Summary: Three ingredients present in every revival.
Let’s open our Bibles to John chapter 4 this morning. And as you’re turning I want to say this morning that one of the saddest things about the church today, and by church I mean the universal church of which we are a part, one of the saddest things about the church is its total ineffectiveness in the world today. By and large we are a church that lacks power, and lacks the presence of God Himself. The church today looks so much like the world, acts no different than the world, has its hobbies and its habits and entertainment just like the world that we are making no impact whatsoever. The world doesn’t give us a second look, and we’re not even making them uncomfortable.
See the church is like Lot today. Remember Lot? He had become so integrated into Sodom and Gomorrah that they didn’t pay any attention to him whatsoever. When it came time for God to pour out His judgment and Lot warned them they thought he was mocking. He had no influence with them because he had become just like them. That’s the church today.
We’re far more concerned about our comfort, our toys, our “down time”, our homes and cars than we are about a world that is lost and dying and going to hell. We are described in Haggai chapter 1 where God says:9 "You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?" declares the Lord Almighty. "Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house.” See they were more interested in their own activities, paneling the walls of their house, while the temple of God lay in ruins. I say to you this morning the church of God lies in ruins today while we are all concerned about our own interests.
See, the church today doesn’t cry over people dying in their sin, they cry over time they have to give up and go to church, or time spent ministering to others when we could have been doing what we want to do. And that just shows that we are void of Holy Spirit power and God-given priorities today.
But you read about revivals of the past and you read about God’s presence descending on people in power, people flocking to churches in droves, people falling on their knees before a holy God and begging for mercy. For instance, In Wales in 1743 God’s presence came so powerfully among His people that one writer said, “this is so incredible that you can’t hardly believe it unless you see it for yourself. Their singing and praying is so full of God. They are a God-saturated people. Oh how my soul burned with love when I was among them. They fall almost as dead by the power of the Word, and they continue weeping for joy, having found their Messiah. Some of them are crying under a sense of their own wickedness, some of them are in the pangs of the new birth. All are lifting up holy hands with hearts filled with God, filled with joy.”
But today the church has so little of the presence of God, so little of the power of God that we can’t even make an impact on our neighbors and friends; we are not even leaving a dent in the society in which we live. We are weak, impotent, powerless.