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We Can Have Revival!
2 Timothy 3:2-3:
"People will be selfish, greedy, boastful, and conceited; they will be insulting,
disobedient to parents, ungrateful, and irreligious; they will be unkind, merciless,
slanderers, violent, and fierce; they will hate the good; they will be treacherous,
reckless and swollen with pride; they will love pleasure rather than God;
they will hold to the outward form of our religion, but reject its real power."
Crimes of violence blanket the country.
Waves of lawlessness, wickedness, violence, and senseless bombings,
and killings are reaching horrible heights.
The abuse of sex is rampant.
Such abuse brings misery and wrecks families.
Sexual disease is an epidemic and a national disgrace.
America is saturated with drink and drugs.
Liquor is pure poison.
It is like a rattlesnake in the nursery.
It is like a mad dog on a child's playground.
Drink has drained more blood; dug more graves; plunged more people into bankruptcy;
slain more children; wrecked more lives; dishonored more young people;
broken more hearts; blasted more futures; driven more to suicide;
than any other poisoned scourge that ever swept its death-dealing waves across the world.
Materialism has become our national idolatry.
God is ignored and His Word is neglected.
- Materialism soothes and smites the national conscience.
- Materialism claims as its own all the advances of civilization.
- Materialism flatters pride, stimulates desire, deadens conscience, and deifies man
and will eventually demonize him.
- Materialism mutilates the Bible, minimizes sin, and humanizes God.
Attendance at church services is sporadic and sparse.
WE NEED A REVIVAL!
But let's be clear - what is revival?
WE NEED REVIVAL!
- Revival is the movement of the Holy Spirit among Christian people.
The result is an awakening of Christians.
- Revival is that which makes people God conscious.
- Revival causes people to repent of their sins, clean up their lives, enjoy their religion,
and share it with others.
WE NEED A REVIVAL OF GRATITUDE!
We have been chosen of God, nurtured with His loving care, and yet we behave
as though we have never appreciated those blessings.
We should be grateful for those recoveries from sickness - when, like Hezekiah,
we have had months and even years added to our lives.
We should be grateful for His help in all those times of crisis.
- Gratitude should be expressed - after any extraordinary deliverance --
when troubles have ceased and when joys have sprung anew.
- We should express our gratitude to God after despair and depressions have been lifted
and we have been refreshed.
- Gratitude should fill our souls, especially after God's gracious forgiveness of our sins.
- And after we have grieved the Holy Spirit; and after we have brought dishonor to the cause
of God and been forgiven - we should be grateful.
- Gratitude should fill our hearts after certain seasons of life -- such as: the birth of a child,
at graduation, birthdays, anniversaries, promotions, retirements.
We should especially be grateful because God loved us and sent His Son
to give His life for us that we might live.
He took away our sins and our death and gave us life everlasting.
For this we should always be grateful!
We need a revival of gratitude!
WE NEED A REVIVAL OF JOY!
It is little wonder that the world does not care to identify with a joyless religion.
We have settled into a sameness that contents itself with form and ritual.
We act bored with our spiritual journey.
Spiritual zest and enthusiasm are gone in the life of too many Christians.
When asked to do some Christian service, they beg to be excused.
Dr. Vance Havner says," They go to a ball game and yell like a Comanche Indian.
They whoop, holler, and go wild with excitement and enthusiasm.
But at church if they say 'Amen' they are called fanatics. "
This indispensable ingredient -- joy -- which has always characterized Christianity
is fading from the religious scene.
There will be no recovery of joy until there is the removal of sin and the renewal of spirit.
Only then will joy come.
Pray that God will give us a revival that would free many from the binding power of sin.
- We need a revival that will free us form earthly entanglements!
- We need a revival that will free us from ungodly associates and from unholy loves.
- We need a revival that will free us from unchristian habits.
- We need a revival that will free us from unchristian conduct.
Sin, which mars the body, distorts moral development, perverts the sense of righteousness,
disables the conscience, splits the personality, stifles the life, endangers society,
grieves the heart of God, and destroys the soul.
Pray that God will give us a revival to lift us from the dust of the earth,
and walk again before the Lord in the land of the living.
WE NEED A REVIVAL OF THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT!
Today, churches seem more concerned about losing their members, their prestige, etc.,
than they are about losing the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.
Then, it is time for us to cry out for a fresh experience with God!
- When we become defensive about our past.
- When we become proud and isolated from a world that needs us.
- When we allow our organizational structures to drain our most creative energies.
- When we have more confidence in our promotion and planning
than we have in the power of the Holy Spirit.
