Notional Repentance is the Enemy of National Revival

No true Christian doesn’t get excited at the thought of national revival. The problem though is that the potential prospect of national revival is more exciting and appealing to most of us than the returning Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The thought of His new kingdom on Earth is too good to be true hence we search merely for an upgrade of some kind; we want heaven on earth rather than Jesus coming to make all things new. Hence unfathomable world events that we have lived through since 2020 – and are still living in today – haven’t been sufficiently disruptive to shake us free from the idol of ‘the notional.’

In short, we say that we long for national repentance but are only willing to notionally bow, or notionally surrender. We have literally lived through the most disruptive social period of world history in the last one hundred years, with evil ramping every single day, and, as the Body of Christ, we still insist on the merely notional.

We are asleep in our notionality. We are unfeeling, neuropathic.

We specialise in making one very simple vowel switch in the word “national” and, voilà, we have our preferred hum-drum of the “notional”.

Notional repentance. A ‘day of repentance’ for millions of slaughtered children, the very worst contradiction in terms. ‘A day here, a day there’, at least it’s a start — what a pathetic virtue signal.

Notional prayer. A church rhythm once or twice a week that sounds biblical, and holy, and yet fundamentally refuses to conceive of a radical way forward into what it really means to pray.

Notional proclamation. No Christian church is stupid enough to never talk about gospel proclamation, evangelism and outreach, but very few will give it the urgent, full-time attention that it deserves.

Notional repentance is the enemy of national revival.


There are specific symptoms of the existing nomenclature of ‘notionality’ that obstruct the national shift that many of us say we long for.

1) Unwillingness to listen to, (or act upon), the prophetic call to repentance.

2) Unwillingness to forsake the traditions of man.

3) Unwillingness to abandon that which is dead.

4) Unwillingness to be considered renegade and false (unwillingness to slaughter the fear of man).

5) Unwillingness to be cut in heart so as to have one’s life and livelihood turned upside down.

6) Unwillingness to prioritise an ongoing, immersive, catalysing lifestyle of repentance and prayer.

7) Unwillingness to stop prioritising things that we think are holy when they are manifestly not.

8) Unwillingness to face the chaos of the national church (the Church as God sees us) rather than reflecting only on one’s own denomination (an unwillingness to acknowledge the tragically ironic)

9) Unwillingness to acknowledge the nonsensical idolatry of denomination that is entirely incompatible with the end of the age.

10) Unwillingness for false doctrine to be corrected by Scripture and to review what one has believed (and taught others) for decades.

The list could and should go on.

The enemy of national revival is notional repentance. It is worse to give token gestures to repentance and gospel proclamation than to be completely inactive with regard to both.

It is disastrous for national revival to continue messing around with ‘the notional’. Refuse to go along with it any more; call your church leaders to account. Forsake them if they are unyielding.

We do not deserve to preach the glorious gospel today without first acknowledging the profound need of the people of God to first bow the knee…without having one eye on the clock as to when we can get up again.

The enemy of national revival is notional repentance.

Jesus is coming.

We must prepare.

And so we pray, Maranatha

Nick Franks

This short blog is a brief insight into my forthcoming second book that will be available, Lord willing, for Christmas 2022.

(You can support this ministry by dropping me a line, praying and giving).

Body Zero (2019) can be purchased here, along with very sharp gospel tracts for your parish.

Published by firebrandnotes

Radical Preparation for the Return of Christ

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