Summary: Revival is not a church meeting. It is when God sovereignly chooses to grant his church a fresh experience of his Spirit.
Preacher who had a brother fall asleep every Sunday when he would start preaching. Preacher decided to do something about it. Preached on Hell one Sunday and Sure enough the brother had fallen asleep. Preacher pounded the Pulpit, when it came to making this point:
“If anybody wants to go to Hell, just let them stand up right now!” Well, all that brother heard after being waking from the pounding on the pulpit was: “Stand up right now!” Of course the whole church just gasp at him for doing this and of course the brother was pretty embarrassed also. All he could think of to say was: ”Preacher, I don’t know what we just voted on, but looks like you and me are the only one’s for it.”
Why do people fall asleep at church? Why do we act sometimes like worship and church are exhausting? I mean, shouldn’t worship and praise and fellowship build us up and re-energize us?
Psalms 28:7 says; “The Lord is my strength and my shield, my heart trusts in him and I am helped, my heart leaps for joy and I give thanks to him in song.”
I want to talk you this morning about the need for revival. Revival is not church meetings. You can put a sign outside that says: “Revival Meeting next week.” But that is not revival. Revival can’t be programmed.
Revival is not an evangelistic crusade or some kind of evangelism campaign. Revival is not the same thing as Church growth. We can have two hundred more members than we did last year and still not be revived.
Revival is not a work of emotions, you can’t bring revival by singing a lot of songs real loud or by singing the same song a hundred times over, until your worked up and feeling real good.
So what is Revival? Revival is when God visits his people to wake them up Spiritually. Acts 3:19 “Repent then and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out and times of refreshing may come from the Lord . . .
When revival happens, the church will be full of people and those people will be full of God. The book of Acts should be normative for the church. In other words what we read about happening to the church in the book of Acts should be happening in the church today.
I believe the book of Acts is not about how the church once looked like in it’s extra-ordinary days, I believe it is describing how the church ought look like in it’s ordinary days, like today!
Do we believe that what we read about happening to the church in the book of Acts should be happening today? You see, I think that what we see in church today is so subnormal, that normal would feel abnormal.
We have become so used to subnormal, that if normal ever showed up, we’d have a business meeting that afternoon to see what we could do to stop that from ever happening again.
What we sometimes call extra-ordinary, ought to be ordinary in the Kingdom of God.
Do you believe that? Do you believe that what we read about happening to the church in the book of Acts can and should be happening right here?
I think we may want it to happen and I think many of us may hope that it will happen, but do you believe that it can happen?
That’s what can happen when revival comes. Revival does not come by design.
It can not be orchestrated or produced by the flesh.
Revival is not the church deciding to do something, revival is God deciding do something with his church. Revival is God deciding to send a fresh movement of his Spirit among his people.
Revival is when God sovereignly (He Chooses to ) grants his body / church / Temple a fresh experience of his spirit. That’s why you can’t orchestrate a revival.
If you were to read about some of the revivals that have occurred just on this continent you could not explain how / why they happened.
Have any of you read about the Cane Ridge Revival? The Cane Ridge Revival is part of our Heritage, the churches of Christ were birthed at that revival.
Barton W. Stone of Kentucky in the early 1800’s preached to 25, 000 people and we who are members of the churches of Christ were a part of that revival.
And that is amazing, because I’ll tell you, if anything like the Cane Ridge Revival from which we sprang, ever broke out today in this congregation most of our folks wouldn’t come here anymore.
Not only would they stop coming, but as they left, they would be condemning us for it. Or at the very least, we would call a men’s business meeting to make sure that it never came back to our church again.