Summary: Four Steps on the Road to Revival (1) A Faithful preaching and faithful hearing of God’s word (2) Belief in God (3) Action upon that Belief (4)Turning from known sin.
A Study of Book of Jonah
Sermon # 5
The World’s Greatest Revival
We would agree with great American patriot who wrote. “We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to God that made us It behooves us, then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.” And if they were true when Abraham Lincoln said them when he proclaimed a national day of fasting and prayer in April 1863 how much more true must they be today? Do we need a revival today? Of course we do. We probably have no idea how much!
Yet we often tempted to believe that it sad moral and spiritual state of our people that is the reason why we are not having revival. But I want you to consider the possibility that it is such conditions that are the cause of revival; not the prevention. That in fact every great revival was preceded by times of darkness, declension and depravity.
D.M. Panton wrote, “It is a foolish blunder to suppose that any age can be too evil for revival.” I do believe that revival is possible. Furthermore, I am convinced that our evil age is a case for revival and the reason we need revival.
The prophet Isaiah predicted a time when “darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people” (Isa. 60:2). When you study the subject of revival you will find that the days and times preceding any great revival that has occurred in history were days and times of “gross darkness.”
R.B. Jones said, “Each revival comes in a time characterized by confusion, politically and morally; by the spread of sacerdotalism; by social lawlessness and chaotic homelife; by worldliness in the churches and skepticism in the pulpits.”
Dr. A W. Tozer recommended the following formula for personal revival.
•Get thoroughly dissatisfied with yourself. Complacency is the deadly enemy of spiritual progress. The contented soul is a stagnant soul.
•Set your face like a flint toward
sweeping transformation of your life. Timid experiments are tagged for failure before they start. We must throw our whole soul into our desire for God.
•Put yourself in the way of blessing. It’s
a mistake to expect God’s help to come as a windfall apart from conditions known and met. To desire revival, and at the same time to neglect prayer and devotion, is to wish one way and walk another.
•Do a thorough job of repenting. Hasty repentance means a shallow spiritual experience. Let godly sorrow do her healing work. It is our wretched habit of tolerating sin that keeps us in our half-dead condition.
Make restitution whenever possible. If you owe a debt, pay it. If you have quarreled with anyone, go as far as you can to achieve reconciliation. As fully as possible, make the crooked straight.
•Bring your life into accord with the
Sermon on the Mount and such other New Testament Scriptures as are designed to instruct in the way of righteousness. An honest man with an open Bible and a pad and pencil is sure to find out what’s wrong with him quickly.
•Be serious-minded. There must be a
radical change in your habits, or there will not be any permanent improvement in your interior life.
•Deliberately narrow your interests. Too
many projects use up time and energy without bringing us nearer to God. The mansions of the heart will become larger when the doors are thrown open to Christ and closed against the world and sin.
•Begin to witness. Find something to do
for God, and your fellow man. Make yourself available. Do anything you are asked to do. Learn to obey.
Have faith in God. Begin to expect. Look up toward the throne. All heaven is on your side. God will not disappoint you.
Revival is possible if the conditions are met. Revival is always costly. It requires much of us, but the results are well worth it. Let’s look at this revival in Nineveh.
In verse three Jonah for the second time refers to the city of Nineveh as a “great” city (1:2, 3:2) “So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three-day journey in extent.” Nineveh is a great city because of its size and its significance.