Wed Pm Worship Our only Chance
Text: James 5:13-16 (King James Version)
"Father, I am your servant, willing and desiring to be used to bless your people."
The Fields are white and the laborers are
2. C.H. Spurgeon said, "If God does not save a man by truth he certainly will not save them by lies, and if the old gospel is not competent to work a revival, then we will do without the revival;
James 5:13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? Let him sing psalms.
James 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
James 5:15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Revival is the renewing our Walk, our Worship, and our Work. It's effective but also elusive. At one time Israel had the refreshing of His presence, the realness of His power and the reassurance of His promises. But turned to folly! David knew what it was to walk in Revival fires, but he also knew rebuke, reproof and remorse - 2 Samuel chapters 11 &12. Records his mistakes where he tarried behind when he should have been in battle;
- 2 Sam.11:1, he lingered with his looking on a bathing beauty
- 2Sam.11:2, and he lost control in his lust and sinned
- 2 Sam. 11:4. But he knew what it was like to rejoice
over battles won, in
bringing back the Ark and in blessings in general; but now it has fled
and he cries out to God!
In 1904 a young ministerial student named Evan Roberts,
began to feel that God was sending an urgent message that He was going to pour
out a mighty spirit of revival on Wales, which is now a part of Great Britain.
Roberts began attending various revival meetings and during one he was deeply
moved by the Spirit. As he prayed at the altar he cried out to God, "Bend me o
Lord!" This was a complete and total surrender of his will to God's
Roberts soon returned to his home church to preach the message of revival but his pastor was reluctant to allow him to speak. In a compromise, the pastor announced that Roberts would be speaking following the regular prayer meeting and any who wished to stay were welcome. Only 17 people stayed to hear Evan speak and most of them were teenagers and young adults.
Evan Roberts spoke in that church for nearly two hours with a simple 4 point message that he was convinced could help God bring revival.
1. Confess all known sin to God
2. Deal with and get rid of any "doubtful" area of your life
3. Be ready to obey the Holy Spirit instantly
4. Confess Christ publicly
Can I just add one that I personally believe is a major
stumbling block for many good Christians? Get rid of any un-forgiveness you may
be harboring towards another!
When Roberts was finished speaking all 17 young people
were at the altar on their knees crying out to God. They prayed until 2am that
night and it was the beginning of one of the greatest movements of God in all
history. By the end of the week, over 60 people were won to Christ and over the
course of the next year and a half revival swept through the nation of Wales.
Over 100,000 people were led to saving faith in Jesus Christ.
The revival was so great that the national culture changed dramatically.
* A rage of bankruptcies took place - All of the taverns and liquor stores went out of business
* Work at the coal mines was brought to a near standstill - The mules who pulled the wagons were so accustomed to hearing foul language from the workers that after the men were saved the mules no longer recognized their voices or commands
* The entire police force was dismissed for almost 18 months due to a complete lack of crime
* One of the few court cases that was actually brought before a judge was unusual. The defendant came into the court and admitted his guilt, the judge led the man to Christ and the jury closed the case by singing a hymn.
While the world is looking for God, Tragically and ironically God's people are asleep in their pews, asleep in religious traditions and lethargy.
CHURCH, IT IS TIME FOR REVIVAL WITHEN!
* Psalm 119:156: "Great are Thy mercies, O Lord; Revive me according to Thine ordinances"
* Psalm 119:37: "Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity, And revive me in Thy ways."
* Psalm 119:88: "Revive me according to Thy lovingkindness, So that I may keep the testimony of Thy mouth"
* Psalm 85:6: "Wilt Thou not Thyself revive us again, That Thy people may rejoice in Thee?"
* Habbakuk 3:2: "Lord, I have heard the report about
Thee and I fear. O Lord, revive Thy work in the midst of the years, In the midst
of the years make it known; In wrath remember mercy"
Organized meetings in which many have traditionally called a "Revival." You will see many signs, posters and may get calls for invitation to participate. Statements like "we are in revival with brother britches to big from Idaho" or sister slow to gossip from oregano.
we have all been through meetings where an outside speaker (and/or singer) is
engaged. We attend and get all excited about the music and the preacher only to
see the meeting come to an end and, all the enthusiasm it generated.
* Is that type of meeting really a revival? As I read God's word, this would seem to NOT be a revival at all. Only an effort at revival.
1. Revival - What is it? For the past several days I
have listened to several sermons, read through several books and papers, and
sought God's word about this thing of "Revival." Listen to some of God's
choicest men about this:
* Revival is a renewed conviction of sin and repentance, followed by an intense desire to live in obedience to God. It is giving up one's will to God in deep humility. - Charles Finney
* Revival is falling in love with Jesus all over again - Vance Havner.
