Summary: PowerPoint slides freely available by emailing Emile@Wolfaardt.com) Positioning ourselves where God can powerfully revive our hearts.
Revive Us - Part 1
Revive Us Again
The greatest need of the Church today is not more members, more money, or more buildings. It is not more programs or busier calendars. It is not even more missions or evangelism. The greatest need in the Church of Jesus Christ today are genuine heartfelt repentance and Holy Ghost revival. What is revival? Revival is not the harvesting of the lost, although that normally happens during seasons of revival in staggering numbers. Nor is revival tent meetings with a visiting speakers and saw dust aisles.
The dictionary defines ‘revive’ as to "bring back to life or consciousness" or "become or make operational, valid or effective again." It defines ‘revival’ as "a restoration to vigor or health" and as "special services or efforts made to awaken or increase religious faith."
Henry Blackaby defines revival as "a return to spiritual health after a period of spiritual decline into sin and broken fellowship with God."
Duncan Campbell says that Revival is when a people become saturated with God.
I like Vance Havner’s offering - revival it is "a work of God’s Spirit among His own people . . . what we call revival is simply New Testament Christianity, the saints getting back to normal."
If revival is meant to be the ‘normal’ condition of the Christian, which I believe it is, it is essential that we look ourselves squarely in the eyes and ask ourselves a rather critical question - do we need revival? Have we let things slide? Do we need to get back to what Havner calls normal Christianity?
Isn’t it true that most churches no longer impact on their communities the way God intended them to? Isn’t it true that many churches have forsaken their first love and turned from the Lord and His Word? Isn’t it true that self-indulgence has become a way of life for too many of us believers? Some of us treat personal interest, pleasure, business, material possessions, and even our families, as idols to be worshiped. We have tended to become self-sufficient and independent of God. Look around and see how far we have fallen. I would suggest to you, precious believer, that anybody who has a keen eye for the glaring and blatantly obvious cannot but come to the profound conclusion, "Yes - we need revival - and we need it desperately, and we need it completely, and we need it imminently."
The problem is that our decline into this desperate need for revival has been insidious. We have drifted slowly and unknowingly to the place that we are no longer even aware that our spiritual power and influence have for the most part been depleted.
Stop and think about it. In America alcohol, drugs and pornography are destroying the minds of our youth. This country’s illicit drug industry is estimated at more than 75 billion dollars a year. The suicide rate among 15-24 year olds has risen more than 300% in the last 20 years. In "Christian America" we now have the highest divorce rate in the history of civilization. Child abuse is epidemic.
We have rejected the sanctity of human life. We are murdering more than 800 000 innocent, unborn babies each year. In one state alone last year, there were more babies killed by legal abortions than all of the servicemen who lost their lives in the Viet Nam, Korean, Mexican, 1812, and Revolutionary Wars combined. Each week we kill more than 5 times the number of innocent lives that were taken in the terrorist attacks in 9/11.
This disturbs me. While 83% of American adults contend that they are concerned about the moral condition of the nation and 84% of all adults consider themselves to be Christian, 61% condone gambling, 60% condone cohabitation and 59% condone sexual fantasies. 45% of our Christian nation feels that having an abortion is OK and 42% condone having a sexual relationship with someone of the opposite sex other than their spouse.
When a nation becomes as morally depraved, as spiritually blinded, and as steeped in humanism, hedonism, materialism, as we have is, there is only one power in the universe that can meet and overcome such evil, and that is the power of the living God. What we need is an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, a visitation of the manifest presence of God. And that, my friends, is revival.
It is not the sin of America that is jeopardizing the future of America - it is the sin of the Church. It is not because of the corruption in the halls of Congress or the reprobation in New Orleans, San Francisco or Hollywood. It is because of those of us who call ourselves Christians that America is being judged. Any Christian who dares be honest with themselves must recognize that much of the church has become compromising, halfhearted and backslidden. We call black white, dark light and wrong right. We condone what God condemns, adore what God abhors and expect what God rejects.