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A prophetic word from Joel to America

Dr. Jim Denison is a cultural apologist who helps people respond biblically and redemptively to the vital issues of our day. He is also the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of the Denison Forum, a Dallas-based nonprofit that comments on current issues through a biblical lens.

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The War Scroll (found in Qumran Cave 1), popularly known as The War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness, is one of the seven original Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in Qumran in 1947 (Credit: Library of Congress / Matson Photo Service - American Colony Jerusalem / Eric Matson)

The year is 500 B.C.  The Jewish people have just returned from exile in Babylon, but they have not learned the lessons of their captivity.  According to the prophet Joel, they are still facing economy deprivation (1:4).  There are still drunkards in the land (1:5); people are abandoning the worship of God (1:13); an enemy is coming for which the nation’s defenses are woefully unprepared (2:3-9).

Does this sound like our nation?  Americans are worried about the looming “Fiscal Cliff.” Substance abuse continues to rise, while the number of people with no faith has escalated ten-fold in the last 50 years.  And the threat of radical Islam continues to grow, threatening Americans abroad and at home.

What are God’s people to do?  Joel tells us: “Declare a sacred fast; call a sacred assembly.  Summon the elders and all who live in the land to the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord” (1:14).  He says it again: “Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill” (2:1).  A third time: “‘Even now,’ declares the Lord, ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.’  Rend your hearts and not your garments” (2:12-13).

If we do, “I will pour out my Spirit on all people . . . And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (2:28, 32).  As a fifth Great Awakening advances everywhere but in the West, are we seeing this promise fulfilled?  Is God waiting on us to turn to him and join this great spiritual movement?

As I read Joel, I sensed a connection between his message and our ministry.  Like the prophet, God has called us to “blow the trumpet in Zion.”  He has called us to speak his truth to the issues of our day, encouraging and equipping Christians to live biblically and boldly.

This past year God has grown our subscribers from 18,000 to more than 70,000 in 181 countries, which means that we send over 1.5 million emails each month;  we have plans to double that number next year.  Our websites (DenisonForum, JanetDenison.com and our resource library) have been visited more than 500,000 times.  My recent report on the faith of the presidential candidates was downloaded more than 100,000 times.  In 2013 we will partner with churches and communities for spiritual awakening, develop video resources to equip Christians for spiritual growth, and produce digital Bible commentaries.  We give our printed resources at cost and our online resources for free.  To do this, we have kept our organization small and depend entirely on the financial support of our readers.

This morning, I urge you to join me in praying for a moral and spiritual awakening in America before it’s too late.  And I would ask you to intercede for our ministry as we proclaim his truth to our nation.  Each December I ask my readers to pray about supporting our work financially.  If he leads you to help us, you can send a tax-deductible contribution to the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture, 17304 Preston Road, Suite 1060, Dallas, TX 75252.  Or you can click on this link to make a secure online donation.

God is calling his people to “rend your hearts and not your garments” as we work for the renewal of this nation we love.  Will you join us?