No claims of absolute originality are made for this material. As one man said, "I milk a lot of cows, but I churn my own butter." Please use these sermons as the Lord leads, but nothing on this site may be used for profit without my expressed, written permission!
HOW TO RECOGNIZE GENUINE REVIVAL
Intro: The history of the Christian faith is a history of revival. The people of God will be fired up for a time and then their love for the Lord will cool off. They will repent, seek the Lord and He will bless them with revival. Time spent studying the history of the church will reveal time after time when God visited with His people and sent them genuine revival.
1734 in a small Christian community called Herrnhut a revival occurred. This
small community was gripped by evangelistic fervor and send out over 300
hundred zealous missionaries to Europe and
· In the 1700’s and then in the 1800’s America experienced great moves of God that brought millions of Americans to saving faith in Jesus Christ. These revivals changed our nation in ways that are still felt today.
the fall of 1863, during the height of the American Civil War, a revival broke
out in both the Union’s Army of the
1904 a revival swept the country of
now, there are great revivals sweeping the globe! Millions are coming to Christ
in places like
are nothing new. As long as there have been people serving the Lord, people have
been backsliding and experiencing revival. This passage records one of the
greatest revivals in the Old Testament. The nation of
God raised up a godly king named Josiah. His passion for the Lord caused him to lead the nation back to the path of righteousness. Under his leadership, the kingdom experienced a genuine revival.
are seeking the Lord for revival in our church. We will meet next week to sing,
pray and hear the Word of God preached. We expect the Lord to do something for
us that will change us and our church forever. We want a revival! If the Lord
were to send us a genuine revival how would we recognize it? What are the
characteristics that mark a genuine revival? I think this passage holds the
answer to that question. Let’s study
I. 22:8-13 GENUINE REVIVAL INVOLVES REDEDICATION
These verses relate a remarkable story. The
When Josiah saw himself and his nation in the light of the Word of God, he saw how far they had drifted. He also understood the need to make things right with the Lord. The Word of God convicted his heart and challenged him to seek the Lord. He rededicated himself to keeping the commands of the Word of God!
B. One of the defining marks of any revival in history is the mark of a renewed interest in and devotion to the Word of God. It is sad, but it is true, the Word of God is a neglected book. People like us who claim to be Bible-believing, fundamentalists often defend the character and accuracy of our Bible are still guilty of neglecting the Bible.
We make bold statements about the Bible. We declare it to be the very Word of God, and it is. We claim that it is without error, and it is. We hold it up as the final authority in all spiritual matters, and it is. We say it is the standard by which all men should live, and it is. While all of this is true and it is right, we still miss the mark when it comes to the Bible.
It is not enough to make own a Bible or even to make accurate claims regarding the Bible. We who own the Book should be owned by the Book! We who say we believe in the Book should believe the Book! We who say it is the standard for living should live by the Book! We who hold our Bibles aloft and cry, “The Bible is the Word of God, must honor that Book by the lives we live!
The Bible is the plumb line,
The Bible tells us what we are to believe; how we are to worship; how we
are to live; and how we are to conduct ourselves both in and out of church. It
teaches us how to walk and how to talk. It reveals how we ought to dress. It teaches
everything we need to know about God; about Jesus; about the Holy Spirit; about
salvation; about Heaven and Hell; and about everything having to do with life
II. 23:1-3 GENUINE REVIVAL INVOLVES REPENTANCE
A. Josiah took the Bible to the people. He read the Law to them and led them in a time of personal and national repentance. They joined together in a covenant in which they committed themselves to keep and honor the Word of God.
B. Repentance is one of those words you don’t hear mentioned a lot these days. The dictionary defines repentance as “deep sorrow or contrition over a past sin. The Bible, however, has a somewhat expanded definition of what repentance truly is. In the Old Testament, the word repent means to be sorry. In the New Testament, the word repent means to change one’s mind. It refers to a change of mind that results in a change of action.” When true repentance occurs, an individual recognizes the fact that they have done something wrong. They feel sorrow because of their sin; they experience a change of mind about their sin; and they head out in a new direction.
Repentance is not just being sorry you did something, or being sorry that you were caught doing something. Repentance means that we are sorry enough over what we have done that we stop doing it! Repentance means that we are no longer walking away from God, following our own path, but we are walking toward God, following His path.
