Summary: They tell us we see two things happening when revival is about to come to a nation. No. 1, there will be a marked increase in conversions; people getting saved. No. 2, there is a changing of the moral climate of the nation.
Revival in our day
Ezra 1 7/1/07
It has been asked if America would ever see a real movement of God in such a way that we could call it a revival. I really don’t know whether we will ever experience revival as a nation or not but I can see little traits of revival in various places. They tell us we see two things happening when revival is about to come to a nation. No. 1, there will be a marked increase in conversions; people getting saved. No. 2, there is a changing of the moral climate of the nation.
Now as I read about the conversions in our Southern Baptist churches alone, I find that many of our churches did not baptize a single convert last year. And as a look around in our world and as I listen to the news and just people as a whole, I see that the moral climate just continues to get worse almost everyday. There are more divorces this year than it was just a year ago. There are more and more homosexuals coming out and promoting their lifestyle every year. And there are more live-in couples now than there has been in history. I don’t see revival happening in our nation.
That doesn’t mean I do not see traces of revival in some churches and also in People’s lives in our land. While revival may never come to our nation that doesn’t mean that we cannot experience a church revival or a personal revival. There are some signs in our church that God wants to do a great work. I see some in our church that would invite a move from God to do great and mighty things among us. I see some who are voting to grow the kingdom of God in our church and some who vote to rot on the vine and do nothing. They God for the faithful few that invites God in the services.
Now in this little book of Ezra, we have some principles to follow if we want church revival and individual revival. In the first four verses we see THE PROCLAMATION.
Here in these verses, you see something about the sovereignty of God. That means that God is in control.
Did you see in verse 1, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled? That means that long before Cyrus was king of Persia, the prophet Jeremiah proclaimed it. Jeremiah told the people of God if they insisted on having their own way to worship other gods, deliberately disobeying the commands of God that they would be taken into captivity for 70 years. They insisted on their own way over God and find themselves in captivity in Babylon, modern Iraq. Babylon where all the evil you could think of was in this place. Now did God’s people know just how bad that Babylon was? Sure they did because they had preachers like Jeremiah to tell them. What they thought is that it isn’t as bad as that preacher is saying and a little bit won’t hurt. It doesn’t hurt to just take little cocaine. It doesn’t hurt going to this party or that party but I’m not going to be like them. I can imagine of Abraham told Lot; you should not go into Sodom. Lot said don’t worry, I will not be like them but just a friend to them. I want to you what is in an abomination in the eyes of God will not be a friend in my eyes. You can call me intolerant and you can call me old-fashioned, but before long, you will call me right. You don’t do people who are deliberately disobeying God a favor by tolerating his lifestyle. That is the reason we have people going to hell from the church pews because we don’t have preachers that take a stand for the right.
First of all there is the proclamation. There is a word from God. Next comes THE PREPARATION. Look at verses 5 -- 11.
Before these people could leave Babylon to go back to Jerusalem, there had to be some preparation. Let me tell you involved in the preparation was to leave the idols and sinful things in Babylon. You can go back to Jerusalem where God is working loaded down with this world’s baggage.
There are some here this morning that are on the verge of experiencing a true move of God in your life. Still there are others clinging to the baggage of this world. You need to know this world is not your friend. This world can never offer you salvation. What this world offers is misery and in the end a grave and separation from God. Do you know Jesus as your savior?