Truly God is able to do the impossible, but whether this means we have a right to expect that God will act in the way many suppose when they speak of revival, is a totally different question. If our age is an age rapidly running down to judgment; if ours is an age which exhibits all the features of those historic times which immediately preceded the pouring out of the wrath of God the age of Noah - the age of Lot - the age of Jeremiah we have every reason to believe that the next event which lies before us is JUDGMENT, not REVIVAL.
Those who think they see by their prophetical interpretations a greatly lengthened future still for this world, no doubt will be complacent, but that is their responsibility. For ourselves we think all the signs are present of a complete and worldwide revolt against everything which is called God, leading directly to the consummation of all things in judgment.
There are religious signs, as Protestantism abdicates its role, accepts the lie of rationalism and denies its Creator, and liquidates itself on the doorstep of Mother Rome.
The world and the church face a new thing which has never been known before, no, not since the foundation of the earth.
It is the enthronement of unbelief in the very centre and heart of the Church Visible; the setting up of the last great Baal of Rationalism in the House of the Almighty God.
Satan is waxing bold. Not since the Garden of Eden has he been in such a paradise. He has the ear of humanity, and no lie, conceit or daring blasphemy is now withheld from a generation which in other fields beside that of religion exhibits the most alarming symptoms that humanity has lost its soul. The Age of Faith had its triumphs in every field of human culture, but for over a century the Western world has been departing from the ground of faith. What Rationalism has done for Protestantism, Materialism has done for science and culture. We have a Creation without a Creator and a universe without meaning, purpose or plan. Atheistic evolution reigns, and there is no iniquity, blasphemy or vice which is not now brazenly uttered and publicly defended.
What then? If revival after the traditional pattern may no longer be feasible, but only the expectation of judgment, what is the believer to do? Is there to be no light in the prevailing darkness?
The answer should thrill every true believer who is jealous for the glory of the Redeemer. Ours is the privilege in a falling age of bearing the last witness against the devil and all his works. In the hour of his unloosing, he is to be resisted and fought with all the weapons in the armoury of God. We will lift up our voice for Christ and truth whether the people hear or whether they forbear Like Noah in the ancient world, like Lot in Sodom’s last night, like Jeremiah in Israel’s last apostasy before the judgment of the captivity, it is our privilege to bear witness against the unbelief of the present age. We are destined to be the Camp of the Saints compassed about by the heathen and atheistic multitudes of Gog and Magog, until fire falls from heaven to consume the transgressor.
The question of “revival” is irrelevant to that testimony, as it may be irrelevant to the hour in which we live. What we look for is that our God should pluck His hand out from His bosom and vindicate the testimony of His people, so that the nations may know there is a people in the midst of the earth whose God is the Lord. That vindication is more likely to take the form of judgment than revival.
Are we ready for such a testimony? Are there enough men who know their God and their Bibles well enough to arouse by their preaching the enmity of Satan’s multitude? We doubt it. There is an appalling evangelical sickness which prevents a robust and convincing testimony to the glory of Christ. If some of the energies expended in the vain search for “experiences” were devoted to the creation of a company of preachers adequate under God to the task, the evangelical position would be changed overnight. It might not in our opinion it would not spell revival in the sense in which that almost discredited word is now used, but it would mean TESTIMONY, and testimony would mean the opposition of Satan, suffering, persecution, loss and shame. But why should WE escape the penalty which our fathers were called upon to pay for their devotion to Christ’s crown and covenant?