Monday, July 11, 2016
Revival Needed: liberals don’t trust it it, conservatives have misused it, and rarely have I seen
A church word for sure, word especially in the South, is REVIVAL. I do not know if we really know by experience what it really is. Great Awakening turned the church members repent, the Wesleyan revival changed Great Britain, the 2nd Great Awakening gave many evangelistic fervor to spread Christianity, the Welsh revival changed daily life and spread to other countries.
Using hyperbole - America evangelicals view a successful revival through this type of event. A meeting was planned for Sunday night through Thursday (the weekends are too precious to waste time hearing a gospel message), 1,000 people attend, 500 cards were filled out about decisions for life change, next everyone went home. What if anything changed in their life? Welcome to powerless Christianity in America. This is why liberal Christians disdain revivals and conservatives wear themselves out with no change in a souls destination and society’s behavior. The Wesleyan Revival had pub owners closing shop. The Welsh Revival unemployed hookers and reunited families. Today we do not even know if people that make decisions at a rally or revival service will attend church the following week.
Is there a biblical model for revival? Repentance and being called from death to life addressed to God’s people – the church.
Baptist evangelist John R. Rice wrote (1895-1980) a book “We Can Have Revival Now”. In chapter 5 he listed unbelievable revivals from the Bible.
#1. God Could Have a Revival in Decadent, Idolatrous Israel at Mount Carmel
#2. God Could Have a Revival Even in Violent, Heathen, Fish-Worshipping Nineveh
#3. Christ Could Have a Revival in Half-Breed, Prejudiced Samaria
#4. God Could Give a Revival in the Hardest City in the World, Jerusalem, Fifty Days After the Crucifixion! #RedClayPreacher
So does God want us to lead souls to Christ? Yes.
Again where do we start? The Church!
1 Peter 4:17 (NKJV) For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?
Then what? I thought the church was supposed to be God’s instrument, part of the Kingdom, be The Family, to be The Bride of Christ.
He died for his bride. She is to be in worship, disciple the church for ministry to her people and missions to the lost, and she is to participate in the evangelism of the world.
Once I helped with a evangelical Christian sports camp. The evangelist the last evening was fiery and motivating. A whole wrestling team from a large high school from South Georgia raised their hands and later walked to the stage and were tallied as converts. Someone gushed, “Have you ever seen such a move of The Spirit?” Someone else said no but we will see one if all these testosterone driven men follow Christ. I never will believe that if 20 plus viral young men were really saved – their school would be changed. We never heard any good words coming back from that school with a change for good due to “decisions”. These young men did not know what they were deciding for. Belief in Christ, repentance, confession that Jesus is Lord, and a committal to Baptism were not there.
Is revival real? Yes.
Has it been faked? Yes.
Does God want to save the people, all the people, He created? Yes.
19 Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away.20 Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord, and he will again send you Jesus, your appointed Messiah. 21 For he must remain in heaven until the time for the final restoration of all things, as God promised long ago through his holy prophets.
Our darkest hour in memory could be gloriously changed. Or, it can get worse.