, and the day of grace will be over—preaching, praying will be done. Soon we shall give over wrestling with an unbelieving world—soon the number of believers shall be complete, and the sky open over our heads, and Christ shall come. His parting cry was: “Surely I come quickly.” Then we shall see Him “whom, having not seen, we loved.” A little while, and we shall stand before the great white throne: a little while, and the wicked shall not be—we shall see them going away into everlasting punishment; a little while, and the work of eternity shall be begun. We shall be like Him—we shall see Him day and night in His temple—we shall sing the new song, without sin and without weariness for ever and ever. In a little moment, brethren, all this shall be: “For a small moment have I hid My face from thee; but with everlasting mercies will I gather thee” (www.eternallifeministries.org/rm_time.htm)

Yes my beloved…”the time is short”…Go at once