What is desperately needed in the church today is an old fashioned church revival.
October 29th, 2000, Sunday Morning
"Revival and Regeneration"
Hope for the saved and the lost.
OPENING: Psalm 85:6, KJV
- "Revival": A spiritual resuscitation and reinvigoration of the LORD's
- "Regeneration": Accepting Jesus Christ as your LORD and personal Savior for the
first time; in effect, being saved.
Being self-reliant, self-ruled, and self-righteous
(and a lot of these people are saved
Christians) are signs we are in the last days (The "Church Age") before the Rapture.
- Today, many churches attract new members by talking about how many and how
large their "programs" and "activities" are beyond the service's sermon.
- Some churches mail solicitations for new neighbors to come to their church to
see their vast array of children's programs
- Surprisingly, some churches hold lotteries to give a portion of the LORD's
offering/tithe to a "lucky winner"
- What church should offer/focus on is very simply, the Word of GOD. If that's
not the primary concern, there is no value, and no truth in that church
- There should be no gimmicks in church--just GOD
- Revelation 3:17: While the entire chapter three is Christ speaking
to churches, this verse focuses on the Laodicean0 church that has become self-reliant and
doesn't need GOD to operate. Doesn't that sound oxymoronic?
- The church is (should) not be a democracy but a theocracy with Jesus Christ as
the head. To be self-ruled is not GOD's way
- 1 Samuel 8:4-9: GOD intended for us a theocracy of judges for
the children of Israel but the people didn't want GOD as their ruler but rather a human
king ... while GOD didn't approve, he granted Israel's wish ... and the people got Saul,
in this time/era of the Old Testament.
- Instead of comparing ourselves to GOD's Word (the mirror which we see our TRUE
reflection), man is "good" in his own standards because as the bible says, man does
what is right in his own eyes.
- "The church is so worldly and the world so churchy"
- "The church is so worldly..."
- For the most part, expelled GOD
- Invited the world in (i.e., gay Christians accepted)
- It used to be the character of people was determined by how they carry themselves
but Christians today are as low as the heathen; as the world now accepts, character is
defined as to how we FEEL not how we ACT (the liberal mentality that "he/she cares").
- "...the world has become churchy"
- Bibles and holy water are for sale (you can't put a price on GOD Word
- Attending church is seen as a status symbol as opposed to a spiritual education
- Have you ever heard a vice-presidential candidate (Joe Lieberman) talk so much about
GOD and the media love it (as opposed to when George W. Bush, Pat Robertson bring up GOD
and then the media thinks we're ramming religion down their throats).
Ephesians 5:14: We are living in day/time where
eternal souls are perishing without being aware there is hope. People must yield to GOD's
Word/will. Judgment and conviction must first come at the house of GOD (the church).
Today, we are living in such a world of convenience. Life is so easy and good
(for the most part) that convenience of entertainment ultimately distracts us from duties
and our commitment to GOD (i.e., digital cable TV with remote control, microwave, cars,
restaurants, computers, music, accessibility to porn, drugs, etc.)
- While there is probably (at least) one bible in every U.S. household, of which
many go ignored, there are people in Africa that walk miles without shoes to attend
church to get GOD's Word--and through unpaved roads, mosquitoes, malaria, tigers,
possible rebel ambush, etc. Do we have that problem?
- We are living in a day/time when church has lost its important (as opposed to
the earlier 20th Century)
REVIVAL / REGENERATION
- Principle: first understand the definition of
- Regeneration is for the unsaved.
- Ephesians 2:1: "quickened" means to "bring alive".
Regeneration is the act of saving a lost soul.
- Unfortunately, today, a "regeneration" meeting is an evangelist on stage who
touches a person who subsequently falls backward and the audience gasps and claps with
tears of joy.
- Revival is for the saved
Christian who has lost spiritual motivation desire to serve GOD--which happens to all
of us all of the time.
- Why do we need revival?
- Romans 13:11: Because of the urgency of the hour. The bible
says the Rapture is closer than we think.
