Summary: If our nation will ever turn back to God, it must begin with Christians first! In the work of the Lord, we can so easily forget the Lord of the Work! I hope these messages will remind us of the importance keeping God the priority!
Pastor Rick Flowers
First Baptist Church of Flushing
(Fourth of a four-part series)
"God’s Requirements For Genuine Revival - Repentance"
As we conclude our study on "God’s Requirements For Genuine Revival", let us review the previous three requirements as set forth in 2 Chronicles 7:14:
Humility (…Will Humble Themselves…)
· The opposite of Humility if Pride.
· God Hates Pride.
· Pride is Harmful To Everyone (Self and others).
· God has promised to Chasten the Proud.
· Pride will blind us to our true Spiritual Condition.
The Results of Humility
· We Become Recipients of God’s Grace.
· We Receive His Forgiveness.
· We Enjoy His Blessing.
· He Hears And Answers Our Prayers.
Prayer (…And Pray…)
· Prayerlessness is Sin.
· God commands His people to Pray.
· God sometimes uses our Circumstances to Stimulate Us To Prayer.
Hindrances To Effective Prayer
· Unconfessed Sin
· Doubt and Unbelief
· An Unforgiving Spirit
· An urgency to enter into the presence of God!
· Desire for an intimate fellowship with the Lord.
· Wholeheartedly seeking God through believing prayer.
· This should be done humbly, diligently and regularly.
This seeking may begin with a simple desire to know Him better or it may be in response to adverse circumstances in a person’s life. (God may use them to get our attention.)
As we close our study on "God’s Requirements For Genuine Revival" I would like for us to consider the fourth requirement: Repentance.
Repentance (…Turn From Their Wicked Ways…)
Let’s Read 2 Chronicles 7 one last time together:
(Read 2 Chronicles 7:14 & Pray)
I. Repentance In The OT - Let’s Define Repentance
Hebrew Words translated "Repent"
Shoob - "To Return, to turn back, to turn away." This word carries with it the thought of turning, both to and away from something. So to repent of something is both turning from sin and turning to God.
It is the word most commonly used by OT writers to describe Repentance.
This word represents the "Volitional Aspect" of Repentance or the exercise of the will.
Nacham - "To be sorry, to regret, to suffer grief."
This word describes the "Emotional Aspect" of Repentance.
Sorrow over sin… not worldly sorrow because you got caught, but Godly sorrow because you recognize that it offends a holy God!
True Repentance is best defined as a combination of the two: "A sorrow over sin because of how it grieves God and affects others. Broken over his sin, the individual chooses to turn from his sin and turn in his heart to God."
Examples In The OT of Exhortations to Repent:
"Turn From Sin"
Ezekiel 14:1-8 (Turn Away From Sin - idols in your hearts.) (Key: To The Jews the Heart was the seat of the intellect and emotions.)
1Now some of the elders of Israel came to me and sat before me.
2And the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
3“Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts, and put before them that which causes them to stumble into iniquity. Should I let Myself be inquired of at all by them? (Coming to the prophet to find out something from God or to call upon Him.)
4“Therefore speak to them, and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Everyone of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, and puts before him what causes him to stumble into iniquity, and then comes to the prophet, I the LORD will answer him who comes, according to the multitude of his idols,
5that I may seize the house of Israel by their heart, because they are all estranged from Me by their idols.”’
6“Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Repent, turn away from your idols, and turn your faces away from all your abominations.
7For anyone of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell in Israel, who separates himself from Me and sets up his idols in his heart and puts before him what causes him to stumble into iniquity, then comes to a prophet to inquire of him concerning Me, I the LORD will answer him by Myself.
8I will set My face against that man and make him a sign (example) and a proverb (poem or parable), and I will cut him off from the midst of My people. Then you shall know that I am the LORD.
"Turn To God"
Joel 2:12-13 (Plague of locusts strikes Judah, the Southern Kingdom due to their sin - the prophetical aspect of Joel deals with the terrible Day of the Lord)
“Now, therefore,” says the LORD, “Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”