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The Need For Revival!
Psalm 85: 6: "Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?"
Many believe that the need for a revival is a sign of decadence in a church.
and certainly that is true.
This is not always true.
Throughout the Bible and throughout Christian history, revivals have been a part of God's plan
for the advancement of the kingdom of God.
This is spiritual.
This is psychological.
This is natural.
It is impossible for a farmer to be always harvesting.
The same is true of the Lord's work.
We cannot have a perpetual revival.
It is impossible to have a perpetual harvest, physical or spiritual.
We are so constituted that it is impossible for us to be always on the heights.
We could not endure the strain.
The flesh is still with us.
What many people call revivals are not revivals.
When you hear of revivals with great singing and great preaching -- and few, if any, noticeable results
-- that is not a revival.
There may be extended seasons of singing and preaching, but that is all that it is.
A revival is a revival.
You do not have to be told you were born.
You know it.
The same is true of a revival.
You will know it.
You will witness it when it comes.
We need something that will make people know that there is a God in heaven,
that the Bible is His Word, that the promises of God are real and can be counted on.
A real revival stirs, shakes, breaks, melts, molds, and causes the power of God
to flow through the hearts of people.
We need a revival.
God is ready to give it.
He wants us to have it.
He will give us that kind of victory when we make room for it.
The question is: how can we make room for God?
That's our problem.
Revival will expose sin in the hearts and lives of God's people and in the hearts and lives of the unsaved.
Nothing can convict of sin, condemn for sin, and bring people faster and definitely
to a realization of their sins than a revival.
There has never been so much gambling, drinking, drug use, adultery, and corruption
in high places as there is now.
Immorality, indecency, infidelity are rampant throughout our nation.
We must expose the rottenness, the evil, and of the corruption in the hearts and lives of people.
We go day after day, month after month, year after year in our sinful ways.
Sin has become so common and so prevalent that we pay little attention to it.
We have a philosophical and psychological explanation as we say,
"Everybody does it."
Our consciences are dead.
Our minds are confused by Satan.
We have grown fat and lazy in our souls.
We love to hear soft, warm, perfumed platitudes.
We need a shock of spiritual dynamite to blast us out of the plight into which the devil has led us.
The only kind of explosion that can accomplish this is a Holy Ghost revival.
Revival will cause us to enlist souls.
We will seek to enlist all of God's people.
Why are our churches almost empty?
Why are lost souls not coming to Christ?
The reason is Christians are not really concerned about the work of the Lord.
We must enlist God's people.
We must enlist those who have been washed in the blood,
regenerated by the Holy Spirit, and who have Jesus as their personal Saviour.
We must also seek the unsaved and bring them out of darkness into light,
lead them from hell to heaven, from sin to salvation, from iniquity to righteousness.
We must witness to them of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The majority of Christians who have been saved since the beginning of Christianity
have been reached and enlisted during revival meetings.
I believe that the majority of those who will be saved in this age of grace
will be reached for Christ during revivals.
The highest purpose of revival is to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ.
That may be one, if not the chief, reason why God is not blessing our efforts more.
We are selfish, and we have no thought for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.
That is why so many are not doing anything for the Lord.
Too many, who are called Christians, are not really in love with Jesus.
They have no compassion for the unsaved.
They work for each other, for their churches, for their pastors, and then,
the least little thing throws them into chaos.
If we are in love with Jesus, it will not matter what the difficulty is.
It will not matter what anybody else does, our love for Jesus will drive us to give, to pray, and to do.
We must exalt Christ.
"And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me."
Only by enthroning Christ in our lives can we claim the promises of God, the fullness of His Holy Spirit,
and the answers to our prayers.
The personnel of a revival is important.
There are many things we can do and should do.
We can visit, advertise, invite, attend services, but we are utterly unable to bring about a revival.
We Need the Holy Spirit to convict, to constrain, to convert, to consecrate, and to attract.
- We need God.
- We need Christ.
- We need the Holy Spirit.
I can assure you, beyond any doubt, that the Holy Spirit is eager, ready, and able to bless us
if we will give Him the opportunity.
A revival is composed of church members -- Christians -- you and me.
If just a handful of people dedicated to God, surrendered to Christ, submitted to the Holy Spirit
will say to God, "You can count on me."
God will bring a revival that would sweep our souls, and move with great power to bring revival to an entire city.
There is only one thing that can prevent us from having a victory.
There is only one thing that will keep God from giving us a revival.
Would you like to know what it is?
If you really want to know, then look in the mirror!
In that mirror you will see the only thing that can prevent us from having a spiritual upheaval.
God is ready, willing, and able to bless us with real revival.
A revival will attract unsaved souls, and backsliders who have been away from Christ.
If we pray for them, if we go after them, they will come by the dozens, and maybe, even by the hundreds.
