I wrote the following after the shooting in Parkland, Florida. I never posted it. I thought it would be too political or too radical or too religious or too personal or simply too much. But now. Now there’s been another school shooting. This time in Texas. And I don’t care if it’s political, radical, religious, personal, or too much. Because we need to do something. We need to fall on our faces in repentance and humility. We need to share the only true answer – the Word of God, the Son of God, the Way of God. We need to humble ourselves and pray, seek God’s face, and turn from our – yes, our – wicked ways (2 Chronicles 7:14).
Another school shooting. Another horrifying day in our country. Another round of calls for gun control or teachers to be armed or more police on campus.
I cannot imagine the anguish of the parents whose children didn’t come home last night. But that includes more than just those who were killed in Parkland, Florida. It also includes all those who are daily murdered in our cities. Is there an answer to this violence? Is there a solution? Is there any hope?
Yes, but the answer isn’t one that will be welcomed by most of our country, I’m afraid. The answer is revival – true, life-changing revival. All the historical accounts of revival, whether the First or Second Great Awakening in this county, or the Welsh Revival in Wales (1904), Spurgeon’s ministry, or any others, including the Protestant Reformation, resulted in great societal change. Bars closed because people stopped drinking, marriages increased, church attendance increased, brothels closed, and general civility increased. Additionally, slavery was challenged and stopped in Great Britain, prisons were reformed, missionary societies were created, and hospital and schools established. If we want wide-spread societal change, we need revival.
How does revival happen? God’s people get serious with God about their own sin and lack of fervor for the gospel. God’s people humble themselves, pray, and seek the face of God instead of the hand of God. Don’t look at the unsaved and expect change – it will not happen. Instead look to yourself as a believer and ask God to examine your own heart and change it. Only a changed heart can change other hearts; only a multitude of changed hearts can change a society.
So, forget about the calls for gun control or arming teachers. Also, forget about the battles over abortion and homosexuality and pornography and violence and drug wars. Instead, look to your own heart, your own life, and ask God to light a fire inside you that will spread from your own personal revival out into the world.
Another school shooting. Another 17 young lives cut short. Expect another or pray for revival. The choice is yours.