Most believers are familiar with the prophecies outlined in Joel 2:28-29 which is partially fulfilled in Acts 2. This prophecy states that the Holy Spirit will be poured out on all mankind and ‘sons and daughters will prophesy, old men will dream dreams, and young men shall see visions. God said that He would pour out His Spirit in the future. Peter told the audience that at Pentecost that this was what was happening then and there.
Christians are quick to cry out for the Holy Spirit to be poured on in these last days. But what we so often fail to also pray is Joel 2:12. What does Joel 2:12 have to do with the end times and America’s problems? Wouldn’t pouring out the Holy Spirit on every believer fix our problems? I mean after all, seeing visions, dreaming dreams and prophesying is a good thing. We would be bring the kingdom of Heaven to earth, right?
Hold On! Read Joel 2:12-13
” Yet even now declares the Lord, ‘Return to me with all of your heart, and with fasting, weeping and mourning; 13- and rend your hearts and not your garments.'” Now return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness, and relenting of evil.
The prophet Joel paints a doom and gloom picture of Israel and what will happen to her because of her continual idolatry and many sins. Yet, after all of that he brings out the fact that God is compassionate and slow to anger. Does this sound familiar? Yes, this is the same language that Moses used when describing God to the Israelites after He called them to repent. The Children of Israel had complained and murmured and repeatedly tested God by turning to idolatry and demonstrating a repeated lack of trust and faith in the Lord God.
Joel and Moses would definitely say to the Church in America, and especially to America that you need to rend your hearts, weep, cry, and repent. Oh, wait, repentance seems to be an old-fashioned word that has lost its true meaning. We hear repent and we conjure up masses of people sitting in ashes and sackcloth, weeping and wailing so that God would not smite them or punish them.
Actually, that is an extreme form of repentance but if that is all that you see or know about repentance then you really don’t know what it is about. Joel tells us in verse 13 of chapter 2 that it is returning to the Lord your God. Yes it is really that simple. Returning to God indicates that at some point you left. You may have heard the old saying ‘if God seems far, them who moved?’
The point is that we move away from God when put anything above Him and His Son. When we disobey the commands and statutes outlined in His word, and when we continue to do the very things that Jesus told us not to. That is what sin is= anything that violates God’s laws or the teachings of Jesus. It is as one teacher puts it, ‘anything that Jesus wouldn’t do.
The Church in America has so much to answer for. Idolatry, fornication, witchcraft, divination, New Age and Humanistic teaching and false doctrine, error, and pride are just a few. These sins have crept into the church subtly and many do not know their Bible well enough to recognize the error and sins before them. Our nation is in turmoil from election chaos, burning and looting cities, lawlessness, Baal and Molech worship in the form of abortion, and modern slavery in the form of human trafficking just to name a few.
The world needs answers and the church has not been there to give those answers. Why? We have been too busy feeding our egos, building our kingdoms, and trying to figure out who the next president will be. Hey, we have a king, His name is Jesus.
The point is that we have strayed far from where God would have us be as a nation and especially His church. Many nations around the world where Christians are persecuted and tortured are looking at the Church in America and asking why we have allowed things to get to this point? We haven’t suffered like so many do in other parts of the world. But that is all changing.
The only hope for any nation is for that nation to return to God as Joel outlines. That return must begin with the ekklesia or Church of Jesus Christ. I am talking about the true church. Those that have counted the cost and said yes and are willing to lay down their lives for the King of Kings and for His kingdom. Those who wake up in the morning and are ready to give their lives for the sake of the gospel. It’s time to Return To the Lord With All of Your Heart and with Fasting, Weeping and Mourning.
So the question is where are the mourners? Where are the weepers and the fasters who will cry out and stand in vicariously like Daniel did and say Lord we have sinned, and we have moved far away from you and what your Word requires of us? Who will fast until an angels shows up and announces that your prayers have been heard?
This is not a time to be caught living a lifestyle outside of God’s will. This is not the hour to pick your pet sins and hang on to them. No it’s the hour to lose your life for the sake of the kingdom in order to gain it in the heavenly kingdom. It’s time to weep and repent and return to God with all of your heart. Then we an experience revival and times of refreshing and the Holy Spirit being poured out and sons and daughters prophesying and many dreaming dreams and seeing visions. Then we will experience a great harvest like never before.