So, You Want A
A Biblical look at the
Evangelical Back to God
So, you want a revival?
Many Evangelicals today are hoping that revival occurs during their lifetime. Recent efforts to get Back
to God, by such organizations as the Christian Coalition, Promise Keepers and others, is adding fuel to
that hope. A recent evangelical publication even stated that: "Hope is rising, and men are praying, for
a river of revival in America. And believers from all streams of the church are responding."
Throughout His Word, God reveals the conditions that set the stage for a revival. Some of them are
found in the following verse: "If MY PEOPLE, which are CALLED BY MY NAME, shall humble themselves,
and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will
forgive their sin, and will heal their land" (2 Chr. 7:14). Notice that God requires humbleness, repentance,
and seeking His face through prayer, by "MY PEOPLE, which are CALLED BY MY NAME."
In this day and age God's people are born again Christians, and they alone can satisfy the required
conditions that will bring forth a revival. So if most evangelicals want a revival, they're going to have to. . .
. . . .make sure they're truly born again.
Now, if you're an evangelical I realize the previous statement may have offended you. You may even be
on the verge of dropping this tract into the nearest trash can. But PLEASE, HEAR ME OUT. After all, the
Bible does say: "EXAMINE YOURSELVES, WHETHER YE BE IN THE FAITH; PROVE YOUR OWN SELVES. Know
ye not your own selves, how that JESUS CHRIST IS IN YOU, except ye be reprobates?" (2 Cor. 13:5) So a
little self-examination is Biblical and can't hurt, no matter how secure you may feel about your salvation.
Let's begin by quickly reviewing what it means to be born again. The Bible says that when God created
man He: "Formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and
man became A LIVING SOUL" (Gen. 2:7). The SOUL was given the ability to think, feel and choose.
However, a soul by itself cannot interact with the world. That's why God gave man a BODY with five senses
that act as windows, enabling him to know the world around him. But a soul inside a body cannot have a
complete personal relationship with God because: "God is a SPIRIT: and they that worship him MUST
WORSHIP HIM IN SPIRIT and in truth" (John 4:24). Thus, man was also given a SPIRIT to enable him to
know God; to perceive the spiritual realm in much the same way that his body enables him to perceive the
physical world. Everything was originally in place for a perfect relationship between God and man and then
SOMETHING TERRIBLE HAPPENED!
The first man, Adam, and his wife Eve rebelled against God and died spiritually, therefore losing their
spiritual connection with God (Genesis 3:1-24). This spiritual death has been passed down to every
generation (Genesis 5:3; Romans 5:12), causing mankind to grope around in spiritual blindness searching
for God. People have started many religions attempting to find their way back to God, but despite all the
religious efforts, man is still a soul trapped in the physical realm. What he needs is a SPIRITUAL REBIRTH,
and that is why Jesus said: "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, EXCEPT A MAN BE BORN AGAIN, he cannot SEE
[PERCEIVE, UNDERSTAND] the KINGDOM OF GOD [the SPIRITUAL REALM]" (John 3:3).
Therefore, this next verse is key to one's self-examination, because to those who are truly born again,
the Bible says: "WE HAVE RECEIVED, not the spirit of the world, but THE SPIRIT WHICH IS OF GOD; that
WE MIGHT KNOW THE THINGS THAT ARE FREELY GIVEN TO US OF GOD" (1 Cor. 2:11-12). However, the
ability to understand the things of God seems to be lacking among many evangelicals involved in the
present Back to God movement. And if this is not true, then. . .
. . .why do they need so many different STUDY BIBLES?
As you walk into a Christian bookstore and see the large diversity of study Bibles, you have to seriously
wonder why so many? After all, Christians throughout the previous centuries got along fine without
them, so why are they necessary today?
The answer could be that, due to the no-repentance gospel preached today, fewer and fewer people are
truly being born again. Therefore there's no indwelling Spirit to guide them. And when there's no Spirit,
the Bible says: "the natural [unsaved] man RECEIVETH NOT THE THINGS OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD: for
they are foolishness unto him: NEITHER CAN HE KNOW THEM, because they are SPIRITUALLY
DISCERNED" (1 Cor. 2:14). Did you catch that? The things of God revealed in His Word are SPIRITUALLY
DISCERNED, one needs to be spiritually born again to discern them.
