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The following is a pre-recorded program. Revival. Why is it so essential? And what is it, after all? It's time for the Line of Fire with your host, biblical scholar and cultural commentator, Dr. Michael Brown. Your voice for moral sanity and spiritual clarity.
Call 866-34-TRUTH to get on the Line of Fire. And now, here's your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Hey friends, welcome to the Line of Fire and a shout out again to our brand new listeners in greater Chicago on WYLL.
So glad to have you as part of our listening family. Hopefully everyone tuning in for the first time around the country, or around the world for that matter, hopefully you'll get used to this voice because this is a voice that will infuse you with faith and truth and courage. We will face the problems head on. We will look at the crises in society head on. We will not get into denial or just give you some cheap pep talk kind of answers.
We'll talk with reality. We'll talk about how sick the patient is, but we will point you to divine cures. It is a joy to be with you and as you're listening right now, I am in Israel, but this is one of these shows that I've packed full of content. So rather than taking calls as we normally do, I just want you to sit back, drink this and receive these words and understand why we are so passionate about revival. By revival, I do not mean a series of special meetings, as you often hear in the South, we're holding a revival next week. Meaning we've got a special speaker and special music and special offerings and everybody feels special for a few days and then goes back to normal life.
No, no. We're speaking of what the psalmist prayed in Psalm 85. Will you not revive us again that your people may rejoice in you? Psalm 86 actually.
That's what we're talking about. This prayer from the heart. Oh God, we are in need. Things are in a very, very bad condition. And without divine intervention, we are going to see a complete collapse.
And friends, I do not see a solution for a healthy America outside of revival. Revival starting in the church, that's where it starts. We who were once alive but have now become compromised with the world or beaten down with discouragement or left our first love or backslidden or compromised in some way or without power. That we who were once alive and thriving and are not get revived, get brought back to life. Which in turn will trigger a change in the world around us because we're living differently. Our light is shining differently in the darkness. Our salt is much more tasty and therefore we are functioning much more as the moral conscience of the nation. Our lives are much higher quality, so we are standing as better witnesses and helping our communities. And we are much more given to evangelism and our message is backed by real power and authority. And our message is much more believable because of us and we have much more zeal.
So we now reach out to the lost. Many lost people get saved. This happened for example in the Jesus revolution, the Jesus people movement when I got saved in 1971. And then that brings about an awakening in the society. Because more and more sinners are now saved, more and more ungodly people are now godly, more and more unrighteous people are now righteous. All of this is happening and at the same time there is a rising conscience. There is a rising reality of right and wrong, of good and bad, of justice and injustice. So change will come as the church is changed, the society around it will be changed.
Revival in the church leading to awakening in society. And friends, that's why in our own ministry, it's the first of the three R's that we stand for. By the way, if you don't get my emails, sign up today, askdrbrown.org.
Askdrbrown.org. When you do, we'll put you in our welcome program, send you a free mini book, e-book on how to pray for America. And then in addition to that, we will put you in the welcome tour that tells you more about my own testimony from LSD to PhD. And then tells you about the three R's of our ministry. So, revival in the church, that's where it starts. Healthy church brings health to the nation. Revival in the church and then the next, and this is the fruit of revival in the church, is a gospel-based moral and cultural revolution.
That's the kind of radical change we need. And then a healthy church provoking Israel to envy. The third R, redemption in Israel.
But it all starts here. So, while I'm in Israel, I just felt it was important to take one day and talk about revival. Here's my working definition of revival. It's a bit lengthy, but I wanted it to be clear. Revival is a season of unusual divine visitation resulting in deep repentance, supernatural renewal, and sweeping reformation in the church along with the radical conversion of sinners in the world.
Often producing moral, social, and even economic change in the local or national communities. And it comes down to, it all starts with those opening words, revival is a season of unusual divine visitation. Hey, the Holy Spirit dwells within us as God's people. We are saved, we are forgiven, we are children of the Heavenly Father, we have eternal life.