* Revival is not some emotion or worked-up excitement; it is rather an invasion from heaven which brings to man a conscious awareness of God - Stephen Olford
* Revival is a renewal of spiritual life in an individual or among a group of people - Don Robinson
* Revival is that sovereign work of God in which He visits His own people, restoring and releasing them into the fullness of His blessing." - Robert Coleman
* "Revival is a return to spiritual health after a period of decline into sin and broken fellowship with God... Revival is for God's people when they need to be forgiven and restored to life, spiritual health, and vitality" -Blackaby & King
* "Revival is where God shows up, revealing our sin to us, convicting of sin, calling us to confession & repentance, leading us to a response in which He cleans our lives, correct our thinking, rights our relationship, and changes our hearts." J. Watts
* Do you wonder as to what a Biblical definition is? In the five different Bible passages we read, please note that they were from the KJV and use the word `revive." The newer translations replace this word with `give us life!" What a GREAT vision of revival.
* We know to revive someone medically means you bring them back to life. Make no mistake; the same is true about reviving one spiritually.
* For the person without Christ, a "Reviving" is needed!
Paul writes we are `dead in our trespasses & sin.' Apart from Christ we are
dead for time and eternity. Sin causes death and we are sinners. In Ephesians 2,
it goes on to say, "But God!" (I like that) "But God who is rich in love &
mercy has MADE US ALIVE (revived us) with Jesus." This is salvation. God taking
a person who is hopeless & helpless for all eternity & REVIVING us
through transformation * For the person with Christ, the one who has been
revived from the dead, a revival happens when the hot heart grows cold. Coming
to Christ is an exciting experience, your heart is hot for Him (& His work),
and your soul is on fire with the flames of the Holy Spirit. Then something
happens. Could be many things (I.E. temptation, sin, hurt, trauma, etc) but when
it happens, the fire goes out. Inside your heart grows cold; you lose your
empathy, your compassion, your sensitivity to the Holy Spirit and ultimately,
your ability to pray. It is at this point that God speaks to you & begins
2. Revival - when is it needed? - Certainly, when we
have been wounded to the point of falling away from God, we need to hear His
voice & respond. I offer us 3 specific times that revival is needed.
a. Corrupted Standards -When exactly are our standard `corrupt?' In his book, "Why Revival Tarries", Leonard Ravenhill says, "We have adopted the convenient theory that the Bible is a book to be explained, whereas first & foremost it is a Book to be believed (& obeyed). There is a vast difference in knowing the Word of God and knowing the God of the word." Think about the standards of God's word;
"Be Holy as I am Holy", don't gossip, love one another,
edify (build up) one another, pray for one another, and the list goes on &
on. Candidly, when we lower God's standard of Holiness by the explanation that
"no one is perfect", we play into the hands of the enemy. God's standard of
holiness is comprehensive and it is cascading. When we dismiss His bar of
holiness, love goes out gossip comes in, building up one another & praying
for one another is gone.
b. Compromised beliefs - There are some things which the Bible doesn't address directly. In those cases we use principles to know what our Lord intends for us to do. However, our tendency is to rationalize what God has dogmatized. For instance, the Bible is clear about our sexual lives. A sexual relationship is only to be within the confines of marriage. That is, one man for one woman. Every other form of sexual contact is sin & is to be viewed & dealt with as sin. Furthermore, according to many passages in God's word (particularly 1 Corinthians) it is the church's responsibility to hold believers accountable for their sin. Today, that is uncomfortable so we `rationalize' this by saying, "it's nobody's business." Yet, that response would have never held water with the first century church that was intent on building & maintaining God's standard. When we compromise God's word, we are in great need of a revival.
c. Complacent Attitude - This is expressed in the "so what" mentality. We are trying to do something for the Lord, `let them do it.' We need host for in home prayer meetings, `let someone else do it.' We need phone callers, `so.' People don't have a church home, a church family, or a home in heaven? Who cares! For my two-cent worth, complacency is the biological bomb of the enemy. He explodes it in a way that is least detectable and its reach is both aggressive and undetected until it is too late. A "don't care" or `me first' attitude is a sign that we have left, lost, or forgotten our first love. These are signs that we have become lukewarm in the eyes of God and you know what that means.
3. Revival-How it begins? - First of all, True revival like our salvation begins with God. But understand God is ready and willing to save our souls and/or send us revival. Sadly, too many who claim the name of Jesus have become so corrupted & compromised, that human complacency keeps us from admitting our need and more to the point, hearing God's call. God sent John the Baptist with a call which pricked the hearts of his hearers. Here the call from God's word today. (2 Chronicles 7:14a)
2 Chronicles 7:14 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.
a. The words are recorded words that God spoke to King Solomon around the time of the dedication of the magnificent Temple. God gave the responsibility for revival, renewal, and restoration to HIS people. Revival does not begin away from God's people, God starts with His own. In the words of Peter, "It's time for judgment to begin at the House of God." It is a sad day, when people who have been truly born again become to apathetic and compromised to not notice the fire is gone.
