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Can We Have Revival in Our Time? | The Recipe for Revival

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
February 21, 2022 3:00 am

Can We Have Revival in Our Time? | The Recipe for Revival

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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February 21, 2022 3:00 am

Our world turns on “if/then” statements. If we stop at the stop sign, then we don’t get a ticket. If we push the power button, then the computer turns on. If we study the Bible, then we grow as believers. And today on A NEW BEGINNING, as we study the Bible, Pastor Greg Laurie points out one of the most important if/then statements given by God Himself. It’s the recipe for revival. And there’s no better time for revival here and around the world than right now.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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You're listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God.

Visit our website and learn more about Harvest Partners at harvest.org. If believers will humble themselves, pray, repent, and turn toward God, then He'll heal our land. If all the sleeping people will wake up, if all the dried bones will shake up, if all the church people will pray up, then we can have a revival. Our world turns on if-then statements. If we stop at the stop sign, then we don't get a ticket.

If we push the power button, then the computer turns on. If we study the Bible, then we grow as believers. And today on A New Beginning, as we study the Bible, Pastor Greg Laurie points out one of the most important if-then statements given by God Himself. It's a very recipe for revival, and there's no better time for revival here and around the world than right now.

Grab your Bibles. Turn to 2 Chronicles 7.14, and the title of my message is, Can We Have Revival in Our Time? Revival. Could it ever happen again? Could we have another Jesus movement, or are the best days of America behind us? You know, for those of you that have been around for a while like me, you remember the 50s and the early 60s, and the early 60s were a lot like the late 50s. It was an idyllic time. We had come through World War II, and people were building homes and starting families, and there was an optimism, and John F. Kennedy was elected president. But everything changed in America when our president was assassinated on November 22, 1963. And then culture began to change before our eyes, almost monthly, certainly yearly. Add to this the fact that the Vietnam War is raging.

Young American boys are coming back in body bags. There was a draft back then, and we all wondered, are we going to be next? And then the worst year of the 60s happened.

It was 1968. Our president has already been assassinated, and now Martin Luther King is assassinated as well. Robert Kennedy, the president's brother, sort of steps into the gap and decides to run for the presidency. A man named Sirhan Sirhan shot Bobby Kennedy three times only two months after Martin Luther King was killed.

Now Kennedy has been assassinated only five years after his brother. The Vietnam War is raging on. Watergate is about to happen. An entire generation of young people are disillusioned. There's huge protests.

There's riots in the streets. Kids were rebelling against society and turning to drugs, sex, and rock and roll. The slogan of that time was, turn on, tune in, drop out. And you know the church was not effectively reaching this generation. John Lennon of the Beatles was famously quoted to say, the Beatles are more popular than Jesus. And for many that was actually true.

In my case it was. And so Time magazine came out with a cover issue with these words on it. Is God dead?

And some liberal theologians announced that indeed he was. So things are bleak. Things are dark.

Things are desperate. And God intervenes. God intervenes and the Jesus movement explodes on the scene. Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, but right on God's time schedule, thousands of young kids are coming to Christ.

So Time magazine runs a different cover in 1971 with an image of Christ on the front and the words, the Jesus revolution. I thought of basically five principles that I remember from that time about just a typical church service. Number one, there was a sense of expectancy in the service. No one was ever late for church.

Because you wouldn't find a seat if you were. And you came expecting God to work. A sense of openness like, what's the Lord going to do today? Number two, the Word of God was always taught. The Word of God was always taught.

That gave stability to us. In fact I still have my Bible from those days. You can see it as an old beat up leather cover. Here is a better shot of it. Look at it a little bit closer.

It is all beat up. I marked it up. So the Word of God was taught. Number three, people participated in the worship. We effectively saw what we know as just worship now.

We have worship bands now. That was not happening in the late 60s by the way. There were no electric guitars for the most part on church stages.

There were no drum kits. It was a whole different thing. It was choirs and there is nothing wrong with that. But I am just saying it was different culturally.

And this is when all of this started to happen. Things that we take for granted now. But people engaged in worship. They would lift their hands in worship. They would participate in worship. Number four, people brought nonbelievers to church and invitations were extended and kids were coming to Christ. Not just kids.

People of all ages. Every week there was that sense that God wants people to be saved. And fifth and lastly there was a belief in and constant teaching of the imminent return of Jesus Christ.

We believe that Jesus was coming back again. Some of you are thinking, well you got that wrong didn't you? How many years has it been Greg?

Oh quite a few. But hey we weren't wrong. What is 40 years, 45 years to God? The Bible says to God a thousand years as a day.

So what is it a millisecond? And by the way the Bible says God is not late as some men count lateness but He is long suffering toward us. Not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. True we were praying for Jesus to come back in 1970 but aren't you glad He didn't answer our prayer? How many of you have become a Christian since 1970? Raise your hand up. Well that is quite a few of you. So you see God is at work.

