For years I preached that America’s only hope of survival was revival. However, for the past few years, I’ve preached that America has no hope of survival, since it no longer has any hope of revival.

The Bible teaches that those who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord will be saved and that those who refuse to do so are lost (Romans 10:9-10). If this is so, then how hopelessly lost is a nation that not only refuses to acknowledge Jesus Christ, but outlaws its acknowledge of Him?

The Bible teaches that the sure sign of spiritual reprobation is the acceptance and advocacy of homosexuality (Romans 1:18-32). If this is so, then how hopelessly reprobate is a nation that has enshrined in its law the redefinition of the divinely ordained institution of matrimony to include same-sex marriage.

As a result of my recent preaching I’ve been roundly condemned by my fellow-evangelicals for being an unpatriotic pessimist whose faith is proven sorely lacking by my denial that all things are possible with God. Furthermore, in refutation of my contention, many of my detractors point to the book of Jonah to prove the possibility of revival in today’s America. They point to the revival that took place in ancient Nineveh as proof of the possibility of revival in modern-day America. However, my detractors fail to point out a couple of critical points.

First, the revival in Nineveh was instigated by a preacher like me, one who preached nothing but certain and imminent judgement— “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown” (Jonah 3:4).

Second, the revival in Nineveh was only made possible because “the people of Nineveh” were different from my detractors, as well as today’s American evangelicals, in that they “believed God”; that is, the Ninevites believed that their situation was hopeless and that God’s judgement was imminent (Jonah 3:5).

I once heard a prominent preacher say, “You won’t trust God until you have to!” I initially balked at his startling statement, but after reflecting upon it, came to realize the truth of it. As long as we think we can solve our problems we will look to ourselves to do so. Likewise, as long as we think someone or something else can solve our problems we will look to them or it to do so. However, if we ever get to the place where we realize our situation is hopeless, that no one or nothing can help us but God, then, and then only, will we turn to God in utter desperation.

It is when God sees this, as He did in Nineveh—“God saw their works”— that revival is possible (Jonah 3:10). It is only a nation whose leaders are willing to come down “from” their “thrones” and whose people are willing to “cover themselves with sackcloth and cry mightily unto God” who are fitting recipients of revival (Jonah 3:6-9).