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November 4, 2020 8:00 am
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You know in this past week I was reading an article in USA Today about religion in American public life and policy. And in this article, there was a quote from Dr. Molly Worthington who was a history professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and here's what she said she said and I quote look at Western Europe. Sooner or later that's where we are headed" and so just where is Western Europe when it comes to religion in public life and policy. Well, I'd like to quote from former French Pres. Valerie to start this day. He said this and I quote Europeans live in a purely secular political system where religion does not play any importance role" and what with the Supreme Court decision of this past week. The frightening reality is I think Dr. Worthington is right, I think we are headed for where Europe is where religion, particularly Christianity plays no part whatsoever in public policy or public life. I think she's right. Unless all what a great word that is she's right unless God steps in.
She's right. Unless God brings revival to America, and this is what I want to talk to you about this what I want to talk to you about. As we approach July 4, 2015 using Milan in this what you talked to us about July 4, 2014. Yes and I also talk to you about a July 4, 2013, and folks I'm going to keep on talking to you about it and I'm going to keep on praying for it and I'm in a keep on challenging us to pray for it and to hang on to God for revival because my fellow Americans. It is the only hope we have left. There are no other holster. So you're ready to go. What exactly is a revival of the con I'm talking about the con I want you to pray for well revival is a powerful moving of the Holy Spirit that overwhelms entire churches, entire colleges, entire cities and even entire nations and turns them back to God. A revival is a supernatural event is not the result of human planning or the result of human programming or the result of human organizing but it is the result of God's sovereign will is booked in the day of thy power, Arthur Wallace said and I quote revival is divine intervention into the normal course of things.
It is God revealing himself in awful holiness and irresistible power. He went on to say in revival. The church is awakened. Man, how we need that in revival, carnality and worldliness are slain man, how we need that in revival. The lukewarm Armada hot praise the Lord how we need that in revival. The people of God begin to purify themselves, how we need that and in revival every segment of society is often dead.
How we need that." That's a revival of true revival is not the same as the normal everyday work of the church are true revival is not just leading people to Christ and discipling them are true revival is a spiritual tsunami, leaving in its wake a righteous transformation of society that lasts for decade after decade after decade. Melanie asked her we also know what revival isn't. You know in the past, America has had slavery in the past, America has had segregation in the past women have had no vote in America in the past. Jewish people could live in certain neighborhoods in America and couldn't join certain country clubs in America in the past, America had Watergate and America has had awful cases of corruption and in the past we had unwarranted persecution of Japanese Americans during World War II and and horrible treatment of Native Americans at times in our history. Listen to me revival does not mean God taking American society back to some romanticize the past that never really existed.
No revival means God taking American society forward to a righteous future of future where America truly cares for the poor and the widow, and the orphan and the fatherless of future where America rises above the racism in this country and swears it off once and for all of future where we care about the immigrant and the stranger and the alien way the Bible tells us to do a future where the churches in America are filled to the brim every week with people clamoring to get in to hear the word of God and to worship the living God, and churned with her in those churches, the people standing in the pulpit are preaching the true word of God. The unadulterated word of God, the on watered-down word of God. The uncompromised word of God. The revival I'm talking about is a revival word God takes us to a future where we once again respect what the Bible says is right and what the Bible says is wrong and a future finely where we don't mistake sin for freedom and where we don't mistake tolerance for righteousness amen this is the kind of revival that we need in America. This is the, revival I want to see God bring to America a spiritual revival that changes our nation spiritually to such a degree that the human accoutrements of our society are forced to follow behind because the change has been so dramatic and so all reaching in this nation and you know we had a revival like that in the past in this country.
Yet we call it the great awakening began in 1739, when George Whitfield arrived from England and began for the next 30 years until he died in 1770. He began riding around on horseback and preaching in the open air, up and down the 13 colonies in those 30 years, according to his biographer George Whitfield rolled over 250,000 miles on horseback preached over 18,000 sermons he would come to a field or he would come to a town and he would take out a little traveling the pulpit that he took with him on his horse and he would stand up and begin to preach to the people of that town or preach to the farmers as the word spread and they all gathered to hearing and what would Whitfield preach, he would preach the new birth, he would preach conversion, he would preach being born again, he would preach knowing Christ in a personal way.
He would preach repentance from sin and turning to Christ and tens upon tens of thousands of colonists came to Christ, all of America. All of American society was changed. Benjamin Franklin was a good friend of Whitfield, although he and he never came to Christ as far as we know, even though Whitfield share the gospel with them. Many times, speaking of his home in Philadelphia, Franklin said and I quote it was wonderful to see the change soon made in the manner of our inhabitants. He said from being thoughtless or indifferent about religion. It seemed as if the whole world were growing religious so that listen what Franklin says one could not walk through the town in the evening without hearing Solms the being song in different families along the way while as you like that your neighborhood, had like to go out for a walk in the cool of the evening.
