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Revival: Biblically, Historically, and Asbury – Part 2

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton
The Truth Network Radio
March 4, 2023 1:00 am

Revival: Biblically, Historically, and Asbury – Part 2

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton

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March 4, 2023 1:00 am

GUEST: JEREMY WALKER, pastor and writer/presenter, REVIVAL documentary film

Last week in Part 1 of our interview with Jeremy Walker, pastor of Maidenbower Baptist Church in Crawley, England and the writer and host of a documentary film titled, REVIVAL: The Work of God, we discussed what revival is and a few examples of when and where it has taken place over the last 500 years in the United Kingdom and the United States.

Revival is not primarily evangelizing non-believers but rather God enlivening believers within the local church to greater holiness and obedience…which often leads to greater proclamation of the gospel and non-believers being saved.

Personal and church revival is something every Christian should pray for and pursue through what the film terms “the ordinary means of grace” rather than man crafting the means and methods he believes will stimulate revival.

This weekend in Part 2, Jeremy Walker will again join us to discuss times of revival led by preachers like Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, the Wesley brothers, and others. He will also charge us with how we should pray for and pursue revival today.

NOTE: The documentary film “REVIVAL: The Work of God” is our new featured resource. This two-hour presentation looks at periods of revival over the past 500 years in the UK and US, covering the Reformation, Puritan Era, Scotland, Wales, the Great Awakenings and more. Normal retail is $40 plus shipping which includes the two disc set plus 14 hours of bonus content.

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Revival, Biblically, Historically, and Asbury. Today is part two of that topic right here on the Christian Real View radio program where the mission is to sharpen the biblical worldview of Christians and to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.

I'm David Wheaton, the host. The Christian Real View is a nonprofit, listener-supported radio ministry, and we are able to broadcast on the radio station, website, or app on which you are listening today because of the support of listeners like you. Thank you for your prayer, your encouragement, and your support. You can connect with us by visiting our website, thechristianrealview.org, calling our toll-free number 1-888-646-2233, or writing to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota, 55331. Last week in part one of our interview with Jeremy Walker, pastor of Maidenbauer Baptist Church in Crawley, England, and the writer and host of a documentary film titled Revival, The Work of God, we discussed what revival is and a few examples of when and where it has taken place over the last 500 years in the United Kingdom and the United States. We also discussed what is being called a revival that recently took place at Asbury University in Kentucky.

If you missed that program, you can go to our website, thechristianrealview.org, and hear part one of this series. Revival is not primarily evangelizing non-believers, but rather God enlivening believers, particularly within the local church, to greater holiness and greater obedience, which often leads to greater proclamation of the gospel by those believers and then non-believers coming to saving faith. Personal and church revival is something every Christian should pray for and pursue through what the documentary film terms the ordinary means of grace, rather than man-crafting means and methods that he believes will stimulate revival. This weekend in part two, Jeremy Walker again joins us to examine times of revival led by preachers like Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, the Wesley brothers, and others. He will also charge us with how we should pray for and pursue revival today. Throughout the program, we will be telling you about this documentary film titled Revival, The Work of God. It's our new featured resource, and we'll tell you how you can order a copy today from The Christian Real View for a donation of any amount.

But first, let's get to part two with our guest, Jeremy Walker. Jeremy, let's go to another soundbite from the film about the Puritan era, and something very interesting. In the last few months on the program, we've featured a documentary on the Puritans, and Joel Beekie was our guest. You talk about revival within Puritan places in that era. What happened not only to them and their churches, but what happened to broader society? The work of God transformed communities. You could have Richard Baxter and Kidderminster, not through what would classically be thought of as revival, but through faithful pastoral visitation and catechizing of the people.

You had a society where the magistrates would come and there would be no cases to be heard. And perhaps what Richard Baxter does in Kidderminster is to emphasize how significantly God uses the ordinary means of grace in an extraordinary way. They had this radical dependence on the Holy Spirit. They were men of tremendous prayer. They wrestled with God.

That's what they had over us, generally today, more than anything else. The Puritans absolutely would be a time of revival. Individual Puritans who were zealous for God's Word, who had a hunger, a desire to apply God's Word experientially, but also that it collectively was about a national reformation and revival in the Church of England.

Okay, I'll stop it there, Jeremy. But a couple of things said there were very interesting in that when this Puritan revival was taking place, not only was it affecting them, they were men of prayer and they were men led by the Holy Spirit. Sometimes people would think, well, the Puritans and the Holy Spirit, that doesn't seem like it goes together. Weren't they very austere people?

