Revival? Not Likely!

“Human history is the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.”
- C.S. Lewis


 

Recently, Shane Idleman, (founder and lead pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Southern California said:

Nearly a decade ago, I prayed, “Lord, bring revival to the churches,” but I was not ready for the response that followed. I share the response and the sermon below as often as possible to reach as many people as possible.

After I prayed, it was almost as if God was saying: “You don’t want revival—it will ruin your schedule, your dignity, your image, and your reputation as a person who is ‘well balanced.’ Men will weep throughout the congregation. Women will wail because of the travail of their own souls. Young adults will cry like children at the magnitude of their sin.

With the strength of My presence, the worship team will cease playing. Time will seem to stand still. You won’t be able to preach because of the emotions flooding your own soul. You’ll struggle to find words, but only find tears. Even the most dignified and reserved among you will be broken and humbled as little children. The proud and self-righteous will not be able to stand in My presence. The doubter and unbeliever will either run for fear or fall on their knees and worship Me—there can be no middle ground. The church will never be the same again.”

Do you truly want revival? It will cost you. National revival begins with personal revival when we look in the mirror, repent, and turn toward God. He is our only hope.


Watch the sermon, True Revival Has a Cost.

Yes.
We don’t want revival
—and most of us don’t want the rapture either.



 “Leave us alone God.” 

“Can’t you see I’m Busy.?”

”Mind your own Business God.”

“I’ll Call You When I Need You”

“Hell No, I Won’t Go.”

“You Owe Me Big Time God.”

“I’m Entitled to a Decent Life.”


 

Down through history God has periodically refreshed and renewed his people. 
When they were Willing!

“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. For Moses truly said to the fathers, ‘The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you. ‘And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.” (Acts 3:19-23) 

Rapture Angst is one deep-seated fear in many Americans these days. It's one form of denial. Denial of one's mortality is even more common.



Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth,
and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  
And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.
the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth,
both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air,
for I am sorry that I have made them.”  
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. (Genesis 6:5-8)


--Commentary: Signs of Collapse, Ray Stedman
 

We are only One Nation among Many Nations

In recent months a ground swell of patriotism can be seen in our country. It's far from a moral majority, but it is a grass roots uprising. Much of this stirring is about our history of having once been "one Nation Under God with liberty and justice for all." Many older citizens remember America as we were during World War 2, in the Great Depression before that, in The Cold War, and so on.

Very dark forces of lawlessness, anarchy, threaten the social order now. Our prosperity as the once-richest nation on earth is fading. Our once great super power status is all but gone. As a bastion for freedom and opportunity we are no longer highly regarded by other nations and we probably can't recover.

What is not part of the discussion is a consideration of world history. Once great civilizations have risen, prospered, faded and fallen--to be remembered only by a Tell in the desert. Perhaps 50% of American claim they "believe in God" but that doesn't carry much weight with the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

What is being ignored is the Sovereignty of God! He has told us clearly who we are and about His rule over all the nations. Only one nation has ever had a Covenant with God, and that nation is Israel.

Forwarding Address is about the decline of Silicon Valley where I live. I've added some links about the rise and fall of "great civilizations" down through the ages.

 

The Second Psalm shows clearly how God says what He means and does whatever He wills.

Psalm 2

Why do the nations conspire,
   and the peoples plot in vain? 
The kings of the earth set themselves,
   and the rulers take counsel together,
   against the Lord and his anointed, saying, 
‘Let us burst their bonds asunder,
   and cast their cords from us.’ 

He who sits in the heavens laughs;
   the Lord has them in derision. 
Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
   and terrify them in his fury, saying, 
‘I have set my king on Zion, my holy hill.’ 

I will tell of the decree of the Lord:
He said to me, ‘You are my son;
   today I have begotten you. 
Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
   and the ends of the earth your possession. 
You shall break them with a rod of iron,
   and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.’ 

Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
   be warned, O rulers of the earth. 
Serve the Lord with fear,
   with trembling kiss his feet,
or he will be angry, and you will perish in the way;
   for his wrath is quickly kindled. 

Happy are all who take refuge in him.

Calls for revival now are hopelessly naive.

 

Homework

The Meaning of Repentance

The Returning of the Lord Jesus Christ

The Hidden of the Lord

Day of Man / Day of God 

The Day of the Lord

The Denial of Death

Daniel, Noah and Job

The Coming Intervention by Jesus


 

The Day of the LORD



Therefore the LORD God of hosts, the Lord, says this:

“There shall be wailing in all streets,
And they shall say in all the highways,
‘Alas! Alas!’
They shall call the farmer to mourning,
And skillful lamenters to wailing.  In all vineyards there shall be wailing,
For I will pass through you,”
Says the LORD.

Woe to you who desire the day of the LORD!
For what good is the day of the LORD to you?
It will be darkness, and not light. It will be as though a man fled from a lion,
And a bear met him!
Or as though he went into the house,
Leaned his hand on the wall,
And a serpent bit him!