That's real 24-7. But we don't always walk in that reality. In the book of Revelation, think of all the congregations that Jesus rebukes. Five out of the seven churches in Asia Minor come under strong rebuke from the Lord. To Ephesus, what does he say? You've left your first love. You're orthodox, you're hardworking, you're doing all these good things, but you've left your first love. To Sardis, he says you have a reputation of being alive, but you're dead.
To Laodicea, he says, you say I'm rich, increased in wealth, have need of nothing, and don't realize you're rich, you're pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. So, what does he say to those churches? Repent or else. Repent and come back. Repent and fellowship will be restored. That's a picture of revival. Revival begins with the church repenting, with the church recognizing its need, with the church saying, God, help, we're in trouble. And if the church is in trouble, society is in trouble. You've maybe heard me say this before, you'll hear it many, many more times. My great concern in America is not so much the presence of darkness, but the absence of light. That's why we're in the state that we're in, the absence of light. And to pastors, you say, man, you don't understand, you don't know what it's like to do ministry in my community.
You don't like the demands and the pressure. You talk about all these churches around America, this one's growing and that one's growing, and churches around the world. That's not the way it is where we are. We've been working hard. We've been sowing seed. We've been praying. We've been reaching out. We've been fighting. And it seems like we're pumping water out of a sinking ship and there's a hole, the water's going out quicker than we're pumping it in.
Oh, I don't sit there and say, what's the matter with you? I say, that's why we're here standing with you, praying with you, praying for you, believing that you too would experience outpouring. You are a perfect candidate for revival because you are experiencing great need and doing all that you know how to do to bring about change.
And it doesn't seem change is coming. So when you say, oh, God, help. Oh, God, help. Oh, God, send your spirit.
Oh, God, change things here. I'm an eyewitness to what can happen during seasons of revival. I remember meeting with the superintendent of schools in Escambia County in Florida in the fall of 1997. I believe it was October 1997, either October or November. I remember meeting with him, it's journaled, I get the exact date, and asking him as the Brownsboro revival in Pensacola, Florida, which is in Escambia County, had begun Father's Day of 95, so now it's over two years later. I said to him, has the revival had a direct impact on the schools? He said, oh, absolutely. He said, I can tell you firsthand, I was the principal in one of them.
I could tell you what happened to the kids. So this is eyewitness educator. There's a pastor in my area where I live in North Carolina, executive pastor in a local church here. He was a student in high school during the outpouring in Pensacola, and he will tell you how the teachers would get up and talk about what God was doing in the revival as they watched the lives of these students change.
Yeah, I'm talking about eyewitness. The youth pastor during the Brownsboro Revolver, Richard Crisco, was heavily involved in the community and would get the kids involved as much as he could in church activities. And every year there's this event called See You at the Pole, where students gather on the flagpole. It's the first week of school, one particular day they gather on the flagpole and they just pray. And he monitored it in September of 1995.
This is a few months into the revival. There were 300 kids, because he had kids that he knew in all of the campuses. I don't know if it was 32 campuses, I forget. But in all that, so elementary school through middle school through high school, that he had kids in all the different campuses. So they did a count and they came back and said, hey, this is how many we had at each of our schools. And there was 300 that first year. One year later, as so many had been touched in revival, one year later it was 2,000 kids.
And I'm talking about dramatic, lasting transformations. There's a brother now with the Assemblies of God, a powerful evangelist, man of prayer. And he was very lost. He was lost enough to be in court. And the court said, you must attend your church service. Uh-huh. Yeah, he was sentenced to go to church. Now, you have other options that are a whole bunch, a whole lot more severe. But in certain parts of the country, these kinds of things do happen.
I know people who have been sentenced to Teen Challenge. I give you lists of things like this. So he shows up at a church service in the days of the Brownsboro revival. And one of the faculty members at our ministry school was speaking there. And he gets radically, dramatically saved. He's so new to all this.
He's so raw in all this. You know, especially the older church buildings, you had at the altar for prayer the kneeling bench. So you kneel down, and then you've got a strip of wood where you just can put your arms. So you're kneeling on kind of like a little padded bench.
And then you put your arms on top of that piece of wood there so you can just lean or bow your head there. He was so new that when he responded to the altar call, he straddled the thing like he was going to ride a horse. He didn't know what you were supposed to do.
