January 11, 2015
INTRODUCTION – One of the things I did this last week while cooped up in my house due to battling this cold crud is – I gave a lot of thought and prayer to this whole matter of the coming revival. It is coming. As most of you know we devoted our 5th day – Thursday – of our week of prayer and fasting to praying for revival, and praying about fulfilling our calling as a congregation to “be a revival posturing congregation”. That was the first corporate prayer meeting I was able to go to – held at the McCabes – and my sense that night was there was a lot of faith in the room and growing desperation for this promised revival. So for a while now – I’m going to spend my times in the pulpit exploring with you the history of revivals, what revival truly is, why we must believe and seek God for it, and how to prepare for it.
I. Revival Defined What it is not: Revival is not a series of meeting labeled Revival Meetings; Revival is not something man can organize or facilitate. Our So. Bapt. Church had those every year, and while God used them to see a few people get saved and perhaps some of the saints renewed in their faith, they usually died out after the traveling evangelist left; and other congregations were rarely affected by those meetings; neither were the communities surrounding our church affected by those meetings.
What it is: Revival is the act of God pouring out His power and Spirit on His people in an unusual or greatly accelerated way that causes His people to be revived in their faith and devotion to Christ, and the lost to be saved, and communities and cities to be transformed. True revivals typically affect large regions, even continents, even multiple continents, and its effects are so sweeping that everyone knows about it and is somewhat affected by it.
“A revival, then, really means days of heaven upon earth.” D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones “True revival is that divine moment when God bursts upon the scene and displays His glory.” Del Fehsenfeld Jr.
“Revival is the manifestation of the glory, power, and blessing of the Son of God among His people.” Stephen Olford
II. Revival’s Biblical Basis (“revival” does not occur in the Bible – “revive” 20 x’s in 19 verses – some praying for personal revival; some praying for the revival of God’s people)
Passages that have most impacted the privileged peoples who have experienced times of revival in history; and which are most motivating those who are crying out for revival now:
A. Old Testament: God speaking – – II Chron. 7:13,14 “If I shut up the heaven so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves, and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Psalm 85:6,7 “Will You not Yourself revive us again, That Your people may rejoice in You? Show us Your lovingkindness, O Lord, And grant us Your salvation.”
Isaiah 57:15 “For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, “I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly And to revive the heart of the contrite.”
Isaiah 64:1-3 Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down, That the mountains might quake at Your presence As fire kindles the brushwood, as fire causes water to boil – to make Your name known to Your adversaries, That the nations may tremble at Your presence! When You did awesome things which we did not expect, You came down, the mountains quaked at Your presence.”
Habakuk 3:2 “Lord I have heard the report about You and I fear. O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years, In the midst of the years make it known; In wrath remember mercy.”
B. New Testament: (revive does not occur in N.T.) So perhaps the question that is often asked and should be asked is – is there any passage in the N.T. that would make us think God does not want to pour out revival and/or does not want us to pray for revival in the church age? Answer is NO! Are there any passages that encourage us in this vein? Of course!
Acts was given to stimulate our faith and hunger for more. “These men who have upset the world (Literally “the inhabited earth”) have come hear also;” Acts 17:6; “This took place for two years, so that all who lived in Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.” Acts 19:10
Romans 11:12, 15, 25, 26 “Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be! “For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?” “For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery – so that you will not be wise in your own estimation – that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will Remove ungodliness from Jacob.”
Ephesians 3:20,21 “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”
Ephesians 5:27 “that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.”
III. Why we need revival A. Because God’s name is not known and loved; and for His church to help make His name known and loved – we have to be without spot or wrinkle, holy and blameless. We have to be walking and ministering in the power of God – – and well we are far from that these days on the most part.
B. Because approximately 155,000 people worldwide die each day – a little over 7,000 in the U.S. each day – – many not knowing Christ and thus going into a Christless horrible eternity.
C. Because Planned Parenthood aborted 327,653 of our babies last year, and we Americans helped pay for it through our tax dollars, and many of our politicians – especially in CA are turning a blind eye to it because of the donations that come their way from Planned Parenthood resulting in CA having the highest number of abortions of any state in the union each year.
D. Because revival can enable the church to accomplish in a week what would normally take a year if indeed it ever happened at all.
J. Edwin Orr – perhaps the foremost expert on the history of revivals in the last 3 centuries – said that in 1858, which was when the Layman’s prayer revival broke out in New York and spread all over North America – Dwight L. Moody’ s ministry absolutely exploded, …. and after 40 years of successful evangelistic ministry, on his dying bed – he still referred to that one year as unlike anything he had ever seen in his life. Whole cities in that year were impacted simultaneously. Which is one of so many examples of the dictum that “In times of evangelism, evangelists seek sinners. But in times of revival, sinners seek the Lord.” Let me read to you just a little bit about that wonderful move of God:
E. Because revivals reminds us that when God says He will abase the proud and give grace to the humble – He means what He says, and the bigger skeptics they are, the harder they fall. P. 100, last para. 101 – top 2 para.
F. Because when revival hits – all of society is impacted and often whole businesses or corporations have turned to Christ – p. 103 bottom
G. Because when revival hits whole cities are impacted by the gospel. P. 102 “Holiness Zone” p. 103 1st para.
H. Because when revival hits – – students discover something more powerful and more satisfying than all the stuff they are known to indulge in; and even the media sometimes jumps on board. P. 120 end of para. & 3rd para.
CONCLUSION – CINDY JACOBS – end of year report of the Reformation Prayer Network of intercessors – – “In addition, California is on the cusp of an awakening! Our prayer generals there have been contending for revival among the young generation and Asian community”.
Year of Turn Around – prophets