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REVIVE! the ministry of the Church

REVIVE

 

Do you pray and yearn for God to revive His church? Our nation needs a revival. I’m not talking about a revival service – but an awakening of the Church as the Holy Spirit moves among us. The kind that awakens and revives the church, its leadership, the family, and the individual Christian. We need to see a major outpouring of the Holy Spirit – the kind that burns across our land from sea to shining sea with the flames of revival. Do you agree?

But now, O LORD, you are our Father; We are the clay, You our potter, and all we are the work of Your hand. Do not be furious, O Lord, nor remember iniquity forever; Indeed, please look – we all are your people! O God, we remember the glory. We remember when You spoke to us from Your sacred temple. Our fathers have told us about it. What a glorious time it was! O God, we want Your glory again! O God, show Thy face, show Thy glory!  — Isaiah 64:8-12. Revive us again, oh Lord!

Defining the Church

When we talk about reviving the church, we are not talking about the building with a steeple on top or the address where you gather on Sundays to fellowship with other believers and worship God. While certainly some of the older church buildings could use some reviving with a fresh coat of paint or some other repairs, it is only a building. It holds no power to make us better people or to save us from spending eternity in Hell. The Church is the people of God – those called by His name. Those who have surrendered their lives to Him and accepted Christ as their Savior. The Church is the Christians whom Christ sanctified, set apart, and redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.

Why the Church needs to Revive It’s God-ordained ministries:

We need to see the glory of God. For too long, the Church has remained dormant. We’ve slipped into complacency. We go through the motions of church and pat ourselves on the back. We attend regularly but are hearers only. As a result, the glory of God has been exchanged for the cesspool of sin. For God’s glory to return, the Church (the people called by God’s name) needs to revive its God-ordained ministries and to no longer be hearers only, but doers of the Word (James 1:22). We need for God to set our hearts on fire. It’s time we — God’s people — humble ourselves, pray, seek the face of God and turn from our wicked ways.

Why do we not see revival? It has nothing to do with liberalism or with the style of worship service in our churches or if you sing the old hymns or contemporary. It has nothing to do with whether the pastor wears a suit and tie or jeans and t-shirt. None of these things bring revival. We don’t see revival because the Church (God’s people) are not functioning in the way God intended. We don’t see revival because God’s people refuse to humble themselves. Too many Christians refuse to pray if others are listening. Some don’t believe in the power of prayer. Some simply don’t take the time to pray – unless they’re in an emergency. God’s people are not seeking God’s face – they’re far too happy with the status quo. We don’t see revival because God’s people refuse to repent.

What would happen if the Church is Revived?

Isaiah 64:1 answers the question:

Oh, that you would rend the heavens, that you would come down, that the mountains might shake at Your presence.

Revival happens when we humble ourselves before God.

We need to recognize our sinfulness in comparison to God’s holiness. We need to see our most righteous acts through the same lens God does – as polluted, filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) Rather than seeing salvation as our “right” and privilege, we need to understand it’s God’s mercy, love, and forgiveness that offers salvation to us as a gift. Then we can come humbly before God and seek salvation.

Revival happens when the people of God pray.

We need to pray with adoration and praise to God, thanking Him for his provision, protection, grace, and mercy. We should pray for the lost people we know, the sick, bereaved, and for the various trials and crises we experience in life. But the prayers that bring revival begin with prayers of repentance and prayers that petition God to send a revival.

Revival happens when we seek God.

We all seek God when we need Him to do something for us – send extra money, heal a loved one, protect our children, help us get that promotion, etc. But 2 Chronicles 7:14 says we need to seek His face – not His handouts. We treat God like a genie in a bottle with no true desire to see God show up. And that is why America is in the shape it’s in and why our nation needs a revival.

Revival happens when we turn away from wickedness.

The hearts of our churches, leadership, family, and individuals need to be stirred up, set on fire with the Holy Spirit. Our souls need to hunger and thirst for righteousness. We need for the Holy Spirit to ignite and revive our passion for seeking the face of God. Oh, that our hearts would yearn for Him. Our nation needs a revival. It’s time the Church petitions God to come down – we need to seek His face.

We can hold revival services, but if God does not comes down, we’re just attending another preaching service. Nothing is revived. But when God comes down, His presence among us will produce a revival and we will see the evidence of Him being among us because when God comes down, things will happen. 

When God shows up…

When God shows up, He shakes up sin and the sinner. Mountains of sin, pride, and arrogance will crumble and fall. The lost will see God at work and a difference in the Christian that will make God’s glory known. The Holy Spirit will bring conviction and the lost will cry out for God’s mercy and forgiveness. Sinful attitudes, behaviors, and actions that breaks the heart of God will also break our hearts.

When God shows up, Christians will also be shaken. Christians will discover a new and profound reverence for God that results in worship and praise. We won’t be able to wait to get to church. We’ll be arguing over who gets to serve God today rather than begging people to step up. When God shows up we will experience unspeakable joy that we splash on all those with whom we interact. We will no longer be complacent, ignoring sin, but will stand up and demand righteousness.

