Pastor James J. Barker

Text: HABAKKUK 3:1-6


  1. Many Christians are praying for revival.
  2. As I have been praying for revival, the Lord has directed my thoughts to the last days of the nation of Judah.
  3. And I have considered: Could these be the last days for America?
  4. One thing is certain – unless God sends revival to our nation it is all over for the United States of America.
  5. Nothing is known of the prophet Habakkuk outside of the book that bears his name (cf. Scofield’s introduction).
  6. Habakkuk was a contemporary of the prophet Jeremiah.  The book of Habakkuk was probably written during the time of King Josiah, and his son and successor Jehoiakim.
  7. The northern kingdom had already gone into captivity, and the southern kingdom was on the brink of falling. 
  8. Many people sincerely believe America is on the brink of falling.
  9. In Chapter 1, the prophet Habakkuk was perplexed (1:2), but when we get to chapter 3, Habakkuk is no longer perplexed.  He has heard from heaven. Now he is worshipping God (3:1).
  10. The third chapter of Habakkuk is a poem, apparently a hymn, an anthem of praise (cf. 3:1, 19).  It includes praise, thanksgiving, adoration, and most importantly – a plea for REVIVAL (3:2).
  11. Beloved, our church needs revival.  Our nation needs revival.  So this morning I would like to preach on the need for revival, and I have entitled my message, “Can America See Revival?”
  12. I ask that question because many Christians believe it could be too late for America.  They believe our country has crossed the point of no return.



  1. Let me begin by explaining what I mean by revival.  “Revival is the spiritual, powerful manifestation of the presence of God that leads the saints to brokenness and a restoration to spiritual life, and that awakens and leads the lost to a reception of eternal life” – “Revival Focus” website.
  2. Churches today are in a deplorable condition – prayerless, worldly, carnal, dead, etc.  Our churches desperately need revival.
  3. Our country is entangled in two major wars (Afghanistan, Iraq), and we are facing threats from other hostile countries such as Iran.  We are getting deeper and deeper in debt and facing the complete collapse of our economy.
  4. Morally our country resembles Sodom and Gomorrah.  Recently, the Rabbinical Alliance of America, which represents 850 Orthodox Rabbis, strongly criticized Elena Kagan, the president’s nominee for the Supreme Court,.
  5. Speaking on behalf of his organization of rabbis, Rabbi Yehuda Levin, said, “Ms. Kagan is Non-Kosher - not fit to serve on the Supreme Court or any other court. It is clear from Ms. Kagan’s record on issues such as abortion-on-demand, Partial-Birth-Abortion, the radical homosexual and lesbian agenda…et. al., that she will function as a flame-throwing radical, hastening society’s already steep decline into Sodom and Gomorrah.”
  6. On Friday, July 2, Dr. Charles Stanley, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Atlanta, Georgia, preached an Independence Day message to thousands of people assembled for this special meeting.
  7. Pastor Stanley said, “There is a war going on against Jesus.  It’s part of the strategy. The primary reason for this war against Him is He is interfering with the plan to make this a socialist nation.”
  8. Stanley warned that our country’s slide into socialism is going to destroy us.  He said, “Under a socialist society, in which the government controls all means of production and distribution, there is no motivation for diligence, and creativity is stifled. When there is less reward, there is less to give. And as evidenced in the recent downturn, what suffers first is supporting missionary work.”
  9. Notice the devil is attacking Christianity on several fronts – including support for missions.
  10. Stanley listed many of the problems facing our nation, including the government taking control of everything, which means we could soon lose our freedom of speech.
  11. He also referred to how the government and the courts have banned prayer at schools, and removed references to Jesus, God and the Ten Commandments from the public square.
  12. “It is an attempt to destroy the Christian spirit in America,” he said.
    Among the other elements of the dangerous slide toward destruction are: terrorism, turning our backs on Israel, the announcement that the United States is not a Christian nation, increasing national disasters, so-called “gay marriage and civil unions,” and the government’s support for killing unborn babies.
  13. Pastor Stanley said this, “Do you want this nation to keep going where it’s going or do you want us to get back on track?  Do you believe God answers prayer?  Pray for God to change the direction of this tide.”
  14. Stanley added that those prayers have to be backed up with righteousness and a godly life if they are to be effective.
  15. James 5:16 says, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”  Not a worldly man or a carnal man or a backslidden man, etc.
  16. I agree with Pastor Stanley when he said this, “There has never been a nation like these United States. We do not want it to fail or to fall.”
  17. In other words – America needs revival!
  18. But is it too late for America?  Can America once more see revival or is there nothing but judgment in the days ahead?