God was at work and God still wants to work. So you say well Greg that is a nice little history lesson but you know so what? So what? Listen we should not live in the past but we can learn from it. We should not live in the past but we can learn from it. Now we can look at this generation and realize we need another Jesus movement. Just as in the 60s and specifically 1968 we have riots in the streets. We have racial unrest. We have a drug epidemic.

There is a sense of hopelessness in the air. How desperate are we for another Jesus movement? How desperate are we for another spiritual awakening?

The prophet Habakkuk understood this when he prayed this prayer in Habakkuk 3.2. I have heard all about you Lord. I am filled with awe by the amazing things you have done. But in this time of deep need revive your work as you did in years gone by. Show us your power to save us and in your anger remember your mercy.

Habakkuk saying Lord I have heard all these stories about the old days. Do it again. Revive your work again. The psalmist says in Psalm 85 6, Will you not revive us again that your people may rejoice in you? So let's try to understand what revival is. Let's strip the mystery away from the Word. What is revival?

Simple definition. It is to come alive again. Revival is the spark if you will that starts the engine.

And you know what. Periodically we need a new spark. The great evangelist Billy Sunday once said quote, They tell me a revival is only temporary but so is a bath and that does you some good.

End quote. So it may be temporary but we need one right now. Revival is like waking up from your sleep.

One person defined it. Revival is nothing more or less than a new beginning of obedience to God. See we are not praying that nonbelievers have a revival. They don't need a revival. They need salvation. The church needs revival.

This is a church word. This is for believers only who once were perhaps more alive than they are today. And they need to be revived again.

One person put it this way. If all the sleeping people will wake up. If all the lukewarm people will fire up. If all the dishonest people will confess up. If all the disgruntled people will cheer up. If all the estranged people will make up. If all of the gossipers will shut up. If all true soldiers will stand up.

If all the dry bones will shake up. If all the church people will pray up. Then we can have a revival.

And I agree with that. See the revival starts with us. Then it affects the church.

Then the church affects the nation. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Hey everybody.

Greg Laurie here. Encouraging you to join us this weekend for what we call Harvest at Home. It's worship.

It's a message from the Word of God. You can watch it with your family in your front room. Or you can watch it on the go on your tablet on your phone.

Or your computer. Take it with you. Take the Word of God with you.

And join us for Harvest at Home at Harvest.org. And now Pastor Greg continues his message called, Can we have revival in our time? Let's listen. So let's go now to the passage I had you turn to. A very familiar passage. 2 Chronicles 7. And it tells us really God's prescription for revival. Now initially it was given to the nation Israel and applied to them.

But I think in principle it applies to our country or to any nation. 2 Chronicles 7. And I want you to read this out loud with me. Ok. 2 Chronicles 7. If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways then I will hear from heaven and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Isn't that an amazing verse?

I love that. So we want God to heal our land. We want our nation to change.

How does it happen? God lays it out for us. It starts off with His people. A lot of times we want to point our finger at somebody else. We say the problem is in our country.

It is due to Washington D.C. Or we will say it is due to Hollywood or it is the source of the problems or the White House. God says the source of the problems are His house. His house.

The church. Notice He says if my people which are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and turn from their wicked ways. God doesn't say a thing about secular culture. He doesn't say a thing about garden variety sinners if you will.

He talks to His own people. That is you. That is me.

If my people. See I think one of the problems we have in our nation today is we have a lot of folks running around who think they are Christians that really are not. In fact the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 13 check up on yourselves. Are you really Christians? Do you pass the test or are you just pretending to be a Christian when you are not at all? And then there are those who are living a double life. You know they put on a good performance at church.

They say all the right stuff. But they are living a life that is completely contradictory to what the Bible says about how a Christian ought to live. So what do we do if we want to see a revival?

Number one if you are taking notes. If you want to see a revival you need to humble yourself and pray. By the way the word used there for prayer is interesting. Of the 12 Hebrew words employed in Scripture to express a single verb to pray the one used here means to judge self habitually. Judge self habitually. You know we are so quick to judge and criticize others habitually. But the Bible says we should be really judging ourselves. If we spent less time criticizing others and more time examining ourselves maybe we would have revival. It starts with you.

It starts with me. Notice Jesus does not say we need to love ourselves. That is what culture tells us. Jesus says we need to deny ourselves and take up His cross and follow Him.

And then here in 2 Chronicles we are to judge ourselves. What does that mean? It means that we realize we have a long ways to go.

Let me ask you a question. How many of you are completely satisfied with where you are at spiritually right now? You don't think there is any more need for change or transformation in your life. You are happy with where you are at this moment. Raise your hand up. I am glad no one raised their hand.

