THE CHURCH NEEDS REVIVAL.
Before shouting, “Amen!” to that comment, “Oh my!” may be more appropriate.
“Amen” to the statement about revival is a stamp of approval, yet it implies that everyone else needs fixing. The “Oh my” indicates that the hearer understands they are also part of the problem.
The church and possibly every Christian need to grab a Bible and lock themselves away with God for a time and do not come out until the heart is changed.
There are seven indications the church or an individual Christian requires revival.
I. When brotherly love is lacking.
Jesus tells us that the world will know we are His disciples by the love we have for one another (John 13:34-35). Apathy is the result of a lack of love. We may not be evil toward each other, but the absence of concern expresses a lack of love. If we do not love each other, how can we expect to love the world enough to describe the Savior’s love to them? This indifference leads to an ineffective church without influence in the world around them. Revival is needed.
II. When there are divisions and fighting in the church.
Now, instead of apathy, an attitude of animosity is prevalent. The bickering was so bad in the church of Corinth that Paul said he could only talk to them as babes (1 Corinthians 3:1-3). Infighting stops all spiritual growth within a church. Without spiritual growth, the church is backslidden and in need of revival.
III. When the church acts like the world.
The modern church goes to great pains to be like the world. The church looks toward marketing techniques instead of the Holy Spirit for growth. A church service is judged by how entertaining it is instead of how much hearts and lives are changed. God goes to great lengths to warn us about becoming like the world.
Romans 12:2 tells us not to be conformed to this world but to transform ourselves through the renewing of the mind.
Luke 21:34 warns us against getting caught up in the cares of this life and overemphasizing the desire for a worldly life.
Colossians 3:2, “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”
1 John 2:15 tells us in no uncertain terms that if someone loves the world, the love of God is not in them.
The list goes on, but it is simple to see – God does not want His children acting or thinking like the world. When we do, there is a need for revival.
IV. When people no longer have reverence for God’s name.
God wants His name sanctified in us before the eyes of the world (Ezekiel 36:23). In other words, do not do anything that brings disgrace to God’s name. If God’s children sin, the world now has reason to talk about the people of God. This sinful activity brings shame to God’s name. What we call ourselves – “Christian” – means “Christ like one.” When God’s name is disgraced, Christians need to get their act together – there is a need for revival.
V. When confusion is controlling the ship.
God is not the author of confusion, and confusion brings with it every evil work (1 Corinthians 14:33; James 3:16). When churches and Christians’ lives are without direction, and fill up with chaos, and constant, never-ending uncertainty – God is not at the helm. God calms the waters of life, gives the peace that passes all understanding, and we can rejoice with each day because it is the day the Lord has made. However, if confusion reigns, Christians need revival to put God back as the leader of their lives.
VI. When the wicked triumphs over the church.
In the early chapters of Joshua, we read of the Hebrews going into the promised land and conquering the city of Jericho. God told them of things they were to destroy. However, Achan decided to take some valuables. He hid them away. Then came the next battle.
Israel moves on the city of Ai and suffers defeat. Joshua is heartbroken. So far, Joshua had done everything God had told him to do. He did not understand why the victory was not theirs.
God explains that there is sin in the camp. One guy out of several hundred thousand, but sin nonetheless. Because of Achan’s sin, Israel lost.
When the world wins over the church, there is sin in the camp. There is a need for repentance and revival to bring back the victories.
VII. When the lost are unaware of their lost state.
In Ezekiel 33, there is the story of a watchman. The watchman is in the tower keeping an eye out for enemy invasion. During the night, he sees the enemy approaching. If he does nothing and the city is destroyed, everyone’s blood is on the watchman’s hands. However, if he sounds the alarm, and they do not heed his warning, the watchman is not guilty. He did what he could, but the people did not respond.
The watchman’s job is much like the Christian’s. We cannot save the lost; we can only warn them of the dangers of God’s judgment and hellfire. If we do not sound the alarm loud enough for the world to know of their lost condition, there is a need for revival among the Christians.
The worse numbers one through six are, the more number seven comes into play. For the sake of the church; for the sake of the world; for God’s sake — we need revival.
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With houses of worship currently closed or restricted across much of the nation, the editors of the Baltimore Post-Examiner are inviting an array of spiritual teachers to share insights from the ages along with words of comfort and encouragement. These timely messages are not exclusive to any particular faith walk and will be included in our ongoing Spirituality series.
Preacher Tim Johnson is Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County, Indiana. His weekly column “Preacher’s Point” may be found at: www.preacherspoint.wordpress.com