Introduction: As we come closer and closer to the end of this age, we will have to as believers exercise major discernment. We must be freed from numerous things and one of those things is our inability to embrace our brothers and sisters of the various denominational Churches. What God is doing in this last hour is not a pentecostal thing, it is not a baptist thing, it is not a methodist thing, it is not a presbyterian thing, it is not a catholic thing, it is not a foursquare thing, it is not a charasmatic thing, it is a GOD THING!
In 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21, the apostle Paul exhorted the church in Thessalonica to do the things that would allow a continuance of the moving of the Holy Spirit: "Quench not the Spirit, despise not prophesying. Prove all things and hold fast that which is good." The church in Thessalonica was given this teaching because they were a church that experienced revival. Through this simple teaching outline I will briefly sketch what a church in revival looks like by viewing the Thessalonians as the example, then we will examine Paul’s instructions.
Under Paul’s ministry, the church experienced the moving of the Holy Spirit and established a strong foundation for a continuing work of God. There are at least nine characteristics of a church in revival as seen in the Thessalonian church:
1. The church expeiences the power, and demonstraion of the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.(1 Thess 1:5,6; Mark 16:15-20)
2. The church resisted the infiltration of an idolatrous culture.(1 Thess 1:9)
3. The church is not shaken or moved by any afflictions, persecutions, or by faith’s apparent contradictions.(1 Thess 3:2-3,5)
4. The church makes personal, individual holiness a serious objective, especially sexual purity.(1 Thess 3:13; 4:1-8)
5. The church encourages true spirituality as seen in a person’s work ethic.(1 Thess 4:9-12)
6. The church wisely follows proven leadership.(1 Thess 5:12,13)
7. The church clearly pursues wholeness for each individual in a defined biblical process.(1 Thess 5:23,24)
8. The church establishes doctrine as its foundation, not religious trends, emotional spiritual experiences, or charasmatic personalities.(2 Thess 1:5-12; 2:10,11)
9. The church guards against spiritual gullibility that creeps in when subjective experiences are exalted over the truth.(2 Thess 2:9-17)
POINT ONE: QUENCH NOT THE HOLY SPIRIT!
The Holy Spirit was moving in the Thessalonian church and Paul wanted the people in the church to guard against quenching what God was doing in their midst. We must be very careful not to quench, suppress, or extinguish the fire of the Holy Spirit.
What does Paul mean when he says, "Quench not the Spirit" in 1 Thess 5:19? Different translations of this same verse can help clarify this statement made by Paul:
* "Quench not the manifestation of the Spirit."(Conybeare)
* "Do not put out the light of the Spirit."(20th Century N.T.)
* "Do not extinguish the Spirit’s fire."(Berkeley)
* "Do not stifle the utterance of the Spirit."(Knox)
* "Do not stifle the inspiration of the Spirit."(NEB)
The word quench in the greek means to extinguish, quench, suppress, subdue, stifle, snuff out, stamp out, or cause something to dry up.
In scripture, the Holy Spirit has been likened to fire, and fire can be extinguished, stifled, or snuffed out.
2 Tim 1:6
POINT TWO: QUENCH NOT AND TEST EVERYTHING!
Now let us deal with that attitudes that could quench revival. First, let us divide the attitudes into two sections. One "Quench not attitudes", and "Test everything principles".
The balanced approach to a church in revival is to quench not and yet test everything. "Quench not" represents to us the attitudes we need to continue in revival, having discernment of the attitudes that quench revival. "Test everything" alludes to the attitudes we need to guard the moving of the Holy Spirit and make sure that we do not go into any kind of extremes.
Attitude, in this context, refers to a mindset or willingness. It speaks of our singleheartedness. It speaks of our passions, our emotions, and our desires to be right with our perspectives toward God, His Word, and especially, in this case, towards revival itself.
Principles, on the other hand, are convictions that conquer us and become our value system for living. Priciples are our laws, guidelines, guiding forces, or comprehensive and fundemental laws. They are the doctrines we follow. The principles that we have arise out of the unchangeable Word of God and are simply an extension of God’s character. For a church to continue in revival, it needs a balance of attitudes and principles.
Our responsibility is to have an attitude toward the things of God, that will never stifle, or snuff out the moving of the Holy Spirit. We must be very careful to have an attitude that will not quench the revival atmosphere in our lives or in the congregation.