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Revival for Survival Part 1

We are living in challenging times.  We have a global Covid crisis that is plunging the world in more crises worse than Covid.  Some countries are suffering greatly from the economy restraints where much of the world totally depend on daily bread from working enough on one day to provide food for tomorrow like India and many places in Africa.  Our western countries are also feeling the economic affects in some areas more than others.  The CERB relief however well intended I fear caused more negative than positive consequences for many communities.  A good friend from a local reserve informed me that there are more drugs flowing from drug dealers than ever before that she can remember on one reserve in the Prince Albert area.  You can be assured if it is one the same will be true for the majority.  Not only the reserves but the cities we live in are plagued with drug trafficking and addictions with more idle time, unemployment and extra government cash flowing in each month.  The ER departments at the local hospitals have been seen more trauma incidents connected with the drugs and addictions.

I can assure you that every famine and every pandemic in history God has brought good as hopeless and devastating as they seemed at the time.  His purposes were accomplished and we can look back at every one and see amazing good that came from every one eventually.  I never used to see this perspective in history until I was born again.  My eyes were opened to another dimension I ever saw before. This is why Jesus told a religious man in John 3:3, 5 Except a man is born again he shall not see the Kingdom of God.  He also said Except a man is born again he shall not enter the Kingdom of God.  Both enter and seeing are results of the new birth.  The new birth allowed me to enter and to see things I had never seen before regarding God working on this earth.  Until you are born again a person is blind to spiritual truth about the Kingdom of God.  In difficult times of crisis people have a tendency to get more serious about seeking God than when everything is good?  In my opinion because God has the final say and because his purposes will always be accomplished we can look forward to the future with optimism and hope.  People need to get serious about seeking answers from God and not rely on human wisdom alone.    

 There are two things that have affected the history and caused more dramatic change to the history than anything else.   One is pandemics and the other is revivals of the Christian religion around the world over the last two millenniums of history.   It is sad that the news Medias will not acknowledge the affects of Christian revivals.   Shortly after attending Bible College in 1979 amazing truths about revivals began to surface for me.   It is something I have a passion for and have seen through my 40 years of study that without revivals of the Christian religion in our countries from time to time we would be much worse off than we are. There probably would not even be a Christian church in existence without revivals in history all over the world.  The church needs revivals for survival.  

Revivals are probably the most misunderstood phenomena in the Christian religion.  Every denomination will talk about Revivals but few understand what it truly is.   Every denomination has revival meetings and there spin on what a revival should be.  Some emphasize emotion and experience and others is simply a meeting where someone is preaching repentance and salvation.  However first lets consider the word revival.  The word means to live again.  It means to restore to a former way of higher life.   Lets consider the biblical use of the word revival.  . Neh_4:2  …… will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned? Here it is applied to the stones in the Jerusalem temple and walls that were in a rubbish heap  after the Babylonian attack that left the city in rubble.  Revive means to restore.  Psa_85:6  Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?  Note that revival will cause his people who have lost their joy to get it back again.  Psa_138:7  Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: This would refer to spiritual strength to deal with a trial that a person did not have before. Isa_57:15  For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.   This shows that God is the one who revives and the heart conditions of the people He does revive.  The must be humble and contrite.   Note in all of the references above it is always God who produces the revival in response to His people requesting it from Him.  

There is a classic verse in the Old Testament that describes what needs to happen for revival to take place in a church, community or in a country.  It is 2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people which are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face then I will hear from heaven forgive their sins and heal their land. Again restoration of something that is lost and God will bring it back if people meet the conditions. 

In the Old Testament revival meant restoration to Israel in times of moral and spiritual decline.  This was always done through godly leadership usually a King such as King Josiah or King Hezekiah.  When there was ungodly leadership the people of Israel slid backward into wrong spiritual worship, corruption and immorality.  Usually it also included defeat by their enemies and lots of bad things happened to them as a nation.   Good godly leadership restored his people and always brought revival or a restored spiritual life back to his temple and his people. 

Wikipedia gives a definition of a Christian revival that is very good.   Christian revival is increased spiritual interest or renewal in the life of a church congregation or society, with a local, national or global effect.  ……. Revivals are seen as the restoration of the church itself to a vital and fervent relationship with God after a period of moral decline.

I want to assure you that for the challenges we are facing today it is Revival for survival or restoration to things we are loosing in our great country of Canada. A true spiritual revival will bring amazing and wonderful things to our churches and communities and even our country.  It has happened in history again and again and can happen for us in our time if we meet the conditions.  I believe God wants to pour out one last great revival on our world because he died for a world he loved.  We need to make Kingdom priorities in our lives and in our homes.  The world is under oppression now from the Covid 19 pandemic and all the other woes it has brought but God can turn it all around but the first turn needs to be made by us. Many Christian leaders I know do not think revival is possible today but I differ in opinion.  There is one verse in Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that worketh in us.  Duncan Campbell who was an instrument of revival in Wales in the mid 20th century said, “Revival is a community saturated with God” Can you imagine your community saturated with God. Everyone caring for each other and helping each other.  The most important thing for everyone would be God and eternal things.  It can happen again.     

To be continued…..Part 2 next week. 

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Wednesday October 28, 2020