One night as you're walking down the block in the windows are open, the you hear him as being song out the windows you hear people praising Christ out of the windows Junior Bible studies going on. The sound of them coming out of the windows. You hear the sound of people on their knees praying coming out of the windows when you wallow, what would that be like in your neighborhood. I'm telling you it would be almost beyond comprehension in my neighborhood, but would not be wonderful, that's what Franklin said happened in Philadelphia man that's a revival and is William Gallimore the greatest story and said the great awakening exerted a force which left the colonies altered for ever listen to what he said the civil rights demonstrations, campus disturbances and urban riots of the 60s.
All put together did not make the impact on our national life that the great awakening did." Now that's a, revival I want to see a man that's what we want what you know in order for that to happen we have to play a part. You and me as followers of Christ that you're here today and you're not a follower of Christ. Let me just say to you, we got some for you to we got some folks down front right after we're done, who would love to talk to you about what it means to become a come follower of Christ what it means to know for sure that you're going to heaven when you die, what it means to know that your born-again what it means to know that your sins are forgiven you come down and these folks will be happy to help you so that you know all of that when you walk out of here today, but for those of us who are here that are followers of Christ and the majority of us are. We've got a part to play in revival coming to America.
You see, yes, it is a supernatural event, but we have to prepare the soil because if the soil is not properly prepared, God is not going to send a revival and how do we prepare that soil with. There are three things that we have to do and they all are in the same verse in the Bible. This is a very familiar verse in the Bible.
So when I read it, there's going to be a tendency on your part to go unheard of risk for Mayor minimize our your endeavors okay while he reads what we have for lunch. You know that I leave the iron on. Don't do that.
Don't do that. This is the word of God.
I don't care if you've heard the verse, a thousand times.
This is the word of God. That tension second Chronicles 714 if my people who are called by my name goes that folks year. Yeah whatever is coming next is not for the people of Washington was standing in front of the Supreme Court the other day, rejoicing whatever is coming next is not for the people who made the change are sitting on the Supreme Court. Whatever comes next is not for the people in our town using drugs of the prostitutes in our town or the people in our town or doing whatever they did. That's not for them.
This is us right there, but instead that I solicit up if my people who are called by my name will number one humble themselves, and number two.
Pray and seek my face and number three turn from their wicked ways, then all board wallow that word then I will hear from heaven and I will forgive their sin, and I will heal their land. One of the three things we have to do to prepare the soil before revival has a chance to fall. Number one, if my people who are called by my name will want what's the word humble themselves. That's right friends.
God will not send revival on arrogant soil broken hearts over sin is where revival always starts. God said in Joel chapter 2. Therefore, says the Lord turned to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning and tear your heart's not your close this this is good. This is the language of brokenness over sin and humility before the Lord.
Psalm 51 verse 17 David said the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit over our sinfulness and over how we let the Lord down a broken and a contrite heart, O God, you will not what's the next word despise now when I read that you know what occurs to me if a broken and a contrite heart. God will not despise. Then there's gotta be some other, heart that God does despise that make sense to you so what, hearts are we talking about here. Well, the answer is found in Luke chapter 18 in the story of the Pharisee, the rabbi and the tax collector. If you remember the story that Jesus told it was a rabbi who came to the temple and he stood before the Lord, and he looked up and he said all God, I thank you so much that I'm not like other men are fast on time. I do this I do that I'm not like that old tax collector, standing over there, even and then on the other side was a tax collector.
The lowest person the lowest wrong number of Hebrew society. He collected taxes for the Roman occupation government from Jewish people from his fellow people and gave it to the Romans and Jews hated the tax collectors and he stood over there and he wouldn't even look up in heaven. The Bible says he was so broken about his sin.
He bowed his head and he beat on his breast, and he said oh God, be merciful to me sooner. He was so broken by sin that that's all he could pray and Jesus said, turned to his disciples and said fellows. It was the second man tax collector who went down to his home right with God, not the first guy which heart did Jesus not despise the heart of the tax collector, and will, heart did he have a humble heart is a broken heart over sin. What kind of heart did Jesus despise the heart of the rabbi and he had an arrogant heart and a hearty heart and a self-reliant heart folks listen to me if we want to see revival humility and brokenness over sin are sin, the sin of our city.
Sin of our nation.
These are essential prerequisites or God will not send revival anywhere. We have to be humble and broken before number two in my people, who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face.
