Revival in the Church is necessary before it can be a spiritual influence to others; as a new cultural revolution attempts to dwarf its effectiveness!
The Apostle Paul wrote: Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify (set it apart) and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word (the Word of God); that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish (Ephesians 5:25-27).
The Church lacks the makeup of its former self; through acceptance of the culture trends of today, previously not accepted by the Church. The Prophet Jeremiah in speaking to the people of Judah said: Thus saith the Lord, Stand you in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and you shall find rest for your souls.
But they said, we will not walk therein (Jeremiah 6:16). It was noted that the people’s stubborn refusal to walk in the traditional ways of true righteousness was often mentioned by Jeremiah. They were moving in their own paths and following their own way, characteristic of some today!
The Apostle Paul addressed a concern for Israel, who had a zeal of God, but lacked the righteousness of God, in writing: My heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they might be saved; for I bear them record (witness) that they have a zeal of (for) God, but not according to knowledge; they being ignorant of God’s righteousness are going about to establish their own righteousness, having not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God (Romans 10:1-3).
The Church is embracing the ways of the world; failing to embrace godly characteristics established in God’s Word as a necessary ingredient in the life of a Christian, and leaving out such Biblical terms as: Sanctification (set apart unto God), righteousness (doing which is right in God’s sight), and holiness (without which no man shall see the Lord - Hebrews 12:14).
It was noted that we are living in a very permissive day when the religious world is so tolerant to most any and all kinds of standards and lifestyles. This permissiveness and tolerance is the result of a self-willed and carnal minded society.
As a result of such tolerance and permissiveness, there are many churches, and even denominations, which have altered their teachings, their standards, and even their interpretations of the Scriptures to please, to comply with and accommodate this permissive and tolerant society. Very few people this day hold to their heart’s convictions. They change to blend in their environment.
Revival in the Church is needful to cast out impurities that are not of God; to expel a new generational belief that tolerance and acceptability is reflective of love towards any given situation; when in reality it is an endorsement of ungodly lifestyles that are condemned in God’s Word!
Sin is at an all time high; chaos and
confusion in the making, with the Word of God being camouflaged to suit desired
lifestyles; thus falling into the category of woes (warnings) by the Prophet Isaiah:
Woe to them that call evil good and good evil; that put darkness for light and
light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter; woe to them
that are wise in their own eyes and prudent in their own sight (Isaiah
Revival in the Church is needed when a time as prophesied by the Prophet Amos comes to fruition. He revealed there will be a time that the fruit of righteousness will be turned into hemlock (Amos 6:12). It is interesting to note that the word hemlock refers to a plant that poison is derived from. Poison infects or pollutes the body until injury, illness, or death results. It can be of a harmful influence such as will ruin, taint, inhibit, or embitter.
When this influence creeps into a church, oftentimes unawares, it creates a powerless church, incapable of revival for it needs revival itself! A dream captivated this thought in which the righteous man was ridiculed; whose influence no longer had any effect. A church of pomp, splendor, where true worship was taboo and sin no longer identified. Lives were without change or with little endurance if change occurred.
Noah H. Mack, in a sermon titled “Little Foxes” noted: This writer with much interest and prayer observed the movements and efforts of the church for more than thirty-five years; all this while it has developed a great power to work, but almost as fast as she grows in efficiency for labor she drifts into worldliness in one way or another and all because of fostered pride and love of pleasure.
Those who have been responsible for the housekeeping in the church has not been watchful enough and let the little foxes creep into the vineyard and now they are so numerous and big that they cannot be driven out by ordinary methods of teaching and warning, for they well-nigh have possession of the vineyard. Has the Church evolved to such a state? If so, revival in the Church is of extreme importance that it may carry out its mission towards salvation of the soul.
The Apostle Paul wrote: Let us (the Church) hold fast to the profession of our faith without wavering (Hebrews 10:23); not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting (encouraging) one another, and so much the more, as we see the day approaching (coming of the Lord) (Hebrews 10:25).
There is a wavering of commitment today, due to a generational gap influence, that is as a miss-firing spark plug not emitting its full potential; which necessities a revival in the Church to revive a commitment to the Lord, and His Church, to be an influence to the unsaved of the world!
The Prophet Hosea, in sounding the alarm, to the people of his day, said: Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy (faithfulness); breakup the fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you (Hosea 10:12). We have experienced evidence of revival in the Church when people became hunger for God!
Jesus said: Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled (Mathew 5:6). It was noted they experience a deep desire for personal righteousness; they hunger and thirst for what only God can provide; with complete satisfaction! The Psalmist proclaimed: He satisfy’s the longing of the soul and fills the hungry soul with goodness (Psalm 107:9)!
In a prophecy, given in a camp meeting, were these words: I (God) warn you with great intensity that I am going to judge My house and have a church without spot or wrinkle when I come. I desire to open your eyes and give you spiritual understanding, that you may not be deceived but may walk with uprightness of heart before Me, loving righteousness and hating every evil way.
Look unto Me, and I will make you to perceive with the eyes of the Spirit the things that lurk in darkness that are not visible to the human eye. Let me lead you in this way that you may perceive the powers of darkness and battle against them. These words encourage revival in the Church to bring it to the fruition desired that it may stand against the evils of our day!
It was noted that the church is being tempted to pursue social status rather than sanctification, financial security rather than sacrifice, prestige rather than the presence of God, and respectability rather than the moving of God’s Spirit. The future of the church is at stake; it is standing at a crossroads, which road will it follow?
The furtherance of the Gospel will take place despite efforts to dwarf its effect; the Church Jesus spoke of will be a realty as revival in the Church takes effect; the Church will stand despite efforts to downsize its influence. Jesus said: You are Simon Peter (His representative), and upon this rock (foundation) I will build my church; and the gates of hell (forces of opposition) shall not prevail (stand) against it (Mathew 16:18)!
Revival in the Church is captured in the words of Jesus: You (the believer) are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (candle stand); and it gives light to all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works (testimony), and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Matthew 5:14-16).
Revival in the Church prompts the believer to meet the world’s need with his mission (as light) to the world. It was noted that his light is to clearly shine forth into the darkness of human depravity. Darkness is the absence of light; and darkness alone cannot dispel the light, but the smallest light can dispel the greatest darkness!
Revival in the Church is found in the words of the Psalmist: Will you not revive us again; that your people may rejoice in you (Psalm 85:6)? In many instances the Church has fallen away from its former embrace of God and His Unadulterated (Pure) Word; and is in need of revival within; that it may bring revival to those without!
The Apostle Paul noted such an appeal, in writing: We have many things to say, and hard to be uttered (explained), seeing you are hard of hearing (will not receive such). For when for the time you ought to be teachers, you have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles (sayings) of God (Hebrews 5:11-12).
It is sad to say but many in the Church no longer receive the soundness of God’s Word; as in previous years. There is a lost generation concept that needs to be revived again; through the fulfillment of the words of the Psalmist: Will you (God) not revive us again (Psalm 85:6)?
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