Summary: This message deals with the origin of revival, who may experience it, and the outcome of revival upon God's people.

The Key To Survival Is Revival

Text: Ps. 85:1-6

Intro: The passage that we have just read is a heartfelt prayer for revival. The Psalmist is no doubt thinking back upon the roller coaster-like spiritual history of Israel. He is remembering how, after Israel had given into sin time after time, God had always provided a plan to bring them back to Himself. And with this thought in mind, his heart cries out to God, “Wilt thou not revive us again?”

Looking at our own nation, and its present situation, one can easily see the desperate need for revival. We have certainly seen some encouraging changes in attitude and thought since September 11, 2001, when our nation was ravaged by those now infamous terrorist attacks. But our nation is still far from God. America is still in need of a spiritual awakening.

The Roman historian, Seneca, once warned the Roman Empire of its impending collapse. He was laughed at and ridiculed for his unpopular prediction. But the collapse came just as he’d predicted. The Roman Empire exist today only in the pages of history books.

It’s interesting to note the three major characteristics of the Roman Empire at the time of its collapse: (1) Religious Apostasy—People had forsaken the God Who had created them; (2) Moral Degradation—The people of the Roman Empire were some of the most vile and lewd people of their day. A human life was of little worth; (3) Political Anarchy—The political situation in the Roman Empire was chaotic. The nation disintegrated, while every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

Folks, I contend that the conditions in our nation are strikingly similar to those of the Roman Empire at the time of its fall. And I further contend that the key to America’s survival is revival. Our nation must turn back to God.

But friends, America will never see revival until individual Americans seek God for personal revival, and then cry out to God in brokenness for national revival. Revival must begin with the individual. The question of the hour is not so much, “What is the spiritual condition of America?” but, “What is our personal spiritual condition before God?”

As we think along the line of revival, there are three facts of which I want to make us aware. We need to understand these facts as we seek God for revival.

Theme: We need to understand…


A. Revival Originates With God’s Sovereignty.

1. The Psalmist realized that revival was God’s doing.

Ps. 85:6a “Wilt thou not revive us again…”

2. Habakkuk also realized that revival is something that God must accomplish.

Hab. 3:2b “…O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.”

NOTE: [1] We Christians can schedule meetings, invite evangelists, and organize and plan; but we cannot produce revival. Revival has but one source—God.

[2] Revival is when “…there is an invasion from heaven, and God intervenes in the life and work of a church.”1

[3] The matter of revival is not to be taken lightly:

No Short Cuts For Revival

Finally, there are no shortcuts when it comes to revival. The church desperately needs revival, but it is not going to come by quick and easy methods. Evan Roberts prayed for eleven years before the Welsh Revival broke out, and his ministry during that remarkable time broke him physically. More than one hundred thousand people were converted to Christ during that mighty awakening, but it was not the result of manufactured meetings (they were spontaneous) or manmade promotions. True revival goes deeper than that.2

B. Revival Occurs When Saint’s Face Their Sinfulness.

NOTE: There can be no revival apart from facing ones self:

The Visitation of God

Revival is the visitation of God, which brings to life Christians who have been sleeping and restores a deep sense of God’s near presence and holiness. Thence springs a vivid sense of sin and a profound exercise of heart in repentance, praise, and love, with an evangelistic outflow.3

1. We live in spiritually perilous times.

2 Tim. 3:1 “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”

NOTE: [1] We hear these verses read and we automatically think, “Yeah, that’s exactly the condition of our world today.” And that’s true. It is the condition of our world today. But it is also true that many of those traits can be found among God’s children as well. What a sad state of affairs for the church of Jesus Christ.

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