Summary: The fastest growing group in the world is Pentecostal believers, projected to reach 800 million by 2025. This fact highlights the key to revival: the Holy Spirit. It's time the American church went back to the template of the N.T. church.
WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT
Reflecting on the recent presidential election, in the year 2000 Joe Lieberman ran for president. He was the United States Senator from Connecticut until 2013. Since he was the first potential Jew for presidential office he was given a lot of attention. He ended up running as Al Gore’s Vice President. After a disappointing loss to Bush/ Cheney, Joe left the campaign trail and at long-last walked into his house. His wife greeted him with a kiss. “Don’t worry” she said, “in this house you’ll always be vice president!”
B. NEED FOR GROWTH
I want you to consider 2017 the “YEAR OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH.” You can stay like you were in 2016, or you can make progress in your spiritual life! When you stand before God someday, don’t you want Him to be pleased with your life? That won’t happen by accident; you have to plan to make improvements. NOW IS THE TIME TO MAKE A CHANGE!
Our nation needs revival, but revival will only come when the people of God get revived! Do you WANT MORE of God in 2017 than you had in 2016?
ARE YOU HUNGRY FOR GOD? Listen to David;
1. Ps. 63:1-2, “O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory.”
2. Psalm 42:1-2, “As the deer pants after the water brooks, so pants my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?”
3. Psalm 84:2 “My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.”
Are we so full of the world that we have no room left for God? A.W. Tozer said, “Revivals come only to those who want them badly enough. The problem is not to persuade God to fill us, but to want God sufficiently to permit him to do so. The average Christian is so cold and so contented with his wretched condition that there is no vacuum of desire into which the blessed Spirit can rush in satisfying fullness."
C. THE HOLY SPIRIT: KEY TO REVIVAL
1. A.W. Tozer mentioned the Holy Spirit as the key to revival. Probably many here don’t have a clear understanding of Who the Spirit is. Lifeway Research has found that although 90% of American homes have at least one Bible, only 19% of “Christians” read the Bible every day.
2. Because of this, many Christians have misconceptions about what the Bible teaches. 27% think that Superman might be in the Bible; and 54% think The Hunger Games might be in the Bible! [Christianity Today, 7/16/15]
3. Then there’s doctrinal error. 59% think the Holy Spirit is a force and not a personal Being. Why? Because they haven’t read the Bible! Only 1 in 5 read the Bible!
4. So people get their ideas of what’s in the Bible from the History Channel, or a certain denomination, or some family member. What’s actually in the Bible would probably shock you!
5. Like the fact that EVERYONE who were Christians in the N.T. after Acts 2 were FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT and spoke with Spirit-given languages!
6. This infilling of the Spirit was considered the NORMAL CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCE – Christianity 101. So let’s see what the Bible says about the Holy Spirit!
1. “WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT.”
2. Genesis 1:1 states that "the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters." This displays the Holy Spirit's hands-on position when it comes to the Trinity.
3. And so it is today; the Holy Spirit is still hovering over the world, calling and dealing with every human being to turn to Christ.
4. Once we turn to Christ, he performs a work called Regeneration – the creation of new life in us. Following that is a work called Sanctification – the perfecting of our character. But there is another work I want us to discuss this morning called Empowering.
I. THE EMPOWERING PROPHESIED
A. THE PROPHET JOEL
“And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.” Joel 2:28
B. JOHN THE BAPTIST
“John wore clothing made of camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And this was his message: "After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit." At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.” Mark 1:6-9