Last week we read Part 1 of a conversation between OneCry National Director Randy Hekman and Southern Baptist Convention President Dr. Ronnie Floyd. Here is the second of four excerpts of their conversation, focused on the potential judgment of God on America.
Randy: Many people would suggest that our nation has limited time left, because the judgment of God ultimately falls on all nations that disobey Him. Do you believe that America is under God’s judgment today?
Dr. Floyd: I believe it is up to God to decide whether we are under His judgment. I’m not sure if I’m ready to say we are or we aren’t. I believe any one of us who is not His child is under His judgment. We need to make sure our lives are right with the Lord.
Does America need to come back to God? Absolutely. Does America need to repent of sin? No question about it. Are we under judgment from God? I don’t know that. What I do know is that we will be if we don’t repent.
I personally don’t want to see judgment; for the sake of my own family and my grandchildren as well as this nation, I don’t want that. For the legacy of this great nation, there are many who want us to make a courageous cry to repent. As such, we need to be abounding with hope.
In the Old Testament, the prophets would obviously deal with sin, but they would also cry out with much hope. We need to point people to the hope of Christ, the hope of His good news, the hope that God can turn this around quicker than we could ever naturally see it turned around.
Randy: There are seven churches listed in the book of Revelation. I wonder if you have given any thought to which of those (maybe it’s more than one) typifies the American church in our day?
Dr. Floyd: Well, that is a wonderful question, and I would have had a better answer for you if I had known the question was coming. It makes me even want to speak about it!
My quick answer to that is, I think it’s the bookends. In Revelation 2, like the church of Ephesus, we in America have left our first love.
And I think it is the other bookend of the church of Laodicea, in Revelation 3, where we are absolutely apathetic and lukewarm, and we need to get right with God. Jesus is outside the church, trying to get inside and wake us up and make a difference.
I think it’s “both-and” in our day. The other five churches in Revelation all have weaknesses too, and some have strengths, and you can see that in today’s church as well. It’s almost a combination of all of them.
But the best way to say it is that we in America have left our first love and are lukewarm. And because we have done that, we are not what we ought to be with God, so it is time the church wakes up and gets her stuff together. That is what we must do, and that is what I am committed to try to lead us to do.
Randy: Let me ask this, Dr. Floyd: Are you hopeful or somewhat pessimistic that the church will respond to this call for awakening?
Dr. Floyd: I am hopeful. I believe in my heart that God is raising up a mighty desperation among pastors, because I am seeing it. I have been in prayer meetings with over 2,000 pastors over the last year, and I am seeing a rising desperation that we can’t fix this ourselves—we need God!
I think people are about done with “church,” in the sense of thinking we can solve anything. This is Jesus’ church, and we need to let Jesus build His church. The best thing we can do is get ourselves in a position where the power of God is able to fall.
Am I hopeful? Absolutely, I am hopeful. Am I pessimistic? No, I’m really not at all, because I believe firmly that God is up to something big.
That’s why I’m calling thousands of Southern Baptists to join us in a major prayer movement. We’re trying to move as many as possible toward committing to pray together every day for the next Great Awakening and for the world to be reached for Christ.
I think those two have to go together. If they don’t, we’ll get messed up in one or the other. We need the power of God to help us reach the world, and we will not reach the world without the power of God.
Check back next week for Part 3 of this conversation.