While We Were Sleeping

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Rebecca Keener
Co-host The Christian View

Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. Rev. 3:2-3

When controversy began to hit the news media recently over California Bill AB 2943, many news agencies quickly responded that it would never happen. In case you don’t know what AB 2943 is all about, here is a brief overview as best as my non-legal mind can understand:

The legislation passed out of the state assembly to the Senate. It states that the law would ban any “advertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual.” The bill would do this by amending the state’s consumer protection law, which covers things such as false advertising and the selling of defective goods. This would mean that the prohibition would apply when there was an exchange of money. While many say the possibility is slim that this would include the distribution of material such as The Holy Bible (that clearly speaks against homosexuality), as Christians, we cannot close our eyes to what might be a slow progression in that direction.

As the news broke about AB2943, I was talking with someone and asked if they had heard about the bill that could lead to the ban of the sale of the Bible in California. He replied with a slight chuckle and said, “That will never happen!” And just at that moment, it occurred to me, that it’s precisely that same thought that was prevalent among the Church before prayer was taken out of school! That’s what we were thinking about abortion being legalized! That’s what we said prior to the redefining in America of God’s plan for marriage between one man and one woman. We thought it would never happen. But we thought wrong! It all came down the slippery slope and it happened on our, the Church’s watch. And it happened while we were spiritually sleeping.

It was on a Saturday morning and I remember exactly where I was. We were in the Prayer Room at a large Youth Conference when we received the news that the Supreme Court of the United States redefined traditional marriage as God defined it in the Bible. I fell from my chair to the floor on my face and cried with a broken heart for America. Part of my role on staff was in heading up the marriage ministry in my church and I did not even realize that the vote was coming down that day.

This monumental decision happened on my watch while we the Church were giving our energy and attention to other matters such as: planning yet another conference; and yet another Girls Night Out and Couples Date Night; planning the opening and the closing dance number to really “WOW” the crowd; deciding whether to serve cupcakes or cotton candy at the “after party”; musing over whether to shoot the confetti cannons at the end or the beginning of the event; discussing whether to have a DJ or a band; planning whether to have the blow up bouncy houses at the Easter Egg Hunt or carnival rides or both; whether to do away with the monthly prayer meetings, because after all only a few “older” women show up. And on we could go . . .

In other words, while we were yet sleeping, on our, the Christian’s watch, many churches but not all, have become event driven, prayer-less social clubs, that have been asleep at the wheel when it comes to leading the way for a standard of righteousness in our country. And America has lost its way, because the light of the church is going dim. Meanwhile our cities are getting darker and darker. In 2 Chronicles 7:14, the Bible says, “if MY people, who are called by My Name, shall humble myself and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from Heaven and will heal their land.” It’s the role of the church to lead the way in prayer and repentance, so that God will heal our land.

Please hear my heart. I know this all sounds like a strong indictment and rebuke (to me included, the chief of sinners as Paul said) but the Bible strongly warns us about staying sober and awake at these evil end times. Like a mother, clapping her hands loudly to wake a sleeping child before danger, the Lord is saying over us “awake, awake!” (Isaiah 52:1) Here are just some of the mentions in the word of God about staying awake:

I Thessalonians 5:6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.

Ephesians 5:14 says, “This is why it is said: Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

Romans 13:11 “Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.”

It’s time for the church to arise, to awake, to put away our revelry spirit and party hats and get back to the “Lord’s business” of prayer and travail for our nation, of deliverance and discipleship, of Holiness, purity and worship in the House, of entertaining His presence instead of entertaining people, so that we CAN speak up and be the light of Jesus Christ in a dark world.

If the Word of God should ever be taken from the Church, if it were ever banned in America, if we were ever forbidden to speak the whole truth in the pulpit – I have to ask myself, would we Christians even know it, would I? Would my children? The night is far spent. It’s high time for us to come alive, to speak up and out, as we seek to do on a weekly basis on The Christian View about issues that matter and affect our nation. We must vote, we must speak boldly so the leaders and legislators will hear us, without fear of whether people will like us or not. It is time Church to come alive and Awake, awake!

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