Summary: Looking beyond the current coronavirus crisis Dr. Tow explores the possibilities for revival and the responses that will move us in that direction. He anchors his message in 2 Chron. 15.
We have been addressing the current COVID-19 crisis during the last three messages, and we will continue with that theme today.i
I begin with the question: what if the current disruption is a preparation for the greatest revival this world has ever seen? What if God is inviting you to participate in that earth-shaking historical event?
On a Tuesday morning in 1986 journalist and international evangelist Mike Evans met with David Wilkerson for breakfast at the Embassy Suites near the Dallas Fort-Worth Airport. In that meeting Wilkerson showed Evans a letter addressed to Richard Dortch, President of PTL. It said, “Rev. Dortch, within 12 months from the date of this letter, the judgment of God will fall on PTL. You are fornicating with brick and stone. Flee now and repent. Bats will fly through the empty building.” A month later, Evans was with Dortch, and watched him mock Wilkerson’s letter. He said to Evans, “if I fornicate, it will not be with brick and stone. These attacks aren’t against me or Jim Bakker, they are against God.” It was exactly 12 months to the day that The Charlotte Observer broke the PTL scandal. Twelve months to the day of Dave Wilkerson’s letter.
In the breakfast meeting at the Embassy David Wilkerson not only read his letter written to Richard Dortch, but he also opened his Bible to Isaiah 24. Among other verses in that chapter Wilkerson read verses 10-12: “The city of confusion is broken down: every house is shut up, that no man may come in.” Let that verse soak in as I read it again. Consider what is going on in New York City as we speak. “The city of confusion is broken down: every house is shut up, that no man may come in. There is a crying for wine in the streets; all joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is gone. In the city is left desolation, and the gate is smitten with destruction” (KJV).ii Verse 12 in the New Living Translation says, “The city is left in ruins, with its gates battered down.”
Who would have thought a few months ago that our bars and restaurants would be shut down? Major sports and entertainment events would be closed, and even our churches? Who would have thought we would be hunkering down in our homes, and I would be bringing the message to you this way instead of gathering at the church? It has all happened so quickly.
In that 1986 breakfast meeting David Wilkerson shared a word that Mike Evans wrote down. Here is the prophesy. Pay close attention to what Wilkerson saw. David said,
“I see a plague coming on the world and the bars, church, and government shut down. The plague will hit New York City and shake it like it has never been shaken. The plague is going to force prayerless believers into radical prayer, into their Bibles and repentance will be the cry from true men of God in the pulpit. And out of it will come a third Great Awakening that will sweep America and the world.”iii
What must we know in order to cooperate with God’s agenda at this time? To address that question, I want to explore some principles from 2 Chronicles 15. We will read through the whole chapter for a general sense of what is going on. Then we will address a few principles that apply to our current situation. Follow as I read from the New King James Version.
“Now the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded. 2 And he went out to meet Asa, and said to him: "Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. 3 For a long time Israel has been without the true God, without a teaching priest, and without law; 4 but when in their trouble they turned to the Lord God of Israel, and sought Him, He was found by them. 5 And in those times there was no peace to the one who went out, nor to the one who came in, but great turmoil was on all the inhabitants of the lands. 6 So nation was destroyed by nation, and city by city, for God troubled them with every adversity. 7 But you, be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded!" 8 And when Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and removed the abominable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities which he had taken in the mountains of Ephraim; and he restored the altar of the Lord that was before the vestibule of the Lord. 9 Then he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and those who dwelt with them from Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon, for they came over to him in great numbers from Israel when they saw that the Lord his God was with him. 10 So they gathered together at Jerusalem in the third month, in the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa. 11 And they offered to the Lord at that time seven hundred bulls and seven thousand sheep from the spoil they had brought. 12 Then they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul; 13 and whoever would not seek the Lord God of Israel was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. 14 Then they took an oath before the Lord with a loud voice, with shouting and trumpets and rams' horns. 15 And all Judah rejoiced at the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and sought Him with all their soul; and He was found by them, and the Lord gave them rest all around. 16 Also he removed Maachah, the mother of Asa the king, from being queen mother, because she had made an obscene image of Asherah; and Asa cut down her obscene image, then crushed and burned it by the Brook Kidron. 17 But the high places were not removed from Israel. Nevertheless the heart of Asa was loyal all his days. 18 He also brought into the house of God the things that his father had dedicated and that he himself had dedicated: silver and gold and utensils. 19 And there was no war until the thirty-fifth year of the reign of Asa.”