Because no one should. Any Christian who really knows what it is to follow Jesus will always realize they have a long ways to go. The apostle Paul said after years of walking with the Lord in Philippians 3, hey I don't consider myself to have arrived spiritually nor do I consider myself already perfect. I keep going on grasping ever more firmly that purpose for which God has grasped me. It has been said self-satisfaction is the death of progress. So the moment I think I have arrived I have reached a plateau.

I am here. No. You are really far off man. You have got to keep growing. Keep learning. So we want to keep moving forward spiritually.

No. We cannot organize a revival. But we can agonize for one in prayer. Perhaps we can prepare the ground. But better yet maybe we ought to pre-prayer the ground.

Let me say it again. Yeah we can prepare the ground but let's pre-prayer the ground. There has never been a prayerless revival in history. So it does start with prayer. If my people which are called by my name will hum themselves and pray.

And point number two if they will pray and seek His face. Not just pray but seek His face. You can pray a little prayer. Lord send revival. Amen.

Let's get lunch. Or you can say oh Lord. Lord we are seeking You. Lord we are calling out to You. Lord we are desperate for You. Lord we need You.

Send an awakening to America. It is effectively a prayer that will not take no for an answer. You say well Greg aren't you being presumptuous when you pray the way.

No. Jesus said ask and it shall be given. Seek and you shall find. Knock and the door will be opened. And a different translation would say keep asking. Keep seeking. Keep knocking.

Press on. Because listen. When you are praying for revival you are praying according to the will of God. When you are praying for the salvation of a loved one you are praying according to the will of God. So we need to press forward in our prayer and seek His face. Not backing down.

Number three. There must be repentance from all known sin. So first we humble or judge ourselves. Evaluate ourselves.

See we have a long ways to go. Secondly we pray with passion. With earnestness.

With a complete dependence upon God. And thirdly there must be repentance from all sin. Again God says if My people which are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways.

Listen. All the praying in the world is not going to help you if you are living in known sin. The psalmist said if I cling to iniquity in my heart the Lord will not hear me. And God says in Isaiah 59 it is not that my ear is heavy I can't hear.

It is not that my hand is short I cannot save. But your sins have separated you from me. Listen to pray and to then live in known sin is like hanging up the phone to heaven.

So it starts there. Say Lord is there any wickedness in me? And let me ask you be honest. Right now before God is there something you are doing you know you should not be doing as a follower of Jesus? If so you need to turn from it because you will never experience personal revival until you do. And those are not only the sins of commission doing bad things.

They can be sins of omission too. Because you can sit there and think hey Greg you know I am living a clean life. I don't lie. I don't steal. I don't get drunk. I am faithful to my spouse. Hey. Amen. God bless you for all that for sure. But then you can be guilty of the sin of omission.

Right? Sin of commission doing what you should not do. Sin of omission not doing what you should do. The Bible says to him that knows to do good and does not do it to him it is sin. So if the Lord is prompting you go share the gospel and you say no. The Lord is saying share freely of your finances and invest in the kingdom. You flat out refuse. The Lord nudges you and shows you to pray more. I don't want to do that. Study the Word more. No.

That can be a sin as well. If my people which are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and turn from their wicked ways. Let me personalize this. Insert your name there. Take out my people and put in your name.

I will do it. If Greg will humble himself and pray and seek my face and turn from his wicked ways put your name in there. God wants to do it for you first. He wants to revive you first and foremost. But know this. Having said all of this God wants to send revival.

Isn't that good to know? God wants to send revival. But he wants us to participate in the process. Right? You know God answers prayer. How many of you agree with that? God answers prayer.

Right? But often the reason we pray is because well we have a need. We have a crisis. Something has come up. I need a healing. I need direction.

I need financial provision. Whatever it is you need you pray because you are in trouble. It is not like God just gives you everything you have ever wanted more.

No problems. No conflicts. He will allow conflict in your life so you will see your own weakness and then see the greatness of God as you depend upon Him. And we can all remember situations in our life where things were looking rather bleak. And we called in the name of the Lord and He intervened. Right? Can you remember something like that? I can.

Many things. So now here in our nation things are looking bleak. God is saying check this out. Call on me and watch what I will do. Pray right now. Follow my prescription for revival. Watch how I will intervene.

Listen. It is His desire to bless. Did you know God wants to bless you even more than you want to be blessed? Psalm 84 says, So here is what God says. Call on my name. Pray. Turn from your sin. I will hear your prayer. And I will heal your land. Let me say a closing word to someone that is joining us today who is maybe a nonbeliever. You are thinking what are you guys even talking about?

Well we are talking about our nation and we are talking about you. You don't need revival if you are not a Christian. You need Jesus.

You need to see how much He loves you. And how He will forgive you of every sin you have ever committed and change your life. This is what can happen for you. My life was changed many years ago.

Your life can be changed right now. Maybe your life is falling apart. Maybe you need God to heal your life.

