"Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?

" — Psalms 85:6

"Wilt Thou Not Revive Us Again"
The word revival has suffered so much misuse in our time, we are almost hesitant to use the it. We believe that all got-up revivals are bad. You cannot organize a true revival. We cannot treat spiritual influences as fixed quantities. As the wind bloweth where it listeth, so, often, is the sudden profound, and irresistible impulse which roused the Church, and breaks in upon the deadly slumber and deceptive security of the world. History abounds with the fact that there have been times of visitation from on high when the Holy Ghost has made the earth shake, and when men have been shaken with godly fear. In times of revival the people realize with special vividness the personality and life giving power of the Holy Ghost. In such time the things the Church has seen and tried to make-work are suddenly happening. The light breaks forth as the morning, health springs forth, and God is hearing us when we pray. We have to ask ourselves why can't such times be more permanently secured. First of all we could not bear the stain of constant rapture. And second we still have to deal with the deceitfulness of the flesh. Then, there is also the danger of our supposing that because we cannot always live in revival, we may be content with the mere formalities of religion. We must know, if we are to avoid apostasy, that there is something in between the blazing fires of revival and the ashes of formal profession. The fire can continue to burn upon the altar of the local Church though the community be untouched. Even in drought you soul shall be satisfied. Even so there should always be the cry for God "to rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains may melt at His presence." In our seeking for True Revival there are some things we must keep before us. First we must know that the fire never falls on an empty altar. The evening sacrifice must be offered. In Exodus 29, we have two sacrifices, the evening and the morning. "The one lamb thou shalt offer in the morning; and the other lamb thou shalt offer at even." With the morning sacrifice the lamb was slain, his blood was sprinkled upon the Altar, but his body was to be carried out side the gate to be destroyed. That was made by Christ at Calvary and will never be repeated. The evening sacrifice is seen in Romans 12:1-2: "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�." The first step to revival is ourselves on the altar. We must become the living sacrifice or the fire will never fall. God has given great and exceeding promises to those who will offer themselves as the evening sacrifice. His promise to all that will offer themselves is; "I will meet you there." "I will speak to you there." "I will sanctify the temple." "What, know you not that your body is the Temple of the Holy Ghosts?" God always begins with the Church. "And the Lord said unto him, go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. And to others He said in mine hearing, go ye after him through the city and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house." (Ezekiel 9:4-6) Nothing is going to happen in the streets that has not first begun in the upper room. There must be a prepared vessel if the Life is to flow. Individually and collectively the Church must come back to the place where we are clear in our doctrinal foundations. Beginning with the doctrine of sin, we must be sure that we believe about sin what God believes about sin. To God sin is infinitely hateful; He will not tolerate it with the least

