Summary: The world is looking for God! But many of God’s chosen are asleep in their pews. For revival to come to this land, it must start with God’s people. (II Chr. 7:14)
I. GODS VISUAL AID OF REVIVAL
A. Ezekiel is a man confronted with a congregation of God’s people who are discouraged, displaced and spiritually dead. When circumstances are bleakest, ground is fertile for revival. God took Ezekiel to the top of a mount and gave him a demonstration of his power to revive.
B. He showed him a valley of very dry, sun-bleached, brittle, and scattered bones. Then the Lord asked the question - “Can these bones live again?” Revival is the process of bringing to life that which was previously alive, but is not dead.
1. Crime scene investigators can determine from bones the identity of a person, the cause of death and even the elapsed time since death. But can these bones be brought back to life? Impossible! What does God say?
C. Ezekiel is told to peach to the dry bones.
1. The bones came together, tendons and muscles were reinstated, and they were once again encased in skin. Then God breathed his spirit back into those bodies, and once again God had a mighty Army.
II. HOW DOES GOD PICTURE HIS PEOPLE?
A. The text shows that God viewed his people as a valley of dry bones. But what about today? How does God picture is people today?
B. How does God picture his church? If Jesus were to come to this earth would he recognize the church he established.
1. Today, churches are full of people, but empty of God.
2. People may be coming to church more now, but we are experiencing it less
3. To many people are full of a self-sufficient spirit, an apathetic heart, and a dead disobedient lifstyle.
4. Much like the church at Sardis....DEAD... Can these bones live again?
C. How does God picture his world?
1. In 1932 Aldous Huxley published a science fiction novel entitled "Brave New World." In it he wrote about the year 2532. He described a world very different from his own. - Some of the characteristics he describes are: The practice of cloning being perfected - World controlled by science & technology - Society was obsessed with sex - which had become a form of recreation rather than God’s gift to mankind. - In Huxley’s book society had become very intolerant of religion. The State was seen as a type of "god." People looked to Government to "fix" all of their problems. Sound familiar? Sounds like ALL of Mr.. Huxley’s predictions have come true 527 years too early!
2. Our world has experienced a major shift in thinking. From affirming absolutes to rejecting absolutes
3. Our society now bows down before the God of tolerance. What is the problem?
4. The problem is sin - the problem is we need revival - We are dry -The people God created are spiritual corpses - The problem with this is that often we do not know we are dead - spiritual dryness is difficult to recognize
D. How to know if you are getting dry
a. When there is no desire for Bible study and prayer.
b. When spiritual conversation embarrasses you.
c. When you rationalize sin.
d. When you quote scripture and attend services, but it doesn’t make a difference in your life
e. When money dominates your life.
f. When it does not bother you that others are in misery and are spiritually lost.
g. When worship and service to God does not excite you because you do not have blessed assurance.
III. LIGHTING THE FIRE
A. How can we revive? II Chr. 7:14
1. Humble ourselves
2. Pray Fervantly
3. Seek God’s face
4. Ruthless confession of sin
a. We cannot be right with God with wrongs in our life. If we mess up we must fess up. “I have sinned”
(1) David and Bathsheeba - Isaiah 6 - unclean lips
b. Once we have confessed our sins we can rejoice again in our salvation and only then can the process of revival begin.
B. RESULTS OF REVIVAL
1. The rekindling of a passion for lost souls
a. Ps 51:12 13 - Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to You.
2. The recommitting of our lives to make the main thing the main thing.
a. First commandment - love me! Goal of Christian - Glorify God - can’t do that dry
3. The repairing of broken marriages and estranged families
a. Gen 50:20 - Joseph relationship with brothers - his relationship w/God
b. Reason for so many divorces - No mean on the bones - relationship with God - if we what to save our families - or marriages - or children - it begins with revival
4. The restoring spiritual congregations