Summary: We see a pattern of revival emerge: Obedience to Christ, Group Prayer, Unity, Personal Revival, Empowerment, Evangelism, Conversions, Discipleship, Church Growth.
REVIVAL MUST COME!
The Church in America is losing influence and members faster than any other major institution in the nation. If a massive spiritual revival doesn’t come within the next few years America will experience total moral anarchy.
(From George Barna’s book The Second Coming of the Church)
America loses 72 churches each week – or 10 a day – and gains only 24 weekly, or 3 ½ per day. (American Society for Church Growth)
Most true Christians would like to experience a massive spiritual revival in America and the world. This would explain why so many thousands of people have flocked to the Brownsville Assembly of God Church in Pensacola Florida these past few years.
But how about here in the Pacific Northwest – the most unchurched part of America?
Can we have a massive spiritual revival in our area?
Can it start here at our Church?
(Show of hands) How many of you believe revival fire can fall here?
In the first chapter of Acts we find Jesus had given instructions to the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the baptism with the Holy Spirit. After Jesus ascended into heaven the disciples went back to Jerusalem to the upper room.
Acts 1:14 “They all joined together constantly in prayer…”
Acts 2:1. When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.
2. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
All this Holy Ghost commotion attracted a large crowd. The revival had begun, in fact it had spilled into the street and Jews from all over the Roman Empire (who were there for the Jewish Feast of Pentecost) gathered around to see what was happening. They heard these revived believers declaring “the wonders of God” in various languages representing the countries where they lived. And they exclaimed, “What does this mean?” Some began to make fun of them and accused them of being drunk.
2:41 Peter responded that they were not drunk because it was only 9:00 in the morning – then he preached a powerful sermon and, “those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.”
Acts 2:42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44. All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47. Praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
So we see a pattern of revival emerge º Obedience to Christ Þ Group Prayer Þ Unity Þ Personal Revival Þ Empowerment Þ Evangelism Þ Conversions Þ Discipleship Þ Church Growth.
If we want to see revival here we would do well to follow this New Testament model.
Let’s examine this pattern of revival more closely by looking at each point individually:
1. Obedience to Christ: While Jesus was eating with his disciples he gave them a command, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised.”
We know that the disciples were obedient men, they learned early on to obey Jesus even when they didn’t understand why. Jesus told them to give the crowd of 5000 something to eat and they responded that they didn’t have enough. Jesus asked them what was on hand and they came up with 5 loaves and 2 fish. That was enough, Jesus blessed it and told them to start distributing it. They did and a great miracle happened. They collected 12 baskets full of leftovers after everyone was done eating. Jesus sent them out 2 by 2 to preach the Kingdom of God, heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead and cast out demons. A scary proposition, but they obeyed and had great results. This time was no different, Jesus said to wait in Jerusalem, so wait they would. 120 men and women waiting for God’s Holy Spirit to fall.
The question for us today is are we being obedient to Christ? Are we earnestly waiting and seeking the gifts he has for us? Are we following his command in Luke 18:1 that we should always pray and not give up?