Summary: Revival to take place when you feel dry and brittle, the Spririt of the Lord breathes upon you raising you up as a Warrior for Him
DEM DRY BONES
I. An old spiritual.
A. Dramatic vision of a valley of bones becoming a legion of men.
1) God makes the bones live.
2) God puts flesh on them.
3) But they are not really alive until they have breath."
a) Dual meaning in Hebrew (and Greek): breathing and Spirit.
B. Ancient application.
1) Ezekiel lived in period when Israel was spiritually dead.
a) Note verse 11 - "ur hope is gone."
b) Many had given up on God.
2) They were also nationally dead.
a) The Jews were in Exile
b) He is prophesying that God will give nation rebirth.
3) Not just about physical life, but spiritual life.
a) You can be living and breathing, but dead in God’s eyes.
b) He wants something better for us.
II. What does it mean to be alive?
A. Cloning controversy.
1) No more mystery to creation of humans?
2) All you need is a test tube and a scientist (and moola).
B. Machines versus creations.
1) Age-old debate:
a) Are we merely a wonderful collection of neurons?
b) Or do we have a soul, a non-physical aspect of existence?
2) Consensus of scientists is that we are nothing but material.
a) Our brain is nothing more than a super-computer.
1> Of course, a wonderful and complicated computer.
2> Eventually they think they can figure it all out.
b) "Brain death" as equivalent to real death.
1> Hospitals no longer wish to treat brain dead patients.
2> In actuality, you can still be breathing on your own.
c) When our brain dies, we return to dust and cease to exist.
C. The Bible says the scientists are wrong.
1) We are material beings, but we also have a soul.
a) Not so much a "ghost" within us, but an eternal aspect.
b) The Bible ties this in with the "image of God."
2) Everyone will exist forever, believer and non-believer.
a) But their futures are quite different. John 5:28-29
III. You are not really alive unless you are spiritually alive.
A. How non-believers seek fulfillment.
1) Hero-worship: football mania.
2) Chemical nirvana: drug induced euphoria.
3) The perfect relationship: one after another?
B. Jesus’ goal:
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10b
1) Jesus doesn’t want us to be humorless long-faced nerds. This image turns many people off.
2) It is just as wrong to be overly optimistic about our nature.
During a Billy Graham crusade in Australia, a Melbourne daily paper received this letter:
"I have heard Dr. Billy Graham on the air, viewed him on television, and seen reports and letters concerning his mission. I am heartily sick of the type of religion that insists my soul and everyone else’s needs saving, whatever that means. I have never felt that I was lost nor do I feel that I daily wallow in the mire of sin, although repetitious preaching insists that I do. If in order to save my soul I must accept such a philosophy as I have recently heard preached, I prefer to remain forever damned."
3) We must realize we are dead in our sins.
a) Jesus says this, not just Billy Graham.
b) We don’t wallow in our sins, but acknowledge the reality.
C. Politics and economics are not the answer.
1) Many saw Castro’s revolution as romantic.
a) The reality has been very harsh.
2) The testimony of a traitor to Communism.
Whittaker Chambers is a name that haunted the 1950’s. He was a Communist spy for 13 years and abruptly left the Communist Party in 1938. Through his testimony, Richard Nixon charged State Department official Alger Hiss with being a Soviet spy.
In Chambers’s autobiography, "Witness," he describes his reasons for leaving communism. Originally, he had found in the party the two certainties "for which the mind of man tirelessly seeks:
a reason to live and a reason to die." He believed Marxism represented the last great hope on earth. Why did that hope crumble? Chambers quotes the daughter of a German diplomat, trying to
explain why her father had suddenly turned against communism:
"He was immensely pro-Soviet, and then one night in Moscow he heard screams. That’s all. Simply one night he heard screams." Chambers read about the execution of a Soviet general he knew and realized the killings would go on and on. Lady Astor once asked Stalin, "How long are you going to keep on killing people?" "As long as it is necessary," he replied.
Watching his daughter in a high chair, Chambers noticed the perfection of her ear and realized such an intricate design could not happen by chance. His daughter must have a soul. Later, reading Victor Hugo’s "Les Miserables," Chambers encountered a faith that combined two seeming irreconcilables: Christianity and revolution. The revolution was not imposed from above, through a gun barrel, but from below, through service to the poor and oppressed.