Summary: It has always been the case, whenever any of the servants of God do anything in His cause, and there appears to be a probability that they will succeed, that Satan by his agents regularly attempts to divert their minds and nullify their labors.
Revival (Section 5) HINDRANCES TO REVIVALS (From Charles Finney’s Lectures)
Nehemiah 6: 3 I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?
Nehemiah had journeyed from Babylon to rebuild the temple wall. Sanballat and others enemies opposed the work.
Finney: It has always been the case, whenever any of the servants of God do anything in His cause, and there appears to be a probability that they will succeed, that Satan by his agents regularly attempts to divert their minds and nullify their labors.
I. A REVIVAL OF RELIGION IS A GREAT WORK
A. Involves the glory of God
B. Involves the Salvation of men
These are eternal aspects and only in eternity will we see the importance of them.
Souls will be eternally lost or saved depending upon the church's activity to labour
for a revival.
II. THINGS WHICH MAY STOP A REVIVAL
Some believe that nothing can hinder a genuine revival because it is the work of
God alone. However, they fail to consider that God works through men. This would be like saying a crop of wheat will continue to grow even after it has been cut down or destroyed by some means because God makes it grow.
A. A revival will stop whenever the Church believes it is going to cease.
The Church is the voluntary instrument that God uses.
Nothing is more fatal to a revival that for its friends to predict that it is going to stop
B. A revival will cease when Christians consent that it should cease.
Sometimes Christians see that the revival is in danger of ceasing, and that if something effectual is not done, it will come to a standstill. If this should distress them, and drive them to prayer, and to fresh efforts, the work will not cease.
There are many people who see revivals declining, and that they are in great danger of ceasing altogether, and yet they manifest but little distress, and seem to care but
little about it.
C. A revival will cease whenever Christians become mechanical in their attempts to
When their faith is strong, and their hearts are warm and mellow, and their prayers
full of holy emotion, and their words with power, then the work goes on. But when their prayers begin to be cold and without emotion, and they begin to labour
mechanically, and to use words without feeling, then the revival will cease.
D. The revival will cease, whenever Christians get the idea that the work will go on
without their aid.
God has stood all this while ready to make bare His arm to carry on the work with
them. But the Church has been unwilling to do her part, seeming determined to leave it to God alone to convert the world.
E. The work will cease when the Church prefers to attend to selfish concerns rather than God's business.
2 Corinthians 2:15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them
that are saved, and in them that perish:
2 Timothy 2:10 herefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they
may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
2 Corinthians 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
F. When Christians get proud of their "great revival," it will cease.
It is almost always the case in a revival, that a part of the Church proves too proud
or too worldly to take any part in the work. They are determined to stand aloof, and wait, and see what it will come to. The pride of this part of the Church cannot stop the revival for the revival never rested on them. But when the part of the Church that does the work begins to think what a great revival they have had, how they have labored and prayed, how bold and how zealous they have been, and how much good they have done, then the work will be likely to decline.
G. The revival will stop when the Church get exhausted by labour.
Multitudes of Christians commit a great mistake here in time of revival. They are so thoughtless, and have so little judgment, that they will break up all their habits of living, neglect to eat and sleep at hte proper hours, and let the excitement run away with them, so that they overdo their bodies, and are so imprudent that they soon become exhausted, and it is impossible for them to continue the work.
H. A revival will cease when the Church begins to speculate about abstract doctrines,