Monday, September 22, 2008

Who Wants Revival?

Much talk among professing Christians today is the need for revival. Although I can't argue against this at all. I would challenge us to think of what that truly means. Most would say we need to preach the Gospel from the street corners, to go to the ends of the earth spreading the good news of Jesus. That is very true and in accord with the Great Commission. First we must correct what's going on in our own homes lest we be hypocrites and false professors. We must purify, cleanse, and correct what is going on in our own churches and homes. This is not to say that God doesn't use us as we are but what glory do we bring to Him when we tell others to repent, yet we know not what that even means in our lives.

Look at the early church and the sermon that Peter preached "Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ--this Jesus whom you crucified. Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles. Brethren, what shall we do? Peter said to them, Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as may as the Lord our God will call to Himself. And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation!" So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added three thousand souls. They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer"--Acts 2:36-42. Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead at the feet of the apostles for lying to the Holy Spirit and yet the church grew.

The Church must have a revival or an awakening of the truth of God's Word. We must be accountable to one another as joint heirs with Christ. Discipline must be established as it is Biblically mandated. The country club approach simply isn't working and is disrespectful and self-righteous. The Church of the 1st century wasn't founded on what people wanted to hear, it was completely focused on Jesus Christ and His Sovereignty. The calling of sinners to true repentance through an act of the Holy Spirit.

There is a reason televangelist have gotten such a bad rap over the years. They preach a pie in the sky gospel where all your troubles are taken away and you can build something of your life. The apostles, the Puritans, Martin Luther, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitfield, Charles Spurgeon, and many others never taught this self-serving trash. These men were used by God to tell sinners what they really are and their need for a savior. They thundered the Gospel; that calls for repentance, humility, and a turning from sin. It was apparent that the Holy Spirit was working through these men that were used to spark the Reformation, the Great Awakening, and any revival that has ever taken place. They would not have stood for what is going on in most churches today.

I say that until the church return to the Doctrines of Grace, and stops trying to build itself up and pad its membership rolls there will be no Great Revival. The purpose of the church is to glorify God, not sinners; to worship Him with other believers, not to make everyone feel welcome in their sin. Sinners should be welcomed in for the purpose of confronting that sin and praying for a Holy Regeneration of their hearts so faith can flourish. I tend to agree with Bro. Paul Washer when he says "there will be no great revival in this country until there is great persecution." Only then will the church no longer be a country club and social gathering.

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