But they were men of prayer and they were led by the Holy Spirit. Look what it did to their societies. Judges were going to judge and there weren't many cases because there weren't a lot of crimes taking place in their communities. You think about at least what it's like in America at this point, that this country is just ravaged by crime, especially in our cities. Oh, that there would be revival in our churches.

Not only would it affect us, but it would affect the surrounding communities as well. You could comment on what was taking place with the Puritans as to how it affected just general society as well. Well, anybody who says that the Puritans needed a dose of the Holy Spirit haven't read enough of the Puritans. They are men who are not merely either theoreticians with regard to the work of the Spirit, but they believe in him. They depend upon him. They love him.

They rest upon him. They seek him. Men like John Owen, who is almost preeminently a theologian of the Holy Spirit.

He's not just sought him, but he's studied his person and his operations. And it's therefore out of this kind of eager anticipation for God to work by the Holy Spirit that the Puritans are preaching and ministering. Now, the clip that you played mentioned Richard Baxter and Kidderminster and how he went through the village, the town, catechising. He was talking to people, asking questions and answers, finding out what they knew, filling in the gaps, teaching them about Christ.

Before Baxter, you've got men like John Rogers in this little place called Dedham. People used to say, let's go to Dedham that we may fetch fire because Rogers ministry was profound and it was searching and it was lively. And as these things took place, because God's people are being stirred and because other people are being saved, it's having a profound effect, not just upon believing, but I hope self-evidently upon behaving because these are new men and women in Christ. So the drunkards aren't drinking and the immoral are showing self-control and the angry are becoming meek and the swearers are becoming pure and the thieves are becoming honest. And so wherever the work of God is taking place, what you find then is this exposing of sin and this calling to God in Christ out of which invariably issues a genuine holiness. And it's that then which is transforming these towns or villages, sometimes whole regions where the gospel is really taking root in the hearts of men and women.

Let's move over from the UK where we're talking to you today and let's move across the ocean. And listeners will have heard about Jonathan Edwards, the great preacher in the Northeast part of this country, known for the famous sermon, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, which you feature in the film where that took place and so many other things as well. That's really minimizing who he was just to give one sermon. I've seen on social media people today will say, Jonathan Edwards is specifically with that sermon. That was an abusive sermon, if you can believe it. And yet Jonathan Edwards was a man, a preacher that you featured in the film as being a huge part of the revival that took place in America.

Here's a short clip about that. Then in December of 1734, preached a sermon on Ephesians 5, 16, Redeemed the Time for the Days are Evil. It was a message about the shortness of time, the suddenness of death and the length of eternity. And it shook the young people to their core. They had been cavalier, been living frivolously, sleepwalking, night walking around town, and they suddenly were gripped with a fear of God. When the Spirit of God was at work, people of all ages and stages of life became profoundly concerned about true religion, eternal things, and their own souls.

Edwards said, This work of God as it was carried on and the number of true saints multiplied soon made a glorious alteration in the town. So that in the spring and summer following, the year 1735, the town seemed to be full of the presence of God. It never was so full of love, nor of joy, and yet so full of distress as it was then. There were remarkable tokens of God's presence in almost every house. It was a time of joy in families on account of salvation being brought unto them, parents rejoicing over their children as newborn and husbands over their wives and wives over their husbands.

Our public assemblies were then beautiful. The congregation was alive in God's service, everyone earnestly intent on the public worship, every hearer eager to drink in the words of the minister as they came from his mouth, some weeping with sorrow and distress, others with joy and love, others with pity and concern for the souls of their neighbors. That sounds like people and churches and a community that's been radically changed by revival. What was it about Jonathan Edwards that God used so impactfully to people in this country? I think what's important to remember about Edwards in connection with that sermon is that we mustn't isolate that sermon as if that is somehow all and only representative of the ministry of Jonathan Edwards. That man was a pastor and a preacher, and in the town of Northampton, he had been laboring long and hard and faithfully as a minister of the gospel with an earnest desire to see sinners being saved and the Church of Christ being purified. And as he labored in this way, not only he himself and members of his family but many others felt the force of God's truth in their souls. And people were being stirred to newness of life. Edwards' own wife, Sarah, she has some wonderful testimony.

I think it's Edwards himself who records most of it, and he sort of veils her identity, if I remember correctly. But she has caught heavenwards under the influence of the preaching of the word of God. And Edwards himself then sees these things taking place amongst the people to whom he preaches, and he becomes a theologian of revival, almost of necessity. He's trying to work out what is genuine and what might be false. He's looking at people who are moved by temporary religious excitement and others in whom a work of God takes a deep and lasting route.