  1. Notice what Habakkuk says.  “O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid (3:2).  Do you know why there is no fear of God today?  People are not hearing from God.  Habakkuk heard from God.
  2. Habakkuk said: “I have heard thy speech, and was afraid.”
  3. Romans 3:17 says this about sinners: “And the way of peace have they not known.”  Why is that?
  4. The next verse, Romans 3:18, says, “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
  5. We can never have revival without the Word of God. And we will not see souls saved without the fear of God.
  6. And how can we expect to see God bless our church and to see souls saved when Christians are not right with God, when they are not reading their Bibles, when they are carnal and worldly?
  7. We have churches full of people who are driven by their emotions, rather than by the Word of God.   When you attempt to show them what the Bible says, they get angry.
  8. The Psalmist said, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee” (Psalm 119:11).
  9. Jesus prayed for His disciples in John 17:17.  He prayed to God the Father, “Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth.”
  10. But many Christians today are not devoted to the Word of God.  They are not being directed by the Word of God.   We can expect this from the unsaved, but God’s children ought to be devoting their time to the careful study of God’s Word.
  11. We need to hear from God.
  12. Habakkuk said, “O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid…” (Hab. 3:2).  Habakkuk had the fear of God because he heard from God.
  13. We need to hear from heaven.  Habakkuk heard from heaven (3:2).  The fearful report to which he refers is the revelation given in chapter 2, concerning Judah’s coming chastisement.
  14. Are you afraid of God’s coming chastisement? 
  15. God judged Israel.  God judged Judah.  And God judged all of the other nations.
  16. Don’t you believe that God will judge the United States of America?
  17. Psalm 9:17 says, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.”
  18. Habakkuk prayed, “O LORD, revive Thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy” (3:2).
  19. In Chapter 1, Habakkuk was perplexed.  He kept thinking that the Babylonians were so wicked and the Jews were so righteous.  So why was God allowing these heathen Babylonians to punish His Chosen People? (Cf. Hab. 1:1-4).
  20. But now Habakkuk understands.  He has heard from heaven.  He has seen “the Holy One” (3:3).  Now he was no longer thinking about how bad the Babylonians were.  Now he was no longer thinking about how good the Israelites were.  Now he was thinking about how holy God was!
  21. There is a direct connection between God’s holiness and man’s sinfulness.  The more we comprehend God’s holiness the more we abhor our own sinfulness.
  22. When we start thinking like that, then God can start to move.  Let’s not worry about how bad the heathen are. God will take care of them. Let’s just make sure that we are right with God.
  23. Let’s make sure we are right with God, and then God will take care of everything else.
  24. Habakkuk began to realize that the distinction between the Babylonians and the Israelites was relatively unimportant in the light of God’s holiness, in the light of God’s majesty, and in the light of God’s glory.
  25. Now Habakkuk saw it – the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man.  Do you see it?  Your own sinful heart? 
  26. This is the first step toward revival.



  1. Many Christians believe it is too late for the USA.  They see the growing apostasy, the stubborn impenitence, the wicked ungodliness, and insist America has gone too deep into sin to ever return to God.
  2. Let us consider our situation today, and compare it with ancient Judah.  Judah went very deep into sin during the reign of King Manasseh. This was before the ministry of the prophet Habakkuk. 
  3. God declared that judgment was inevitable and irreversible.
  4. King Manasseh’s provocations were the main reason Judah went into captivity (cf. II Kings 23:26, 27; 24:3).
  5. However II Chronicles 33:11-13 says King Manasseh “humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers,” indicating he repented in his final days (II Chron. 33:14-20).  Nevertheless the damage was done and God’s judgment was irrevocable.
  6. King Manasseh’s son Amon was a wicked king. 
  7. However, God graciously sent revival during the reign of King Manasseh’s grandson, King Josiah (II Kings 22, 23), Judah’s last good king.
  8. America could be like Judah during the reign of King Manasseh or his wicked son King Amon.  When things looked like they could not get worse, God raised up godly King Josiah and revival came.
  9. But Josiah was the last good king of Judah. All the remaining kings of Judah were wicked, and soon Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, and his army invaded Jerusalem.
  10. King Nebuchadnezzar made Mattaniah king and changed his name to Zedekiah (II Kings 24:17). King Zedekiah rebelled against Babylon, and Nebuchadnezzar attacked Jerusalem again, this time destroying the temple and the city (II Kings 25).
  11. We could be living in the last days of this great republic.  There is no mention of America in Bible prophecy.
  12. We read about the various nations of Europe and Africa and Asia, but there is no mention of America.
  13. We read of Persia (Iran) and Russia and of course, Israel, but we do not see even a hint of the USA. Most Bible scholars believe America will be swallowed up by the revived Roman Empire.
  14. In fact, that is the great desire of the liberal intellectuals in America today. They prefer European secularism and socialism to the old-fashioned Christian values that built our great country.
  15. Habakkuk understood that God’s judgment was inevitable, and so should we (Hab. 3:3-6).
  16. The multitudes today are rejecting God’s mercy.  They reject salvation.  They reject the Bible.
  17. They are determined to do things their way.  And so God will once again send the pestilence (Hab. 3:5).
  18. You will recall Jesus said that in the last days, “there shall be famines, and pestilences” (Matt. 24:7).  This includes herpes and AIDS.
  19. The “burning coals” (Hab. 3:5) refer to burning plagues (cf. Num. 11:1-3; Ps. 18:12-14).
  20. Coals of fire can represent either judgment or revival.  Which will it be?
  21. Proud and arrogant men, haughty unbelievers, knaves and fools are trying to bring in peace on earth without the Prince of Peace.  One of the ways they are attempting this is through the UN and their New World Order.  But God is going to judge the Christ-rejecting nations (Hab. 3:6).
  22. God is looking down from heaven upon a world that has rejected the Gospel.  A world that has rejected the Lord Jesus Christ and has deified man.
  23. A world that has thrown off all restraints – restraints against adultery, divorce, homosexuality, abortion, etc.
  24. Psalm 2:2 says, “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.”
  25. This world hates Jesus.  They are shaking their fists at God and saying, “We will not have this man to reign over us” (Luke 19:14).



  1. The revival in King Josiah’s day is encouraging because it occurred during a time of apostasy far worse than today.
  2. Though God had told Judah that judgment was coming to the land, nevertheless, a wonderful revival occurred among those who were seeking it before the final fall of Jerusalem occurred.
  3. Those of us who know our Bibles know the hour is late.
  4. The Lord Jesus said in Luke 18:8, “When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”
  5. The apostle Paul said in II Timothy 3:1, “This I know, also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.”
  6. These are perilous times. We are living in what has been called “a post-Christian society.”   Most Americans are ignorant of God’s Word, and many are openly hostile to it.
  7. Nevertheless, God can send down a spiritual revival like he did in the days of King Josiah, and we should fervently pray for it.
  8. Jesus said in Luke 11:13, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”

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