Not only is an impenitent world sleeping soundly while the coming storm is angrily brewing, but so many of God’s people are themselves only half awake, drifting along in a slumber-like daze (Mt. 25:5) as though the skies were ever sunny. And it is a pathetic practice of far too many preachers to load their little rapid-firing Gospel Gun full wad with grass seed instead of buckshot, and then shoot pell-mell into thin air, thinking of themselves all the while as among God’s mighty hunters. Or to ponderously explain a tiny atom while a mighty universe whizzes by. Or even to spend their time in and out of the pulpit laboriously and intricately answering questions that no one is really asking. And their nice little sermonettes, polished and well-ordered to precisely seventeen minutes and twenty-eight seconds, tend to produce at best a generation of christianettes. More emphasis by far is placed on the soothing singing of the saints – a kind of spiritual lay-me-down-to-sleep lullaby – than the powerful preaching of the Word of God. All of which at least borders on theological foolishness, for it takes the proclamation of the Divine Word in fearless power to produce powerful saints. No less!
The whole wide range of so-called church, in all too many instances, reminds me of many men playing some kind of little religious game I have not yet figured out. But if I had to pinpoint a name I would simply call it, “A little Ointment on the Conscience.” And we will all gather together again next Sunday morning for another slight spiritual rubdown. That is, if we can’t think of some delightful excursion, depending, of course, on the weather.
When under heaven will God’s people wake up? A world is dying! The End-Time is upon us! Christ is coming – soon! Armageddon is dead ahead! Eternity is in view! Yet, serving the Lord God Almighty with simple integrity on the part of the people who call themselves Christian, and the man in the pulpit preaching with thunder and power and compassion: “Thus saith the Lord!” is becoming almost as rare as the proverbial hen’s teeth.
It is far past time for ten thousand Elishas to cry out in desperate earnestness in the face of heaven, “Where is the Lord God of Elijah?!” (II Kings 2:14). And mean it! And it is equally far past time for God’s people across the land and around the world to seek Him anew in humble penitence and confession, yearning to love Him more meaningfully and to serve Him more perfectly. Please, dear God, wake us up; stir us to emergency action; set our hearts ablaze with holy compassion for the lost, “knowing the time, that now it is high time (that is, past time) to awake out of sleep; for now is our salvation nearer than when we (first) believed. The night is far spent” (Rom. 13:11-12). Wake us up, Mighty God!