Summary: 4 Types of People attend church.
1st Great Awakening – 1730s-1740s – Wikipedia - People became passionately and emotionally involved in their religion, rather than passively listening to intellectual discourse in a detached manner. People began to study the Bible at home.. Jonathan Edwards, George Whitfield
2nd Great Awakening – 1820s – 1840s – camp meetings, revival services. Estimated 20,000 attended a service in KY. Baptists & Methodists became large… Cumberland Presbyterians originated.
3rd – 1858-1908 – Missionary Awakening – Dwight L. Moody. Christian colleges… YMCA. Salvation Army.
Revival in America – how many times have we heard it? How many times have we prayed for it? It’s like ‘blah blah blah’, we talk about it a lot, and it never comes. Is God dead? Has He stopped moving in lives like in years past? Will He ever send revival? Will we ever see it?
Do you need revival? Right now – in your heart. Do you want it? Are you willing just this once – to invite God to show up? Are you willing to say – “if you are real God, if you are really here among us – then show me – speak to me… today – now!”?
I am convinced that the key to real revival is with this group right here, right now, (and in other churches all across the world). Not the gays and the drunks and the dopeheads and the prostitutes. Not the bars and the casinos, not the atheists and the satan worshipers. All these people need Jesus, and need to be reached – but I believe it must start right here – you guys got up early, got cleaned up and dressed up (most of you), and drove over to this little church today. And I trust and believe that God has a message for you today, not because I’m giving the message for I am a very fragile, fallible vessel, but because I trust God’s word will not return void. My prayer is that God gets me out of the way, and God himself speaks to your heart.
JEREMIAH 1:9 Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, "Now, I have put my words in your mouth. 10 See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant."
Jeremiah rec’d his commission, calling from God. He had a message to deliver. Notice God’s message has 2 uplifting components: build and plant. Yes, God wants to build something in you, to plant and make grow His blessings and wondrous love. But the uplifting is preceded by twice as much destructive actions: uproot, tear down, destroy and overthrow. This first part is often neglected in modern churches. We hear a feel-good uplifting sermon, but we haven’t dealt with what must come first – tearing down of obstacles to true faith and commitment and relationship with Christ. If revival is to come, we must confront our condition – where do we stand?
Imagine a rough, neglected patch of land. A gifted gardener could come in and create a beautiful place. But first the weeds must be pulled, the rocks removed, the land prepared. Only then can the gardener begin to plant and nurture and grow a fine garden. So it is in the church. So it is in the heart. Does God need to till up the ground in you? Does He need to rake and prune and pull out any disobedience, sin, or secret place?