But they will not come unless we go after them.
The Lord Jesus Christ went after them.
He went where they were.
He sent his disciples after them.
It has been so throughout Christian history.
It has always been difficult to reach lost sinners.
They never come of their own volition.
The devil has them, and will have them until they find freedom in Christ.
I honestly believe that the unsaved will come to the meetings, and will come to Christ,
if you and I, in compassion, consecration, intercession, with yearning, with weeping, go after them,
and tell them of Jesus who will save them from their sins.
There is a price to pay for a revival.
What is that price?
Each of us will have to pay the same price -- exactly the same price.
- What did Moses have to pay?
- What did Samuel have to pay?
- What did Elijah have to pay? Isaiah? Hezekiah? Jonah? Joshua?
- What price did Peter and Paul and Luther and Wesley and Whitefield and Spurgeon
and Moody and Billy Sunday and Billy Graham have to pay?
There is no difference.
There never will be any difference.
God has never changed His terms.
Power is costly!
The most expensive power in all the world is the power of Pentecost.
The price is high -- but we can pay it!
Here is how.
We must have a personal devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ.
We must be totally in love with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Passion and devotion to Christ will take care of the sin problem in our lives.
Sometimes, I wish I could go to each individual, and ask, "Do you love Jesus?"
- If we love Jesus, we will hate the devil.
- If we love Jesus, we will hate the world.
- If we love Jesus, we will hate sin.
I wish I could press that question upon you until your hearts responded with the answer,
"Yes, I love Jesus more than I love life itself."
We must be devoted to Jesus -- not in word only, but with all our hearts, and with all our souls.
- We must visit for Jesus' sake.
- We must invite for Jesus' sake.
- We must sacrifice for Jesus' sake.
- We must attend services for Jesus' sake.
- We must give our money for Jesus' sake.
- We must preach for Jesus' sake.
- We must witness for Jesus' sake.
We must have a passionate devotion that will wake us in the night, that will be with us in the day,
that will beset us at all times and in all places.
"Jesus, Jesus, blessed Jesus!" -- must be the cry of our hearts.
Another price of revival is a consecrated compassion for the souls of men.
Some years ago, a pastor preached in revival services in a church where I was a pastor in Texas.
He told some outstanding stories about dogs.
Church members sobbed and wept over his dog tales, but I'm not sure that any of them
ever prayed for or sought for one lost soul.
That is not what I mean by compassion which weeps only when a moving story is told.
I am talking about the compassion that burns in the soul when there is no revival.
I am talking about the kind of compassion that flames on Monday through Friday as much,
or even more, as it did on Sunday.
I am talking about the kind of compassion that gives us no rest nor peace
until we give the best of our time and of our efforts in seeking the lost for the Saviour.
We need the kind of compassion that will wake us in the morning crying,
"0 Lord, for Jesus' sake, give me revival."
We need a compassion that will drive us to our knees and cause us to pray when we go to bed at night,
"0 Lord, for Christ's sake, revive our church!"
We need a compassion that will seek out and make opportunities to witness for Christ day and night.
That is the kind of compassion we need.
Another price that we must pay for revival is persistent intercession.
We must have not only a personal devotion to Christ, but we must have a purposeful compassion
for the souls of men and women and children in persistent intercession.
If I were to ask you the question, "Do you believe God answers prayer?"
- We must pray without ceasing.
- We must pray as we have never prayed before in all our lives.
- We must pray for ourselves.
- We must pray for our sisters and brothers in Christ.
- We must pray for the backslidden and the indifferent
- We must pray for our pastors.
- We must pray for the leaders in our churches.
- We must pray for the choirs, and pray for all those who serve.
- We must literally saturate our church and our city with prayers.
I believe you would answer immediately, "I surely do."
Do you believe God answers prayer?
How do you know?
Has someone told you?
Do you only know it second-handed?
Have you ever tested the truth of that statement?
Has God ever answered prayer for you in a mighty, miraculous way?
Then, I challenge you, I appeal to you, I implore you, I beseech you, from this moment on,
- If you believe the Bible is the Word of God
- If you believe the promises of God are true
- If you believe there is a God in heaven
- If you believe God can give us a revival
- If you would like to experience a powerful visit by God's Spirit
without rest or cessation, let us, all of us -- lift our church and our city and our lost to God's throne of grace.
Let's keep them there until God answers by fire and sends us a revival from heaven.
This is God's plan for revival.
When you and I comply with it, the heavens will flood the earth and our souls with showers of blessings.
Let us plead for such a revival until the Holy Spirit creates within our hearts a burning passion for Christ,
a continual compassion for souls, and a ceaseless intercession for God's power to fall upon us all.
Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White
Email Dr. White at firstname.lastname@example.org