Summary: This sermon is based on Acts Chapter 8. We desperately need a revival to sweep our nation and the world. The sermon outline is borrowed from Sermon Central, but the sermon was built by myself to fit the church I pastored at the time.
8 And Saul approved of their killing him.
On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. 2 Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. 3 But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison.
4 Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. 5 Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. 6 When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.
When I was in Bible College I was a student of church history…and some of the most fascinating stories you can read are about the occurrences of Great City-wide Revivals!
Some of these revivals shook an entire city for God.
For example, over 200 years ago, there was a preacher named Charles Finney who conducted Revivals in the NE part of the US.
These were large crusades during a time of revivals in the United States.
If you could imagine and compare these Revivals/crusades with the Billy Graham crusades you would get a picture of what it was like.
On one occasion in Rochester, NY, over 100,000 came to Christ…the entire city was shaken for God!
I had the great honor of being a part of the Billy Graham Crusade that came to Columbus, Ohio back in the 1990’s.
We pastors met together and prayed and prayed that God would send a mighty moving of His Holy Spirit to the State of Ohio.
And I watched from the stands of the Old Columbus Clipper stadium when the Message was preached and the invitation given hundreds of people walking down to the field and repenting and receiving Christ into their hearts.
I watched prostitutes, gay people, alcoholics, sinners leave their seats and walk down to the field to receive Jesus into their hearts and lives.
Then there was the great Welsh Revival at the turn of the 20th C.
It all started in a small room with 16 teenagers after a Wednesday night service in a meeting in a small church…Holy Spirit spiritual fire fell on those 16 youth and historians of that day said it could only be compared to the day of Pentecost!
The young people were weeping and crying out to God to make a difference in their lives at 2 o’clock in the morning so they could make a difference in their world.
Their testimonies and witnessing spread to the adults who carried it throughout their city, and eventually throughout the country of Wales…and the ripple effect was felt around the world, even into the North Eastern states of America!
The Bible records the revival in the city of Nineveh—Jonah, at first was reluctant but then eagerly went after a 3 day stay at the “Fish Innerd Motel.” [speaking of having a revival in Wales [whales!]
Ask someone after the service …. Ha ha.
He went and Jonah preached a message of judgment and the Bible says the entire city repented, beginning with the king right down to the least of the people!
“By the decree of the king and his nobles:
Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. 8 But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. 9 Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”
10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.
We have a similar thing happening here in Acts 8.
The man, Philip, went to preach in the region of Samaria, and the entire city was moved heavenward in a great revival.
How about “The Great Decatur Revival of the year 2002?”
The Brownsville, Tx Revival where God came and worked miraculously.
We need that kind of revival that would shake our churches again!
People, listen to me, listen to the voice of Scripture that calls for us to come back to “The First Love.”
What am I talking about? What kind of revival am I talking about?
I’m not talking about one of these temporary, counterfeit revivals that touch only the emotions…
I’m not talking about a counterfeit revival where there is no moving of the Spirit that is faked by some actor Preacher.