The Bible says there is "One Spirit" (Eph. 4:4) and that "ALL SCRIPTURE is given by inspiration of God"
(2 Tim. 3:16) by that one Spirit (2 Pet. 1:21). And, furthermore, Jesus promised that: "I will pray the
Father, and HE SHALL GIVE YOU ANOTHER COMFORTER, that he may ABIDE WITH YOU FOR EVER; ....for
HE DWELLETH WITH YOU, AND SHALL BE IN YOU" (John 14:16-17). Jesus went on to explain that: "The
Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, HE SHALL TEACH YOU ALL
THINGS" (John 14:26).
This promise was not limited to those disciples standing before Him. The Bible says of ALL born again
Christians: "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that THE SPIRIT OF GOD DWELL IN YOU.
Now IF ANY MAN HAVE NOT THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST, HE IS NONE OF HIS" (Rom. 8:9). Therefore, all truly
born again Christians have the Bible's author living inside of them and can rely on Him to teach them
from God's Word. They don't need to rely on a specially made study Bible put together by various Bible
scholars, in an easy to understand version. Anyone who does, is exposing themselves as probably not
having the Spirit dwelling inside of them.
Now, I know that many evangelicals will disagree with everything said so far. They'll argue that no one,
saved or unsaved, can understand everything the Bible says, therefore, everyone needs scholarly help now
and then. But the question is: Do most evangelicals rely PRIMARILY on the Holy Spirit or human "teachers"
when they try to understand the Bible? The best way to find out is to look at the advertising used to sell
these study Bibles. After all, companies have to appeal to what the consumer wants (and therefore needs).
q A special Advertising Section, in Christianity Today, entitled Befriending the Bible states: "In their
1994 book Making Friends with the Bible (Herald Press), authors Elouise Renich Fraser and Louis A.
Kilgore use the metaphor of friendship to discuss Christian's relationship to the Bible. But the authors
point out that relationship is not always a smooth one. Sometimes people hide from the Bible because
they are afraid they won't understand it. Others hide from it because they are afraid they understand it
but will not like what it says." If an advertiser feels that they must address these FEARS, then something
is terribly wrong with the saved evangelical consumers they're trying to reach. First of all, a truly saved
person will not be afraid that "they won't understand it", because the Bible says: "Now we have received,
not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might KNOW the things that are
FREELY GIVEN to us of God" (1 Cor. 2:12).
Secondly, the saved don't have to fear that they "will not like what it says.," because the Bible says:
"GREAT PEACE have they which LOVE THY LAW [The Bible]: and NOTHING SHALL OFFEND THEM" (Psa.
119:165). So why does the ad mention fear? Does it assume that most professing Christians today react to
the Bible in fear? Apparently so because the ad goes on to say: "As believers attempt to make the Bible a
closer friend, scholars are doing their part to make the Bible friendlier." Friendlier to whom? The only
ones who don't consider the Bible friendly are un-repentant sinners! Yet this ad is geared toward saved
evangelicals. Something's not right, don't you think?
q Another ad says "The Inspirational Study Bible takes advantage of the insights and popularity of
best-selling author Max Lucado, its general editor. . . .Much of the INSPIRATION is provided by artfully
written reflections (within each unit) that provide further insight into the particular passage. These
are either written or selected by Lucado from some of EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANITY'S MOST BELOVED
AUTHORS, including Billy Graham, Oswald Chambers, Corrie Ten Boom, and A.W. Tozer." Notice that the
appeal to this Bible is in "THE INSIGHTS and popularity of best-selling author Max Lucado." Apparently
the ad assumes that many evangelicals would rather rely on Mr. Lucado's insight than the Holy Spirit's.
If you think I'm exaggerating to stress a point, read what another ad for Lucado's Bible says: "Imagine
a Bible with the ENCOURAGING WORDS OF MAX LUCADO. . . .Stop Imagining." It almost sounds as if Mr.
