WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT PROPHECIES?
Americans Are "In Trouble" With God
A Word From Henry Blackaby
Blackaby warns that Americans are "in trouble" with
God. The United States is in danger of Gods judgment, but Christians dont
really believe it, Henry Blackaby says. "Everyone focuses on 2 Chronicles
7:14," Blackaby, the Southern Baptist speaker and author, said. The verse
says that if Gods people humble themselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from their
wicked ways, God will forgive their sins and heal their land. But subsequent verses add,
in essence, that "If you abandon Him, He will abandon you," the author of the
popular Bible study, Experiencing God (Broadman & Holman), told Religion
Today. "We dont believe that any more. We dont believe anything can
or will go wrong." "There is a line that, when crossed, ...there is no
"In chapter 7 of the Book of Jeremiah, God tells Jeremiah not to pray for the people
of Israel. There were godly people present, but the nation had passed the point of
Gods blessing. We need to be on
our knees today. If you put this country up against Scripture, we are in trouble. Either
the United States turns to God in repentance and revival, or there is going to be
judgment," he said.
Blackaby said he is not so much concerned about the way secular
society is living, but about how the church is doing. He cited a survey by George Barna
indicating that in each of 150 lifestyle areas, including divorce and abortion, "the
church is no different than the society around them. All through Scripture the Bible
indicates that if the people of God lose their saltiness, there will be nothing else to
save the nation. There is a movement of God in some churches, but overall it seems to be
small. Of the many claims of revival
there doesnt seem to be much result."
In addition to writing books, Blackaby speaks at numerous churches and
conferences. "The prosperity-preaching in churches today is
astounding," Blackaby said. "I just read a book from a very prominent Christian
leader who said we should focus on hope and not preach anything negative. Jeremiah
23 speaks of prophets who preach of ease, when sinfulness and godlessness
are all around. This is like it is today. Where are the preachers today leading the people
to repentance? When Gods people dont realize how far they have gone from Him
and they dont turn in humbleness and repentance, they are at risk."
"In Jesus day, people were feeling good and praising
their blessings, but He was weeping. How can we not know His heart? We miss it, because we
want to feel good. That is our goal and focus." Blackaby criticized a pragmatism that
downplays preaching. "Many are doing surveys to find out what people want in their
church experience. We dont need to do that. In the evangelical community, there is a
pragmatism that says that the Word of God is not enough to attract people. There is almost
a disdain of Biblical preaching being irrelevant. God will grow the church from His word.
God always deals with leaders. The tragedy is so few have earned the right to be
heard. So few have an authentic platform. We need strong prayer. We need a spiritual
anointing and ordained proclamations. Non-anointed words will fall useless to the ground.
Proclaimers must live lives of holiness and humility. It is life and death when they
speak. The three things the church needs are "prayer, Holy Spirit anointing, and men
living out holy lives. God will draw people to hear them. They must proclaim Gods
standard. They need an authentic relationship with Christ. Pastors dont have a sense
of the urgency of our times."
The outspoken Blackaby says he receives his "share of
backlash" from Christian leaders who tell him that he "shouldnt be putting
people down" and that he should give people hope. "I believe hope comes out of
repentance," he said. "At a major evangelistic meeting recently attended by many
evangelical leaders, the focus was on reaching non-Christians. To my great surprise there wasnt a mention about sin and the need for
repentance. Hope in Jesus was the focus. When it was my time to speak, I talked about our
sin and the need for repentance. Later, many of those there came up to me and said that
they sincerely appreciated and needed my comments. We are at a time of Gods judgment
and Christian leaders are not bringing the message of the Lord. There is hope. I see a
younger generation turning. They feel the older generation has betrayed them, and they
want authentic relationship. They sense the urgency."
This was a RELIGION TODAY feature story
(originally sent out by Religion Today on Aug. 6, 1999) by the Editors at
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