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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 15 No. 24 Revival To “Alive”al???

 

Wilt thou not revive us again:

that thy people

may rejoice in thee?

7 Shew us thy mercy, O LORD,

and grant us thy salvation.

8 I will hear what God the LORD will speak:

for he will speak peace

unto his people,

and to his saints:

but let them not turn again

to folly.

9 Surely his salvation is nigh them

that fear him;

that glory may dwell

in our land.”   Psalm 85:6-9

The prayer of my heart for many years has been for God to bring revival to HIS people.  I say that for the same reason that I used the title that I did; many seem to think that revival will bring hoards into the church, hence the church would be “revived” but that is far from true.  Revival is the:

restoration to life, consciousness, vigor, strength…an awakening, in a church or community, of interest in and care for matters relating to personal religion…

Revival is the awakening of those who have life, whereas salvation brings “life” to the spiritually dead.  It’s what Paul so aptly describes in Ephesians 2.

And you hath he quickened, (brought to life)

who were dead in trespasses and sins; (dead)

2 Wherein in time past

ye walked according to the course

of this world,

according to the prince

of the power of the air,

the spirit that now worketh

in the children of disobedience:

3 Among whom also we all

had our conversation

in times past

in the lusts of our flesh,

fulfilling the desires

of the flesh

and of the mind;

and were by nature

the children of wrath,

even as others.”   Ephesians 2:1-3

Much like the picture that Paul painted in his treatise to the Roman church (and Romans is the foundational essence of the Christian faith in a capsule, howbeit a large capsule) that sin is sin, we all have it, and only Jesus can provide the cure, and how the ‘cure’ is worked out in each believer!

As it is written,

There is none righteous,

no, not one:

11 There is none that understandeth,

there is none that seeketh after God.

12 They are all gone

out of the way,

they are together

become unprofitable;

there is none that doeth good,

no, not one.”  Romans 3:10-12

For all have sinned,

and come short of the glory of God;

24 Being justified freely

by his grace

through the redemption

that is in Christ Jesus:

25 Whom God hath set forth

to be a propitiation

through faith in his blood,

to declare his righteousness

for the remission of sins that are past,

through the forbearance of God;

26 To declare, I say,

at this time

his righteousness:

 that he might be just,

and the justifier

of him which believeth

in Jesus.”   Romans 3:24-26

For the wages of sin

is death;

but the gift of God

is eternal life

through Jesus Christ

our Lord.”  Romans 6:23

Jesus came to “save his people from their sins” and without being “born again” we are dead in sin! But praise God, Jesus came that we could be “born again” and have eternal life with Him, when we come to Him in repentance and faith in HIS substitutionary, atoning sacrifice for us.

Jesus answered and said unto him,

Verily, verily, I say unto thee,

Except a man be born again,

he cannot see the kingdom of God.

4 Nicodemus saith unto him,

How can a man be born

when he is old?

can he enter the second time

into his mother’s womb,

and be born?

5 Jesus answered,

Verily, verily, I say unto thee,

Except a man be born

of water

and of the Spirit,

he cannot enter

into the kingdom of God.

6 That which is born of the flesh

is flesh;

and that which is born of the Spirit

is spirit.

7 Marvel not that I said unto thee,

Ye must be born again.”  John 3:3-7

Jesus came that we might have “life, and that they might have it more abundantly”!

So, if the church’s job isn’t to infuse itself with “new members”, what is it?  Well, that is a question that Jesus answered before He left this world to take His place at The Father’s right hand. Let’s consider the call/commission that HE gave to His own—those who are born again!!!

Go ye therefore,

and teach all nations,

baptizing them

in the name of the Father,

and of the Son,

and of the Holy Ghost:

20 Teaching them

to observe all things

whatsoever I have commanded you:

and, lo,

I am with you alway,

even unto the end of the world.

Amen.”  Matthew 28:19-20

Jesus also made some observations as He spoke to the churches in The Revelation; some pertinent messages that I think we need to consider and heed today, several seem to be apropos to our focus today.

These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars;

I know thy works,

that thou hast a name

that thou livest,

and art dead.”  Revelation 3:1b

I know thy works:

behold, I have set before thee

an open door,

and no man can shut it:

for thou hast a little strength,

and hast kept my word,

and hast not denied my name.”   Revelation 3:8

And what I think is the most important for us to consider:

Because thou sayest,

I am rich,

and increased with goods,

and have need of nothing;

and knowest not that

thou art wretched,

and miserable,

and poor,

and blind,

and naked:

18 I counsel thee to buy of me

gold tried in the fire,

that thou mayest be rich;

and white raiment,

that thou mayest be clothed,

and that the shame of thy nakedness

do not appear;

and anoint thine eyes

with eyesalve,

that thou mayest see.”  Revelation 3:17-18

So, what can we take away from all of this?  I think we must do as God told Israel through the prophet Haggai, “consider your ways”, good advice that God still has for us today.  We must consider our ways and measure them by God’s Word rather than the popular buzz of the world.  The church is to lead the world to transforming life in Jesus, NOT to be “transformed” into the image of the world.  God calls us to be changed into the image of our Lord, The Son; and when we will choose to yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit of Jesus, we will find that revival will come to us, spread to other believers and then the lost will be drawn to the Master.  Just the way that Jesus told us in John!

And I,

if I be lifted up from the earth,

will draw all men unto me.

33 This he said, signifying what death

he should die.”  John 12:32-33

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,

even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

15 That whosoever believeth in him

should not perish,

but have eternal life.

16 For God so loved the world,

that he gave his only begotten Son,

that whosoever believeth in him

should not perish,

but have everlasting life.”  John 3:14-16

He was lifted up for our sin, may we ever lift HIM up to draw others to the cross! Like Paul, I believe the church is called to stand on the gospel of Jesus and not the imitation “religion” of the world, entertaining people right into hell.  False security is no security.  May we determine to stand fast in the sufficiency and total provision of the cross.

And I, brethren,

when I came to you,

came not with excellency of speech

or of wisdom,

declaring unto you the testimony

of God.

2 For I determined not to know any thing

among you,

save Jesus Christ,

and him crucified.”  1 Corinthians 2:2

And as Jesus said of Himself:

…….I am the way,

the truth,

and the life:

no man cometh unto the Father,

but by me.”  John 14:6

So, will you join me in truly pursuing Jesus and praying for revival amongst born again believers, so that our transformation into truly holy reflections of our Lord will draw others to the cross—by HIS transforming power!

I beseech you therefore, brethren,

by the mercies of God,

that ye present your bodies

a living sacrifice,

holy,

acceptable unto God,

which is your reasonable service.

2 And be not conformed

to this world:

but be ye transformed

by the renewing of your mind,

that ye may prove

what is that good,

and acceptable,

and perfect,

will of God.”  Romans 12:1-2

May our lives ever be reflective of Jesus; may we truly be the evidence that God is ever at work around us?  May we be found faithful to HIS WORD; knowing it’s God’s standard that we will be judged by, not man’s!

For the word of God

is quick,

and powerful,

and sharper than any twoedged sword,

piercing even to the dividing asunder

of soul and spirit,

and of the joints and marrow,

and is a discerner

of the thoughts

and intents

of the heart.

13 Neither is there any creature

that is not manifest

in his sight:

but all things are naked and opened

unto the eyes of him

with whom we have to do.”  Hebrews 4:12-13

The choice is yours, but there will be an accounting before God, and only those who have bowed before the cross will be able to stand by JESUS’ blood.

Amen!