This is a message for Christians.
If you are not a Christian, this is not for you. Don’t bother reading further, because you won’t really get the points here, and in fact, you will likely dismiss it in anger. That’s to be expected, so you can save yourself a few minutes by stopping now.
If you are a Christian, please, read the entire post. That means read it to the end. It’s important. It’s so important that if you can’t read through the whole thing, just skip to the end and read that.
I’m going to paint a beautiful picture here, using some very ugly paint. A Christian believes that man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever. The Great Commission given by Christ is found in Matthew 28, verses 19 and 20.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
For this, we pray for the souls of our lost brothers and sisters, and we ask the Lord to send revival to us. We ask, but we have not received. To truly receive revival is to shake this nation to its knees in adoration of God and repentance of sin. This clearly has not happened, and we have no national revival.
There’s a pattern in revival, and we can clearly see God’s masterpieces by looking at history, and then doing what those people did. Before you tell me “yes, yes, I know, we’ve prayed, we’ve preached the Gospel, we’ve sent missionaries, we’ve gone into the community, we’ve done outreaches” read on. We’ve done all those things, but we still have no revival.
In 1741, a preacher named Jonathan Edwards delivered a sermon titled Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. He read it rather flatly, yet the congregation fell to their knees in tears and repentance. His preaching followed the tour of the American colonies by George Whitefield, an English preacher. Whitefield didn’t believe in the full abolition of slavery, but he believed in treating men as brothers in Christ, slave or free. Whitefield returned to England and influenced a wealthy Christian businessman, John Thornton, whose sister was the aunt of young William Wilberforce.
Buried under the sin of slavery, these colonies and their mother England were lost, as sinners in the hands of an angry God. But God had a plan.
It is no security to wicked men for one moment, that there are no visible means of death at hand. It is no security to a natural man, that he is now in health, and that he does not see which way he should now immediately go out of the world by any accident, and that there is no visible danger in any respect in his circumstances. The manifold and continual experience of the world in all ages, shows this is no evidence, that a man is not on the very brink of eternity, and that the next step will not be into another world…. Unconverted men walk over the pit of hell on a rotten covering, and there are innumerable places in this covering so weak that they will not bear their weight, and these places are not seen. [Excerpted from Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God]
God used Whitefield’s fire for God to ignite Wilberforce’s faith, and then put Wilberforce together with John Newton, who had seen the evils of slavery firsthand as a former slave trader. It was John Newton who penned Amazing Grace in 1779. Though it never gained much popularity in England, the hymn became the most famous of all hymns sung in America in the early 19th century.
Wilberforce went on to dedicate his entire life to the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire, finally succeeding in 1807 with the passage of the Slave Trade Act. It took 26 years to pass. The fledgling United States passed legislation banning the import of slaves the same year, and on January 1, 1808, the first day that the US Constitution allowed, the importation of slaves was banned. The most popular hymn that year was Amazing Grace. The story and the Spirit of God behind it pierced the hearts of Americans, not all, but enough.
After 1808, the power of the Gospel raced through America, and it was called the Second Great Awakening (the First being led by preachers such as Edwards and Whitefield, who prepared the ground).
By 1840, the revival had withered, and slavery flourished, albeit only in the southern states.
A young man who experienced the revival in the early 19th century, Henry Ward Beecher, went on to become a minister. By 1847, Beecher was pastoring a church in New York. His sister was a writer, and published a book you may have heard of: Uncle Tom’s Cabin (or Life Among the Lowly). Her name was Harriet Beecher Stowe. By 1855, Uncle Tom’s Cabin had become the most popular book in America. It pierced the hearts of Americans, not all, but enough.
It is almost certain that President Abraham Lincoln read Beecher Stowe’s book. It’s told—never proven—that when Lincoln met Stowe in 1861, he remarked “so this is the little lady who started this great war.” [source: Charles Edward Stowe, Harriet Beecher Stowe: The Story of Her Life (1911) p. 203.]