- Because we're surrounded and overcome by the growing wickedness of this world.
- Because of man's quest of immortality--not needing GOD
- The growing/cloning of body parts to eventually clone entire races of men and
women to the satisfaction of MEN.
- Some of the medicine offered are supposed to lengthen lifespans: creams that
remove wrinkles, ginsengs and garlics, etc.
- One of the dangers of growing old is that people "mellow out" and lose their
level of discipline and steadfastness for the LORD. Couldn't happen to you? Well it
happened to the great king David (2 Sam 12:7-9) and king Solomon (1 Kings 11:4-6).
- As each day passes, we should be increasing our efforts to serve Jesus Christ
because we are that much closer to the Rapture.
- If you look at it as, "Jesus Christ is five minutes away", you can't help but
have an attitude adjustment.
- We need revival because of the utter failure of our flesh
- The Word of GOD is powerful enough that it doesn't need to bribe GOD's people
to do GOD's will--to have all those entertaining programs available in churches.
You can have a church packed to the walls--standing room only--and there may be ZERO
power in the congregation ... so more attendance isn't always better.
- Romans 8:6-8: Acting/performing your duties as a father, mother,
preacher, witness, etc. done in the flesh (meaning the way YOU want to do it) will fail.
To please GOD, you must perform in the spirit (meaning not the world's way but the Word's way).
- As a saved Christian, you may claim Jesus
Christ is in your heart ... but is he on the THRONE of you heart (i.e., is HE ruling)??
- PURPOSE of revival:
- 2 Chronicles 6:31: You should walk His way when you're revived
because GOD wants us to.
- We're ambassadors to Jesus Christ. Ambassadors mimic their host country/leader.
We are his written epistles
in that our life is written in a book--read by others--just like all those whose
stories are in the bible.
- Psalm 51:12-13
- Our church is a shining light to the dark of our town/city; its the reason
for sustaining our existence
- We cannot win the lost without the fellowship of the Savior.
- WHO gets revival?
- Only for the saved (regeneration is for
- Psalm 85:6
- Psalm 119:107 - "quicken" is to "bring alive"
- Psalm 138:7 - your revival must be personal between you and your Savior
- PROVISIONS of revival:
- Psalm 119:107: HOW? Through the Word of GOD.
- What good is a dead (physically or spiritually) person? Above the ground,
they're polluting. They might as well be buried.
- Just reading your bible is not enough
- 2 Chronicles 6:38-39: Fervent prayer is also required. You
don't have to go overseas to be revived. You can be revived right where you live right
now. And you must repent with a "broken and contrite heart" (Isaiah 57:15).
Get broken over your own sin--not those of the world.
- 2 Chronicles 7:14: Turn from your old ways and GOD will
open heaven to you and heal your land. As many times as GOD has spoken this, rest assured,
we are no better than the people in the Old Testament who turned away from GOD again and
again and again...
- Your sin originates from your heart--it's the sin nature that we're born
with that was inherited from the first man--Adam. Therefore, we cannot ever fully cleanse
our core being. We cannot hide anything from GOD. Therefore, perhaps the reason some
prayers are not answered is because we don't mean them or we don't obey GOD.
- (Aside: 1 Samuel 28:6-7: For those of you who believe that GOD
answers every prayer, examine this passage: The LORD answers prayer when He wants to not
when you want Him to. Many who don't believe or don't have patience will do what Saul
did in verse seven and immediately turn to an instant answer--psychics.)
- PRODUCT of revival:
- Rejoicing: Psalm 51: It's a joy to come back and serve GOD.
If you serve with a drudging heart, then you're not revived.
- You're not walking in "doom and gloom" but in a healthy life that walks in
the ways of the LORD.
- Being revived can lead the lost to regeneration.
Do you need or want revival? You should because, as the bible says, we
need--AGAIN--revival (in which the word "again" in the bible implies we will lose
faith an infinite number of times until Rapture).