Lucado is playing the role of the Spirit. The Apostle Paul wanted to make sure no one mistook him for the
Spirit, so he said: "Which things also we speak, NOT IN THE WORDS WHICH MAN'S WISDOM TEACHETH,
but which THE HOLY GHOST TEACHETH; comparing spiritual things with spiritual" (1 Cor. 2:13). Of
course, if a person doesn't have the Holy Spirit to teach and encourage them, then to them, maybe Max
Lucado is the next best thing. In fact, Mr. Lucado himself says he produced his Bible because, "countless
copies of scripture sit unread on bookshelves and night stands, simply because PEOPLE DON'T KNOW
HOW TO READ THEM."
q This next ad is aimed at those who must rely more on a woman's intuition than the Holy Spirit's
illumination. "The basis for development of Thomas Nelson's The Women's Study Bible is that Women
are different from men. More than 80 women, scholars and leaders from various denominations and life
situations, contributed. This Bible addresses issues from a woman's point of view. According to general
editor Dorothy Patterson, it expresses our desire to combine THE DISCERNMENT OF INTUITION with the
discipline of scholarship to bring a completely new dimension of EVANGELICAL INTERPRETATION."
q The New Geneva Study Bible ad asks: "What would it be like to study the Bible with some of the leading
scholars of our time?" It goes on to list the names of 45 contributing scholars. I guess the unsaved would
need these men to show them the deeper meanings hidden in God's Word. The truly born again Christian,
however, would not, since "God HATH REVEALED THEM unto us BY HIS SPIRIT: for the Spirit searcheth all
things, yea, the deep things of God" (1 Cor. 2:10).
q The New Living Translation Bible claims that: "Suddenly passages that once seemed difficult and foggy
are crystal-clear." But the reason they're "difficult and foggy" is because the reader is NOT SAVED and,
"RECEIVETH [understand] NOT THE THINGS OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD: for they are foolishness unto him:
NEITHER CAN HE KNOW THEM, because they are SPIRITUALLY DISCERNED" (1 Cor. 2:14).
Friend, we can go on, but I think you get the point. I pray that as we've been covering this subject,
you've been examining yourself. How do you relate to God's Word? Can you learn truths from It when you
read It all by Itself? Or do you need some outside help to figure It all out? Does the Bible speak directly to
you? Or do you need a human interpreter? Look at your Bible. Do contributing scholars do most of the
talking? Do you spend more time reading what someone wrote about the Bible than the Bible Itself? Do
you sense an indwelling Spirit making the Bible come alive?
These are important questions which could mean the difference between Heaven and Hell. Jesus
warned: "NOT EVERY ONE THAT SAITH UNTO ME, LORD, LORD, SHALL ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF
HEAVEN; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day,
Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name
done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I NEVER KNEW YOU: depart from me, ye
that work iniquity" (Mat. 7:21-23). Maybe some of these poor souls thought that they were truly born
again, but their lack of understanding the Bible never tipped them off that they were lost. Please don't let
it happen to you. Read the plan of salvation on the back [below]. If you have any questions, drop us a letter.
IF You were to die today, are you 100% SURE
you would go to Heaven? The Bible says
YOU CAN BE SURE (1 John 5:13).
BUT FIRST, you must realize that what keeps
you from going to Heaven are your sins, because:
"...your iniquities [sins] have separated
between you and your God," Isa. 59:2.
In fact, in God's eyes YOU ARE A SINNER: "For
all have sinned, and come short
of the glory of God;" Rom. 3:23.
And Jesus, referring to sinners, said that He:
"shall send forth his angels, and they shall
gather out of his kingdom all things that offend,
and them which do iniquity [sinners];
And shall cast them into
a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing
and gnashing of teeth." Mat. 13:41-42
SECONDLY, you must realize that there is
NOTHING you can do to save yourself and earn
Heaven: "For by grace are ye saved through
faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the
gift of God: Not of works, lest any man
should boast." Eph. 2:8-9 Baptism, good deeds,
church membership, self-righteousness are all
examples of good works that cannot save you,
because: "Not by works of
righteousness which we have done, but
according to his mercy he [Christ] saved
us," Titus 3:5.
THE ONLY WAY you can get saved
is through Jesus Christ. He said: "I am the
way, the truth, and the life: no man
cometh unto the Father, but by me."
(John 14:6) THAT'S WHY: "...while we were
yet sinners, Christ died for us."
(Rom. 5:8-9) THEREFORE: You must REPENT
(change your mind); admit that you are a Hell
deserving sinner and can't save yourself. And
call upon Christ, and Him alone, to save you.
"if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord
Jesus [REPENT], and shalt believe in thine
heart [TRUST] that God hath raised him
from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Rom. 10:9
SEND THE LIGHT
P.O. Box 815 Fargo, ND 58107
[Christian Helps Ministry (USA)] [Christian Home Bible Course]