Listen God. Second, will not send revival. Not only will you will he not send it on arrogant soil. He won't send it on prayer lists, soil, God is never sent a revival anywhere where the people of God were praying for it fervently where they were praying for it doggedly and where they were praying for it persistently listen. Did you know George Whitfield showed up in America in 1739 for five years before that 1734, 35, 36, 37 and 38 for five years. The people in Jonathan Edwards church in the state of Massachusetts gathered every week and got on their knees and pray for revival five years.
They prayed and then George Whitfield showed up and man buckle your seatbelt once George Whitfield hit America but it took five years of prayer by these people. Revival is first to in prayer, persistent prayer prevailing prayer and this is why were working so hard here McLean Bible church to become a church or prayer and what were partnering with other churches of prayer, and it's why we pray before every service in every campus for half an hour. We did it just before this service and allow one or prayer meeting that was man. I'm sorry you missed that for me that was so prayer meeting and we ate we had people weeping. We had people crying out before the Lord. It was it was it was awesome, awesome. You got to get those prayer meetings folks. It's why our elders get on their knees for half an hour to an hour at the beginning of every elders meeting every month or before we discuss business of any time. We pray for for half an hour to an hour for you for this church for revival in this nation is why our staff gets together every single week at 10 o'clock Thursday morning. Down in the Smith Center all right in the lobby we get on our knees. You're welcome to come join us any Thursday you want and for an hour and 1/2.
We pour out our hearts and pray for you as our sheep and we pray for revival in this country and then we worship a little bit together. Come join us anytime you want. This is why we have days of prayer and fasting like we just had last week that we dedicate under the Lord. And while we encourage people to pray in our small groups and why we encourage them to pray in our community groups and its why is your pastor, I'm pleading with you to get serious about prayer in your own life and not just for your own life before our city and our church in our nation. Prayer. Prayer.
Prayer folks, the greatest sin of the modern American church is our prayerless nests, no doubt about it until we get serious about prayer revival is not going to happen, number three, and finally, if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face here we go and turn from their wicked ways. The word turn here is the same word that's used elsewhere in the Bible and translated repent and this is what God's calling us to repentance in our life is Christians and what is repentance means a means to turn it means I'm going this way and God says you're going the wrong way. That's not how I want you to live and we turn 180° and say okay God. Now I'm going this way with your help, that's all. Repentance is and that's what God is calling us to God is telling us that he will send revival on unholy societies. He will send revival on on the holy cities he will send revival on unholy nations, but he will not send revival on unholy churches. You will do it never has and never will.
Robert Murray McShane, the great Scottish preacher said and I quote the sin of one Aiken if you don't remember who Aiken was, check out Joshua chapter 7, he was a man in Israel who when Jericho was captured.
God said don't take any of the gold or silver for yourself and he did and as a result of his sin.
The next time the Army of Israel went out they got absolutely squashed the sin of one Aiken McShane says trouble. The whole camp of Israel.
If any of you as God's children. He says will fully continue in some old sin, you will trouble our camp and what this means. My friends is that the biggest thing I can do here McLean Bible church to hasten revival in America is to get serious about personal holiness and the greatest thing you can do here McLean Bible church to hasten revival in America is to get serious about personal holiness easier.
Well, I would he mean by personal holiness. I mean, to cultivate a conscience that is sensitive to sin.
I mean to call sin sin in our lives don't justify you don't make excuses for call it what it is. I mean to confess and repent of that sin. Each and every day before the Lord. I mean to ask the Lord's help the spirits help to turn from that sin.
Each and every day in our life.
And finally, to ask the Holy Spirit to help us hate that impurity in our life. See folks, it's not enough just to try not to do soon. We need to go deeper. We need to ask God to help us to hate that sin that impurity in our life.
The apostle Paul said in Romans chapter 7 he said the good that I want to do. I don't do in vivo that I don't want to do what I do and then he said this although he didn't say old G. Gosh. Wish I could do better know he said oh wretched man that I am wretched man that I am.
I hate the sin inside of me.
I hate the fact I do wrong. I hate the impurity inside me.
Oh wretched man that I am who shall deliver me from this body of death with the answer. He goes on to tell us is the Lord Jesus Christ. But there is a man who hates sin inside of.
That's what God wants from you and me.
Ultimately, and therefore I say to you the second greatest sin in the modern American church is our lack of purity in order to see revival come.
Some of us, me, you wouldn't have to deal with that impurity in our life.
Maybe it's a dirty mouth. Or maybe it's a dirty mind or maybe it's a lustful heart and lustful eyes. Maybe it's unforgiveness of someone. Maybe it's bitterness or malice, that your caring toward someone or maybe it's gossiped that we do to someone else, or maybe it's slander. You see, you say lawn. I sure wish you wouldn't talk about these things quite so vividly.