There is no recorded revival in history without the obvious manifestation of the Holy Spirit.
Yet, we continue programs that deny the necessity of the Spirit.
We teach lessons, sing songs, and preach sermons that are void of supernatural inspiration and content.
Most of our religious activity is only the work of the world moved over into the church on Sunday.
It's the same power that people see all week in regular routine;
it merely wears different clothes and holds a hymnal.
People need to see God at work!
And they cannot and will not without the presence and power of the Holy Spirit of God.
We need to draw a circle around us and pray that God will start a revival within that circle.
And we should stay in that circle until God sends revival!
We should not want to do anything without the Holy Spirit.
O, Holy Spirit, breathe on me -- break me -- fill me -- use me!
WE NEED A REVIVAL OF CONCERN FOR THE LOST!
People without Christ are lost!
They will spend an eternity in hell without Christ!
We must witness to them of their need of Christ as their Savior and their only hope!
- Fifty-seven per cent of our nation belong to some kind of church.
- Ten per cent of them cannot be located.
- Twenty per cent never attend.
- Forty per cent never give.
- Sixty per cent never attend prayer meeting.
- Seventy per cent never give their testimony.
- Eighty per cent do not tithe.
- Ninety per cent have never been instrumental in bringing a person to the Lord Jesus.
We need a new attitude of witnessing which becomes every Christians' responsibility, everyday, everywhere!
A new attitude of witnessing will result in a witnessing of attitude itself.
That attitude will be constructive and loving.
People need to know we care!
When this happens, people on the outside will become curious to know the strange power
existing inside the redemptive fellowship.
We must be willing to risk!
We must be ready to sacrifice our time!
Eternal souls are in the balance!
Some years ago a ship had gone down off the coast of England.
Life-boats had unloaded the survivors upon the beach.
Someone asked, "Did you rescue everyone?"
The captain replied, "All but one man.
Our boats were filled until one person would have sent all to the bottom of the ocean.
If there is a man who will help me man a boat, we will go back and try to rescue him."
John Holden stepped out and volunteered, " I'll go with you."
John Holden's mother put her arms about his neck and cried, " John, you can't go.
Your father went down in the sea four years ago, and a year ago your brother went to sea,
and we have not heard from him.
John, you are all I have left.
You can't go!"
John reached up and took his mother's arms from around his neck and crawled into the life-boat.
They battled against the waves, the wind , and the storm;
but finally arrived at the wreckage and found the man.
They pulled him into the life-boat and started back toward the shore.
As soon as they were close enough to hear; someone called out, " Did you get your man?"
John Holden cupped his hands and yelled back to them,
" Yes, and tell mother, it's my brother, Will! "
It's your brother and your friends out on the storm - tossed sea of sin.
Unless we man the life-boats, they will go down to the depths of eternity forever and ever
without God and without hope!
THERE IS NO TIME TO DELAY!
IT COULD BE NOW OR NEVER!
" Throw out the Life-Line across the dark wave,
There is brother whom someone should save;
Somebody's brother! O who then, will dare
To throw out the Life-Line, his peril to share?
Throw out the Life-Line with hands quick and strong:
Why do you tarry, why linger so long?
See! He is sinking; O hasten today -
And out with the Life-Boat! Away, then away!
Soon will the season of rescue be o'er,
Soon will they drift to eternity's shore;
Haste then, my brother, no time for delay,
But throw out the Life-Line and save them today."
When the Holy Spirit controls us, we will be constrained, compelled to go after the lost.
Personal evangelism is the priority of our day.
We must witness!
When we cease to believe that people without Christ are lost,
and when we cease to individually urge them to come to Christ --- the glory will depart from us!
The church that ceases to be evangelistic will soon cease to exist.
NOW THE BIG QUESTION!
CAN WE HAVE REVIVAL?
THEN WE WILL HAVE A REVIVAL!
- If all the sleeping Christians will wake up;
- And all the lukewarm will fire up;
- And all the dishonest will 'fess up;
- And all the disgruntled will sweeten up;
- And all the discouraged will cheer up;
- And all the depressed will look up;
- And all the estranged will make up;
- And all the gossipers will shut up;
- And all the true soldiers will stand up;
- And all the church will pray up;
We can have an old-fashion revival if we pay the old-fashion price for it.
THAT PRICE IS PRAYER!
God help us to pray for a church-warming, backslider-reclaiming, soul-saving,
God-honoring, Christ-crowning revival of real religion!
GOD, START IT HERE IN ME!
Acts 4:31: " And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken;
and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the Word of God with boldness."
Sermon By Dr. Harold L. White
Email Dr. White at email@example.com