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The Sunday Sermon – Revival in the Church

09/10/2011

REVIVAL IN THE CHURCH

Psalm 27, 2nd Chronicles 7:13-14

We desperately need a visitation from the Lord in our churches. Someone once wrote, “The kingdom of God is not going to advance by our churches becoming filled with men, but by men in our churches becoming filled with God.” Now, I think that this is what the Chronicler is suggesting here. Revival is truly a sovereign work of God which we cannot precipitate or organise, or plan for, or work up or call down. But God demands a response from His people, and He does reward faithfulness when His people are truly obedient to and devoted to Him. Let us then see:-

1. God’s People Chastened by their Lord!
If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people. This is the hardest part of this passage to understand. God may well chasten His people

This verse presupposes a series of hardships imposed by God on a His people, with the purpose of winning them back to Him! The Bible is full of examples:-

• In the Book of Judges! Throughout the book of Judges, there is a pattern of rebellion and repentance on the part of God’s people. They were living in the promised land, yet they grew cold and began to wander astray. They followed other gods, and lived sinful lives. God was displeased with them, and raised up an oppressor, to actually oppress His own people. The result was that they turned again to Him, and repented of their sins and cried out for deliverance. In answer to their prayer, God raised up a deliverer, who defeated the oppressor and brought God’s peace to the land!
• In the Book of Habakkuk! There we have a marvellous picture of a prophet of God, getting a glimpse into the wonderful workings of God. Habakkuk ponders over why God tolerates such wickedness as persisted among His own people. He sees with utter amazement that God is preparing to raise up a proud and rebellious and murderous people, the Babylonians, to punish His own people Israel! Habakkuk 1:5- 6
• In Secular History! God uses natural forces, droughts and famines, the natural world, to cause His people to think about the true meaning of life and eternity, and to turn in repentance to Him! Even in awful the death toll in the Indian ocean disaster, even as we see the suddenness of death and destruction, are we not reminded of the uncertainties of this present world, and are we not called to put our trust in a firmer foundation, and to have our citizenship in heaven? We need only think of the great disaster of September 11th in the USA.

So, could it be that God is speaking to us even now? Hebrews 12:5-7 Look at verse 14:-

2. God’s People Challenged by their Lord!
If my people, which are called by my name
When the mighty hand of God is made bare, God’s people, those who are called by His Name, the ones who take for themselves the name of Christ will respond to his promptings. You will see here that times have not changed. These are very necessary today, just as they were in the time of Solomon.

a) They will HUMBLE themselves. shall humble themselves
b) They will PRAY! and pray We need to learn again the art of prayer! Our deepest need is for God to revive His church, yet we do not pray as we ought! We need more prayer! And we need an intensity of prayer that is so sadly lacking today!
c) They will SEEK THE FACE OF THE LORD! and seek my face We need to seek the Lord, that’s for sure, but we need more specifically to seek the FACE of the Lord! We are specifically commanded to do so in the Scriptures. The Psalmist said in Psalm 27:8. When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek. To seek His face is to seek his blessing!
d) They will REPENT! and turn from their wicked ways The people of God will turn from their wicked ways! Now remember that we are speaking here of God’s people! Repentance is not just something that we need to preach only for those who are unregenerate.

So, we MUST HUMBLE OURSELVES, AND PRAY, AND SEEK THE FACE OF THE LORD AND REPENT. Habakkuk encapsulates all of this in his great prayer in chapter 3 of his prophecy. Habakkuk 3:2 Finally we have here a great promise. When God’s people are chastened of the Lord, and in response they repent, then:

3. God’s People Changed by their Lord!
See the gracious nature of His response!

a) God will HEAR! then will I hear from heaven. 2 Samuel 22:7 God hearing us, is in itself and act of His great grace! We do not deserve to be heard by Him, yet he hears our cry!
b) God will FORGIVE! and will forgive their sin There is abundant pardon and forgiveness in the Lord! Psalm 130:4
c) God will HEAL THE CHURCH! and will heal their land Now, you will think I have made a mistake! The Bible tells us that God will heal our LAND. But in the Old Testament Israel’s blessing was tied up with the land. It was THE PROMISED LAND. It was at the heart of the Covenant that God made with Abraham. Genesis 15:7-8 Genesis 15:18 In the book of Galatians, Paul tells us that the promises that God made to Abraham have been inherited by the Church. Galatians 3:7-9 Galatians 3:14 Galatians 3:28-29

The ‘Promised Land of Abraham’ is now the Kingdom of God! It is the Invisible Church! There is no doubt that we pray that God will heal our land, our nation. But oh, that He would heal His Church! 1 Peter 4:17

From → Sermon Notes

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