If all I did was watch the news and listen to the prognosticators, I would be very discouraged. I’d probably be in a cave in the mountains and become a mystic. But, that would be a mistake. Yes, I know the world is devolving (not evolving, that’s obvious even to a scientist with common sense), but there is hope.
Years, ago, Alicia used to sing a song with TRUTH entitled There Is a Hope. The hope is found in Jesus. There is no hope in thinking society is going to get better or the wave of natural disasters is going to decline. This world is in her “last days,” and we are headed for a coming King and a new heaven and earth.
In light of that, do we sit around and sing, “On Jordan’s stormy banks I stand and cast a wishful eye”? I don’t think so. Not everyone has lost their mind. There are a few of us who believe there is still a chance for one more Great Awakening.
We live in an age of technology, inventions, internet, and gadgets. I’m not sure they’ve made our lives better. They have certainly made them more complicated. When I first started driving, there was little to figure out: gas pedal, brake, clutch, gear shift, steering wheel, and mirrors. Now I’ve got to figure out the dozens of gadgets, GPS, heated seats, rear air conditioner, sun roof, gauges, and whether I can drive in the HOV lane.
We may be making progress, but I don’t have faith in progress. I have faith in the power of prayer and in the providence of the Almighty. The Word tells us that what we can see, feel, touch, smell, and hear is all going to come to a cataclysmic, catastrophic end. Paul pictured the last days as no improvement on the first days of fallen man. That’s hard for an evolutionist to swallow.
As Vance Havner said, “Man is not making his way up through animism, fetishism, totemism, polytheism, and monotheism to a knowledge of God. He started with a knowledge of God and has been going the other way ever since.” Jesus said that before He returns there will be lawlessness. We are certainly living in that day and age now. A brief survey of our legal system will make you cry out, “Where’s the justice?”
We strut around in our fashionable clothes and designer labels, but we’re still fallen man in need of a Savior. We build buildings and name them after the biggest donors, but we are just building Towers of Babel that will one day collapse under the mighty hand of God.
Man is trying to build a kingdom on earth. I’m a part of the heavenly kingdom that cannot be overthrown. In essence, man is still trying to rebuild Babylon with its political, economic, military, and social power. But in the end, the king of this world system, antichrist and all his followers, will meet their doom in a valley filled with blood.
What should we do? How should we live? With hope. By faith. We shouldn’t withdraw from this world; we should engage it with the hope of the gospel. We can’t hide and be holy. We are to be IN the world but not OF the world.
Paul suggested to the Corinthians (who certainly lived in a godless culture) how to live in dark and depraved days. “But this I say, brethren, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none; and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess; and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the form of this world is passing away” (1 Corinthians 7:29-31).
The time is short. We must pray for revival. We must plead with the lost to come to Christ. We must share the gospel in every place and in every way we can. We must cry out in desperation to God for one more wind of the Spirit to blow across our land to revive the church and sweep millions into the family of faith. G. Campbell Morgan once said, “I never lay my head on the pillow at night without thinking that before morning dawns the final morning may have dawned.”
The body of Christ in America has attached itself to the American dream, “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” That’s not the goal of the believer. Our goal is “new life in Christ, freedom from sin, and the pursuit of holiness, apart from which no man will see God.”
We cannot be so tied to this world, that we can’t let it go. We can’t be so Americanized in our Christianity that we end up looking nothing like the church of the New Testament who “sold all they had…” Paul said, “The time is short.” Whatever we are going to do for Jesus, we need to do it now. We can’t delay. This world is passing away. The older we get, the less time we have. Whatever we are going to do for Jesus, we must do now.
This is why I started the ReFRESH® conference almost ten years ago. We need a sweeping, weeping, reaping revival in our land. You can find out about ReFRESH® by visiting the website at http://www.refreshconference.org.
This is also why I am so grateful for ministries like Life Action (http://www.lifeaction.org/) because of their emphasis on the need for revival. This ministry understands the only hope is in revival and a return to Christ. You should check out their new initiative, One Cry (http://www.onecry.com/), and be a part of something that could lead to another great awakening.
I have a hope that God is not through with America…YET But this is no time to play games. Our hope, our only hope, is in a move of God. He’s on His throne, and there is a hope!
(copyright 2011, Michael Catt)
Michael served as the President of the Large Church Roundtable, the Southern Baptist Convention as an IMB Trustee, President of the Georgia Baptist Convention’s Preaching Conference, Vice President of the Georgia Baptist Convention, and President of the 2008 Southern Baptist Convention Pastors’ Conference. He has spoken at conferences, colleges, seminaries, rallies, camps, NBA and college chapel services, well as The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove. Michael is the recipient of The Martin Luther King Award, The MLK Unity Award, and a Georgia Senate Resolution in recognition of his work in the community and in racial reconciliation.
Michael and his wife, Terri, have two grown daughters, Erin and Hayley.