That's how new he was. He gets radically, dramatically saved, comes to our school, gets radically transformed being in the school, and is now in powerful ministry today. I could tell you about people that were in ministry but addicted to pornography, came to the revival, got radically set free, and now have been serving on the mission field over 20 years with great families. And now they're kids going on the mission field from where they are into other nations.
I'm talking about lasting fruit. I'm talking about, in one particular instance, the sheriff in a county where God was moving dramatically. I heard this from the pastor directly. One year into it, he came in and met the pastor, I think, at a restaurant. And he said to him, hey, I just want you to know that youth crime is down 13%. He said, I think that has to do with your revival.
I know that account firsthand. So, friends, we're talking about not just a series of special meetings, but God coming in a distinct way so you can talk about it. You know, the first great awakening in the 1730s into the 1740s in America. We can talk about the prayer revival that swept America in 1857, 1858. We can talk about the Welsh revival in 1904 and 1905. We can talk about the Hebrides revival in 1949 to 1952.
In other words, these distinct seasons where you could mark it. God came. Something unique happened. Think of that happening in your city. Think of that happening in your church community.
Think of that happening in your own life. It ultimately starts with us. There was an old evangelist who was once asked how he prayed for revival. He said, I take a piece of chalk, I draw a circle on the ground, then I go stand inside that circle and I say, God, revive everything in this circle. God prayed that same prayer. One house we lived in, a wood floor, there was just a little carpet by one of the chairs, and I would stand on that piece of carpet which was just about big enough for my feet and say, God, revive everything standing on this carpet. It starts with you, it starts with me, but think of what happens when it spreads to churches, to communities, to cities, to states.
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Pray for wisdom to find that one thing in life that you can drop to achieve more balance in your schedule and more peace of mind in life. You're listening to the Truth Network. This is how we rise up. It's the Line of Fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Get on the Line of Fire by calling 866-34-TRUTH. Here again is Dr. Michael Brown.
Welcome back to the Line of Fire. Michael Brown talking about the urgency of revival, the vision for revival, what revival really is, what it looks like. I want to open that up more to you today. Just a quick word, appreciation of our sponsor, co-sponsor TriVita. As we are reaching out to new stations across America, it costs funds to be on the air, obviously. So it's our joy and privilege to pay these great radio stations so we have the joy and privilege of reaching each of you. And we know over time that many of you will say, hey, I want to get behind your ministry. I want to help you reach more people. I believe in what you're doing.
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All right. I want to bring you over to Charles Finney. Finney lived from 1792 to 1875. He was a skeptical church-going lawyer who was so hardened to the Gospel even though he was involved in church life. He kind of had those mixtures and still have in certain congregations to this day. The pastor told the people in the church, don't bother praying for him.
He seemed to be that far gone, that hardened, that skeptical. He has a radical conversion experience in his late 20s, and this guy gets radically saved. You say, I've heard there's some problems with this theology.
I've looked at these things, I believe the alleged problems are really exaggerated, and also failed to reflect that he's arguing as a lawyer based on the plain sense of the biblical text. So, for example, where God says to Israel, get a new heart in Ezekiel 18, he's saying, you have to get a new heart. But also saying, you have no possible way of doing it without divine intervention. So you have a responsibility, but it's only God who can enable you to do this. He was also reacting against a hyper-Calvinism that basically said, there's nothing you can do to bring about revival. There's nothing you can do to see a sinner saved that's God's sovereign will. In other words, in your prayers, God saves him, he's going to save and sends revival and he's going to save it.
You say, that's not what Calvinists believe. It was extreme. It was an extreme form. So he's pushing back against some of that. But as I've read Finney over the years, I've found his words to be deeply convicting and deeply powerful and deeply anointed. And I spotted this website and it's got Finney preaching. No, it's not actual recordings. It's someone reading his messages on revival.
So no, it doesn't have the – I don't know what he sounded like. I know with his eyes, there are old pictures of him, early days of photography, these piercing eyes. And I know sometimes when he would be speaking, that conviction would be so great. Even just walking through a factory, Cotton Mills, New York, where God had been moving powerfully.
