Summary: As believers, we must be ready to receive a Holy Ghost Revival.
* Psalm 119:156: "Great are Thy mercies, O Lord; Revive me according to Thine ordinances"
* Psalm 119:37: "Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity, And revive me in Thy ways."
* Psalm 119:88: "Revive me according to Thy lovingkindness, So that I may keep the testimony of Thy mouth"
* Psalm 85:6: "Wilt Thou not Thyself revive us again, That Thy people may rejoice in Thee?"
* Habbakuk 3:2: "Lord, I have heard the report about Thee and I fear. O Lord, revive Thy work in the midst of the years, In the midst of the years make it known; In wrath remember mercy"
* Next Sunday morning we begin our series of meetings that Baptist has traditionally called a “Revival.” Simply put, we have been through many meetings where an outside speaker (and/or singer) is engaged. We attend and get all excited about the music and the preacher only to see the meeting come to an end and with it, all the enthusiasm it generated.
* Is that type of meeting really a revival? As I read God’s word, this would seem to NOT be a revival. Perhaps an effort at revival. Let us focus our attention on Revival this morning.
1. Revival – What is it? For the past 8 weeks I have listened to a dozen sermons, read several books and papers, and sought God’s word about this thing of “Revival.” Listen to some of God’s choicest men about this:
* Revival is a renewed conviction of sin and repentance, followed by an intense desire to live in obedience to God. It is giving up one’s will to God in deep humility. – Charles Finney
* Revival is falling in love with Jesus all over again – Vance Havner.
* Revival is not some emotion or worked-up excitement; it is rather an invasion from heaven which brings to man a conscious awareness of God – Stephen Olford
* Revival is a renewal of spiritual life in an individual or among a group of people – Don Robinson
* Revival is that sovereign work of God in which He visits His own people, restoring and releasing them into the fullness of His blessing." - Robert Coleman
* "Revival is a return to spiritual health after a period of decline into sin and broken fellowship with God... Revival is for God’s people when they need to be forgiven and restored to life, spiritual health, and vitality" -Blackaby & King
* “God shows up, revealing our sin to us, convicting of sin, calling us to confession & repentance, leading us to a response in which He cleans our lives, correct our thinking, rights our relationship, and changes our hearts.” J. Watts
* Do you wonder as to what a Biblical definition is? In the five different Bible passages we read, please note that they were from the KJV and use the word ‘revive.” The newer translations replace this word with ‘give us life!” What a GREAT vision of revival.
* We know to revive someone medically means you bring them back to life. Make no mistake; the same is true about reviving one spiritually.
* For the person without Christ, a “Reviving” is needed! Paul writes we are ‘dead in our trespasses & sin.’ Apart from Christ we are dead for time and eternity. Sin causes death and we are sinners. In Ephesians 2, it goes on to say, “But God!” (I like that) “But God who is rich in love & mercy has MADE US ALIVE (revived us) with Jesus.” This is salvation. God taking a person who is hopeless & helpless for all eternity & REVIVING us through transformation.
* For the person with Christ, the one who has been revived from the dead, a revival happens when the hot heart grows cold. Coming to Christ is an exciting experience, your heart is hot for Him (& His work), and your soul is on fire with the flames of the Holy Spirit. Then something happens. Could be many things (I.E. temptation, sin, hurt, trauma, etc) but when it happens, the fire goes out. Inside your heart grows cold; you lose your empathy, your compassion, your sensitivity to the Holy Spirit and ultimately, your ability to pray. It is at this point that God speaks to you & begins calling.
2. Revival – when is it needed? – Certainly, when we have been wounded to the point of falling away from God, we need to hear His voice & respond. I offer us 3 specific times that revival is needed.
a. Corrupted Standards –When exactly are our standard ‘corrupt?’ In his book, “Why Revival Tarries”, Leonard Ravenhill says, “We have adopted the convenient theory that the Bible is a book to be explained, whereas first & foremost it is a Book to be believed (& obeyed). There is a vast difference in knowing the Word of God and knowing the God of the word.” Think about the standards of God’s word; “Be Holy as I am Holy”, don’t gossip, love one another, edify (build up) one another, pray for one another, and the list goes on & on. Candidly, when lower God’s standard of Holiness by the explanation that “no one is perfect”, we play into the hands of the enemy. God’s standard of holiness is comprehensive and it is cascading. When we dismiss His bar of holiness, love goes out gossip comes in, building up one another & praying for one another is gone.