Thwarting Revival

 

There is a lot of talk these days about revival.  There is a lot of planning these days for revival.  These days a lot of Christians talk about encounters and experiences with Jesus.  We know more about the Bible and Christian history than ever before and yet we experience very little of the moving of Yahweh than ever before.  Leonard Ravenhill in his book, Why Revival Tarries, gives us six reasons why we do not see a mighty movement of our Lord among us today.  Alliterated and paraphrased they are:

 

1] Commercializing Christianity

We daily buy and sell our faith without question.  We have money changers in our services [John 2:14-16].  A company which sells Christian supplies sent out a magazine with the phrase “Everything Christian for less” on the cover.  Excuse me, everything Christian is free [Romans 6:23].  Christianity and all that it entails is spiritual and faith-driven [Hebrews 11:6].  It costs nothing [Isaiah 55:1].  Anyone who believes in Jesus the Christ as the Son of God, who was crucified, buried and rose again, can have all they need for a life with Jesus throughout eternity . [1 Corinthians 15:1-8]. 

 

2] Cheapening of the Gospel

Frequently we hear about Jesus coming to help us with our mess, our mistakes.  We hear that we have habits and hang-ups which cause us hurt in our lives.  We hear that Jesus is saddened by all our hurt and wants to help us be happy and have a wonderful life.  This is “another gospel” as Paul named it.  It has nothing to do with THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST [1 Corinthians 15:1-8].  This other gospel cannot provide salvation or reconciliation [Luke 19:10].  It simply makes people feel better so they can continue on with their lives.  Jesus died to provide the reconciliation of sinful man to a Holy God [2 Corinthians 5:18-19].  Sin is disobedience, and disbelief in God and what He says [Hebrews 3:12, 19].  It is open rebellion toward the things of God [Psalm 51:4].  It is offensive and repulsive to God.  It separates man from His creator for eternity [Isaiah 59:2].  Sin resides in man’s nature and must be removed, and only God Himself can accomplish that feat.  To experience the full and loving pardon for our sins from God, man must believe in Jesus for salvation [Acts 16:31], commit our lives to Jesus [Romans 10:9] and repent of our sinful lifestyle [Luke 13:3].  All this is accomplished by faith [Ephesians 2:8-9], not fact.  Anything short of this Biblical truth is a “false gospel”’ [Galatians 1:6].

 

3] Carelessness of the altar

The altar of prayer has become a forgotten place in the life of the church of Jesus the Christ.  Too many times it is neglected and is an afterthought.  The altar should be a place of humility as those who come with a burdened heart openly seek the favor of Yahweh.  The carpet at the altar in many of our church buildings is plush – unworn evidence of too little use.  Anyone is welcome to worship with Yahweh’s people, to come to the altar seeking the Lord in prayer.  Special attention should be shown to all who find their way to the altar. The showing of preference toward people is taboo with God [Romans 2:11].  God does not target people and neither should His followers [2 Peter 3:9].  All men are equal in His sight because He created all mankind and because Jesus died for all [Galatians 3:28].  He elected the way of salvation through Jesus [1 Thessalonians 1:4], called all repentant people to salvation in Jesus [1 Peter 5:10], and He chooses anyone who comes to Him in faith and repentance [Acts 20:20-21] to be lovingly welcomed into His Kingdom [Colossians 1:13]. 

 

4] Consternation of offending

Fear is the mighty weapon of Satan.  He uses it to keep those who are his, and to hinder and derail those who have been transferred into the Kingdom of Light.  Yahweh has not given His children a spirit of fear [2 Timothy 1:7].  Born-again believers are secure in Jesus [John 10:27-28], untouchable by Satan [1 John 5:18].  Yet through fear a believer will give away the joy, peace, and testimony which the Holy Spirit provides [Galatians 5:22-23].  The Holy Spirit that Yahweh has provided, is strong and dependable [1 John 4:4].  We should not compromise the Truth of Yahweh’s Word for fear of losing people.  We should not fear the loss of His tithes and offerings.  When we fear sharing our faith with others, we are grieving the Holy Spirit and living in our flesh [Ephesians 4:30].  We are not living in His power, nor His perfect love [2 Timothy 1:6].

 

5] Casual prayers

A born-again believer’s prayer life is a barometer of his spiritual life [James 5:16].  It is the strength of his Christlikeness [Mark 9:29].  Intimate prayer is the measure of a believer’s faith [Matthew 6:6-7].  However, prayers have become simply a way to open and close our meetings, and to begin our meals together.  They are no longer intimate communion with a Holy God.  They are not driven by faith nor by the Holy Spirit.  In the New Testament, Paul writes about struggling and laboring in prayer [Colossians 2:1].  David reveals in the Psalms his hungering and thirsting for Yahweh, His Spirit and His Word [Psalm 42:1].

 

6] Cheating God of His glory

Universal glory belongs to Yahweh [Psalm 29:2].  The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit glorify each other [John 13:31-32].  They are glorified by all of Their creation, except mankind.  God alone is worthy of any and all glory.  He is the Eternal One [Isaiah 9:6], the Creating One [Genesis 1:1], the Sustaining One [Psalm 3:5-6], and there is none like Him [2 Samuel 7:22].  When we glorify self or others, then we take away glory from God, which is due only to Him.  Exalting others because of their position or station in life is an attempt to elevate them to a position to which they do not belong.  All men are drawn to them and not to Jesus.  A man was once heard saying, “This is going to be an awesome Lord’s Day because Brother ….. is here to preach.  This is a special day.  I cannot wait.”  To which the response was given, “Every Lord’s Day is awesomely special because Jesus is here every time we meet together.” [Matthew 18:16]

 

It is no wonder there is no special movement of Yahweh among His people!  We have turned His worship services and ministries into some strange thing which revolves around us.  We have robbed Him of honor and glory due His wonderful Name.

 

Hugh Folds

Interim Pastor

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