Just walking through and catching people's eyes and looking at them, conviction falling and repentance breaking. His words pierced that deeply and communities were transformed. In fact, Reader's Digest did a story in the mid-90s about America's kindest city. And they said, boy, this is really interesting that right around World War II, shortly before or after a survey was done in America as to which was the kindest city in America.
And it looked at philanthropic activity, charitable acts, things like that, where a stranger would most likely be able to get help. And Rochester came out number one. Well, about 50 years later, a similar survey was done and Rochester came out number one again. So this writer for the Reader's Digest, so this is not for Christianity Today or Charisma Magazine or something like that.
This was someone writing for a secular publication. He wanted to find out, what is it about Rochester? And he traced it back to the ministry of Charles Finney in 1829 and 1830, a six-month period where revival came to Rochester and the people were so impacted, from rich businessmen to judges in courts, to others, to pastors, to family members. It was so impacted and Finney had such a burden about righteousness. His ministry was very, very strongly abolitionist against slavery.
In fact, Oberlin College, where he served as the president for some years, became an escape route for slaves, part of the so-called Underground Railroad. So Finney was a champion of revival, bringing reformation. And according to Reader's Digest, the changes that came about through the revival in 1829, 1830, so affected the society as a whole that more than 150 years later, you can still see the effects.
That's what I call lasting fruit. And that also means there is some type of system to it. In other words, there's consolidating the fruit of revival. When God moves, it brings about changes in the society.
It writes inequities. It addresses injustices. It launches ministries to the poor and to the hurting. It births missions. These are the kinds of things that have to happen for the fruit of revival to have its full and lasting effect.
So we're going to listen to some clips. Again, this is not actually Finney preaching, but to give you a break from me speaking, and you can hear it in a different voice, not dramatically presented, not emotionally presented, just factually presented, let's listen to what Finney says, beginning with this comment that revival presupposes declension. In other words, that if you talk about revival, that something has to come first before. There has to be some kind of backsliding. Let's listen. It presupposes that the church is sunk down in a backslidden state, and the revival consists in the return of a church from her backslidings and in the conversion of sinners.
One. A revival always includes conviction of sin on the part of the church. Backslidden professors cannot wake up and begin right away in the service of God without deep searchings of heart. The fountains of sin need to be broken up. In a true revival, Christians are always brought under such convictions. They see their sins in such a light that often they find it impossible to maintain a hope of their acceptance with God. It does not always go to that extent, but there are always, in a genuine revival, deep convictions of sin, and often cases of abandoning all hope. So, revival presupposes declension, it presupposes the church is sunk down in a backslidden condition, and revival… Hey friends, this is Dr. Michael Brown.
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Welcome back to the Line of Fire. Michael Brown, coming your way as you're listening to this from Israel. If you're looking, if you're watching, like, isn't that your normal studio? Yes, yes, we pre-recorded a few shows for special days in Israel because of travel or other things where we couldn't broadcast live, hence the familiar look, always the familiar sound. It's the same voice. Sometimes on the road, depending on where we're broadcasting from, the voice may sound slightly different because of equipment being used in different settings. But otherwise, we've been live from Israel. I hope you've appreciated those broadcasts. But this one today, you're hearing it while I'm in Israel, if you're listening to it live.
So we're not taking calls. It has been pre-recorded. So let's go back as we continue to dive in, talking about revival.
I want to give you one account first. And then, after that, we're going to listen to more of Charles Finney breaking down what happens in revival. Five points, we just listened to the first one. So as I was speaking a few months back at Christ for the Nations Institute in Dallas, where I speak a few days a month during the school year, one of a few schools where I have the joy and privilege of pouring in on a monthly basis into the students there. And each of them has built a radio studio, so I teach in the morning and I do radio in the afternoon. So I was teaching about revival and talking to one of the leaders there who's also a pastor of a church of about 1,200 in the greater Dallas area. He was in youth ministry in Louisiana during the Browns revival, and because of that was able to bring young people back and forth. They would drive, it wasn't that far from Louisiana, the Pensacola, drive kids there. And these kids would get dramatically touched and come back changed. So this is a story he told me himself a few months back that he was involved with.
