Summary: First in a 7-part series on revival, hoping to spur revival (at the Spirit’s behest, of course).
The Cry For Revival – DO IT AGAIN, LORD!
First in the series: Revival – Reviving Me, Reviving the Church & Reviving Our Community
Perth Bible Church July 15, 2007 AM Rev. Todd G. Leupold
On Monday, August 14, 2006, NASA reported that it had misplaced or lost the original recording of the first moon landing including Neil Armstrong’s famous statement: “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
His famous space walk was seen by millions of viewers on July 20, 1969 and was one of the 20th Century’s defining moments, yet now the original recording is lost and maybe gone forever. One might ask, “How could you lose something so important?” Only the government could do that, right?
The truth is that in life we lose things. I can’t tell you the things our family has mysteriously lost from one move to the next. Not to mention vacations. In fact, Friday I received a package from my step-father of things we left behind at his house – and didn’t even know it! Regularly these days, it seems I even manage to lose my ’mind!’
Sadly, sometimes we even lose ourselves - and that is far more important than any of these other things, or even some famous recording.
We lose ourselves by making a mistake or giving in to sin. When we do that, a part of our identity is lost.
We forget to follow Jesus and His commands and we quickly lose our way down a broad path.
We get caught up in the moment and lose sight of those things that are the most important to us.
I have certainly been lost in the past. In some things, I feel lost now. There are times I have lost my way, my identity, and often my proper and godly perspective. Rarely, if ever, does it happen intentionally or purposefully. It just happens. The truth is that we have ALL been lost. Jesus knew that it is easy for us to lose our way and that is why He came. He came to help us find our way back to Him.
(Slightly adapted from “Losing the Most Important Thing”, a sample communion meditation by Ken Gosnell as appears at www.lifeway.com)
Jesus said, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19:10)
Now is a time to be found. Now is a time for each of us to check our spiritual compass and re-ascertain just where we are in relation to our “True North” - Jesus Christ! Now is a time to look anew – high and low – for Jesus, to recognize and confess the ways in which we are lost, to ask Him to find us and to lead us along His wondrous path!
Folks, it is because of these natural and undeniable truths that we need revival – in our individual lives, our families, our church and our community. Multiple research proves this. Over time, most churches plateau and then eventually decline. Typically, they start strong and experience periods of significant growth, stagnate and lose members. Since 1991, the North American population has increased by 15 percent while the number of “unchurched” people has increased by 92 percent. Large church houses that once were filled, now hold a fraction of their capacity. (www.lifeway.com)
This is not some new or modern phenomenon. It is a pattern seen again and again throughout Biblical history and divinely recorded in Scripture as a warning. Remember last month when we examined the Deuteronomic principle of Rebellion – Retribution – Repentance – Restoration (X2)? And the pattern of generational spiritual decline seen throughout history and particularly referred to in Judges? Even in the New Testament, in the ministry of Jesus and divinely inspired writings of Paul there are countless admonitions, warnings and exhortations about this common, natural, human tendency.
Brothers and sisters, revival is not something that is just for the badly back-slidden, the immature or the ignorant. It is not something that is only needed by the uncommitted, those who have neglected attending church, or who are less spiritual they we each think that we are ourselves. ALL of us, throughout our lives and throughout our Christian walk will need personal revival at various times. Every church that has survived more than a generation or two will require times of revival if it is to continue to represent and serve Christ in a powerful way. A church like ours, that has been around for over 230 years, will need to experience many revivals over the course of its existence. The only reason we are here today is because that has happened at Perth Bible Church a number of times in the past. If we are to be here and be effective for Christ for another generation (or more), we just may need another revival.