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Summary: Elijah first repaired the altar before God responded in a miraculous way. We need to repair the altar and offer 3 sacrifices on it in order for revival to come: 1. Repentance 2. ourselves. 3. Praise.

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February 11, 2004

Title: Repairing the Altar (Preparation for revival)

Text: 1 Kings 18:30

Introduction

1. One day, a lady asked Billy Sunday "why do you keep having revivals...when they don’t last"?

instead of answering her question directly, he asked her a question...

"why do you keep taking baths"?

2. Obviously, there are some things that you can’t do once...and your done.

You can’t eat just one great big meal and then never eat again.

We are created for a regular intake of nourishment...

I SUPPOSE you could just take one bath...

and then never bathe again...

but I imagine that before long...

the filth would affect your health...

and I am fairly certain it would affect your relationships with other people!!

3. Another one of those things that needs to be often repeated is REVIVAL!

No matter how strong you are as a Christian...

As we go through the various routines of living...

we accumulate "dirt" along the way...

I have recently taken up running as a way to improve my health...

I have run on various trails...roads...and paths...

and no matter where I run...or how carefully I run...

I cannot help but pick up some sand...dirt...

and when I run on trails...some spiderwebs...

from time to time.

So, one of the first things I do when I finish running is to take a shower...

and wash off the debris that I’ve picked up along my run.

And that’s how it happens in life as well...

we are trying to "run with perseverance the race marked out for us" Heb 12:1 (NIV)

and we accumulate filth along the way...

It may not be that we have delved into deep, dark sin...

but the dirt of the world has begun to affect us.

And we need to take a spiritual "shower" as it were...

to get cleaned up...

and that’s where revival comes in.

4. With our revival scheduled to begin on Sunday...

I want to draw your attention to something that is KEY to whether we will experience revival...

and that is our altar...

perhaps you see our altar as just another piece of church "furniture"...

You can see that our altar is in good repair...

it is clean...

But tonight...we need to realize that our "altar" is broken....

and if we want to experience a great revival...

we need to repair the altar.

And tonight, we will learn from God’s Word just how to do that.

Read Text: 1 Kings 18:30

Body

1. The Story

A. This is a very common story from God’s Word...

in fact, I have preached on this spectacular event to you before...

Elijah challenges the prophets of Baal to a contest...

each of them will prepare a sacrifice on the altar...

and the God who answers by fire...

then He will be the God who they would worship.

B. The "Baalites" went first...

they cried out to baal for hours...

baal was silent.

Elijah said, "Maybe you need to yell louder...

perhaps he’s sleeping,

you need to wake him up"

the baalites cried all the louder...

even resorting to cutting themselves...

all day long they cried and cut and bled...

and baal was silent.

C. Then Elijah went...

as he prepared the sacrifice...

he had them dump 4 water pots full of water on the sacrifice...

and then he had them repeat it 3 times...


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