Why can't you just say sin well I'll tell you why, because the great evangelist Charles Finney was right when he said you can't preach against sin in the abstract. That's why maybe it's sleeping with our boyfriend or girlfriend.
Maybe it's that having that affair, even if it's not there yet. Having that that little bit of flattery in that little bit of flirting at work. Let's call sin. Sin or maybe it's pornography which I become convinced is probably the greatest threat to the heart of the average Christian in America today, particularly male Christians but females as well and many of us here at this church. If the truth be told we are in bondage to pornography or lease were frightened and hard not to be and friends. Pornography will will it will eat your soul way it will eat your marriage await you will eat your relationships away.
It will eat your walk with God away.
So were starting a new ministry in the fall to help people get for your pornography, men and women will be telling you more about it because there's no way God is going to send revival on a church that has 30% of its members are 40% of its members caught up in pornography not going to happen and listen. We all struggle with every human being struggles with all of the sentence. But God wants us to fight not excuse him to fight by the power of his spirit. Are y'all with me are now. This is been. This is been a hard message on stamina that has folks, there's a price to be paid by God's people. If we want revival coming in the church. The preacher say revival clapping and go in a man that is not bringing revival to anything. There's a price God calls upon us the pair to pay and if we want revival bad enough that price is nonnegotiable with God. What is it number one humility and brokenness over our sin and the sin of our city and our nation. Number two, unyielding prevailing prayer for revival and number three dealing with sin in our lives and measure pastor I'm calling on us as a church family to rise up and say we are willing with the help of God to pay this price now cannot promise you this will bring revival in America know I can. Revival is an act of God.
I can't promise that but cannot promise you if we do these things that we will have a better church. Yes, I can promise you that cannot promise you.
By doing these things that you will have a better Christian walk for your family and your friends and your testimony. Yes, I can promise you that cannot promise you that by doing these things, you will have more joy in your Christian walk than you've ever had before. Yes, I can promise you that and cannot promise you. By doing these things that the blessing of God will be increased upon your life and I'm not just talking about money. I'm talking about God's entire blessing on your life. Yes, I can promise you that. And to me whether God ever since revival are not those things are still worth it. Amen. So my question is are closed today. Is this. Are you with me.
Amen. My question is are you in with good Tony Perkins had a family research Council wrote a letter to me this week and to other pastors asking us if we would join together around the country this Sunday and calling our people to their knees to pray for revival in America and I wrote back and said McLean Bible church is in and so there are churches all over our nation today on their knees seeking the Lord.
Praying for mercy on our country, confessing their sins humbling themselves before God folks. I want us to do that right now I want you to get on your knees right where your so I got good pants on will send them to the cleaners. Besides the force clean let's get on our knees.
If you want to come down front and join me.
I'm good to be down here. Feel free to come down and join the first thing I want us to do. My friends is that's humble ourselves, let's confess our arrogance and our self-sufficiency are self-reliance being too big for our britches to the Lord. Right now, Lord Jesus, we know the Bible says God as opposed to the Pro but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he might exalt you in due season fathers we humble ourselves before you today except our humility Lord except our efforts to show you that were sorry for arrogance or were sorry for thinking more highly of ourselves than we are and I'm sorry for forgive us Lord Jesus, and now this. Take a moment let's confess our sins to the Lord and let's let's agree to turn and repent from those sins that he's talked to us about today says for sale in hating the impurity in our lives.
Dear Lord Jesus, like Paul, I say old wretched man that I am who will deliver me from this body of death, Lord, to matter what I do this crazy sin of nature mind just like on its untamable God, it's out of control. God forgive me. I hated and me. Jesus help us here to turn away from sin and back to you because you said in the book of Jeremiah returned to me, for I am merciful in my anger will not last forever returned to me and I will return to you and I will heal your backsliding Jesus help us come back to you today heal us, Lord, help us live above our sinful nature. Finally my friends. Let's pray now for revival in our hearts in our city and our church in our land. Pray for God to have mercy on us, Lord Jesus. Psalm 103 says is the father has come passion on his children, so you have compassion on those who fear you.
We are those people on our knees.
Today Lord because the Bible says you remember that there just dust or that's all we are dust that you breathe life into that you continue to breathe life into every day God help us think no more of ourselves than that. And thank you that you have mercy on us, have mercy on our nation to Lord. We beg you, have mercy. Lord, we asked for that revival. Please in your mercy, send help us keep doing our part matter how long it takes.
Lord we love you. We thank you for speaking to us today. In Jesus name we pray, God's people said