Kenneth F. Haney
The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001, and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. forever changed the world. With the crumbling of the towers came great fear and anxiety. The war on terrorists began, but it is a war on an elusive enemy. No one feels quite as safe anymore. The enemy is diabolical and without remorse. They feel as if they are doing these horrible things in the name of their god. Their way of thinking is appalling.
Earthquakes and other natural disasters, as well as signs in the heavens, are sure indications that the end of days is near. How near? No one knows the day or the hour.
“For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.” Matthew 24:7
The uncertainties of these times have certainly brought fear and panic to the hearts of this world’s population, and our news media brings to us daily the signs of the end times. Mankind has achieved astonishing materialistic progress, but the world is plagued with unhappiness and violence and an ever-increasing moral decay. Scientific and technical knowledge has produced awesome achievements of human knowledge. Yet, over one-third of the world is plagued with the threat of famine. Where millions in one part of the world suffer the quiet devastation of drought and even famine, millions elsewhere are ravaged by violent storms. This planet is in a vicious grip and has a date with destiny.
It is the church’s brightest hour, with nation rising against nation and kingdom against kingdom, with economic chaos threatening the world. Many social problems threaten our communities along with the energy crisis. Our world is caught in the clutches of moral decay. With all these frustrations the world faces great dilemma, but these confusions are producing from man an inner feeling for a need of a higher power. This is the reason for the rapid acceleration on the part of mankind throughout the world turning to religion or to God. We know that the higher power is Jesus, and we must tell others about who God really is!
We face throughout the world an avalanche of disease and pestilence. There are incurable diseases, which in spite of medical science, men have been unable to conquer and come up with a cure. Men and women are desperately seeking solutions and medical answers to such diseases as heart failure, AIDS, and cancer that are destroying lives by the tens of thousands and even mil-lions. It is a physically sick world.
RIPE FOR REVIVAL
All of these factors have taken their toll upon the human race. The time is ripe for revival. There must be a group of people in the earth that other people can turn to in this time of crisis. WE ARE THAT PEOPLE. WE HAVE THE TRUTH! WE HAVE THE MESSAGE! WE HAVE THE TOOLS FOR EVANGELISM! WE MUST FALL ON OUR KNEES AND GAIN NEW POWER TO PROCLAIM THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST, FOR HE IS THE ONLY
The wave of revival in this decade will be the great revelation of the NAME OF JESUS! THE STAGE HAS BEEN SET. THE STATE OF THE WORLD MAKES IT POSSIBLE FOR GREAT SIGNS AND WONDERS TO BE DONE IN JESUS’ NAME!
`And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.” Acts 4:33
This same power must rest upon us!
POWER OF THE NAME OF JESUS
The early church knew the power of the name of Jesus. When Peter and John went up into the temple to pray, they encountered a lame man who asked for alms. “Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6). The church today must have this same revelation of the power of the name of Jesus!
The world is begging for help. It is in their eyes and in the questions that are being asked; we the church have the answers.
Notice the emphasis put on the name of Jesus when Peter and John were asked how the lame man had been able to walk. Peter answered the question by saying, And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know” (Acts 3:16).
THE PREPARED WILL REAP THE HARVEST
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese and after America dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, the Japanese were devastated and dropped to their knees, greatly humbled. It was at this point that the Americans, led by the late General Douglas MacArthur, took control of the nation of Japan. A short time later, while helping the Japanese people put their lives, economy, world, and nation back together, General MacArthur made an urgent appeal to the United States. He asked all religions, Protestants and Catholics, to please send missionaries to Japan, for they were open for help.
They had trusted in Buddha for so many centuries that they felt like their god would never forsake them and allow them to lose a war. Since this had happened they were groping and searching for something in which they could put their trust. That is why General MacArthur made an appeal to the religious leaders of America to send missionaries. I was made aware of this appeal through my grandparents, Frank and May Gray, who spent a great many years of their lives as missionaries in Japan.
Who was it that sent missionaries to Japan at that time? Few Pentecostal missionaries ever arrived on the shores of Japan. As a matter of fact, there were limited amounts of Protestant missionaries ever to reach Japan. However, the Roman Catholic Church supplied Japan with thousands of missionaries. As a result, who do you suppose reaped the greatest harvest? The people’s minds and hearts were open to what the missionaries had to say and as a result of their ripened hearts, the Roman Catholic Church made tremendous inroads into Buddhism.
When the conditions are right the church must move. If we hesitate to thrust forth the sickle and reap the grain, someone else will thrust forth their sickle and reap the ripened grain. Many voices call seductively to modern man, “Follow me, follow me.” Unscrupulous cults and false religions claim to give peace and fulfillment that only leads people into bondage and unscriptural practices. Jesus warned about this in Matthew 24.
He said that in the latter time many would come in His name declaring themselves to be Christ. He also warned that in the latter time many false prophets would rise and deceive many. When the harvest is ripe, it just depends on who is there to reap. Whoever is present and prepared is going to reap the harvest.
Presently, there are many cults who are prepared to reap the harvest. Eastern cults are on the rise according to statistics and are intruding into our universities and colleges of America. Mormon missionaries are in almost every major city in the United States and even in different parts of the world. They are in over 100 nations distributing books of Mormon printed in the language of the nation in which they are being represented. They are being driven with a passion. As a result, their membership is surging higher and higher throughout the world.
The Jehovah Witnesses are infiltrating their doctrine throughout our cities. Every member is considered a minister. They are called Publishers of the Kingdom. Most of them devote an average of fifteen hours a month. Pioneers are required to give at least 100 hours per month. Special pioneers and missionaries devote a minimum of 150 hours per month. They are printing millions of copies of Watchtower literature, Bibles, books, booklets and leaflets that are available in more than 162 languages.
These cults and many others are prepared to reap the harvest. They are not only zealous and enthusiastic in their reaping process, but they are organized in an area of retention and indoctrination. Many people will turn to these cults along with the traditional churches of America and Europe in these troubled times to find security.
While some of these groups have a portion of truth, we must remember that they still do not have all truth. We, the Pentecostals, the Apostolics, with the truth of doctrine, must organize ourselves in this final hour not only to reap the harvest, but also to retain the harvest. IT IS IMPERATIVE TO DO SO!
We must have more FIRE and ZEAL than the cults and false religions. Truth alone will not save the world, but spreading the gospel will. There will be no rest for the United Pentecostals until the last soul has been reached.
We must catch the FIRE of evangelism!
We are not going to evangelize with just methods; we must have the hand of God upon us. We are not going anywhere until there is brokenness. In that brokenness will come God’s vision for the church.
The above article, “The State Of The World” was written by Kenneth F. Haney. The article was excerpted from Haney’s book One God, One World, One Church, One Vision.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”