Most Christians in America would agree that we need a revival in our country. We are free falling into the abyss of immorality at break neck speed. Abortion, homosexuality, premarital and extra martial sex, broken homes, cheating, lying, and a general lack of ethics are rampant. And, to top it off, we are ousting God from many facets of our society. Nothing short of a powerful move of the Holy Spirit
across this nation can save us from seeming destruction.
Yes, most Christians would agree that we need a revival “out there” (i.e. outside the walls of the church). However, if we are to experience an authentic move of God in revival it will, and must, start within the walls of the church. To revive means to bring back to life, to bring back to a healthy, vital state, thus assuming that there was life to begin with. The church of Jesus Christ has life – the indwelling Holy Spirit – thus, revival must bring the church back to life. Revival starts within the walls of the church.
The church,which is the bride of Christ, has played the harlot with the world and gone after lovers – popularity, relevance, acceptance by the world, self gratification, and entertainment. We have adopted the ways of the world, and the results are obvious: we have become powerless to impact our culture with the gospel, being basically ignored by our culture as insignificant, and appearing just like the world. When divorce, premarital sex, lying, addiction to pornography, and materialism are as prevalent within the church as outside of it, there is a problem!
How has this happened? In our desire to be “culturally relevant” we have become spiritually irreverent. We have replaced Spirit led worship with a well oiled “show” that the congregation sits back and watches instead of becoming engaged in worship of our incredible God. Instead of biblically based, theologically sound sermons we tickle the ears of the people with stories that are centered on “self”. We have, in essence, entertained ourselves and storied ourselves to death. One of the current buzz word today is for churches to think “outside the box”. Instead of thinking “outside the box”, why don’t we go back to thinking “inside the Book“? The Bible, when it is preached and taught with the anointing of the Holy Spirit still has, and will always have, the power to transform lives.
The result of this worldly influence that has crept into the church is an abundance of shallow Christians. Most Christians today have no idea what they believe or why they believe it. They are an inch deep and a mile wide. The church doesn’t need more educated scholars, talented singers and musicians, charismatic leaders, or entertaining authors. What the church needs today is deeper Christians – those who leave the shallows of superficiality and plunge deep into our marvelous God. Those who are not satisfied with a mediocre relationship with Jesus, but who hunger and thirst for more. Those who desire holiness above all else, and live for God’s glory.
The cult of “self’ has invaded the church which has made our awesome God seem insignificant to the world. People are looking for answers, and when they see the church they ignore it because it looks no different then themselves. We are called to be sanctified, set apart unto God. We have never been called to blend in with the world. We are to be different, we are to be counter-culture, we are called to be holy.
It’s time for the bride of Christ to repent and turn back to her first love. When revival comes to the church our society will be transformed. We often think revival means people getting saved. This is a byproduct of revival. Revival is God’s people turning from their sin and falling in love with Him all over again. When this happens, we will be bold and have the anointing to witness to others, and the Holy Spirit will harvest a wealth of souls. But it starts with you and me.
Will you fall on your face before our holy God and repent of your own sin, and then the sin of the church? Most have a mental picture of revival as being good times, abundant blessings, and exhilarating joy. Again, these are byproducts of revival. Revival is painful…we must come to grips with our own sin and humbly repent. Painful, yes. But we must. It is our only hope.
As we see the moral decay of our country worsen, it’s easy to just shake our heads , point our fingers at the “world”, complain how evil “they” are, and then retreat into our smug little “Christian hamlets” . However, we, the church, must look at ourselves to see if we are part of the problem.
The church, in the power of the Holy Spirit, must impact our culture with the truth of Jesus. Yet, the church has become powerless and has become like a chameleon, taking on the ways of the world. The world has impacted the church instead of vice versa, and the results are disastrous.
But, what if the church caught fire for Jesus. What if …
- Every born again believer in Jesus desired holiness instead of happiness?
- The Bible was held as the true Word of God, and was read and obeyed daily?
- Attendance at prayer meetings was larger than the attendance at performances by Christian music artists and comedians?
- Sin was still called by its biblical name: sin?
- Christians would weep over their sin because it grieves their holy loving God, not because they got caught or because of the consequences they will have to live with?
- The uncompromised Word of God was passionately preached from the pulpits across America instead of the wishy-washy feel good stories that are whimpered from so many pulpits today?
- Preachers spent most of their sermon preparation time down on their knees before the Lord instead of downloading information before their computer?
- Sermons were preached for God’s approval instead of man’s?
- Instead of watching the clock during the sermon, people in the congregation would be earnestly listening to see what the Lord was telling them through it?
- Bible studies were filled with people who were hungry for the Word of God?
- The purpose of our worship services was to focus all are attention on God rather then ourselves?
- Christians came to church to worship instead of to be entertained?
- We were led in worship by the Holy Spirit instead of modern technology?
- Christians couldn’t wait to go to church?
- Instead of going on retreats to “get away” from the busyness of our worldly pursuits, Christians would go on advances for the kingdom of God?
- Christians actually fell in love with Jesus?
- Christians were as passionate about Jesus as they were about sports, hobbies, and the stock market?
- Christians would surrender their lives in brokenness to Jesus Christ?