Revival in the Last Days
We need revival. I haven't known many true Baptist Churches in this day and age that don't need revival. But revival is a scarce and elusive thing. Not many churches today want revival bad enough to do what must be done to get it!
We want to preach on revival in the last days from the reign of King Josiah. King Josiah was the last good king in Judah before they were taken into Babylonian captivity. These were the last days for Judah, as a physical kingdom in this world. And these, I believe are the last days for us, as the Lord's churches in this age.
By way of introduction, we want to notice some interesting facts about Josiah's character and his life; the one who led Judah and Israel in a period of national revival:
(2 Chron. 34:1-2 READ)
-He was eight years old when he began to reign.
-it isn't how old a person is that matters so much, but what is in his heart.
-He did that which was right in the sight of the Lord.
-that is he obeyed God.
-He walked in the ways of David his father.
-David, the Bible says, was a man after God's own heart!
-Like David, Josiah wanted to know God and to fellowship with God.
-He wanted to know God's will and to please God with his life.
-He turned not aside to the right hand or to the left.
-He didn't waiver or falter.
-He wasn't a double minded man; who is unstable in all his ways (Ja. 1:8)
-He wasn't a wandering star, as Jude portrayed false teachers (explain).
-He turned to the Lord with all his heart, soul and might (2 Kings 23:25)
-He put his all into serving the Lord.
-He was one of the greatest kings in the history of Israel.
-Greatness in God's eyes is determined by a man's faithfulness and obedience to the Lord- not by how eloquent he is as an orator, or how charming of a personality he has, or how refined his social conduct.
-It is sad what some churches look for in a pastor. They are more concerned with outward appearance, than what is in the man's heart, and what he believes and preaches from the word of God.
-For a church to see revival, it must have God fearing, God honoring leadership, as was the case with king Josiah.
1. The first step in revival is to return to the Lord (2 Chron. 34:3)
- At this point in their history, Judah had drifted far away from their God.
In fact, God had already pronounced judgment upon Judah for their unfaithfulness to
Him; for their idolatry in going after the gods of the heathen.
-But Josiah sought to bring Judah back to their God.
-He did this by seeking after God.
-Thus, to return to God is to seek God.
-To seek His forgiveness for our sins and waywardness.
-To seek the light of His countenance and ensue His loving favor.
-To seek to know His sweet fellowship; to walk with God like Enoch.
-To seek to know His will.
-To seek to know His heart and mind.
-We must seek the Lord with our whole heart.
-That is, with our deepest affections.
The Psalmist wrote: "As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God." Psalms 42:1
-David wrote in the Psalms:
"O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is" Psalms 63:1
"My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God." Psalms 84:2
-Jeremiah wrote in Jeremiah 29:13
"And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart."
-God isn't interested in half-heartedness! Or dead formalism, but in our hearts!
-We must seek god in prayer.
-Sincere and earnest prayer is the only kind of prayer God will hear.
-"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much". Ja.5:16
-We must be persistent in prayer. Jesus said "ask, seek, and knock"; not giving up until we receive our petitions.
- We must seek God in His Word.
-We know God only as well as we know His Word.
-God's Word is His revealed mind and will.
-What would God have us to do as His people- as His Church? Find out in His Word!
-What would God have you and I to do as individuals? Find out in His Word!
-Spend time alone with God in the study of His Word every day!
-It all comes down to this: To see revival in our churches, we are going to have to take God seriously. We must return to the Lord with all our hearts and seek Him in prayer and in study of His Word, if we truly desire to have revival.
2. The second step in revival is reform (2 Chron. 34:3-7).
First, lets talk about Spiritual reform:
-We need to purge the idols out of the camp.
-Idols are anything that we put between us and worshipping God.
-Do we have idols in our lives that are hindering revival and God's blessings upon this church.
-Do we idolize worldly men such as rock & roll stars, movie stars, or sports heroes? Do we exalt these in our hearts to the position of worship?
-Do we covet and lust after the things of this world; including its fad and fashions. All such coveting is idolatry. Col. 3:5).
-What about affiliations with ungodly organizations such as false churches?
-What about lodges and other secret societies?
-I assure you that the Lord is not pleased with us in these things.
Now, lets talk about moral reform:
-Are there sins of sexual immorality in the camp?
I won't name these specifically, I trust you know what they are. And if you are guilty of any of these, I trust you know that too. God won't bless a church with such sins in its membership.
-Do we take pleasure in ungodly movies, TV programming, or internet sites, which portray pornography and sexual misconduct?
-Do we use filthy language, or take God's Name in vain?
-Are we sympathetic with or support such movements as the gay rights movement, the ACLU or other wicked, ungodly groups and organizations?
-How about politics? Do we support leftist, liberal politicians that support abortion, homosexuality, and other heinous sins? Watch out!
-What about sins of drunkenness, or the usage of illegal drugs to get high, or misuse of prescription drugs for that purpose?
- Again, it comes down to this: To see revival in our churches, we are going to have to take God seriously. If there is sin in the camp, we must purge it out. If a church knows of sin in its membership, it must deal with this sin in the scriptural way. I believe in church discipline. If we let sin go on without dealing with it, we are heading for spiritual disaster.
3. The third step in revival is repairing the house of God (2 Chron. 34:8)
-Physically, we need to repair the meeting place of the Lord's Church.
-We need to maintain the building and the property, as these are sanctified unto the Lord's service.
-Most of us take great care to maintain our own homes; but is not the meeting place of the church even more important than our homes? (Suggest they read Haggai chapter 1)
-Most importantly, we need to repair our churches spiritually.
-We may need to repair our doctrine.
-What do we believe and preach about the way of salvation?
-What do we believe about the sovereignty of God and the doctrines of His sovereign
grace in salvation?
-What about the doctrines of the local New Testament Baptist Church?
-Is Jesus is the only Head and Founder of His church.
-Do we believe in church succession and perpetuity.
-What about proper observance of the ordinances.
-We looked at baptism that last time I was here.
-What about the observance of the Lord's Supper?
-We may need to repair the order of our services.
-We need to worship according to the N.T.; in spirit and in truth.
-Are people who hold positions of leadership properly qualified?
-Do both men and women take their rightful places in the services?
-Do we emphasize the teaching and preaching of the Word of God in our services?
-Do we employ unscriptural gimmicks to attract crowds.
-puppets and clowns, and unscriptural programs.
-Are our services supported with tithes & offerings, or bake sales.
-Is Jesus Christ preeminent in our services?
-And ultimately, is God being glorified in our services?
-We may need to repair the relationships between church members.
-Are there old grudges that have never been mended?
-Are their members who are at odds with one another?
-We may need to repair our vision for the lost, and our missionary zeal.
Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
-What are we doing about our Jerusalem (the immediate area around our churches)
-What about our Judaea (the outlying areas of our county)
-What about our Samaria (those despised areas)
-What about the uttermost part of the earth?
Do we want revival in our churches?
Do we want to see the blessings of the Lord restored in a mighty way?
Do we want to see lost sinners come forth confessing Christ, and souls added to our churches?
Do we want to see our churches grow, both numerically and spiritually?
Are we willing to get serious with God and return to God with all our hearts, and to purge the sins out of our lives, and to repair our churches as we've spoken of?
If we will do these things, I believe God will grant us revival in these last days!
Are you lost in your sins? Have you never trusted in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. We encourage you tonight to repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved.
(Sermon Preached by Pastor Burke at the Faith Baptist Church of Lawtey, Fl)