Is not the day of the LORD darkness, and not light?
Is it not very dark, with no brightness in it?
 “I hate, I despise your feast days,
And I do not savor your sacred assemblies.
Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings,
I will not accept them,
Nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings.
Take away from Me the noise of your songs,
For I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments.  

But let justice run down like water,
And righteousness like a mighty stream.
 “Did you offer Me sacrifices and offerings
In the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel?

 You also carried Sikkuth your king
And Chiun, your idols,
The star of your gods,
Which you made for yourselves.

 Therefore I will send you into captivity beyond Damascus,”
Says the LORD, whose name is the God of hosts.
(Amos 5:16-27)


 

Isaiah 66

 Thus says the LORD:

“Heaven is My throne,
And earth is My footstool.
Where is the house that you will build Me?
And where is the place of My rest?
 For all those things My hand has made,
And all those things exist,”
Says the LORD.
“But on this one will I look:
On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit,
And who trembles at My word.

 “He who kills a bull is as if he slays a man;
He who sacrifices a lamb, as if he breaks a dog’s neck;
He who offers a grain offering, as if he offers swine’s blood;
He who burns incense, as if he blesses an idol.
Just as they have chosen their own ways,
And their soul delights in their abominations,  So will I choose their delusions,
And bring their fears on them;
Because, when I called, no one answered,
When I spoke they did not hear;
But they did evil before My eyes,
And chose that in which I do not delight.”

 Hear the word of the LORD,
You who tremble at His word:
“Your brethren who hated you,
Who cast you out for My name’s sake, said,
‘Let the LORD be glorified,
That we may see your joy.’
But they shall be ashamed.”
 The sound of noise from the city!
A voice from the temple!
The voice of the LORD,
Who fully repays His enemies!
 “Before she was in labor, she gave birth;
Before her pain came,
She delivered a male child.  Who has heard such a thing?
Who has seen such things?
Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day?
Or shall a nation be born at once?
For as soon as Zion was in labor,
She gave birth to her children. Shall I bring to the time of birth, and not cause delivery?” says the LORD.
“Shall I who cause delivery shut up the womb?” says your God.

 “Rejoice with Jerusalem,
And be glad with her, all you who love her;
Rejoice for joy with her, all you who mourn for her;  That you may feed and be satisfied
With the consolation of her bosom,
That you may drink deeply and be delighted
With the abundance of her glory.”
 For thus says the LORD:

“Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river,
And the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream.
Then you shall feed;
On her sides shall you be carried,
And be dandled on her knees.  
As one whom his mother comforts,
So I will comfort you;
And you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.”
 When you see this, your heart shall rejoice,
And your bones shall flourish like grass;
The hand of the LORD shall be known to His servants,
And His indignation to His enemies.

For behold, the LORD will come with fire
And with His chariots, like a whirlwind,
To render His anger with fury,
And His rebuke with flames of fire.  For by fire and by His sword
The LORD will judge all flesh;
And the slain of the LORD shall be many.

 “Those who sanctify themselves and purify themselves,
To go to the gardens
After an idol in the midst,
Eating swine’s flesh and the abomination and the mouse,
Shall be consumed together,” says the LORD.

 “For I know their works and their thoughts. It shall be that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and see My glory.  “I will set a sign among them; and those among them who escape I will send to the nations: to Tarshish and Pul and Lud, who draw the bow, and Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands afar off who have not heard My fame nor seen My glory. And they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles.  “Then they shall bring all your brethren for an offering to the LORD out of all nations, on horses and in chariots and in litters, on mules and on camels, to My holy mountain Jerusalem,” says the LORD, “as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD.  “And I will also take some of them for priests and Levites,” says the LORD.

 “For as the new heavens and the new earth
Which I will make shall remain before Me,” says the LORD,
“So shall your descendants and your name remain.  And it shall come to pass
That from one New Moon to another,
And from one Sabbath to another,
All flesh shall come to worship before Me,” says the LORD.

 “And they shall go forth and look
Upon the corpses of the men
Who have transgressed against Me.
For their worm does not die,
And their fire is not quenched.
They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”


 

A Warning to Pay Attention


Therefore we must pay greater attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. For if the message declared through angels was valid, and every transgression or disobedience received a just penalty, how can we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? It was declared at first through the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard him, while God added his testimony by signs and wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit, distributed according to his will. 

from the Letter to the Hebrews

Now God did not subject the coming world, about which we are speaking, to angels. But someone has testified somewhere,

‘What are human beings that you are mindful of them,
   or mortals, that you care for them? 
You have made them for a little while lower than the angels;
   you have crowned them with glory and honour, 
   subjecting all things under their feet.’

Now in subjecting all things to them, God left nothing outside their control. As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to them, but we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honour because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters, saying,
‘I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters,
   in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.’ 
And again,
‘I will put my trust in him.’
And again,
‘Here am I and the children whom God has given me.’
Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested. (Hebrews 2)

Sleepers Awake by J.S. Bach

 

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