Years ago, when teenagers would leave for the evening
their parents would say, "Remember your name" meaning, "Protect your
* I wonder if God were to stand in our presence, would He be proud of the way we have represented His name in this place. Would `my people' be a phrase He would proudly use? Would our hearts, our words, attitudes, and relationship be what HE would want? If not, He speaks to us today about it. He calls us to see our sin, our weakness, our need.
b. Repentance - Look at what we, as His people, must do; humble ourselves, pray, and turn from our wicked ways. I dare say there has never been a day when `pride' has been more of a profound problem for the church than today. It was pride that got Lucifer kicked out of heaven. He thought himself to be the same as God and declared himself to be all that God is. The result was, he got kicked out of heaven. In the original sin, this same prideful spirit became ingrained in the heart of fallen man. Yet God tells us that we have to humble ourselves before Him. In the New Testament to be humble before God is to bow before Him in awe and respect. No one struts into the presence of God. We also must pray. Isn't it amazing that God wants us to talk with Him and that He wants to talk with us? Repentance is about humbling ourselves before God to the point that we talk with Him (that is, with Him and not just `to Him') and turn away from our sins. If we are unwilling to turn from our sins, there is no repentance.
I. WE WANT STIRRINGS WITHOUT CHANGE: only want it to
inside the Church
A. Being a reservoir without being a river; but something that's in and not putting out is a Dead Sea !
B. We want the benefits of His blessings but not be a
1. No charitable spirit.
2. No giving of ourselves.
C. We want shouting and sing with joybells ringing without personal involvement: Spectators not Partakers.
ll.WE WANT SOUND DOCTRINE WITHOUT COMPLIANCE:
A. Want it told like it is, but live like it isn't;
B. Want it straight on Salvation, but not give it all in our witness;
C. Want it settled about separation, but live like the world;
lll. WE WANT SERMONS TO SHOUT ABOUT BUT NOT TO CHALLENGE US:
A. No challenge to Give; Our Silver --- that's Tithes and Offerings.
B. No challenge to Grow; In Our Service at the House Of God.
C. No challenge to Go; In Search for others --- Warning, Winning.
IV. WE WANT THE SAVIOUR TO BLESS WITHOUT US KEEPING HIS
A. To Love one another; Gal. 5:13,14
B. To Learn through Study, 2 Tim. 2:15
C. To Leave the world and gather at church, Heb. 10:25
V. WE WANT SATISFYING EXPERENCES WITHOUT COMMENTMENT:
A. Committed Hands to Work in the Vineyard.
B. Committed Hearts to Worship in Victory.
C. Committed Home's to live the Way of Christ; a vital part.
c. we must "Seek God's face." We must turn from our sin and turn to seek God. this is not a `one time', `one sentence', or even just `one action' type of response,
it means to stay with it. For instance, try to get a
baby to eat what he/she doesn't want. It is a scientific proven fact that a baby
can turn their head and moving their mouth faster than can any parent with a
spoon in their hand!! This is an oversimplified picture of turning from sin
& to God with the effort of seeking His face. The face of God turns away
from us when we are in sin. He requires us to approach Him (He's Holy God) in
humility, prayer, turning from our wickedness (that means repenting of sin), and
seeking His face. Is this our focus today?
4. Revival-What it means? - The last part of 2 Chronicles 7:14 gives this;
a. God comes (He hears) - He says, I will hear. Sin is in the ears of God what cotton is to the ears of man. To hear is to respond, that is the way of the Father. I can't imagine God hearing & not responding.
b. God cleans (He forgives) - 1 John 1:9. He will wipe the slate clean. He wants us to be revived and He's the REVIVOR!!
c. God cures (He heals) - If God revives the heart of His people, then His purpose in salvation & spiritual growth is met resulting in a land that is healed.
Illustration: Robert Robinson, in 1758, wrote the song, "O Thou Fount of Every Blessing." He later fell away from the faith. He met a young lady singing his song. She, noting his sadness, wanted to share the lyrics with him. Robinson responded, "Madam, I wrote the song and I'd give a thousand worlds to have that feeling once again." The psalmist expresses the same in Psalm 85:6, "Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?"
We will never have Revival if we won't deny Self ! And Jesus said, in Luke 14:33 - " So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple."
1. The world needs to know "how to" come to God and worship God, not with man's opinion but with a "thus saith the Lord." The world needs to hear God.
2. The world needs models of authentic Christian living. The world needs to see God as he really is and not just what they have been told he is.
There is not a Problem in the world that God's word can't solve!
"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people." Prov. 14:34
Can God solve my personal problems? "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Matt. 6:33