And he's saying, so what is the difference and how does this work? And that sermon itself was preached in Enfield, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. To say that that is an abusive sermon, our record of that sermon and its impact comes from men who were present as it was preached.

It is not in any way manipulative. Oh, it's forceful, it's persuasive, it's devastatingly honest. But all he's doing is bringing the word of God to bear. And as he does so under the influence of the Holy Spirit, previously careless or thoughtless people are being convinced, persuaded. They are understanding feelingly the truth as it is in Jesus Christ and crying out not to Edwards to stop and not to Edwards for help, but asking God for mercy. And then the gospel ministers who are there, they are telling people, so you must now come to Christ, call upon him and you shall be saved. So the emphasis of Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, I know that that's its title and I know that that's how it's become so well known. But actually, Edwards is exposing us to the judgment and the holiness of the Almighty. But he also makes clear, especially in the aftermath of that and with the others who are involved, that these things are meant to scare us genuinely out of our carelessness, bring us to a God who shows mercy in Christ. The accusation or assertion that that sermon or John Edwards in general was abusive, it goes back to the truism that one pastor said, soft preaching makes hard hearts. So preaching on felt needs and just the softer things of Scripture, not preaching the whole counsel of God, softer preaching makes hard hearts, while hard preaching or strong preaching makes soft hearts, leads to soft hearts.

I think that's probably what people are misunderstanding with Jonathan Edwards. Jeremy Walker with us today here on The Christian Real View. Jeremy is the writer and the host of the film we are featuring today and last week entitled Revival the Work of God.

It's our new featured resource. It's a two hour film that looks at periods of revival over the past 500 years in the UK and the US, covering the Reformation, the Puritan era, Scotland, Wales, the Great Awakenings and more. Normal retail for this film is $40 plus shipping. It's a two disc set plus 14 hours of bonus content. And so for a limited time, you can order Revival the Work of God for a donation of any amount to The Christian Real View.

Just order it the usual ways. Go to our website, thechristianrealview.org or call us toll free 1-888-646-2233 or write to us at box 401 Excelsior, Minnesota 55331. We'll take a short break and come back and talk more with Jeremy Walker about this topic of revival. You're listening to The Christian Real View.

I'm David Wheaton. What is The Christian Real View radio program really about? Fundamentally, it's about impacting people, families, churches with the life and eternity changing truth of God's word. We know the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only message that saves us from God's wrath by God's grace for God's glory.

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To become a Christian real view partner, call us toll free 1-888-646-2233 or visit thechristianrealview.org. Scripture commands that children are to be brought up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Offering biblically sound resources for children is one of our top ministry priorities. At our store at thechristianrealview.org, you will find carefully selected children's bibles and books along with video and audio resources. Check out the Bible infographics for kids books, Little Pilgrim's Progress, and the popular Adam Raccoon set. Theo is a 15-episode video series addressing key doctrines of the faith that is a must-see for children and adults. Satan and the world are bent on capturing the heart and mind of your child.

Instead, get sound resources that will train them up in the way they should go. Browse an order at thechristianrealview.org or give us a call for recommendations at 1-888-646-2233. That's 1-888-646-2233 or thechristianrealview.org. Welcome back to the Christian Real View, I'm David Wheaton.

Be sure to visit our website thechristianrealview.org where you can subscribe to our free weekly email and annual print letter, order resources for adults and children, and support the ministry. Jeremy Walker, pastor of Maidenbauer Baptist Church in England, joins us today in the program. He's also the writer and host of the documentary film we're offering today entitled Revival, The Work of God.

Let's move on to another chapter in the film Revival. There were two great awakenings in America, I believe they're both in the 1700s, and I thought this soundbite was interesting as it talks about the differences in the theological beliefs of some of the prominent men related to these times of revival, specifically George Whitefield and the Wesley brothers, and how that shaped what took place then and even what takes place today. The three men labored together, preaching to vast crowds. However, they began to be divided in their theology. Whitefield was a Calvinist, believing in the sovereignty of God and salvation, and that Christ had died definitely to save a particular people. The Wesley's were Arminians, holding that Christ had died for all men, but that some of those men would make a decision to come to Christ for salvation. When Whitefield returned to America, John Wesley's Arminianism became more strident. According to Ephesians chapter 1 and verse 4, God chose the people for whom Christ died from before the foundation of the world.