degree of allowance. Sin is a spoiler; it troubles the otherwise perfect and happy universe. Sin destroys human nature, and overthrows all that is divine in manhood. Sin is the cause of death and the source of hell. Your cannot understand redemption unless you understand sin. The modern Church has lost the true notion of sin; it is no longer abominable to her. We cannot be right in our relationship with Jesus Christ; we cannot be just to His Cross, until we see sin as terrible as God sees it. I am not talking about what the Church has come to call great sins: not thinking of murder, adultery, drunkenness, idolatry, or theft. I speak of sin as sin; sin indulged in secret places, unforgiveness, hatred, bitterness, murmuring, pride, etc. God hates sin. Repentance must come to the Church before revival can come. Nothing dies without sin, and there can be no resurrection until the cause of death has been dealt with. Once repentance has come to the Church, then she must deal with all that is false. Leave a high place and it will come back to haunt you. An Ammonite left in the house will spoil the whole house. Out of a true knowledge of sin will come a true appreciation of Jesus Christ as Savior. We could sum up the Christian creed in a sentence, yet the sentence contains more than all the libraries of the World. The short but all including creed, the faith which bears us above all temptation and controversy, the faith in which we destroy the power of the world, and rise into brightness of God's eternal day, is this: " I believe in Jesus Christ, The Son of God." He understands us, He knows us altogether. He shows us how God can be honored, and yet the sinner be forgiven. He destroys the devil and puts the Holy Ghost within us. If we are to see revival we must bring the people to the reality of believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. They must know that to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God is more than mental, it is a total commitment to Him. We must go farther and convince the believer that to commit to Jesus is to commit to His Word. The believer must know that His word is the best witness of His power. The word touches life at every point, it goes into our business and lays down the golden rule. It follows us when we stray and urges us to return. The word is always pure, noble, unselfish and unworldly. The Word is our staff for the journey, our sword for the battle, our shelter from the storm, and in death it gives the triumph of immortality. This is the witness of ten thousand histories. Our preaching must convince them of this or we not only have failed them, but we have failed God. If the man of God will take hold of these two points, "the sinfulness of sin" and "the work of Jesus Christ," the Church will once again come to know what is meant by the term revival. Only the liberated soul can know the joy of freedom-only the recovered leper can appreciate fully the blessing of health. Let an emancipated slave tell the joy of freedom, and the man who has never been shackled will pronounce him mad. Let a recovered Leper say all he can of the wonders of health, and the man who has never known sickness will think him more or less a fool. It is so with our preaching, and our true Christian living. It cannot be judged by the common rules of criticism. When it is praised as regular, thoughtful, prudent, we must beware, lest under these flattering names there is hidden a deep, yet almost unconscious apostasy. Using these strong words I seek to point out as the only solid basis of a genuine revival the need of being distinct and positive in our faith. We must know and plainly declare what we believe. Are we truly one on these points? Do we know sin in its essential and unchangeable loathsomeness? Do we love Jesus Christ as the only, Almighty, and ever-blessed Savior? When this is so with the preacher out of it will come an intense fervor for righteousness. We must preach these doctrines in defense of enthusiasm which appears as madness to those who have not seen the unseen or felt the power of an endless life. I speak especially to the preacher; I want to give a word of caution. The Church is not wanting for men who will tell you that it does not matter what you believe. Having examined it for fifty years, and having seen its effects upon the Church, having watched its general results, I am prepared to tell you it is a lie. Faith is the very root of life; a man is what he most deeply believes. All earnest life is the outworking of earnest conviction. No man can live on the chances of the day and live a deep true and great life. To live such a life there must be convictions, purposes, and principles on which the man of God is prepared to risk the whole issue and destiny of his life. There will still be much to know, your mind and heart must always be open for new revelations of truth, yet

you will have no sure foundation until you can say with love and fire of the heart, "I believe Jesus Christ, The Son of God." If the gospel we preach is not the grandest revelation of the heart of God to the heart of man it is less than nothing. Being a revelation, it must of necessity be clothed with an authority that is emphatic and decisive. We believe the gospel to God's answer to every human need, and if any man ask where is its authority, we answer, "the blind see, the deaf hear, the dumb speak, and the dead are raised to life." Christian living is the best explanation of Christianity, and more preaching is the best answer to all opposition. In any genuine revival there must be a revived interest in a preached gospel. Let the Apostle Paul's, "This one thing I do" possess the preacher, and soon the sanctuary will be thronged with hungry hearts. There is much talk today of adapting the preaching to the age, and addressing our message to the habits and tastes of men. There is not enough truth in such thinking to save it from the charge of insanity. We are witnessing darkness at noon because we have pared down the gospel to fit the notions of men. A big part of the problem stems from the unjust and unreasonable expectations respecting the man of God. He is expected to preach like an angel, while at the same time be a business manager, an acceptable visitor, and to attend every funeral and marriage. This is the covetousness that tends to poverty. Let the preacher be the preacher, let him wait before God until he hears what God has to say to His Church. Let the preacher come from the throne room to the pulpit and a troubled world will come to hear what God has to say. If in this end time the preacher will give himself to prayer and the Word of God revival will come, for when the Word of God increases the disciples will multiply.

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