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February 1, 2014

God’s last word to America’s pastors

— Fifteen years ago I had a strange dream. In it, I was holding a book I had written entitled, “God’s Last Word to America’s Pastors.” I had no plans to write such a book. Yet in the dream, I felt I was shown a special message regarding the church and its impact (or the lack thereof) on society.

    Fast forward to ten years later. I was serving a church near Memphis. I observed that Memphis was a huge metropolis. I took note that it featured many large churches, both white and African American.

    Yet despite their presence and profile, the city was beset with an epidemic of violence, generational poverty, and fatherless youth. I asked myself, “Why hasn’t the church made a difference in this city?” Then I had the very same dream once again.

    Dreams are familiar to me. This type of divine communication is common in the Bible. The prophet Joel said dreams accompany an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. At the time of the birth of Jesus, many people experienced dreams. God speaks to people in their dreams, even unsaved people, to warn them or to guide them.

    Dr. Martin Luther King famously said, “I have a dream.” I do also. In my dream, I see a future America better than our present America.

    My dream is for leaders to wake up and transform this nation, one family at a time, one neighborhood at a time, one city at a time. Can it be done? Yes, but only if we turn to God. We can ask God to send his special messengers who know the way and hold the keys.

    I envision a new America, a nation no longer filled with fractured families; with gangs spreading violence; with single moms feeding fatherless children; with politicians enriching themselves while the people go lacking. I see reformers speaking truth. I see faith communities demonstrating heaven’s will on earth.

    But we are not there. Presently, politicians don’t fear God’s prophets. I wonder why? Maybe preachers have traded their anointing for job security. Maybe the fire has died due to worldliness. Maybe corrupt candidates have bought off greedy pastors with bribes. Or maybe the men of God are muzzled by the fear of man.

    I believe America is like the slowly sinking Titanic. We need to be rescued. I believe the solution requires hearing from God. What does God desire to say to our nation’s pastors? A passage recorded in Malachi 4:5-6 has God’s last word recorded in the Old Testament. It hung in the air for 400 years until John the Baptist arrived. I call this word, “The Elijah Mandate.” I hear this holy charge:

    “Proclaim the truth. Restore ancient foundations. Train the next generation to live right. Be a genuine father in the faith. Raise spiritual sons. Uphold the marriage covenant. Restore honor toward women. Make real disciples of Jesus among men.”

    This work is more than a revival, more than a flash in the pan. This requires a reformation where God’s ways are respected so our national blessings are restored.

    

Ron Wood is a pastor, missionary, and writer serving Trinity Assembly of God. (601-483-8189) Hear his interviews and discussions on "The Father's Power" program each Sunday on SuperTalk radio, 103.3 FM, at 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. www.trinitymeridian.com

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