Revival

 

We want to approach the subject of revival by asking and answering four questions.

 

1. First, what is revival?

 

We talk about revival and preach about it, but what exactly is revival? When we say we want revival, what is it that we want? When we say that we need revival, what exactly is it that we need?

 

First we want to notice what Webster has to say about the words revive and revival:

 

To paraphrase Webster, the word revive means: To bring back to life or to a healthy and vigorous condition. Spiritual revival brings Godís people back to spiritual liveliness & vigor.

 

The word revival is defined as follows: A returning to life or consciousness. (Return to spiritual consciousness); to bring back to use, or to being after a period of decline. (Back to spiritual use); a restoration of vigor or activity. (Restoration of spiritual zeal and good works).

 

Hosea 6:2-3 After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. 3 Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.

 

Ezekiel 34:26 And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.

 

Here, Hosea and Ezekiel liken revival to refreshing showers of blessings from Heaven. Solomon likened revival to forgiveness of sins and healing of the land. The Psalmist in Psalm 85, likened revival to a restoration of the joy of the Lord. Ezekiel in Ezekiel chapter 9, likened revival to coming out of bondage to rebuild the Lordís House.

 

Revival is all of these things. It is the forgiveness of our sins. It is the spiritual healing of our lives and our church. It is the showers of blessing of the Holy Spirit, raining down, as it were, from Godís rainbow circled throne in Heaven. It is the restoration of joy. It is returning from the bondage of sin, to rebuild the Lordís House, which is His Church.

 

2. Secondly, Who gives revival?

 

Does to pastor or visiting evangelist give revival? No, revival is not in a preacher! Our churches hold what we call ďrevival meetingsĒ, but that doesnít mean there will be a revival. In fact, there wonít be a revival during such meetings unless several conditions are met, which we will see this evening.

 

Ps 85:6Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?

 

As we will see in all the texts we will read, that it is the Lord who gives revival. We will see that He gives revival upon certain conditions, yet it is the Lord that must give revival.

 

3. Thirdly, who needs revival?

 

Ps 85:6Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?

 

Sometimes we mistakenly think that revival means the salvation of lost sinners. It is true that when the Lord sends a revival, quite often there are souls saved. But lost people donít need revival. What they need is regeneration! But revival is for believers. Ps 85:6 said ďrevive us: that thy people may rejoice.Ē

 

Who needs revival?

 

Hosea 5:15 - 6:2 I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early. 6:1 Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. 2 After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.

 

Who needs revival?

 

All of Godís children who offend the Lord and sin against Him. In the context of Hosea, both Israel and Judah alike had committed all manner of idolatry, and adultery, and whoredom against their God. God said that there was no truth, or mercy, or knowledge of the Lord in the land. God said that they were backslidden away from Him. God said that they were swearing falsely, and lying, and killing and stealing. God said that even the priests had forgotten the law of God. Beloved, it is bad when Godís people fall into such wicked sins as this. But it is even worse when the preacher falls into the depths of sin!

 

Yes, beloved, they needed revival because of their sinful condition before their God. Today, believers need revival when we fall into wicked sin against our Lord. Is it possible for us to fall into sin? Yes! Never underestimate the old sinful flesh.

 

Who needs revival?

 

All Godís children whom the Lord chastens because of their sins. We see in Hosea that God punished Israel because of their wicked sins. In Hosea 6:1 it says that ďHe hath tornĒ, and that ďHe hath smitten.Ē Yes beloved, the Lord tears and wounds His people because of our sins.

 

Who needs revival?

 

All believers that the Lord has torn and smitten, and afflicted because of our sins. All believers that the Lord has sent into spiritual captivity because of their sins.

 

Who needs revival?

 

All who have forsaken the Lord, and His Word. All who have forsaken their love and faithfulness to Jesus and His House. All who have backslidden away from their steadfastness in the things of God.

 

Is this you and I tonight? Have we fallen into some grievous sin? Are we suffering under the chastening of the Lord? Have we backslidden away from the things of God?

 

Or, beloved, are we just not where we once were spiritually? Have we fallen off to a lower plane of spiritual joy and happiness in the Lord. Has our zeal died down to a smoldering ember? Then, beloved, we need revival!

 

4. Fourthly, who will receive revival?

 

2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

 

Again, we see in this verse that it is Godís people that will have revival.

 

Here in this verse we see several conditions for revival. Lets notice these:

 

1. We must humble ourselves. God will not accept a proud and haughty spirit.

 

2. We must pray. I mean really pray; with sincerity, like we really mean it!

 

3. We must seek the Lordís face. To seek His face is to seek His gracious favor.

 

4. We must turn from our wicked ways. If we regard and harbor sin we canít have revival.

 

Then, God said, and only then, He will hear from Heaven, and He will forgive our sins, and He will heal our land. In other words, He will send revival to His people!

 

And the good news is, beloved, I believe this is a promise of God to His people! I believe that revival is conditional upon the willingness of Godís people to humble ourselves, and forsake our sins and backslidings, and seek His face and His tender mercies. May the Lord help us to want revival so bad that we are willing to do what God requires to have it.

 

Isaiah 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

 

Conclusion:

 

In conclusion, where and when might Godís people have revival?

 

Psalm 138:7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.

 

Here David said that God would revive him in the midst of his troubles. Beloved, we are in the midst of troubled times today. There is a serious departure from the faith. There is a serious moral and spiritual decline in our land today. Christians are facing hard and troubled times I believe. We may be facing persecutions in the days not to far ahead. But beloved brothers and sisters, I believe that we can still have revival in troubled times.

 

In Ezekiel 9:8-9, God gave Israel a little revival in their Babylonian captivity. And in those troubled times He gave them a revival to rebuild the temple and the wall of the city. Beloved, I believe the same God can do the same for us today.

 

Habakkuk 3:2 O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.

 

May God revive His work here at Calvary in the midst of the years is my prayer tonight.