In looking at the decline of morals, values, decency and ethics in our culture, it became quite obvious that we needed revival. I don’t think revival will come from the White House or the Congress. I don’t think it can be legislated. It can’t even be orchestrated. We can, however, pray and seek God as His people. Revival is a church matter. When revival comes, the climate and the culture will change. It could change locally, regionally, or even nationally.
A revival is a work of God’s spirit among God’s people. The lost are never told to seek God for revival, the saints are. Revival is God rending the heavens and coming down on His people. It is an awareness that adjustments need to be made. Priorities need to be changed. Choices are called for. Repentance is expected. Restoration is necessary.
Do we need revival? After all, we are in one of the greatest seasons of blessings we’ve ever known. What’s the big deal? It’s just a meeting, right? Pastor, don’t you know how busy we are? Our calendar is already full. Are you really expecting us to set aside time to come to church for four straight days? Yes.
Why? Revival is a new beginning. We are at the beginning of a new school year. There’s no better time to start things off right than now. Let me ask you a few questions.
- Is there something missing in your Christian life?
- Are you serving God more and enjoying it less?
- Have you grown weary in well doing?
- Are you discouraged because some prayer is not being answered?
- Do you feel a distance between you and God?
- Was there ever a time when you were closer to God than you are today?
- Are you concerned that your children grow up to love Jesus and serve Him with all their hearts?
- Do you care about the condition of our community? Our state? Our nation?
- Do you live in fear of the future?
- Are you ready for Christ to come? Right now? At this moment? Would you be embarrassed if He came today?
- Would you describe your life as a pursuit of holiness? Or, are you just getting by?
- Are you comparing yourself to others or is your standard Christlikeness?
- Is your prayer life where it needs to be?
- Have you ever even attended one of our conferences other than possibly a Sunday or Wednesday?
How you answer those questions will let you know if you need to come to ReFRESH® or not. I can’t make you come. I do implore you to come. As the Shepherd of this flock, I know that some of you are in danger of being devoured by the wolves. Some of you are wandering dangerously close to a cliff and are about to fall. Some of you are not being the parents and leaders you need to be. I can’t make you change. I can only plead with you to care as much about your spiritual condition as you should.
The cloud of blessing is moving off America. Christianity is exploding in third world countries. It is prospering on other continents. Here in the land of freedom of religion, we take our religion for granted. “In God We Trust” is on our money, but He’s the last resort, not the first option. Whatever we do in these next few years will determine the kind of country, church, and future we leave to our children.
Do you really want your kids to grow up in a secular society? If you think it’s bad now, wait another ten or twenty years. Paganism will rule the day. Just look at how quickly we’ve fallen in the last fifty years. The pace of paganism is cancerous. It devours and destroys. We can’t afford to sit and sing “In the sweet by and by” when we are headed down the slippery slope.
We’ve witnessed the moving of the Spirit in some of our previous conferences. You can’t get it by osmosis. You can’t get it by buying the tapes. Revival is, in many ways, atmospheric. It can’t be explained, it has to be experienced. James Buchanan writes, “A revival of religion…consists in new spiritual life imparted to the dead and in new spiritual health imparted to the living.” Stephen Olford said, “Revival is not some emotion or worked up excitement; it is an invasion from heaven that brings a conscious awareness of God.”
Iain H. Murray wrote, “The characteristic of revival is that a profound consciousness of sin is produced in many persons at the same time by an awareness of God.” J. I. Packer writes, “Revival means the work of God restoring to a…church, in a manner out of the ordinary, those standards which the New Testament sets forth as being entirely ordinary.”
Make a note of the schedule. Make the time a priority. Take some personal time off work and attend. Bring your children—we are having a conference for kids, on their level, each night. It was just a few years ago that our teenagers caught the wind of revival at a ReFRESH® Conference, and it spilled over to our school and a number of students were saved. Revival is not an option, it’s a necessity. If it’s optional, you may be in a more serious spiritual condition than you realize.