Although I am a believer, not a skeptic, I’m a thinking believer. I’m not impressed with the “discovery” of the face of Jesus in a piece of wood. Or the map of America appearing in a bowl of melting ice cream.
My Ph.D. is in ancient Semitic texts and languages, and I look for hard data. For facts, rather than speculation.
But certain things do get my attention. How could they not? I do my best to go with the evidence.
A few years ago, a friend of mine wrote a book called The Harbinger. Although he led a congregation in New Jersey, he was virtually unknown outside of some relatively small, Messianic Jewish circles, numbering in the thousands.
It was also his very first book.
But the week it was released, it became a New York Times bestseller. And it stayed that way for an entire year, with a million units in print (or, in e-form or audio-form) by the end of that year.
As for the book itself, it was a wake-up call to America. It was a book of warning and foreboding. It was an urgent call to repentance.
In other words, it was everything you would not expect to find in an instant, national bestseller from an unknown author.
When callers to my radio show asked for my view on the book, I said this: “Whether you agree with all the contents or not, it’s clear to me that God is trying to get our attention. That’s the only way I can explain the phenomenon of this book.”
If you’re still skeptical, I should tell you that a Christian minister (who is a full-time CPA) approached the author of the book at an airport before the book was published.
He had no idea who the author was, but he had a message for him: You have written a book, and I can connect you with a publisher. (At that time, it was still in manuscript form, and the author, Jonathan Cahn, had no connection with any publisher.)
This CPA then wrote to Steven Strang at Charisma Media, telling him that his company should publish this book and that it would be a massive, international bestseller. (Remember: This was without even seeing the manuscript.)
The rest, as they say, is history.
To this day, I believe God was using the book to get the attention of America. We need to wake up! We need to repent! Divine judgment is at the door!
But that’s not the end of the story (as Jonathan would agree). There can still be mercy and restoration. It is an urgent hour in our nation, but it is not too late.
And that brings me to my part of the story.
Last May, we released the first video in our new series Consider This, modeled after the Prager U videos but with our own distinctive voice and in our distinctive way.
Before then, virtually all our social media growth had been organic – meaning, natural, without paid advertising.
But this time, we had a small amount of money to advertise the video on YouTube, helping us to reach 100,000 views more quickly. (Again, we’re talking about a very small advertising budget, just enough to help jumpstart the views.)
This is what we did for the first five videos, all released in 2018. And all of them quickly reached 100,000 views.
Some of the growth was through advertising; much of the growth (in some cases, most of it) was organic. But the pattern was the same.
This time, we spent half of what we spent to advertise the first 5 videos. (And again, I emphasize: We’re talking about a small advertising budget to start, now cut in half.)
And then something happened. Our ad reps at YouTube and Google are baffled. In fact, they say they’ve never seen anything like it.
My producer has no earthly explanation (and he’s constantly looking at data, trying to analyze trends and developments).
The video now has more than one million views, and the jumps have been sudden and dramatic, by the tens of thousands (or even several hundred thousand) in a matter of hours.
And these are legitimate views, which we can also track in terms of a spike in subscribers and in general interest in our YouTube page.
What’s the explanation? Feel free to be skeptical and to reject any supernatural explanation. I can understand your skepticism.
But is it possible that there is a supernatural explanation? Could it be that, along with a message of judgment, God is sending us a message of hope? Could it be that the call for spiritual desperation, which closes out the video, is a call from His heart?
Watch the video for yourself. Consider the evidence that we present. Look at the historical information we offer, including from recent decades in America. And ask yourself, “Is it too late for America? And if not, what can I do to help bring about change?”
We end the video with this simple reminder.
Revival comes when the church gets desperate. Revival comes when the people of God stop their normal routines and pray and fast and cry out. God fills the hungry, not the self-satisfied and complacent.
This means that, ultimately, the question for us is not, “Is it too late for America?” but rather, “Are we desperate enough for revival?’”
That’s a question only you and I can answer.
But it’s a question I believe God Himself is asking us. Is He sending a message through this video?