Not so well known is the fact that during the American Civil War, 150 years ago, another great revival broke out. It hit its peak just after the winter of 1863. On January 1, 1863, 55 years to the day after the importation of slaves became illegal, President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing the slaves.
The revival that swept through both the Union and the Confederate armies is a testament to the power of God and His Spirit.
In the Fall and Winter of 1863, the Union army in Chattanooga, Tennessee had been besieged by a strong Confederate force, strongly entrenched in the mountains around the city. The Union soldiers were deeply affected by the revival, and many attributed their surprising victory over the Confederates as “a visible interposition of God.” Soon after their victory at Chattanooga, the Union troops were pursuing their enemy as they retreated towards Atlanta. The fires of revival continued for the Union troops in Ringgold, Georgia, where hundreds of men were baptized in Chickamauga Creek.
The Confederate’s Army of the Tennessee, retreating towards Atlanta, had also experienced the fires of the Great Revival. During their retreat from Dalton, Georgia, Rev. C. W. Miller tells of a Confederate brigade called together for worship in a field. They read the Bible aloud, sang a song of praise, and began to pray. While one of the soldiers was praying aloud, and his comrades were kneeling in silence, they all heard the distant report of artillery and were soon greeted with the burst of a 32-pound cannon shell overhead. More shells shrieked towards them, and shrapnel fell nearby, but the men continued their prayers as if there was no danger. Finally the chaplain pronounced the benediction and everyone calmly sought cover.
Two works of art. Two writings that pierced the heart of a nation, and together, abolished the national sin of slavery, leading to national revivals.
On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down a decision on Roe v. Wade, the result of which effectively legalized abortion in the United States, and overturning state and federal laws banning the practice.
Since then, the scourge of abortion has claimed the lives of over 56 million unborn babies, and some who had been born and killed to complete the procedure. So far, in 2014, over 344,000 lives have been lost, 16,500 of them after the 16-week mark.
We are surely sinners in the hands of an angry God. But God has a plan.
All our prayers have been heard, and God is preparing the answer. The answer doesn’t come without a cost, and the answer always requires a call to action. And as God answered the prayer to end slavery, his answer to end abortion comes as a work of art.
God has prepared the ground, with hundreds of pro-life groups, pregnancy care centers, and clergy who are not afraid to confront this national sin.
[If you’re one of those who skipped to the end, start reading here. Thanks.]
Now God has put together two filmmakers who believe in life: Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer. They are attempting to produce a film; a film that Satan does not want to be made. Like Satan tried to kill John Newton in a shipwreck, that God used for His glory, Ann and Phelim are making a documentary film about the abortionist and murderer Dr. Kermit Gosnell. Men like Gosnell are not the extreme exception to abortion, they are the face of abortion, the face of the greatest evil of our nation and our day.
This film has the potential to pierce the heart of our nation like Amazing Grace and Uncle Tom’s Cabin. It has the potential to bust the doors of Hell down overturn abortion in America, in our lifetime.
The film is called the Gosnell Movie.
The filmmakers tried to “crowdfund” the film using the popular kickstarter.com site. But kickstarter kicked them to the curb (now they are revealing what side they’ve taken by rejecting another movie).
Now they’ve found a home at indiegogo.com. They need to raise $2.1 million to make the movie. They’ve raised over $1.3 million, and they have 18 days left to raise the rest. The devil and his minions want to stop this movie from being made, by hook or by crook, or by any means necessary. That means the enemy of our souls, as Christians, will pull out all stops to prevent you from giving to this movie.
Your mind will be pulled to other things, but give anyway.
This is our opportunity to glorify God in our actions, and roll back the most evil institution in America since slavery. When we’ve done that, expect revival to follow. Deep, lasting, national revival. Powerful sermons delivered with thousands, millions, falling to their knees in tears and repentance. Isn’t that what we, as Christians, want? Isn’t that what we’ve been praying for?
A historic opportunity awaits, just like in 1808 and 1861, to prepare the way for the Lord in this country. Help make the Gosnell movie real, and let God pierce the nation’s heart. Because that’s God’s heart, and it should also be ours.