First-hand testimony. So so many of the kids were getting touched that they were now reaching out and reaching more and more of their friends in school. And these kids were getting saved, teenagers who were drug dealers, some of them in gangs. And he realized that some of the ones that were drug dealers or that gang leaders, once they got saved they had kind of organizational skills already. They had leadership skills, and that was a matter of getting them sanctified in the Lord.
And now, okay, we're going to put you over this Bible study in your school. So these started to grow in his community. There was one judge who, when a kid would be brought before the cart for certain crimes, certain things there's no choice but to sentence them to juvenile detention home or to some cases they're being tried as an adult, something even more severe. But other cases there were more options for the judge, and they could be sentenced into, say, a rehab program or into juvenile detention. But in some cases they were given an option.
He knows this, my colleague knows this firsthand. In some cases the judge would give them an option, which was they would be sentenced to attend regularly in one of these Bible study groups launched by these young people. Yeah, that's the profound effect that revival can have.
I'm not making this up. Here, let me tell you one of the most famous stories from the Brownsboro Revival. And again, there are people who were touched there 25 years ago, 23 years ago, and they're burning bright around the world today. Some of them are pastors, some of them are lawyers, some of them are homeschooling moms, some of them are missionaries, some of them are evangelists, burning bright.
Some of them are business people still living out the values and convictions of what God did. Think again of what happens when that hits your region in large form, when revival really comes. I want to encourage you to dream dreams. I want to encourage you to pray and just to envision things. No, I don't mean that if you just dream it you can have it like it's just automatic, right? I dreamed that nine million people will get saved tomorrow.
It's automatic. No, what I'm saying is let your holy imagination go to think, what would it look like if God visited here? What could happen? We've seen the dominoes fall one way in our society. What if they started to go the other way? What if there really was a revived church helping spark a gospel-based moral and cultural revolution?
Friends, you're going to hear that from me day and night because I'm full of hope and confidence, and I know, I know that we're in the first stages of that already in America. So, true story, and I'll give you an eyewitness account of part of it. Before I had gotten to Brownsville, so it would have been in 95, early 96, there were two Playboy bunnies who were in Pensacola for a photo shoot on the beach because of hurricane-like weather, the photo shoot was canceled. So, they hired a taxi and they asked the cab driver, hey, take us where the action is in Pensacola. So, he brought them over to the church. He said, come on, no, it actually happened.
I can tell you what eyewitnesses have said, actually happened. So, they thought, oh, whatever, we'll go to some church, sure, right, let's see what's happening here. At the end of the night, they're under such deep conviction, I believe it was 95, they're under such deep conviction that they are weeping before God, actually shaking under conviction. And the pastor just goes over to see what's going on, you know, and one of them explains, we haven't lived the best lives, I feel like God's shaking the hell out of me. You say, oh, yeah, okay, so then what happened after? And Pastor Kilpatrick, who was involved with that, actually shared that story on the radio there. He was the one who talked to them, because it just seemed something was going on with these ladies.
What is it? Well, what I only found out probably last year from one of my colleagues and a grad from our ministry school about the same age as me, he said, oh, yeah, let me tell you the rest of the story. There was a woman in the church who befriended them that first night, gave them Bibles, they went back to their cities, it could have been Chicago, went back to their city. They called her a few weeks later and said, we can't live the way we're living anymore.
We got to do something about it. My friend wasn't sure if both of them moved back to Pensacola, that's what he thought, but he knew one of them for sure did because he got to know her. He said she was a really solid disciple and you never would have guessed what her background was. These are the kinds of things that can happen in a city. Think in your city, think in the city of Chicago, think in other cities across America, especially those in need. As we're speaking to many of you in California right now, as you're driving in rush hour, think of what revival would look like in California, not just churches with lots of people, but churches with lots of people who are transformed. As one Christian leader once said, revival is not our church is being filled with people, but the people in our church is being filled with God. So what happens when revival comes?
Again, this is not the actual voice of Charles Finney, this is someone reading it in a very dispassionate tone, second thing of what happens when revival comes. Two, backslidden Christians will be brought to repentance. A revival is nothing else than a new beginning of obedience to God.
