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No survival without revival

SPRINGFIELD, MO. — Robert C. Cunningham served as editor of the Pentecostal Evangel from 1950 until his retirement in 1984. Managing Editor Ken Horn and I had the opportunity to pray with the Cunninghams in their home four weeks before his passing. Copies of the Pentecostal Evangel were on his coffee table.

Five years ago, shortly after assuming the editor’s post, I invited Brother Cunningham to lunch to seek his counsel. He offered this advice: "Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you, for He loves the magazine more than we do."

For 35 years the Holy Spirit spoke through Brother Cunningham’s pen, as illustrated by this excerpt from a 1962 editorial, "No survival without revival":

Consider the state of the nation. Economically it is prospering, but morally it is in an advanced state of decay. Scientifically and educationally it is soaring to new triumphs, but spiritually it is plunging to new depths of depravity and corruption. Our great school systems are turning out graduates who sneer at biblical concepts of righteousness and doubt that God exists. America’s great free presses are degrading the public with prurient products. The theater is permitted to pander to the worst that is in a person. The nation that can send men orbiting through space is chalking up new records in juvenile crime and adult delinquency every day. America deserves little credit for the billions it contributes to foreign aid as long as it squanders a greater sum on liquor, gambling and related sins.

We piously adopt as our national motto, "In God We Trust," but how can we expect God to save us if we persist in breaking all His laws?

If America is to return to God, Christians must lead the way. There is need of revival in the church. Many who call upon the name of the Lord do not honor Him in their daily lives. They shut Him out of their social and business affairs. Though they call themselves Christians, they are as worldly and materialistic at heart as others who lay no claim to being religious. Pleasure, pride and personal ambition dominate the hearts of many church members. There is no spiritual warmth. They are devoid of love for God, or for the house of God, or for the Word of God. They have drifted into sin but have not acknowledged it.

But God gave Solomon this promise: "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14).

A spiritual revival is the only way to national survival.

— Hal Donaldson


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