Heal your marriage. You are in the throes of drug addiction or alcohol addiction or you are in despair. Whatever it is Jesus Christ has everything you are looking for and more. And if you will just ask Him to come into your heart and life and ask Him to forgive you of your sin you can know that you will go to heaven when you die and then you will begin to discover God's unique and special plan for your life. And that is why I am going to give you an opportunity to believe in Jesus and also an opportunity now to ask for personal revival.

Let's all pray. Father we have heard Your Word and now Lord we are praying for those that do not yet know You. Those that have joined us who don't have the hope of heaven. They don't have Jesus in their life. We pray that Your Holy Spirit will convict and convince them of their need for Jesus and Lord bring them to Yourself now.

Amen. Pastor Greg, when tragedy strikes, of course the first word that comes to mind is why, you know. Is it appropriate to ask God why? I think it's appropriate to ask God why. Even Jesus asked why when He hung on the cross and said to the Father, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? But I would add this, go ahead and ask why, just don't necessarily expect an answer. And to the point, if God were to tell us why, I mean let's just say the Lord sat us down and said, Alright, I'm going to explain to you now why every bad thing that happened in your life happened.

Are you ready? Would we be satisfied? I wonder if we would. You know we don't live on explanations, we live on promises. And I think we need to understand that there won't always be an answer to the why questions of life. So that brings us to the what and the who.

So first of all, what should we do? What we should do is turn to God. And the who of course is the Lord.

Turn to Him in your times of suffering and pain. And speaking of that, we have an amazing book to offer you this month. It's written by my friend Tony Evans along with his family members Crystal, Priscilla, Anthony, and Jonathan.

And it's called Divine Disruption. This is a book where they all contributed and talked a lot about the loss of their wonderful matriarch mother, Lois Evans, who went to be with the Lord. This is an honest book. This is a hopeful book. This is a biblical book and this is a book that's going to help you as you're going through times of difficulty.

And here's some of the questions that are answered in this book. Why bad things happen despite a good and powerful God. How to persevere in difficult times and experience the peace of God.

And what can cause distress in your life and how to move past it. That's good information we all need to hear Dave. Because I know there's someone listening right now that has recently lost a loved one. There's someone else listening right now who's very ill. Maybe they're even at death's door. There's another person listening with another problem or challenge.

You need to get a copy of this book that is called Divine Disruption. And we'll rush it to you for your gift of any size. And whatever you send this gift will be used to continue to bring a message of hope to you and others who are listening in our radio broadcasts that we call A New Beginning.

Yeah that's right. We really want to place a copy of this in your hands. It's our thank you gift for those who can partner with us so these daily studies can continue. A New Beginning is a listener supported outreach.

And we're so thankful for our partners who believe in this ministry and want to see these studies continue. So go online today for your copy of Divine Disruption. Our web address is simply harvest.org. Or write us at A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514. Or call 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime around the clock.

Again at 1-800-821-3300. Well Pastor Greg you spoke today about having a relationship with the Lord. Someone can enter into that kind of a relationship with God right now, can't they? Yeah they really can. That's the amazing thing. I think people are surprised that it doesn't take years to become a Christian. It doesn't take months. It doesn't take weeks. It doesn't take days.

It doesn't even take hours. You can believe on the spot. And I would like to lead you in a prayer where you can ask for His forgiveness. A prayer where you can receive Jesus Christ into your life as your Savior and Lord. So if you want Christ to come into your life. If you want Him to forgive you of your sin. If you want a second chance in life. If you want to go to heaven when you die. Stop what you're doing and pray after me. These words, Lord Jesus I know I am a sinner and I'm sorry for my sin.

And I turn from it now and I choose to follow you from this moment forward. As Savior and Lord. As God and friend.

Thank you for loving me and calling me and forgiving me. In Jesus name I pray. Amen. Amen. And listen, if you have just prayed those words with Pastor Greg and meant them sincerely, the Bible assures us your sins have been forgiven.

We're told the Lord is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. And we want to send some resource materials to you that will help you in your new relationship with the Lord. We call it our New Believers Growth Packet. We'll send it without any charge if you prayed for the first time today with Pastor Greg. Just ask for it when you call 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime.

That's 1-800-821-3300. Our mailing address is A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514. Or go to harvest.org and click Know God. Well next time, more important encouragement about revival in our time. As Pastor Greg takes us to the story of Jonah, we'll see revival started first in the heart of Jonah before Jonah could help lead revival in Nineveh. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Lord. This is the day, the day when life begins. Hey everybody, thanks for listening to A New Beginning. This is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners. So for more content that can help you know God and equip you to make Him known to others, or to learn more about how you can become a Harvest Partner, just go to harvest.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-02 13:10:55 / 2023-06-02 13:22:04 / 11

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