Just as in the case of a converted sinner, the first step is a deep repentance, a breaking down of heart, a getting down into the dust before God with deep humility and forsaking of sin. So this is something that you often see in times of revival, that backslidden believers find a new beginning in obedience to God. I can't tell you how many times we would hear from people who came to the revival to bring someone else who needed a touch from God, to bring someone else who needed help, only to be the first ones at the altar repenting and getting right with God. I've had pastors tell me years later, oh yeah, I brought down like 50 of my people from the church, or we brought down a few buses from the church because I knew my people needed a fresh touch from God.
I knew they needed to hear this message, they needed to repent, they needed to be revived. He goes, I was the first one up to the altar repenting. And he said, I'd hear this over and over, I feel like I got saved all over again.
I got born again all over again. And think of this, think to every pastor I'm speaking with now, that you're the leader of your congregation, you're seeking to set a godly example, right? By God's grace, you're not living in adultery, you're not stealing money, you're not a slave to ungodly sin, you're seeking to live a godly life, be a good example, but you're at a service where the Holy Spirit's moving dramatically and you come under deep conviction. And God's dealing with you, you're the only one that exists right now. There's nobody else but you and God, and you have that Isaiah 6 experience. Oi li kinid meti, woe is me for I'm undone. From a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the king, the lord of hosts, I'm undone. And you're the first one at the altar to repent. Your mind at certain points is, wait a second, wait a second, what are the people going to think?
God's been dealing with you. Well, what are the people going to think? Are they going to think I'm some serial rapist? Are they going to think I've taken off with a church secretary?
Are they going to think that I'm involved in some kind of extortion? You can't even think about that because you're under such conviction. You have to come running to get right with God and you fall on your knees repenting and you feel like, wow, I feel like I got saved all over again. This is something very common in times of revival.
In fact, it reminds me of a story. There was a friend of mine, years back, he and his wife were going through some real hard times in their marriage. And I recommended a couple, a godly couple, that had a great ministry.
Well, they had many counselors under them. And I said, hey, this is for anybody highly recommended. The leading pastor recommended years ago to me, he said, hey, when's the last time you just received ministry? You and your wife just received ministry.
Our marriage was great, but yeah, when have we done that? And it was really life transformed for me to just sit with these people for a week and spend hours together and praying and unearthing things and getting divine wisdom in terms of how to move forward in life and ministry more effectively and healing of wounds. You know, they were there and repentance of things I didn't realize were wrong. Boy, I found it wonderfully helpful. It was a blessing to Nancy, but especially I think I was needier at that time.
So even though our marriage was great, it was life giving, what about someone whose marriage is not great? It's like, hey, you should check it out. So he calls me and he says, listen, it's the second day in. He said, I appreciate you recommending this ministry. He said, it's been really good for my wife.
She really needed it. But, you know, I really don't. I'm really not getting anything out of it.
But I'm glad it's been really beneficial for her. So I just smiled to myself. I thought the Holy Spirit hasn't uncovered things yet, but it's going to happen because I know what happened to me.
I know, you know, going in with one state of mind and while they're thinking, oh, boy, there are a lot more holes and needs and gaps than I was aware of. So the next day, literally the next day, he calls me. He goes, Mike, he said, I'm worse than a rapist. I'm worse than a murderer. How could God love me? How could Jesus die for me? No, Mike, you don't understand. I'm like the worst person. He just goes on.
You know, how could my wife even put up with? Oh, my God. Well, what happened was the Holy Spirit dealt with him. The Holy Spirit began to work in his life. That's what regularly happens in times of revival. It is just something very intense, very overwhelming. And often we don't know that we need to be revived.
That's part of the problem. We don't realize that we've become backslidden, that we've left our first love. Do you think Ephesus was walking around saying, we all left our first love?
No, they thought we are hardworking, we are orthodox. And remember, as I quoted earlier, Sardis, you have a reputation for being alive, yet you're dead. Revelation 3, right? People thought they were alive, but they weren't. Now the conviction comes from the Spirit. Oh, I wonder what repentance looked like when those letters were read to those churches in H.M.I.
