Summary: A message on Revival preparation.
HOW TO HAVE REVIVAL
INTRO: Think of the greatest experience that you have ever had in this church concerning revival. Why were there so many decisions? Was it the evangelist? Was it the singing? The real reason was you! Each of you prayed for revival, and wanted it. Can we have revival again? If we are ready to have it, it will come. Let’s see what is necessary to have revival.
I. DESIRE IT (v. 18).
John is telling his listeners that they are not to love in words, or tongue but in deeds and in truth. Not lip service, but real service.
We can say that we want revival, and that we need revival, but if they are just words, we cannot expect revival to come.
We must have a desire for revival. This must be an overpowering desire. When the desire is overpowering, you will be willing to do what is necessary to see revival.
ILLUS: Think of a time when you wanted something so badly that you would do almost anything to get it (e.g. NEW CAR FEVER!). That’s the desire you need! What is you real attitude (or desire) concerning revival?
II. EARN IT (vv. 19-21).
How do we know if we are ready for revival? John tells us in verse 21. Does your heart condemn you? Are there secret sins in your life? Are there things in your life that will prevent revival from coming into your heart? If revival is not in your heart, it will not be in the church.
In verse 20 John tells us that God is greater than our hearts and knows all about us. There is nothing hidden from Him. If revival doesn’t come to our church will it be your fault? Revival cannot come unless we confess our sins to God and prepare our hearts.
ILLUS: A child who wants something but doesn’t want to do anything to earn it. He wants a handout. That is what many people want in revival. They want a handout from God without having to pay the price.
If we are going to have revival in our church we must earn it. We do this by cleansing our life of known sin.
III. PREPARE TO RECEIVE IT (vv. 22-24).
After we have cleansed our life of known sin, we are told by John that God is ready to bless us. God is waiting to bring revival to our church, but He will not do so unless we are prepared to receive it.
Many times we fail to receive His blessings simply because we do not expect to receive them. We ask God to do something, and then we plan what we will do in case He fails to do it.
ILLUS: The child who never asks his parents for anything will never receive what he wants. Many times the parent knows what the child wants but is waiting for the child to ask for it. It is only by asking that he receives.
God is ready to bless us with revival if we will ask Him for it and prepare to receive it.
CONC: OUR CHURCH NEEDS REVIVAL! It depends upon us whether God will bless us with revival. If it comes, we are responsible for it. If it doesn’t come, we are still responsible for preventing revival from coming.