C. Repentance has been neglected in the pulpits of our day. Yet, if we are ever going to see a genuine revival in the days, there must be repentance among the people of God. We must learn to take the Bible as our pattern for living. When we discover a disconnect between the way we are living and what the Bible says, we must change our minds and turn back in God’s direction! God isn’t going to change His mind and He isn’t going to change His Word. He demands repentance from all those who want to be right with Him. He requires repentance from all those who want to experience a genuine revival.
We are fooling ourselves when we think we can hold on to our ways and
still have the power, presence and blessings of the Lord. There must be
repentance before there and ever be restoration and revival. (
III. 23:4-20, 24 GENUINE REVIVAL INVOLVES REFORMATION
When Josiah and the people renewed their covenant with the Lord and
repented of their sins, the door was open to some major changes in
v. 4-7 - They cleansed the
2. v. 8-20 - They destroyed and defiled all the heathen temples and altars. The places where human sacrifices were offered; the places where gross sexual worship occurred; the high places; all the places where the people had gone to sin against the Lord God and to serve idols were torn down and defiled.
3. v. 24 – All those people in the kingdom who practiced the occult were put away as well.
It was a total purge of evil from the whole land. All of this came about because they read the Word of God, recognized their sinful ways and repented of their sins! Reformation always follows genuine repentance!
B. We are not in a position to reform our nation. We simply do not possess the power to effect change on that level. I wish we could! It is not our business to change the other churches around us who have and are abandoning the ways of the Lord. I wish we could! We are not in a position to change our denomination. I wish we could! What we can do is see that own house is in order! I wish we would!
1. We can examine our own lives and make sure that anything that is displeasing to the Lord is removed from them. We can have a reformation in our activities, our relationships, our practices, etc that are not pleasing to the Lord. We can have a personal reformation. You can’t change anyone around you, but you can change whatever may be wrong in your own life! If we would just put Matt. 22:37-39 and Col. 3:1-17 into practice, it would revolution our lives and become the first steps in a genuine revival!
2. We have the power to govern this church and see that it does not drift into worldliness and compromise. We can close the door on evil in this place. We can maintain our integrity by taking our stand on the Bible for the things of God and against the things of the world. We do not have to compromise our standards of dress, music and worship. We can be what God would have us be and we have the power to change anything in our church that would prevent us from enjoying the blessings and power of God! No one can change this church but us! Whether we change it for good or for evil, we are the ones who will make that decision.
C. Here is what we need to know: When genuine revival comes, there will be a clear move toward holiness and godly living. When revival comes, the way we live our lives will change and the way we worship will change. Real revival will bring about a reformation in our lives and in our church!
There is a principle that we must not miss. It is possible to believe right and behave right and still not be right! When revival comes, individuals and churches will be changed! We will live right and we will worship right. There will be a return to personal holiness and public praise. Genuine revival will create profound changes in our lives!
When revival comes, saints won’t have to be prompted to be in church. Sinners will come to Jesus. Our churches will be places of power and glory once again. There will be a reformation when revival comes!
IV. 23:21-23 GENUINE REVIVAL INVOLVES REMEMBRANCE
Among the things Josiah discovered when he read the Word of God was the
of the reasons
When revival comes, there will be a keen awareness among the people of
God regarding who they are and what they have in Jesus. There will be a
genuine, burning passion within the heart of the revived saint as they remember
what they were, where they were headed and what Jesus did for them when He
saved them by His grace. Take a trip back and remember,
When we remember and walk in the light of what we have and who we are in Jesus, it will fill our hearts with profound love for Him. It will fill our churches with His worship and His praise. It will fill us with excitement about the things of the Lord. We will burn with a passion to love the One Who gave everything to deliver us from our sins. When we remember, we will have revival!
C. If there was ever a church that
was active and serving the Lord, it was the church in
When we remember who we are and what we have, we cannot help but be in love with Jesus Christ. And, in spite of what you and I may think a real revival is; a real revival all about God’s people falling in love with God all over again! We need to remember!
Conc: Here is what Josiah and
1. They recognized their sin.
2. They repented of their sins and eliminated their sinful practices.
3. They attacked the causes of their sin.
When they did this they experienced a genuine revival. If we really want revival, then we must do what they did. We must get back to the place where the Word of God is the rule and standard of our lives. We must repent of our sins and make whatever changes are necessary in our lives so that we will be in a place where God can bless us. We need to remember who we are and what we have as God’s redeemed children.
If the Lord has spoken to you about this matter of revival and you want to talk to Him about it, this would be a good time to do that.