According to John chapter 10, Christ as the Good Shepherd gives his life for his own sheep, all those whom the Father has given him. This was Whitefield's conviction, but as with every really consistent Calvinist, this increased his zeal and confidence in preaching God's gospel. But we must not forget that the Lord also blessed the ministry of the Wesley brothers as they exalted Christ as Savior. Describe how those two great awakenings or two great revivals, I guess you could say, were different, and who the key preachers were during that time. You had George Whitefield, as mentioned in the soundbite, and then also the Wesley brothers, and then also Charles Finney I think came along at some point.

The challenge here is working out what is similar but what has changed. So the first great awakening, at the time just the great awakening because I didn't know what else was coming, the great awakening is primarily then that work that God accomplishes through men like Jonathan Edwards and the British preacher, the English preacher George Whitefield. Now George Whitefield is a man who crisscrosses the Atlantic, goes back and forth on a number of occasions. He's mightily used of God, first of all in England but also in Wales where he becomes very much an integral part of the Calvinistic Methodist movement. But he's also then used mightily of God in what were then the colonies, stirring up the church there, setting a standard of a certain kind of preaching. He and Edwards come into connection with one another, there's real mutual affection.

You've also got men in the mix there like David Brainard. The Wesley brothers who you've mentioned, and this is really significant, that now the Wesley's were not Calvinists, they were Arminians. I think it's important to say that they weren't necessarily Arminians the way that some people are Arminians today, that I think a lot of people would hear the Wesley's preach today and they'd be just as horrified by what they said as they might be by, for example, Jonathan Edwards. But the Wesley's also, once they had become themselves converted men, they were mightily used also by God.

There was a falling out between them and Whitefield on account of the Wesley's contentions with regard to Arminianism and the way that Whitefield as a young man perhaps answered them quite aggressively from a more Calvinistic standpoint. But what you see in that first Great Awakening is, again, this almost emphasis on or revelation of God's sovereign power. It is God who is using these men and he is accomplishing things by men who, some of them up to that point, either weren't Christians themselves or preached very ordinary sermons in very ordinary circumstances with very ordinary impacts. God was at work in them. But then there's this great stirring, this great awakening. Now, what happens in the second Great Awakening or the second awakening is that there's a shift in emphasis.

You've mentioned the name of Charles Finney or Charles Grandison Finney. You've reached a point here where people are impressed more with the effects than with the causes. And they begin asking, how can we recreate the effects or secure this kind of impact?

And Finney really ends up almost producing a playbook. This is what you do and how you do it in order to accomplish a certain outcome or impact with regard to the preaching of the Bible. And so what you've got there is a shift fundamentally, I would suggest, away from the immediately and evidently God-centered and God-worked revival toward a more man-centered and man-created or man-stirred impact. We need to be careful, I think, not to absolutize that because in the first awakening there was an example in various places of what's sometimes called wildfire.

There were people who wanted to jump on the bandwagon. And I think we need to take account of the spiritual dimensions of this, that the devil is going to perhaps try and counterfeit some of the same sorts of things. And there were people who would make great claims to religious or spiritual experience who would then turn their backs upon the gospel. And in the same way, in the second awakening, while there was more of this man-centered revivalistic approach, nevertheless, there were faithful gospel preachers by whom God accomplished wonderful things. But I think if you're asking, is there a shift? Yes, I think there is, away from that primarily God-centered, manifestly God-worked emphasis in the first awakening.

In the second, there is much more of man and what man can accomplish. And really, up to a point, you get to the stage of saying, do you really need God? And you see the fearful consequences of that because what you end up with is a merely religious fervor, a sort of a stirring up of mere emotion. But once that emotion has subsided, you're left asking the question, how many hearts have really been stirred? How many men, women and children have really been saved? What have been the long-term consequences in terms of believing and behaving in the gospel and out of the gospel? Yeah, there can be a lot of false conversions if you really drive with the stirring emotional side of things, if it's manufactured.

And thank you for clarifying that, Jeremy. Jeremy Walker, the writer and presenter of this documentary film called Revival the Work of God. Let's now go to another sound clip from the film that I think will be of very good encouragement for us in the West today, whether in America or in England, because I think there's a lot of similarities in our society. Christians can see that our societies are becoming much more decadent and it's easy to lose hope as to where the direction of where this is all going.

Let's hear this sound clip from the film Revival. In France, there was a revolution with all the attendant bloodshed that that brought about and that there was nothing of that sort in the United Kingdom. Respect for the rule of law and civil society that came about, much of that is the fruit of the way that God went to work. That was after a time when the nation had been greatly blessed and had turned its back on that and gone headlong into hedonism, had given its way over to drink with the gin craze, had given its way over to pornography, and now it's very similar. It's a nation that's been greatly blessed.

