Summary: A CALL TO REVIVAL
2 Chronicles 7:12-22 A CALL TO REVIVAL You see, this word " revival," comes from a Latin word which means to live, to return to consciousness, to reawaken, to bring to life again, J. Edwin Orr says that the best definition of revival is found in the phrase "times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord." Acts 3:19 (1) THE REASONS FOR REVIVAL (a) SPIRITUAL DROUGHT: 13 If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, The reference is to the copious showers of Palestine being withheld as an act of divine judgement on Israel. Palestine, was described by Moses as " a land of hills and valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven." Deut 11:11 Why would God withhold the showers ? 2 Chronicles 6:26 When the heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; yet if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou dost afflict them; that was the explanation of the shut, sealed, and silent heaven. Deut 28:15 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: 16 Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field. 17 Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store. 18 Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. 19 Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out. 20 The LORD shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me. 21 The LORD shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it. 22 The LORD shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish. 23 And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron. 24 The LORD shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed. Ted Rendall in his book, " Fire in the Church," says this, " .... the reason for the shut heaven is the sin of God's people." .... are we not quick to shift the blame to present day conditions ? To the hardness of men's hearts ? To greedy materialism ? international conflict ? To moral chaos ? To the signs of the times But what about the sins of the saints ?
(b) SPIRITUAL DEVASTATION: 13 or if I command the locusts to devour the land, There is: 1. The Locust of MATERIALISM: The Quaker replied, " Neighbour, if ever thou dost think that thou dost need something, come to see me .... and I will tell thee how to get along without it." 2. The Locust of MODERNISM: liberalism, Attacking the authority of Scripture, the deity of Christ, and the personality of the Holy Spirit. 3. The Locust of IMMORALITY: Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (c) SPIRITUAL DISEASE: 13 or if I send pestilence among my people; Deut 28:58-59 God said, If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD; 59 Then the LORD will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance. " Pestilence among my people." Pestilence Of :- (a) Prayerlessness knees that are not bent in prayer. Eph 3:14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, (b) Perversion Is your spiritual vision distorted ? (c) Pride Perhaps its your hearing ? Rev 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. (d) Presumption Maybe its heart trouble. For some saints have a double heart Ps 12:2 They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak. a proud heart Ps 101:5 Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer. a lukewarm heart. Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. (2) THE REQUIREMENTS FOR REVIVAL 14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, John Wesley, " All God's works are done through believing prayer." " If my people .... pray." God says there must be: (a) BROKENNESS IN PRAYER: " If my people shall humble themselves :14 Brokenness in prayer is the very opposite of haughtiness in prayer ! Do you recall the Pharisee and the publican ? Is 66:2 For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. A. Let's LOOK to Him---Psa 123:2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us. B. Let's LISTEN to HIM In Private, In Prayer, In The Pages Of The Bible C. Let's LEARN From HIM Learn How To "Do It" From The Word Of God! (b) SELFLESSNESS IN PRAYER: " If my people .... pray." The Hebrew word used for pray," here means to " judge self habitually." James says "ye ask and receive not because ye ask amiss that ye may consume it upon your lusts." James 4:3 A. PRAYING PRIVATELY--Mark 1:35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. B. PRAYING PUBLICLY--Acts 12:12 And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying. C. PRAYING PERSISTENTLY--Luke 11:1-10 gives an example of persistent praying. In talking about the man who requested bread from his friend for his guests, Jesus said: Luke 11:8-10 I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. 9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. 10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. D. PRAYING PASSIONATELY---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. E. PRAYING POSITIVELY---James 1:5-6 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. (c) EARNESTNESS IN PRAYER: " If my people .... seek my face." ( 7:14 ) The Word of God reminds us that it is " time to seek the Lord." ( Hosea 10:12 ) We need to Seek God’s…. A. PERSON IN FELLOWSHIP-Psa. 42:1 As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. B. POWER IN FRUITFULNESS--John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. C. PLAN IN IT’S FULLNESS--Acts 9:6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. D. PRIORITIES -Mt. 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. E. PARTNERSHIP---1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. (d) HOLINESS IN PRAYER: " If my people .... turn from their wicked ways." Ways of deceit, dishonesty, impurity, worldliness, ungodliness. James 5:16 " the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." That word " righteous," is used in the Bible in two senses. It is used in the Spiritual sense, and the Moral sense. Here James is using it in the Moral sense. You see, its not enough for a man to say, " I'm a Christian," a man must also be righteous morally, and practically if his prayer is to be effective. If we have defilement on our hands, dissension in our spirits, and doubting in our hearts, that will cancel out effectiveness in prayer 1 Tim 2:8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. (3) THE RESULTS OF REVIVAL For God says " .... then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." ( 7:14 ) There will be: (a) DIVINE INTERVENTION: " Then will I hear from heaven .... " Revival is not man's work but God's work. Zech 4:6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. 7 Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it. G.R.King says " Revival is a sovereign act of God upon the church whereby He intervenes to lift the situation completely out of human hands and works in extraordinary power." (b) DIVINE ABSOLUTION:" And will forgive their sin .... " Revival always deals with sin in the saint as well as sin in the sinner (c) DIVINE RESTORATION:" And will heal their land .... " ( 7:14 ) For revival brings in its train a host of blessings, national, social, moral, and educational. Prov 14:34 " righteousness exalteth a nation but sin is a reproach to any people." Dr. J. Edwin Orr was presenting a series of lectures at Columbia Bible college, a student approached him. " Dr. Orr," " besides praying for revival to occur, what can I do to help bring it about ?" "You can let it begin with you."