By Pastor Bill Rowe
Leonard Ravenhill (1907-1994)
Last week, we looked at a portion of Leonard Ravenhill’s book, Sodom Had No Bible. It is a convicting call to the Western church to repent from its self-centered, faith. He calls every Christian to come humbly before God, confess our sins, repent of our self-centeredness, and seek God’s leading toward a revived heart. Ravenhill longed for a modern-day Pentecost as was witnessed in the First Century church. He understood that Christian hearts must first be revived before there can be any expectation that God will revive our churches. Through the churches, God will bring revival to our nation and to the world.
Ravenhill continually challenged pastors, missionaries, and all ministry leaders who often choose the comfort of title and position over the challenging work of pointing people to repentance and sacrificial commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ. His voice echoes such biblical giants as John the Baptist, the Apostles, and our resurrected Lord Jesus who told His disciples in His Great Commission, “…that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47, NKJV).
Sodom Had No Bible
Here is another excerpt from Leonard Ravenhill’s book, Sodom Had No Bible (note that this book was originally published in 1971 so some of the cultural references may be unfamiliar to a contemporary audience. Ravenhill’s point, though, has not been dampened with the passing of time):
“America as a nation (England shares this, too) already has had posted all warning signs, signs that Sodom lacked. The dice is loaded against America.
(1) What Obligation Has a Holy God to a People . . . who spend one hour in Church on Sunday, then walk to the ball park to spend several hours walking in the counsel of the ungodly and sitting with the blaspheming sinners who profane His holy name?
(2) What Obligation Has God to a People . . . who allow a newspaper stand to have fifty-seven different magazines sporting nude pictures?
(3) What Obligation Has God to a People . . . who allow Japanese girls to be imported to stand nude as “wallpaper” for some hot city night spot?
(4) What Obligation Has God to a People . . . whose government gives millions to support a communist country which, by the very nature of its philosophy, is pledged to kill the hand that supplies it?
(5) What Obligation Has God to a People . . . who place on their coins, “In God We Trust,” then bar children from singing Christmas carols in day schools and let a half-dozen people get a local law made to stop prayers by millions of children in such schools? (In so doing they let a few local cronies bypass a constitutional amendment.)
(6) What Obligation Has God to a Nation . . . that is well spotted with poverty but can spend four million dollars in one afternoon on a Florida race track? (The statistic is Billy Graham’s.)
(7) What Obligation Has God to a Nation . . . who is spending more per annum on dog food than on propagation of the gospel?”
(Above quote from, Leonard Ravenhill, Sodom Had No Bible. Kindle Edition.)
God begins with you
May we expect God’s blessings upon us as a people if we are living individually for ourselves? Should we claim God’s blessings when we are not willing to proclaim our faith to those who are dying in their sins?
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” (Psalm 33:12)
If this nation needs God, you are the first link in the chain that will bring revival. God ignites Revival in the individual before moving outward to the church and then to the community at large.
What would happen if you, right now, bowed your knee before the Lord, confessed all, received His promised forgiveness, and then stood with your mind set on total change in your life for the glory of God? How many others would be impacted by your witness as God transformed you into the image of His Son?
Freedom from bondage
Christ’s image is an image of freedom: Christ provides freedom from sin, freedom from fear of men, freedom from continued defeat.
My prayer is that we all bow our knees before the Lord, humble ourselves before the Lord, and receive God’s grace. I pray that the Lord will revive our hearts and our faith, a true faith in the true gospel of the true God. I pray that revival will spread like a Holy Ghost fire across this beautiful land of ours.