“WHY REVIVAL?” Rev. 2:1-5
INTRO – When I was a kid, if Daddy told me to do something, asking “Why?” was not a good idea!
But the question, “WHY?” is a good one to ask from time to time, particularly in relation to the things we do in church.
Sometimes we get caught in the, “Well, we’ve always done it this way” trap.
- Nothing wrong w/ having traditions – A LOT wrong w/ traditionalism
- Nothing wrong w/ doing the same thing repeatedly. Some things are commanded by God to do repeatedly in the church:
- Lord’s Supper
There are other things that most of us do in our Southern Baptist churches on an ongoing, repeated basis:
- Lottie Moon & Annie Armstrong offerings
There are other things that individual churches may do repeatedly:
- Christmas cantatas
- Easter programs/sunrise services
- Youth camp
- Mission trips
And, REVIVAL SERVICES.
I specifically said revival SERVICES b/c sometimes we can have a series of services w/out ever having revival. That’s not my desire for this week, & I KNOW it’s certainly not your desire.
So we ought to ask, “WHY REVIVAL?” Why do these services? Why set this time aside?
- It costs $ to do it.
- It costs times to do it.
- It costs energy to do it.
So, WHY REVIVAL? Take the word WHY & see 3 reasons:
W – WE NEED IT!
The 7 churches in Rev. 2-3 that Jesus was speaking to very directly. 5 out of 7 needed to repent & turn back to the Lord. 2 received no correction or reprimand or reproof from the Lord: Smyrna & Philadelphia. All 5 of the others were reprimanded.
- Ephesus – Had forsaken its first love
- Pergamum – Holding on to false teachings
- Thyatira – Tolerated Jezebel’s teachings – Giving it to sexual immorality
- Sardis – Spiritually dead & asleep
- Laodicea – Lukewarm faith
I believe it all boils down to the critical need in the church at Ephesus – FORSAKING OUR FIRST LOVE – Our primary love – Our priority love – OUR LOVE FOR JESUS CHRIST!
- Very vulnerable to false teachings if you abandon Jesus
- Very vulnerable to immorality of all types if you abandon Jesus
- Very vulnerable to falling asleep in your spiritual life if you abandon Jesus
- Very vulnerable to a faith that is cooling off if you abandon Jesus
ALL of us are vulnerable to ALL of these things if we allow our love for Christ to falter.
- Greek word for “abandoned” or “forsaken” means “dismiss, depart from, leave behind, let go, divorce.”
H – HE’LL GIVE IT!
Our God is a giving God! I’m not talking about a health & wealth prosperity gospel mentality.
Our God gives to His children when we RECOGNIZE our spiritual condition & REPENT.
To everyone of these 7 churches in Revelation, Jesus promises some wonderful blessings to those who repent. They will be conquerors – one who prevails & endures & overcomes.
- These were not perfect people. But they were humble, broken, repentant, obedient people.
2 Chron. 7:14 – Classic verse on revival. Tells us what our giving God will give to us when we will humble ourselves & pray, & seek His face, & turn from our wicked ways:
- He will give us His attention – “hear from heaven”
- He will give us His forgiveness – “will forgive their sins”
- He will give us His healing – “heal their land”
In other words, He will give us REVIVAL!
Y – YOU CAN HAVE IT!
Back to Rev. 2 – We see Jesus’ instructions to us to have the restoration & revival in our hearts that we so desperately need:
- RECOGNIZE our true condition – v. 4
- REMEMBER how it used to be – v. 5a
- REPENT – v. 5b
- REPEAT the things you used to do – v. 5b – Interesting that Jesus didn’t give a comprehensive list of the things we need to do. But He did tell us one time that the greatest commandment is:
- Love God
- Love others
- If we get these right, we are going to experience His work in our lives.
DRAW A CIRCLE – Take a piece of chalk. Go outside into the parking lot, the sidewalks, the front porch of the church building. Kneel down & draw a circle around yourself. Then cry out to God to let the revival begin within that circle.
- Not a gimmick
- Just a broken, contrite child of God crying out to the Father for Him to revive their love for Jesus, forgive their sins, & restore their first love for Jesus! God will answer that sin! He will not ignore a broken, contrite heart!