This past Sunday I preached on revival. You can download the audio or listen right here using the following embedded player. I have shared my notes almost exactly as I preached from them. They might not make a great deal of sense to someone else, for which I apologise. Hopefully the audio is easier to follow. This was a hard sermon to prepare, but one that I really felt assisted by God as I preached.
1. Why do we need revival?
“we begin to die @ birth” …Death since Adams sin – sickness “half dead”, relationship break down, bad things =“I died on the inside” I needed reviving
God is in the business of reviving, restoring, renewing, returning/bringing back, fixing. GOD IS AN EXPERT IN REVIVAL
God wants this earth to mirror heaven
2. What is Revival?
DEFINITIONS OF REVIVAL
a.dictionary = “the restoring of a near dead being to life” —
b.web = “a powerful intensification of the Holy Spirit’s normal activity”
- The Spirit of Revival always available – Jesus is the same…
-episodic or WAVES different extent geog and depth…PROGRESSIVE…
“Revival is a sovereign work of God the heavenly Father, manifesting his glory on the earth. It consists of a powerful intensification by Jesus of the Holy Spirit’s normal activity of testifying to the Saviour, accentuating the doctrines of grace, and convicting, converting, regenerating, and sanctifying large numbers of people at the same time. It is therefore a community experience.
It is occasionally preceded by an expectation that God is about to do something exceptional; it is usually preceded by an extraordinary unity and prayerfulness among Christians; and it is always accompanied by the revitalisation of the Church, the conversion of large numbers of unbelievers, and the reduction of sinful practices in the community. Stuart Piggin”
c.My own way to define revival is:
“The return of the church to something of the experience of the book of Acts”
Different Perspectives of Revival Let the bible shape our view…PACKED in but few mentions of the word God revives us –eg Eph 2….
>>>>READ>>> ACTS 2 is the model revival.
Judges, etc, OT finishes then 400 years silence….no prophecy then NT Jesus Church is birthed- amazing a revival…. In the upper room – prayer, 3000 people come to Christ. Scared denying Peter had woken up – HE was revived!
Acts 2:1-8, 12-18, 37-41
A simple MODEL pattern (not just a story!) , repeated in revivals – episodic in bible…BUT AVAILABLE NO CONCLUSION – headlines – bad times too!
•Acts 3:19-20 “Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord”
•Acts 18:10 ” I have many in this city who are my people.”
•1 Thess 1:5 ‘Our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction.’
•This is not something that man can manufacture, but learn to ride the waves!
“Its just the bible” but how do you explain what happened in days of
SPURGEON – (why not now…?)
•Preached over 600 times before age of 20.
•20,000 copies of his 3500+ printed sermons sold per week. Translated into 20 languages. Longest ever set of Christian books by a single author
•Led the first modern “mega church” with some 5,000 members. Peak congregations up to 23,000. From 1854 to 1864, the church recorded 3,569 baptisms
•By age 50 had founded 66 organizations.
Shaftsbury said “more than enough to occupy the minds and hearts of fifty ordinary men.” ONE EMPOWERED LIFE…..
1. “I remember, when I have preached at different times in the country, and sometimes here, that my whole soul has agonized over men, every nerve of my body has been strained and I could have wept my very being out of my eyes and carried my whole frame away in a flood of tears, if I could but win souls.”
2. “If Christ commands me to hold up my little finger, and I do not obey Him, it looks like coolness in my love to Him.”
3. RESULT “The Lord gave the people more and more a willingness to hear, and there was no pause either in the flowing stream of hearers, or in the incoming of converts. The Holy Spirit came down like showers which saturate the soil till the clods are ready for the breaking; and then it was not long before, on the right and on the left, we heard the cry, ‘What must we do to be saved?’
We were busy enough, in those days, in seeing converts; and, thank God, we have been so ever since.” CHS 25 years of PERSONAL revival….
•ALSO John Knox, Reformation “God did so multiply our number that it appeared as if men had rained from the clouds.” Almost the whole nation of Scotland converted in 10 years.
•Richard Baxter, 1666 In Kidderminster (UK) the average street had 1 Christian family, after revival 1 family per side of the street not saved
•Wesley and Whitfields, 1700s Revival is credited by historians with saving the UK from a French-style revolution
•America, 1858-59 1 million Americans converted, another million Christians renewed out of 30 million
•Ethiopia,1937 48 known believers, by 1943 when missionaries returned there were 10,000
•Welsh Revival, 1904. At least 150,000 saved in 6 months. Pubs emptied, crime reduced, pit ponies couldn’t work.
•We live in the largest revival ever known
•Churches exist in London today that are bigger than Spurgeon’s was
•54,000 new charismatics per day worldwide
In Africa 9% or 10 /107 million people Christian in 1900, today 46% 361/784 million
Revival is not continuous – Many Times in History that people said the church would die out – then God intervened. The Church has always grown in fits and starts…times of blessing
Why Should We study Revival?
•1. NOT so we can get nostalgic but so Learning about it thrills our hearts and makes us yearn for more.
•2God has great plans for our world – we can learn more about what to expect God saves the best wine till last…. MANY of the great men of the past prophesied that greater things were coming …. “Be of good comfort, Master Ridley,” said Latimer, “and play the man! We shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out.”
“increase of his kingdom their will be no end…” Is 6:7
•Rev 7:9-11 “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and
they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God”
•Is 44:3-4 “For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. They shall spring up among the grass like willows by flowing streams.”
Isaiah 54:2-3 “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes. For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left, and your offspring will possess the nations and will people the desolate cities.”
What about us?
- Are we in a revival?
- Not in one sense, but “ankle deep” or “on the edge of something”
-increasing sense of the presence of God
-God changing lives, measure of growth
-we are in touch with the reviving Spirit….
-BUT we aint seen nothing yet…be realistic but expectant
“When God acts, He can do more in a minute that man with his organizing can do in fifty years” Martyn Lloyd-Jones
- Terry Virgo “God is putting the word revival back on our lips” -prophecies that we as a movement will see exponential growth
- I am convinced God wants to bring revival to this land – alive – not boring churches (Kids) – full of truth – lives changed – in fact he is already reviving individual lives and individual churches…..
-THE CHURCH IS INDIVIDUAL PEOPLE LIKE YOU…not “numbers” exc
Our own story – eg Terrys DVD – revived as a BACKSLIDER…..
-You can be in a revival and miss out. You can have your own personal revival….
Are you at work because God forgot about you? Or because he wants to revive you… – God wants to revive you and make you a secret agent of revival – and to go around spreading it…. We need turning back to God – when the church comes back to God the world comes back