Summary: We must remain watchful, knowing that God’s promise to pour out His Spirit in these last days is quickly coming for the church that desires to set their desires on His plans, purposes, and passion.
WHAT WILL REVIVAL LOOK LIKE?
TEXT: Habakkuk 2:1-3
ILLUSTRATION: (From George Barna’s book The Second Coming of the Church)
The Church in America is losing influence and members faster than any other major institution in the nation. If a massive spiritual revival doesn’t come within the next few years America will experience total moral anarchy.
American Society for Church Growth)
America loses 72 churches each week – or 10 a day – and gains only 24 weekly, or 3 ½ per day.
Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people perish.
“Where there is no wisdom, the people are unrestrained.”
“Where there is no divine revelation, the people are uncontrolled.”
“Where they are without inspired guidance, the people run wild.”
Habakkuk 2:1-3 I will stand on my guard post and station myself on the rampart; and I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me, and how I may reply when I am reproved. 2Then the Lord answered me and said, “Record the vision and inscribe it on tablets, that the one who reads it may run. 3For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it hastens toward the goal, and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; for it will certainly come, it will not delay.
“Not Your Ordinary Church”
We must become a church focused on 3 things:
People . Passion . Purpose
TRANSITION: We will be a church marked by our concern for PEOPLE.
We must develop an "out of the ordinary" compassion for the lost, hurting
We must own up to our responsibility in the Great Commission
We will be held accountable when we stand before Him for what we have accomplished here in this life for Him.
TRANSITION: We will be a church marked by our PASSION for the things that draw God’s Presence.
A. Passionate in Worship
B. Passionate About Prayer
Acts 4:31 says of the early Spirit-filled believers: “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken.”
1. Power in Prayer—
When Spirit-filled folks pray, things
begin to shake:
a. sinners tremble with conviction
b. saints shake with conviction re:
c. hell’s foundations quiver with
C. Passionate for Souls
1. It has been said that the early church
won 3 million souls in the first 30
years after Pentecost.
ILLUSTRATION: John Wesley
“Give me 100 preachers who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on earth.”
TRANSITION: We will be a church marked with a focused PURPOSE.
A. We Must Become People of Purpose
B. Purpose to Know Our Calling
ILLUSTRATION: ------Fredrick Buechner
CALLING - The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.
C. Only Allow God to Determine Our Direction
Acts 2:42-47 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
ILLUSTRATION: “Blind Skiers” Robert W. Sutton.
A television program preceding the 1988 Winter Olympics featured blind skiers being trained for slalom skiing, impossible as that sounds. Paired with sighted skiers, the blind skiers were taught on the flats how to make right and left turns. When that was mastered, they were taken to the slalom slope, where their sighted partners skied beside them shouting, "Left!" and "Right!" As they obeyed the commands, they were able to negotiate the course and cross the finish line, depending solely on the sighted skiers’ word. It was either complete trust or catastrophe.
What a vivid picture of the Christian life! In this world, we are in reality blind about what course to take. We must rely solely on the Word of the only One who is truly sighted--God Himself. His Word gives us the direction we need to finish the course.
APPLICATION: New Logo & 2006 Theme
1) “Not Your Ordinary Church”
People - Passion - Purpose
2) 2006: Year of Recovery