Are You Ready For Revival?
But of the times and the seasons, brethren,
All around us, we see terrible things happening, things that the Bible predicted long ago. Jesus knew all of these things would happen; from those terrible school shootings all over the country, to the rise of homosexuality, to the divorce rate, and abortion, to the terrible natural disasters that are increasing throughout the world. Christ himself said all of these things would happen before the last days come. He asked in Luke 18 :8 "When the Son of Man comes, shall He find faith on the earth?".
As we see these things, we can discern the signs of the times, and know that the time of Christ's return is drawing ever nearer. Knowing this, we claim to want the revival that God promised to send in the last days. We say we want revival, we pray for revival, preachers preach about revival, but are we ready to do what it takes to get revival?
First Peter 4:17 tells us that the judgment will begin at the house of God: "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?"
Since judgment will begin with the house of God, one of the first things that it requires is for us, as the bride of Christ, to exhibit genuine repentance. We need to weep over our sin, individually and collectively. We must get serious about our sin, confess it before God and turn away from it. Far too many of us have compromised until sin is a comfortable part of our lives. We have to learn to look at sin through God's eyes. That's what confession means: to agree with God about our sin. And we have to turn away from our sin. That's what repentance means: turning away from our wicked ways toward God's ways.
Unbelievers often point to hypocrisy in the church as their reason for not wanting to hear about the Gospel or attend church. They may have a point there, although the same hypocrites at the bar on Saturday nights don't seem to keep them from that place. Yet, sadly, it has gotten to the point where sometimes it's hard to tell the believers from the unbelievers without a scorecard. We've gotten to where we in the church have compromised our beliefs so much that you can't tell the saints from the sinners, so to speak. That's a sad commentary on the state of our faith.
We need to weep over our sin, to shed bitter tears of sorrow and remorse over our disobedience to God's Word. We need Godly sorrow, which leads to repentance. There is such a thing as absolute truth, as absolute right and absolute wrong. We better start believing it, and more than that, we need to get to the point where we're willing to stand out and call sin and what it is: sin. Not compromise, not make excuses for it, not say that's not our responsibility. We have to be willing to speak the truth in love, whether it's our own sin or someone else's. Until we can do that, we have no hope of reaching the world with the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ, and there can be no revival.
Another thing that we have to deal with before we can have revival is our love of money. We all know the Bible says that the love of money is the root of all evil. It's sad but true that riches and prosperity go hand in hand with depravity and perversion. In any civilization since the beginning of time as the nation becomes wealthier they become more and more depraved and get farther and farther from the Word of God. People tend to put their faith in their money rather than in God.
The Bible tells us, you cannot serve God and Mammon, or money. So I ask you today, whom do you serve? I am very afraid that many of us won't get serious about serving God until our wealth is removed from us - and with the world situation being like it is today that may happen quicker than we think. This country is in debt past its eyeballs, and we have no hope of ever paying off that debt in our lifetime. And yet our elected leaders continue to spend, spend, spend. We are in total dependence on foreign oil, and gasoline prices right now are over $4.00 a gallon, and expected to go higher. Many hard-working Americans cannot afford healthcare or insurance. Our economy, regardless of what the government would have us believe, is in a recession. Economic downfall is coming to America, people, and we'd best be prepared to deal with it. For too many years, we have been content to serve the god of wealth.
Third, we have to get serious about wanting to please God, rather than wanting to please man, and be an accepted part of the crowd. We tend to be people-pleasers, wanting and needing the approval and acceptance of our peers. I ask you, which do you think is of more importance: to be found pleasing by lost and sinful people, or to be found pleasing by a pure and holy Almighty God? Which do you think will have an eternal impact? I don't know about you, but I long to hear my Savior say to me, when my life on this earth is finished, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." We must learn to seek God's approval and acceptance, not man's, and to live to please God, even if that is unpopular with man. We must be willing to uphold God's Word, and live according to His standards, even if we are the only one. Even if it means being shunned, rejected, ridiculed, mocked, persecuted, or even executed. Jesus himself suffered all those things; if we truly love the Lord, shouldn't we be willing to do the same?
In the wonderful Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told his followers:
Blessed are the poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.
Do you truly want a revival? Then let's turn back to God in repentance and obedience; let's choose to serve God, rather than Mammon, and let's get serious about living in a way that's pleasing to God. Then we will see the revival we long for. Then, when the Son of Man comes, He may find us faithful, and say "Yes, I have found faith upon the earth".