Can you imagine? Laodicea, which I quoted earlier, again, you say I'm rich, increased in wealth, and I've needed nothing. That was their self-perception? But Jesus said, you don't know you're rich and beautiful, poor, blind, and naked. Oh, oh, the arrows pierce. Some of you are getting pierced now.
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Go to triveda.com or call 800-771-5584. Again, 800-771-5584. This is how we rise up. It's the Line of Fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Get on the Line of Fire by calling 866-34-TRUTH. Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. Welcome back to the Line of Fire.
As you listen to my voice, I am in Israel right now, but this was specially prerecorded. A focus on revival. For all of you who've listened to me on the air since 2008, you know that revival is one of the great passions of my life, one of the great themes of my life. And, of course, we want to see people discipled. We want to see people growing day by day. You have to live your life even without revival and without porn. But, boy, do we urgently need it here in America. That's why in 2021 I wrote the book, Revival or We Die. A great awakening is our only hope. There's no hype in that. That was and is reality. So, those that are brand new, I hope you're getting stirred.
If you say, I just tuned in. What are you talking about? So, grab my app.
Download it. When you get a minute, ask Dr. Brown Ministries. A-S-K-D-R Brown. One word. Ask Dr. Brown Ministries.
Download the app, and then shortly after the broadcast is over, you just click on that, and you'll see today's broadcast is up. So, if you miss anything, just go back and click on that. So, we're going through what happens when revival comes, how it affects Christians, how it affects the world. A message that Charles Finney preached in his famous lectures on the revival of religion. Let's listen to the next point.
Three. Christians will have their faith renewed. While they are in their backslidden state, they are blind to the state of sinners. Their hearts are as hard as marble. The truths of the Bible only appear like a dream.
They admit it to be all true. Their conscience and their judgment assent to it. But their faith does not see it stand out in bold relief in all the burning realities of eternity. But when they enter into a revival, they no longer see men as trees walking, but they see things in that strong light which will renew the love of God in their hearts. This will lead them to labor zealously to bring others to Him. They will feel grieved that others do not love God when they love Him so much. And they will set themselves feeling to persuade their neighbors to give Him their hearts.
So their love to men will be renewed. They will be filled with a tender and burning love for souls. They will have a longing desire for the salvation of the whole world. They will be in agony for individuals whom they want to have saved, their friends, relations, enemies.
They will not only be urging them to give their hearts to God, but they will carry them to God in the arms of faith, and with strong crying and tears, beseech God to have mercy on them and save their souls from endless burnings. All right, so again, that's not the voice of Charles Finney. I wonder what that voice would have sounded like. But I'm glad this is just a very dispassionate kind of factual reading. So you're just hearing the words. It's not the emotion behind them.
It's just the words. So when revival comes, believers are like, oh, people are really lost. Say, we know that.
No, no. We know it in our heads, but we don't carry it in our hearts. Heaven and hell are not real to most of us, or we live very differently. That's what happens in revival, that you call your friend, Jesus is alive! It's like, we all know Jesus is alive.
No, he's really alive! It's just, you get it, you see it. As Finney said, it's just like you've been dreaming. It's like, whoa, this is real. This is real. All right, next point.
4. A revival breaks the power of the world and of sin over Christians. It brings them to such vantage ground that they get a fresh impulse towards heaven. They have a new foretaste of heaven and new desires after union with God, and the charm of the world is broken, and the power of sin overcome. Yeah, so you encounter God in such a way that strongholds that have been in your life for years, maybe for decades, get broken. Jesus is so real.
The Word is so attractive. You just want to spend time with God. You want to be with God in worship. You want to devour the Word. You can't wait to get to the next church service to meet with God.
And, wait, wait, the playoffs, like, what playoffs? I'm going to church. Wait, wait, what about this other thing we had planned? I don't care about that. Aren't you going out to party with party?
You kidding me? I'm going to church. I'm going to prayer meeting.
I'm getting along with God. It's not a forced religiosity. It's not legalism, which is an externally imposed religion.
