As the blind lead the blind into apostasy, we must remember Who makes blind men see and sets the captives free. (FreeImages.com)
"Brethren, our preaching will bear its legitimate fruits. If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours in a great degree. If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it.
"If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in religion, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it."
Those were the words of Charles G. Finney, a leader in America's Second Great Awakening, recorded on Dec. 4, 1843. Those words were true then but are especially prophetic for our generation. Immorality is prevailing in the land. There is a decay of conscience. The media lacks moral discrimination. The church is degenerate and worldly. The world has lost its interest in religion. Satan rules in our halls of legislation. Politics are corrupt, and the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away.
History Repeats Itself
Yes, those words are true today, they were true 171 years ago—and they were true thousands of years before that in Isaiah's day. Indeed, history continues to repeat itself as spiritual leaders are struck blind in their disobedience to God's Word. Many are hearers—and preachers—of the Word but have deceived themselves by not walking in truth (see James 1:22).
The spirit of the world has invaded our church—but some pastors embrace carnal Christianity and are unwilling to confront sin for fear of losing tithes to an ear-tickling church. Their conscience is seared with a hot iron (see 1 Tim. 4:1) so they can't see how their compromise is affecting the flock—leading them down a broad path that leads to destruction (see Matt. 7:13). I sometimes wonder if God has given some pastors and prophets over to a reprobate mind (see Rom. 1:28)—or at least left them in their blindness and slumber. Isaiah put it this way:
"Pause and wonder! Blind yourselves and be blind! They are drunk, but not with wine; They stagger, but not with intoxicating drink. For the Lord has poured out on you the spirit of deep sleep, and has closed your eyes, namely, the prophets; and He has covered your heads, namely, the seers" (Isa. 29:9-10).
Although many in prophetic ministry are sounding the alarm, blowing the trumpet and stirring souls to wake up and understand the signs of the times, many in pulpits are blind watchman who are just out for greedy gain. Isaiah prophesied to the irresponsible leaders in his day:
"All you beasts of the field, come to devour, all you beasts in the forest. His watchmen are blind, they are all ignorant; they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; Sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yes, they are greedy dogs which never have enough. And they are shepherds who cannot understand; They all look to their own way, every one for his own gain, from his own territory" (Isa. 56:9-11).
Will History Repeat Itself Again?
Saints, immorality is prevailing in the land. There is a decay of conscience. The media lacks moral discrimination. The church is degenerate and worldly. The world has lost its interest in religion. Satan rules in our halls of legislation. Politics are corrupt—and the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away.
But here's the good news. History repeats itself. Just before the first two Great Awakenings, people thought the church was done for. Many thought there was no hope. But with God there is always hope. God is a God of hope (Rom. 15:13). I am hoping—I am believing—for another Great Awakening in this land. I am hoping—I am believing—that the pastors and prophets will repent from their ear-tickling messages. I am hoping—I am believing—that the remnant will rise up in intercession for this land so that God will intervene.
I've been called a false prophet for hoping and believing. So be it. If we cannot hope for another Great Awakening, then we may as well give up. We have Christ in us, the hope of glory (see Col. 1:27). Church, it's time for us to wake up as individuals and begin hoping and praying again despite the darkness we see all around us. It's time to walk by faith and not by sight (see 2 Cor. 5:7). It's time for us to release believing prayers, because our intercession is what can turn this around.
"Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy, to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine" (Psalm 33:18-19). Amen.
Jennifer LeClaire is news editor at Charisma. She is also director of IHOP Fort Lauderdale and author of several books, including The Making of a Prophet and The Spiritual Warrior's Guide to Defeating Jezebel. You can email Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website here. You can also join Jennifer on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.