From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” Matthew 4:17
I believe what happened in D.C. over the weekend – “The Return” – was the most important thing that has happened in this country in decades.
Tens of thousands of people, mostly Christians, showed up to confess, repent, and pray for God’s forgiveness and the healing of our nation. What made this event different from some other Christian gatherings was that they weren’t assembled to point fingers at the ungodly unbelievers, but to confess their own sins, as individuals and as the Church.
The call for repentance wasn’t written for unbelievers. God doesn’t expect unbelievers to behave like believers. WE (the Church) have been given His Word, His commands and direction, and “To whom much is given, much will be required.” – Luke 12:48 If the nation is a mess, the responsibility is on us. It seems to me God is being very reasonable.
I have written lately about some “worship protests,” praise gatherings in some of our major cities and my mixed feelings about them. ( https://seekingdivineperspective.com/2020/09/25/so-whats-the-problem/ ) What was different about “The Return” was, yes, we prayed for healing and revival and God’s blessing on our nation, but only after several hours of confessing and grieving over our sins as a Church.
We have been wrapped up in our own comforts, while others struggle daily to survive. We have been concerned about our rights, while the rights of others have been trampled. We have spent many hours a day staring at our screens and few hours, if any, in prayer to the God who has given us everything. The cries of suffering people have reached our ears, and we have responded by turning up the volume on our headphones and drowning them out. We have pointed fingers at those we consider the worst sinners without stopping to consider why they are engaging in such behavior – perhaps because the Church didn’t welcome them, and they had to go elsewhere for acceptance and love? We have condemned unbelievers without making the slightest effort to share our faith and help them become believers. While our nation is in a freefall, we have occupied ourselves with endless hours on social media, chatting about inconsequential trivia and getting into endless arguments over personalities, politics, and controversial issues – battles that only get nastier with time, and haven’t changed a single mind or heart.
How long do we expect God to put up with us? How many times does He have to warn us, and how many times can we continue ignoring His warnings, procrastinating, or leaving all the work up to someone else? How long before He is fed up and destroys us, as He has other civilizations that rotted from the inside out? He has every right to, and yet He hasn’t. His love and patience are beyond our understanding.
Although about a quarter of a million people showed up for the Return, the mainstream media apparently didn’t consider it newsworthy. But God knew about it. The mainstream is currently obsessed with the Presidential election, but if this nation doesn’t turn back to God soon, beginning with the Church, it won’t matter who’s in the White House. Our nation will be destroyed. I believe we’re already seeing the beginnings of it – pandemic, hurricanes, fires, and social upheaval.
The events we see happening around us resemble God’s judgments on evil civilizations in the past. Jonathan Cahn spoke at length about Israel – God’s own people – and how they sinned against Him, blatantly committing idolatry, adultery, violence against one another, even sacrificing their children to foreign gods. And God judged them as a nation, allowing the Babylonians to come in, wipe out their cities, destroy their Temple, and carry them off into captivity for 70 years.
God has and will judge evil civilizations.
HOWEVER … He is also aware of individuals, and just because our nation may be sinking into the depths of depravity doesn’t mean we as individuals have to go along. There are still many, as we saw at “the Return,” who love God and want to live godly lives. When we repent (turn from our sins and desire to live differently, to live righteous lives that will please God), He sees, He knows, He is ready to forgive us and help us, even if it means giving us the strength to go against the tide of the day.
Jesus’ death on the cross is still valid payment for our sins, for the sins of anyone who will place his/her faith in His atoning sacrifice. If a believer or unbeliever acknowledges his sin, grieves over it, asks forgiveness, and trusts in the atoning work of Christ, (s)he will be forgiven and received, no matter what others may be doing. And when death comes, as it comes to us all, that individual will live on as a child of God, in the eternal place prepared for His own. That’s the good news!
Whether the people around you are turning to God or going their way, as Jesus said,
“… what is that to you? You must follow Me.” John 21:22
(I can hear my mother’s oft spoken words, “If ‘everybody else’ jumps off a cliff, are you going to jump off a cliff?”)
And here’s more good news! If enough of us do this, it could turn the tide in America. God has promised,
“If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” – II Chronicles 7:14
And God keeps His promises!
Prayer: Oh Lord, You have been so patient with us. Help us to be sensitive and obedient to Your Spirit. Help us not to be sucked into the lifestyle of the wicked, and not to pass judgment on them, but to set a better example for all those around us by being godly, loving, and filled with the hope that comes from knowing You, in Jesus’ name. Amen
P.S. If you missed the event, you can watch it at thereturnsimulcast.com/the-return. If you can’t watch the whole thing, do listen to Jonathan Cahn’s prophetic message to America, starting at about 2:53 on the second video (Saturday morning). (I admit, it gave me chills and made me cry.)