Summary: I’m ready for the last revival before the return of Jesus. Are you?
February 17, 2008
Text: Joel 2:12-32
Title: The Last Great Revival
I want to begin this morning by sharing with you a list of my favorite things to preach about.
1. Salvation – I love to tell about what Jesus did for you on a cross.
2. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
4. The gifts of the Spirit.
6. God’s Promises
8. The church and your role in it
9. The ministry of Jesus, and…
10. What I’m going to talk to you today about - Revival
After the city wide revival had concluded, the three pastors were discussing the results with one another.
The Methodist minister said, "The revival worked out great for us! We gained four new families."
The Baptist preacher said, "We did better than that! We gained six new families."
The Presbyterian pastor said, "Well, we did even better than that! We got rid of our 10 biggest trouble makers!"
We hear about revival past and present. We know what has happened here before. We know that there are reports coming in from around the world that indicate that there is revival breaking out everywhere – even in Muslim countries where it is against the law to be a Christian. It is an exciting time to be a Christian even though in America, Christianity seems to be on the downhill slide. It may look good on the surface but the truth is that the churches that are growing in America seem to be churches that demand nothing from its adherents. If you trust Christ you can go on living how you want. There are no demands, no holiness, and no sanctification and there is definitely no power. Plus, it seems that those churches are not reaching the lost – they are simply attracting previously churched people who were looking for an easy gospel.
But I believe that it is not too late for revival in America and even in Palmyra. I believe that the great end times revival may be right here at our doorstep. In this revival I believe that God is going to draw a line in the sand so that people will have to make a decision, either for Him or against Him – no more fence riding. And I believe that revival comes shortly before the rapture of the church.
In our passage today I want to show you three things that are going to be a part of the revival that may be starting now.
First – There will be a call to repentance – not by me or any other preacher – but by the Holy Spirit.
Second – There will be intensified warfare in the heavenlies. The enemy’s strongholds are coming down.
Third – There will be great manifestations of God’s power displayed everywhere.
Are you ready for the revival to end all revivals?
I. THE CALL TO REPENTANCE Many will say that this prophecy is specifically written for the time when the Jews would return from captivity in Babylon and that it has no real meaning for the church. Let me tell you something – the church is in the midst of the “Babylonian spirit” right now. The world system of economic greed and power struggle is as much Babylon as the ancient city itself. And that is what the Lord is calling the church away from. 12 “Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” 13 Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God… Many have foretold what the status of the church towards the end of the age would be. Jesus wondered, “When the son of Man comes will He find faith on the earth…?” Paul said the church would be characterized by those who will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths (2 Timothy 4:3-4) and, 1But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—5having a form of godliness but denying its power… (2 Timothy 3:1-5). But today God is calling the church back to Himself. “Return to Me” He is saying to each of us. And don’t let it be some unauthentic kind of repentance marked by “all show” and no “go”! In other words you can go to the altar as many times as you want, but if your heart is not turned toward God it doesn’t count. 13 Rend your heart and not your garments… Make it real. See how far from God you have drifted and it has happened so gradually that you don’t even realize it. Turn back to the One who saved you! When you do you’ll see a different side of God beyond judgment. 13He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm. 14 Who knows if He will turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind Him… When you repent and get back into God’s good graces He will once again be inclined to pour out blessing on you. Now the purpose of the blessing is seen. What God blesses you with He waits to see if you will give it back to Him. A grain offering and a drink offering