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Not too late for revival, says Caner
by Emily Grooms
CLEVELAND, Ga. (TMCNews) – "Is it impossible for our generation to see revival, an awakening of hearts and souls in this country?" asked Dr. Emir Caner, president of Truett-McConnell College.
President Caner kicked off TMC's spring semester chapel series Jan. 17 with a sermon titled "The Josiah Generation: Discarding Excuses against Revival."
"You hear pastors say, 'It's too late for America,'" Caner said. "I want to remove all excuses people use to say, 'There can't be revival.'"
Caner claimed it's not too late for America. He asked the question, "What's it going to take to raise up a generation of Josiahs?"
Your grandfather and father were wicked and your nation is in captivity; this was the legacy left for Josiah, Caner alluded. "If it's possible to see revival under Josiah's leadership and the wickedness of that day, it's certainly probable that God would do the same today right here in our midst."
"We have to discard the excuses we think stop revival from happening," Caner said as he noted four such common excuses.
"Your family history cannot stop revival," Caner stated. He read 2 Kings 2:22, "He did what was right in the Lord's sight and walked in all the ways of his ancestor David; he did not turn to the right or the left," and pointed out how the wickedness in Josiah's family didn't stop him from pursuing the Lord.
"You may say, 'You don't understand what I come from. I have so much heart-ache and hurt; maybe there's a revival that will come but it can't come through me.' That wasn't Josiah," Caner said. "Josiah didn't come from a family he could be proud of."
Caner explained Josiah's ancestry: Manasseh, his grandfather, performed pagan sacrifices in the church, possibly even child sacrifices. He allowed temple prostitutes, homosexuality, and all sorts of other perversions, Caner said. His father, Amon, continued the wickedness after Manasseh died.
"It was a dark hour," Caner said.
"Don't you dare give the excuse that, because of your family and who they are, that you can't follow the Lord. That is your own decision to make. You can't do anything about your family," he said, "and you can't do anything about your past but let God's grace cover you."
Caner noted the second excuse today's generation uses to halt revival. "The neglecting of Scripture cannot stop revival," he said.
"They neglected the Bible for generations," Caner stated, "but all it takes is one man to open it up and read. Revival will come."
Addressing the importance and inerrancy of Scripture, Caner noted 2 Kings 22:8: "Hilkiah the high priest told Shaphan the court secretary, 'I have found the book of the Law in the Lord's temple,' and he gave the book to Shaphan to read it."
"If you choose to pick up this book, you cannot choose what to believe. If you don't believe all of it, then you don't believe any of it," Caner claimed.
Next, Caner stated the wickedness of a generation cannot stop revival.
Looking at the wickedness of past generations: prostitutes, perversion in the gods' temples, sacrificing children to Baal -- Caner affirmed that even wickedness "still can't stop revival."
"If we are ever going to eradicate the wickedness in America, there will first be an awakening in the Church," Caner said. "It won't happen simply through politics."
The next thing Josiah did was call for Passover, Caner noted. "It was during this time Josiah called for Israel to remember God's redemption of His people from bondage."
Calling people to remember the spotless lamb who shed His blood on the cross, Caner said, "If you don't accept the love of Jesus Christ as a sacrifice for your sin, you will die and spend eternity in hell."
Caner challenged students to stand up and be a Josiah. "Revival will only come when the churches of Jesus Christ come back to the cross. It will only come in a Josiah generation where one man stands up even if others don't."
"God doesn't want to hear that your family is too wicked, the nation is too sinful, or the Bible has been neglected. It comes down to you," Caner said, "if you'll stop making excuses... Don't let your past stop you from having the victory in the present."
Emily Grooms is a Truett-McConnell English major and a freelance writer for the college.