When God’s chosen people chose the world they rejected God’s call to revive their hearts and turn back to Him. Lessons from the Past:

If there is one thing we can count on its that our Omnipotent Father is unchanging and His righteous anger against sin has not changed either. Government officials can create new laws that makes sin “legal,” but doing so doesn’t change God’s laws. Whether we look towards God’s judgement on Sodom and Gomorrah, Assyria, Babylon, Judah or Israel, the result is the same: God judges the nations that turn against Him. The nation that forsakes God can expect to see the blessings and protection of God removed and then judgement will soon follow.

Is America still known as a God-fearing, Christian Nation?

Revive the 10 Commandments

How would you answer this question? Obviously, if the rest of the world did still America as a God-fearing, Christian nation, then we would not be in such a desperate need for the Holy Spirit to revive the Church. In the early 1990s, the historical tether between American identity and faith snapped. Religious non-affiliation in America increased rapidly. By the early 2000s, the percentage of Americans who said they didn’t associate with any established religion had doubled. By the 2010s, this group of atheists, agnostics, and spiritual dabblers had tripled in size.

Revive the church - graph of Americans not affiliated with a known religion

Here are just a few examples of how America, like Judah, chose the world over God:

  • The Ten Commandments removed from government buildings.
  • Rather than being a nation who recognizes the One True God, we now accept all religions.
  • No one flinches at cursing and even young children have an extensive vocabulary of cuss words
  • Honoring our fathers and mothers is on the decline while murder is on the rise.
  • No one bats an eye when someone commits adultery – unless that someone is in the ministry.
  • Theft is so common place that unless there is also a murder or the theft is large, it isn’t even reported on the news.
  • It isn’t enough to steal someone’ property, but now there is technology to steal one’s identity, credit card numbers, and bank accounts.
  • Telemarketing scams are so pervasive that at least one call a day is a scam artist.
  • Gossiping and lying about others makes us hesitant to trust people.
  • Coveting is at such a large scale that we run up credit cards and debt and then when we can’t pay for it we claim bankruptcy or resort to stealing.

And that just covers the Ten Commandments. We could also look at sex outside of marriage and how no one bats and eye at an unwed pregnant woman. Or what about God’s design for marriage as being between one man and one woman? Now same-sex marriage is legal by man’s standards. The motto, “In God We Trust” is being eradicated. Are you convinced that it’s time to revive the Church and for it to function in the way God intended?

What can we learn from Israel and Judah?

Rather than being a nation that honors God, we’ve become a nation that has turned its back on God – just as those ancient nations did in the Bible. Even Israel and Judah, God’s chosen people, was conquered and sent into exile because they chose to worship false gods and turned their back on the One True God. If God would judge Israel to the extent that He did – do we Americans believe that we can sit back and do as we please and not expect God to judge us? Israel was actually guilty of this. They believed that because they were God’s chosen people and the temple of God was in Jerusalem that nothing would ever happen to them. When God sent the prophets in an attempt to revive their hearts again, they laughed, scorned, mocked, and persecuted them.

America has for so long been blessed and protected by God, because we were a nation that lived by God’s standards. Now, we have become as arrogant and prideful as Israel and Judah, believing that nothing bad would happen here in the land of the free. How we can still believe that is true after the terrorists attacks of 9/11 is beyond me. That day should have served as a wake up call across our nation – but we go on, blindly believing in freedom for all without recognizing that God does not give us freedom to sin.

The Prophet’s message of repentance still applies.

For generations, God sent prophets to warn Israel and call the nation to turn back to God – to repent – to revive their hearts for the law of God. Instead of heeding the warning, they persecuted the prophets. They didn’t like what they were hearing so they tried to silence the message. America is doing the same thing today – not by persecuting prophets, but by removing the Ten Commandments from government buildings and courthouses and by altering laws so that man’s laws allows man to live however they want. But God is unchanging – and so are His laws. Rather than answering God’s call to revive our hearts, we silence His message – but without a revival, judgement is coming.

Just as Israel and Judah needed to repent and turn back to God, America needs to repent today and return to being a nation that honors God. We need to remember that if God would judge and destroy Israel and Judah, He will do so to any nation. Yes! America needs revival! But if we want to experience an awakening and out pouring of the Holy Spirit that revives our hearts and souls, there are four critical ministries that must be revived:

  1. The ministry of the church
  2. Ministry of the church leadership
  3. The ministry of the family
  4. Ministry of the Christian

These areas in the life of the Christian need to seek the face of God, develop a passion to truly know Him, and a willingness to obediently serve Him.

The First Revival

After Jesus ascended into Heaven the disciples were all gathered in one place and on the day of Pentecost the first revival occurred. Acts 2:1-4 says,

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. Suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.

In other words – God came down. Just before this, they had seen Jesus crucified. Peter denied Jesus. Judas had betrayed Him. They had buried his body. But then Jesus rose again. Peter was restored. Jesus ascended into heaven and they were waiting for the Holy Spirit to come just as Jesus promised He would. They went from dejected and depressed to being alive with a holy anointing fire of God that revive the work and ministry that Jesus appointed them to do. They then went out to change the world and the church grew rapidly.

Our Resources to Revive the Ministry of the Church

Our board and ministry team desire to see a mighty rushing wind of the Holy Spirit move across our nation and change our world for the glory of God. We want to come alongside of Churches across our nation to revive the word and ministry Christ appointed the Church to do. In this section of our website you will find resources that look at reviving the ministry of the church, it’s leadership, the family, and every individual Christian.

Revive! A Fresh Fire for America
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