Sermon by Bob Goodwin
Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee? Psalm 85:6
INTRODUCTION: REVIVAL IS A WONDERFUL THING!
I have seen traces of it in the local church, but sad to say, I have never seen revival like I would like to see it. I have often heard Evangelists talk of “holding revivals” and I have even held a few. But what we need today is a revival that will shake the country and world to its very foundations. One that will close down bars, dance halls, casinos, massage parlors and every other den of iniquity that infiltrates our neighborhoods.
Truthfully, we know little about revival, because few people now living have ever seen a real revival, Revivals such as those during the time of John Wesley and the Great American Awakenings, or the Welsh revival.
A twenty-six year old college student in Wales, England named Evan Roberts went home to preach his first sermon. Seventeen people showed up to listen to his four points: confess any known sin to God and put away any wrong done to others; put away any doubtful habits; obey the Holy Spirit promptly; and confess faith in Christ faithfully.
WITHIN 3 MONTHS 100 THOUSAND CONVERTS HAD BEEN ADDED TO THE CHURCH IN WALES. 5 years later 80,000 remained faithful.
It is told of this Welsh revival that the move of God reached far outside the places where the meetings were being held. And when someone came to town looking for the revival, they would often ask a policeman, “Where is the Revival?” to which he would answer after promptly snapping to attention, “It’s right here!” pointing to his heart. In the fields, up and down the roads people were praying.
And that is certainly where revival begins.
I. WHAT IS A REVIVAL?
A. Revival is a visitation from God. It is a touch of the divineness and holiness and supernatural power of God.
- A revival is not an evangelistic campaign. Neither is it a drive for more church members. Nor is Revival a temporary stir of stepped-up activity among church members. Neither is it a series of services with an aisle parade of weak rededications.
- A revival is a work of God’s Spirit among Christians whereby they get right with God, with themselves, and with others.
- A revival includes: (a )A CONVICTION OF SIN, AND REPENTANCE
(b) RECONCILIATION AND RESTITUTION .
- A Holy Ghost revival brings:
(a) SEPARATION FROM THE WORLD
(b) SUBMISSION TO CHRIST
(c)This kind of revival will see each of us being filled with the Holy Ghost and fire.
B. When the church has revival, souls will be saved, prayers will be answered.
- Not everyone has to be revived to have this kind of a move of God. It just takes some that really have desire to experience it.
- We cry for the church to get “re-vived”. The trouble with that is that some of the church has never been “vived” so how can they be “re-vived”.
- Whether it is “viving” or reviving you need, it is urgent that you begin today to move toward it.
II. OBEDIENCE TO THE TRUTH
A. Charles Finney once said, “whereas, mind and conscience may assent to the truth, when revival comes, obedience to the truth is the thing that matters.”
Revival is nothing less than a new beginning of obedience to God.
- The Prophet Ezekiel’s listeners heard his words and did them not. (Ezekiel 2:3-5)
- James says: If we hear and do not we deceive ourselves. (James 1:22)
- The Bible is very clear on this subject. If we want this blessing of revival then we must obey his commandments.
- Revival comes when Christians begin to obey God and not until.
III. THERE IS SO LITTLE REVIVAL IN THE LAND BECAUSE THERE IS SO MUCH REBELLION AND DISOBEDIENCE.
A. It seems that few know how to submit themselves to the authority over them or to God. Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves
- Many children are no longer taught to obey at home so they give the schools trouble.
- Many young people today resent discipline on all levels and from all sources.
- Church people don’t like the preacher who preaches obedience to God.
- The whole system at times seems to disobey and rebel.
- Regardless what the church does to try to bring revival “obedience is better than sacrifice”.
IV. A PRESENT DAY REVIVAL
A. Suppose you were not a Christian and you dropped in on the ordinary revival service.
- Usually you would see a fraction of the membership there trying to get more recruits for the army of the Lord when half of the unit has already gone A-W-O-L
B. Real revival does not begin with joyous singing. Certainly it is beautiful and necessary, but that is not where we must begin.
- We try to make God’s house a delightful place when first it may need to become a dreadful place.
- Repentance must precede rejoicing. Jacob at Bethel said “How dreadful is this place! This is none other but the house of God”. Gen 28:17
- We try to get people to sing when they don’t have a song, to rejoice when they have no joy.
- And when revival fires are burning, men with sin in their hearts will see the house of God as dreadful.
- But once repentance is accomplished, then real rejoicing will take place.
- I am afraid that many will never know Godly joy if a revival does not take place. It seems that those who have become so cold in worship have been vaccinated with just a touch of revival, so that they have actually become immune to it.
OH,LORD, SEND THE FULLNESS OF HOLY GHOST POWER THAT WE MIGHT EXPERIENCE REAL JOY.
V. GOD SENDS HIS BLESSING, NOT UPON THE EXALTED, PROUD, INFLUENTIAL, RICH, NOR THE WISE, BUT UPON THE BROKEN.
A. God uses broken things. For example, It takes broken soil to produce a crop and broken clouds to water that crop.
- It takes broken grain to make bread
- It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth the perfume.
B. It is Jacob limping back from Jabbok who now has power with God and men, and it is broken Peter weeping bitterly who returns to greater power than ever.
- We must be broken before him if we expect to see revival.
- Our will, emotions, pride must be shredded into a 1000 pieces and laid at his feet that he might reassemble them and use us.
- Unbroken men, just as unbroken animals, will never fit the yoke of submission to God and His will.
- When God sends revival he will use broken men to bring it or it will not be brought,.
VI. THE SECRET TO REVIVAL IS GETTING RIGHT.
A. We must get right with God which involves repentance and confession.
- The idea of repentance involves the resolution that you will not do again what you are repenting of.
- We must confess our sins as well as repent of them. 1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
- If we love sin more than we love God revival will never come.
B. Revival is getting right with yourself.
1. Christians would be much happier, if they would get right with themselves.
a. We need God to help us do that.
2. If you are fighting with yourself then more than likely you will be fighting with everyone else, including God.
a. Revival frees us from ourselves.
- In Revival we get right with others for we cannot have revival until we get right with others.