Alexander Solzhenitsyn was heralded as a hero in the West for his courageous and gifted writings from prison that exposed the horrors and tyranny of Soviet communism. But the reaction in the West was more subdued, at times even hostile, when he began to speak with equal candor about the sins and spiritual poverty of the West, most notably in a commencement address given at Harvard University on June 8, 1978. Among his comments, he said:
But should someone ask me whether I would indicate the West such as it is today as a model to my country, frankly I would have to answer negatively. No, I could not recommend your society in its present state as an ideal for the transformation of ours. Through intense suffering our country has now achieved a spiritual development of such intensity that the Western system and state of spiritual exhaustion does not look attractive.
Solzhenitsyn spent nearly fifty years working on the history of the Russian Revolution; in the process he read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and he contributed eight volumes of his own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. He said,
But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.
What is more, the events of the Russian Revolution can only be understood now, at the end of the century, against the background of what has since occurred in the rest of the world. What emerges here is a process of universal significance. And if I were called upon to identify briefly the principal trait of the entire twentieth century, here too, I would be unable to find anything more precise and pithy than to repeat once again: Men have forgotten God.
The failings of human consciousness, deprived of its divine dimension, have been a determining factor in all the major crimes of this century. The first of these was World War I and II and much of our present predicament can be traced back to it. It was a war (the memory of which seems to be fading) when Europe, bursting with health and abundance, fell into a rage of self-mutilation which could not but sap its strength for a century or more, and perhaps forever. The only possible explanation for this war is a mental eclipse among the leaders of Europe due to their lost awareness of a Supreme Power above them.
We have forgotten God; that is why it all things now are happening! “Despite of all these mighty acts of deliverance, and all the great works which God has done for Britain, we turned our back upon Him.
The British people, according to Rev. Gardner have torn themselves away from their original Biblical Christian heritage (foundations), and went ahead in throwing all their past history overboard. They’ve done what exactly what Israel did in Judges 2:12. They‘ve forsaken the Lord God of their fathers who has rescued them again and again, and proceeded to fly in His face.
The author is gripped with the burning and overwhelming conviction that Britain is fast heading towards an extremely severe judgment of God, the like of which she has never before experienced in any period of her long history. He therefore feels convinced that there is an urgent need, like the prophets of old, to sound the trumpet and warn the people.
He was at great pains to point out that it is neither a heathen nor a pagan nation which is guilty of all this. That is the appalling thing. On the contrary, it is a nation which has had a long and rich Christian heritage; a nation which was once known throughout the world as a godly nation- Bible-loving, missionary-hearted and God-fearing.
He indicated how the hand of God has been on the history of this country in blessing right from its very earliest beginnings, and how God has been at work on her behalf throughout all that time in many ways, raising her up until, at various points in her history, she had become a great nation.
God delivered the nation from all the past wars and the national leaders recognized this, and many of them proclaimed at that time, “Britain has been saved for a purpose. God has delivered us and brought us to our present position for some great purpose and now we must seek humbly to discover what that purpose is and then be faithful to it.”
The author lamented that Britain has forgotten all these blessings. She has completely forgotten and even put out of her mind all these great blessings which God has so richly bestowed upon her in the past. Despite the fact that her history has been steeped in God’s miracles of deliverance and acts of divine mercy, Britain has rejected all her rich Biblical-Christian heritage.
What, then, is the burden of the message for Britain? It is being suggested that the urgent need is to pray for revival and a Great Awakening in Britain. The most urgent need today, is for God’s people not just to pray for, but to cry out to heaven for, a mighty visitation of the Holy Spirit upon this country and most especially our churches. This applies to the Western world as a whole, including America.
The author, David Gardner is utterly convinced that there is now nothing that will turn the tide and reserve the trend but that kind of mighty intervention of God Almighty. Evangelism won’t do it anymore.
Preaching by itself won’t do it anymore. Yes, there will be many conversions as a result of evangelism but they will not by themselves, reverse the trend or turn the tide. Only a mighty, heaven-sent Holy Spirit revival will turn the tide—an act of God, without any man being involved.
In the meantime, we as a nation and as individuals must truly repent of our sins and turn back to God very quickly. We need to change your views and purpose to accept the will of God in your inner selves instead of rejecting it.
Secondly, we need to pray specifically for the Lord to deliver Great Britain out of her moral, spiritual, and financial problems so that this nation can fulfil its call of preaching the Gospel to all nations of the world and to once again become a beacon of light, righteousness and justice in the world.
But this will only happen if, as individuals and a nation, humble ourselves, repent, and call on the Lord Jesus Christ to deliver us and then we shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Repent (change your views and purpose to accept the will of God in your inner selves instead of rejecting it) and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of and release from your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (See Acts 2:37-38)
In a nutshell, history tells us that evil spiritual powers aided the rise of and expansion of Nazism and subsequently World War II. But even so, God’s grace and power were infinitely greater than any demonic influence or evil force.
During the entire period of World War II, as Allied and Axis armies were fighting on different fronts, there was also an intense spiritual battle raging in the heavens, and this had a direct effect on the battlefields in the natural world.
As we’ve seen again and again, God raised up intercessors who prayed throughout the entire period of the war, men such as Rees Howells. In the end, the demonic power that had strengthened and guided Hitler, the S.S., and Nazism, was defeated through the persistent prayer of faithful men and women. Yes prayer does work.
It is not a surprise that Bloody Mary is said to have feared the prayers of John Knox more than the trampling feet of armies. As Christians we have the authority from God to cast out and overcome these demonic forces through prayer and intercession in the name of Jesus Christ.
Part of this article is excerpted from the Trilogy of David E. Gardner, The Trumpet Sounds For Britain, Copyright © Christian Foundation Publications, 2003