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Summary: This message deals with the obstacles inside the church to the church experiencing true revival

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OBSTACLES OF REVIVAL

JOHN 5:1-8

Introduction: The greatest need of our day is for the local church to experience true revival. God has implanted within my heart a real burden for Revival in local church. As a matter of fact I really believe that if God tarries His coming and I live to see Zachary grown God will allow me to follow my burden and Terry and I will hit the road in Evangelism and Revivalism. Even now I accept every invitation that I feel I can and still do justice to shepherding the flock God has given me charge over. We need revival!

We know we need revival. As I go from place to place preaching revival I go in many prayer rooms. I hear folks pray and ask God for revival. As a matter of fact many even seem to be begging God for it. "Oh God Please send us a revival." FRIEND, I’VE GOT NEWS FOR YOU. GOD’S ALREADY DONE HIS PART. HE’S WAITING FOR US TO DO OURS!

This morning I want to share a few minutes concerning the things that are preventing revival. Its not world that is holding back revival it is the church. PLEASE do me two favors this morning: 1) don’t put your spiritual umbrella up so the word runs off you to the one behind you, and 2) don’t think the message is for someone else. This message is fresh from the heart of God and its for you, because God gave it to me for you.

We are not experiencing revival in our churches because of the:

I BLIND CROWD

A. They cannot see the need of anything

1. Revival services

2. Tithing

3. Separation

*illus. of woman getting mad over preaching about teenage daughter’s dress

II HALT (LAME) CROWD

They look good sitting down. You can’t tell they are lame, but when they leave church they can’t walk straight.

A. HBO

B. Runs with dirty joke crowd

C. Gossips about preacher and other church members.

III IMPOTENT CROWD

They have no power. Literally the word means "unable." They can’t do anything for God because they have no power. They have no power because they have no intimate relationship with Christ.

All they live by is a don’t list! - We created that crowd. Christianity is not a list of do’s and don’ts.

I know Paul said "come out from among them and be ye separate." but long before he said that he said, "be ye separated unto the Gospel of Christ." If our people become separated to Christ They will become separated from outward evil.

IV WITHERED CROWD

The word here means, "dried up." These folks can’t remember the last time the joy bells of their hearts rang. They are always complaining about it not being like it used to be, but they haven’t figured out the real reason why its not. They’re too busy blaming every thing and every body else.

We need to remind them how it was when they first got saved:

A. Got up early and got to church early

B. Got excited when hymn was announced

C. Could hardly wait to give your offering

D. Were overcome with joy at the preaching of salvation

What about now? It isn’t "At Calvary" that’s changed. It isn’t John 3:16 that’s changed. Something has withered, and it isn’t the song leader or preacher, its many of our people. They’ve changed. They’ve withered! And lets be honest, brethren, some of us have withered. We’ve withered to the point that we don’t care that our people sit there blind, lame, impotent, and withered and wonder what has happened!

Conclusion: Let’s go back to the pool. I can just see the blind man tapping along, and all of a sudden he trips over the impotent man. "What’s wrong with you what are you doing in my way he demands." The impotent man responds, "I’m impotent, unable to move." The blind man says, "I’m glad I’m not as bad off as he is." The lame man watches from a distance and thinks to himself, "I’m glad I’m not as bad off as either one of them." The withered man watches from near the pools and says, "I’m sure glad I’m better off than all of them." You see friend, as long as you look at someone worse off than you are you’ll always come out looking pretty good.

But then Jesus happens by and asks, "wilt thou be made whole?" I know that this fellow is a Baptist because he immediately begins to tell Jesus WHY he isn’t whole. I’m sure Jesus already knew that. Today He’s calling on us as preachers of the gospel to meet people where they are and not be afraid to point out that their spiritual ailments are a major factor in His Spirit being withheld from our churches, and after we’ve pointed this out to boldly ask some the same question. Some will say, "well I was hurt by a preacher one time." Jesus’ answer is, "I know that, but would you be made whole?" Well, I’ve been disappointed by the church." Jesus answers, "me to, but would you be made whole?" "Well, I don’t like the way the preacher does things." Jesus’ answer, "but would you be made whole?"

Listen friend, Jesus is not interested in the reason for the infirmity, He simply offers to make us whole!

Sermon by: Dr. Todd Morris

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