Summary: There are four dangers that bonafide Christians face that hinder revival in the church in America: Partial Revival, Lack of Hunger, Loss of Passion, and Familiarity with God. These are the Enemies of Revival and must be remedied!
THE 4 ENEMIES OF REVIVAL
2 Chr. 7:14
A. HUMOR: Have You Ever Wondered How You Survived?
1. When I was a kid, we rode in cars with no seat belts or air bags, and in the back of a pickup trucks on a warm day doing 55 mph.
2. Our houses and baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paint. The insulation in our schools was asbestos. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles. We rode our bikes with no helmets or knee pads.
3. I often caught rides with total strangers. We didn’t have air conditioning or smoke detectors. My friends and I often rode our bikes behind mosquito fogging trucks, thinking the fog fun, not knowing it was DDT! Our dogs didn’t have rabies shots.
4. We didn’t inspect our Halloween candy, just ate it. We drank water from garden hoses and not from bottles. We’d be gone from morning till night & our parents didn’t know where we were all day.
5. We constantly ate foods made with pure lard, drank sugar sodas, but weren’t overweight… we were always outside playing. We took snakes or frogs or lizards to school, but never guns.
6. We shot off fireworks without supervision and without getting arrested. We left our bicycles in our front yards at night, and they’d still be there in the morning.
7. Seatbelts or airbags wouldn’t have done us any good anyway, because we’d pack ten people into a Volkswagen! When I think about all that, I’m surprised we survived!
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chron. 7:14.
1. I think we all know our country needs a spiritual awakening, but how do we get there?
2. The above verse offers the answer: revival happens when God’s people (not the lost) get revived!
3. When we really get committed, sell out, go all in, decide to live completely for God – that’s when it starts becoming possible. Francis Bacon said, “Things alter for the worse spontaneously, if they are not altered for the better designedly (on purpose).”
4. WE HAVE THE TENDENCY TO:
a. Take back our consecration to God;
b. Leave our 1st love to Christ;
c. Withdraw from a state of total surrender to God and come back under the control of a self-pleasing spirit;
d. Maintain the outward appearance of religion while backsliding in our heart-love for God.
e. WE LIVE BELOW OUR PROPER STATE
5. Joe Namath said, “If you aren’t going all the way, why go at all?” If God is real, He deserves our best! C. S. Lewis said, "The only thing Christianity [Jesus] cannot be is moderately important." He’s either not important at all, or the most important thing in the world!
6. So this morning I want to hit on the Four Enemies of Revival for normal, saved church goers who’ve been walking with God, yet weak human nature & this fallen world are dragging down.
I. PARTIAL REVIVAL
A. EZEKIEL’S 2-STAGE VISION OF REVIVAL
1. God gave Ezekiel a vision of a huge valley full of dry bones. Ezekiel was told to prophesy of revival for Israel. It happened in 2 stages.
2. “So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, BUT THERE WAS NO BREATH IN THEM.” Ezek. 37:7-8.
3. As Ezekiel prophesied, the bones disentangled themselves and began to form small groups which belonged to their original owners. Then those bones rearranged themselves into skeletons, each bone finding its proper place. Then the interior body organs reappeared, the sinews, the muscles, and at last their skin appeared.
4. The humans were completely reconstituted to be the persons they had been. They looked good, they had everything necessary they supposedly needed, but one thing was missing – they had no spiritual life (Breath) in them!
5. Ezekiel could have mistaken the appearance of the multitude as that the miracle was complete; but it wasn’t! They weren’t revived. PARTIAL REVIVAL IS NOT REVIVAL! They were closer to death than to life! Just because you’re ½ revived doesn’t mean that’s where God wants you!
6. Just because we go to church and mimic (life) what Christians do, doesn’t mean we’re saved!
B. THERE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN IMITATIONS
1. We’ve all seen the imitation Elvis Presleys. They’re not, of course, the real thing.
2. We all know about the imitations in the merchandising world – “knock-offs;” “look-a-like” purses, dresses, shoes, cars, jewelry, etc.