Summary: A message to prepare your church for revival
RETURN, REFUSE OR REVIVE
Numbers 11: 1-6 and 14:1-5
Intro: In the reading of Numbers 11 we find the Children of Israel marching to Kadesh-barnea and they have began to murmur. The Lord has already fed them manna and they are tired of it so they want something else. So someone gets the idea in the camp they would rather be back in Egypt eating the fish, leeks and garlic and cucumbers than marching toward Canaan. In other words they would rather settle for the worldliness of Egypt than have the milk and honey of Canaan. This is where the trouble started for Moses. In Chapter 13 Moses sends out the spies and forty days later they return. Ten of them with a bad report and two of them with enough courage (Joshua and Caleb) to tell Moses they could take the land. But just like the world and especially the church world today it was not the popular thing to do to go with the underdog so to speak. In other words they wanted to go with the crowd. So God allowed them to do so and they paid a big price for their disobedience. 40 years in the wilderness. This brings me to my text verse, (Number 14:4) And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt. I want to preach on the subject, RETURN, REFUSE OR REVIVE.
I. RETURN (Numbers 14:4)
A. The only reason these people wanted to return is because they had run into some hard times.
B. Egypt represents the world or a worldly place and it will take you back anytime you want to go
C. They wanted to go back despite the fact:
1. Egypt had been devastated by God
2. It was still mourning the loss of it’s firstborn
3. Return by the Red Sea where the Egyptian army has been drowned pursuing
4. God had struck Egypt, parted the sea, fed them with bread from Heaven but yet they still could not trust him to help them overcome the giants of Canaan
D. There are a lot of people returning to Egypt everyday simply because they don’t trust God
E. It seems that everyone wants a Saviour these days but no one wants a Lord or a Master. Everyone wants someone to help them in the bad times and save them from hell but when it comes down to living right and holy people don’t want anyone telling them how to that…and they especially don’t want a preacher telling them what to do or how to do it.
F. They may be right the preacher might not be able to tell them what to do but it is because they wouldn’t listen and now there is trouble on every hand because people decided to return to Egypt
A. (Jeremiah 8:4) Moreover thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD; Shall they fall, and not arise? shall he turn away, and not return?
B. (Jeremiah 8:5) Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return.
C. (Jeremiah 8:6) I hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright: no man repented him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? every one turned to his course, as the horse rusheth into the battle.
D. (Hebrews 12:25) See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
E. We don’t have to have revival if we don’t want to. We can refuse to come and support this revival. We can refuse to pray for the evangelist but just like the Children of Israel we will pay a great price for it if we do
A. (Psalms 85:6) Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?
1. us = the church
B. (Psalms 138:7) Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.
C. (Psalms 138:8) The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.
1. me = each individual in this church
2. It is easy to learn the doctrine of personal revival and victorious living; it is quite another thing to take our cross and plod on to the dark and bitter hill of self-renunciation.
3. In other words it is easy for us to talk about how bad the church needs revival but it is another thing to talk about how bad we personally need revival.