And it's not, say it again, just emotionalism, which we said at the beginning of the broadcast, where you just get worked up in your emotions, but it's not based on truth. This is based on encounter with the living God. This is based on being in His presence. This is based on being changed, where the things of the world grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace, that old hymn.
Or as Leonard Ravenhole used to say it, and share it with me, the things of this world grow strangely grim in the light of His glory and grace. How can I be entertained by that? How could that be of interest to me?
Why would I want this? I've met Jesus. Taste and see, the Lord is good, Psalm 34. When I was a new believer, and I was trying to explain to my friends why I just got off drugs and left all that behind, I said, it's like I've been eating dog food all my life, and I finally tasted steak.
It's just something to try to help them understand and convey the change that had taken place, and it's often dramatic in times of revival. I remember one night hearing this amazing story. There was a couple there, but neither one knew the other one was there. They'd both come from far away to Pensacola. They were in the midst of a divorce. They were desperate for a breakthrough in their own lives, and neither one knew the other was there that same night. Neither one saw the other during the service, because a couple thousand people at least. And at the end of the night, altar call, they're both up at the altar weeping, getting right with God, repenting of sin in their own life, where they look and see each other.
Can you imagine that? You have no idea your spouse is there. You're in the midst of a painful divorce.
You're struggling in your own life. They saw each other there, and they got reconciled, and their marriage went on blessed. Yeah, that's what happens when God supernaturally comes in revival.
And Finney's last point. Five. When the churches are thus awakened and reformed, the reformation and salvation of sinners will follow, going through the same stages of conviction, repentance, and reformation. Their hearts will be broken down and changed. Very often the most abandoned profligates are among the subjects. Harlots and drunkards and infidels and all sorts of abandoned characters are awakened and converted. The worst among human beings are softened and reclaimed and made to appear as lovely specimens of the beauty of holiness.
So, as the church is revived, now these newly transformed believers go out and touch the world around them. So, think again. You're living differently. People want to know what happened in your life. Why do you live like that?
Why do you believe like that? What's going on? So, they're interested. Your testimony is much more appealing. The light of God is shining through you much more. Other folks in your neighborhood see a difference. Co-workers, other students on the campus, they see a difference. What's going on with you?
What happened to you? And when you do share the Gospel, you're much more passionate about it. You've got a new burden. You may share the Gospel more in the first week having been revived than you did the previous five or ten years, because you're burdened and you're overflowing with joy. You just want to share what you have.
It's not like someone's whipping you. Win another person to the Lord. Share the Gospel more.
Work harder. No, again, that's legalism. That's dead. That produces no good fruit. And what kind of conversions are you going to see with that? Legalistic conversions and false conversions.
Not the real deal. But when your life is so overwhelmed. Look, I remember being a salesman, a commissioned salesman before I was a believer. And when I was experiencing an outpouring in my own life and was just overflowing with the Lord, I sold much better.
I'm not talking about preaching the Gospel. I'm just talking about my attitude was so much better. I'd walk into someone's home and say, hey, we're not interested in buying anything. I said, hey, I'm good, whatever you want.
And at the end of the time sitting with them, they wanted to buy. There was just something that was more contagiously positive about me. Well, what about when it's for the Lord? What about when what's contagiously positive about you is Jesus is amazing and wonderful, but you need Him.
Without Him, you're lost, but He can transform you and give you what I have and more. So that begins to happen, and then you see the worst of sinners saved. I used to talk about so many people that it seemed like semi-saved. You read Saved in the Bible, and this is new life, and Jesus, like, what do we have?
It doesn't seem to be that reality. Then as God began to move, we would say, they are so saved. They are so saved. So, yeah, these are some of the things that happen when revival comes, and it's my hope, it's my prayer that as I speak to you on a daily basis on the broadcast, whether you catch a few minutes here and there, whether you're able to listen to every show every day in full, it's my hope that faith will rise in you, that hunger will rise in you, that courage and encouragement will rise in you, and that a vision and burden for revival will come to the point that God pours out His Spirit in your life, your family, your church community, your neighborhood, your city, your state, our nation. Hey, just want to mention this.
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