It's given its way over to drunkenness and to pleasure and to debauchery. And so I would say it's an ideal time for God to move because he's not going to move because the church is powerful. If God moves in revival today, the glory goes to him because the church is weak.

The nation is worldly. Okay, so the hopeful part is here, we all recognize as believers what direction our society is going, and it's not a good one. It's going away from God. It's rejecting God. It's in rebellion to God. And so the question is, why is a dark and God rejecting society like yours over across the ocean in the UK and ours in America, actually a very good environment that we should be praying and going through the quote, ordinary means of grace, the preaching of the word, prayer, personal sanctification, other things like that you can mention.

Why is this the right kind of environment for a revival to take place? We need to remember that the ultimate goal of God is his own glory, and that is perfectly right and proper. And so God is glorified when he brings light into a dark place, when he makes dead sinners wonderfully alive in Jesus Christ, when he takes his weak, his feeble, his needy people, and not only stirs them, but makes them wonderful instruments of his grace for the carrying then of the gospel into places that otherwise it would never have been heard. And so when we look around at the emptiness and the misery and the spiritual doom and gloom so often that we see, we shouldn't despair, not because we're hoping that we'll be great, but not because we've got some social mechanisms that we can begin to use in order to turn things around, but because we have a great, a gracious, a glorious God who is both willing and able to accomplish great things for his glory. And so we need to remember God doesn't save nations. God saves sinners, and he saves them one by one. He forms them into churches, and those churches, if they're lively, they will be beacons of light, salt and light in the earth, the cities that are set upon a hill, and they will have an impact. And as others are being saved, here's that transformative effect again in society, not to make Christian nations or Christian societies, but when there are Christian men and women, lively, vigorous, eager, courageous in the world, if the Lord is pleased to increase them, it cannot but have an effect on the world around us. And so we never, never need to despair, either if we look at the state of the church, or if we look at the state of the world, because while God reigns and God never ceases to reign, and while God is all that he is, and God is always all that he is, we have confident expectation that God can and will continue to work and is well able to do so in ways and at a pace that at the moment may seem utterly beyond any expectation we may have.

Thank you for that answer. That was very inspiring to hear that, to be reminded of God's sovereignty. And no matter how dark society gets, God is more than powerful to work and surrender believers with a spirit of revival going on within them. Jeremy Walker with us today here on the Christian Real View. He is the writer and presenter of this documentary film, Revival, the Work of God.

It's our new featured resource. It's a two-hour film. It looks at periods of revival over the past 500 years in the UK and US, covering the Reformation, Puritan era, Scotland, Wales, the Great Awakenings, and much more. It's really a great history lesson on revival. It's a two-disc set, plus 14 hours of bonus content.

Normal retail is $40, plus shipping for a limited time. You can order Revival, the Work of God, this documentary film, for a donation of any amount to the Christian Real View. Just order it the usual ways. Go to our website, thechristianworldview.org, or give us a call toll-free, 1-888-646-2233, or write to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota, 55331. That contact information will be repeated again in the program. So stay tuned. There's more coming up with Jeremy Walker on the topic of revival. You are listening to the Christian Real View radio program. I'm David Wheaton.

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It's 264 pages, hardcover, and retails for $24.95. To order, go to thechristianrealview.org or call 1-888-646-2233 or write to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota, 55331. Here's a unique resource and product for you from the Christian Real View. We put the top 15 programs of 2022 on a great looking bamboo USB flash drive adorned with the Christian Real View logo. Programs like, What is the Christian's duty to God versus government? 12 mega clues that Jesus' return is nearer than ever. How America's new woke religion is not good news. Transhumanism and the quest to be like God.

And what really happens when you're born again? Simply plug the flash drive into the USB port on your Windows or Mac device and you will have the top programs at your fingertips. Plus, with the large 4 gigabyte capacity, you'll have plenty of extra space to load your own files. The flash drive is $25 and you can order by calling 1-888-646-2233, going to thechristianrealview.org or writing to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota, 55331. Thanks for joining us today on the Christian Real View. I'm David Wheaton, the host. Just a reminder that today's program and past programs are archived at our website, thechristianrealview.org. Transcripts and short takes are also available. Jeremy Walker, the pastor of Maidenbower Baptist Church in England, and also the writer and host of the revival documentary film that we are discussing and featuring today in the program is our guest. Just one more sound clip from the documentary film, Jeremy, and then I'll follow up with a question. Some people have been praying for revival for years, decades, and their prayers are not answered yet.

They may be answered somewhere else, but not where they are. You pray for revival as if it must come, but you go on working as if it will not come. We must carry on witnessing for Christ, living a holy life, seeking to know Christ better, following his ways, following his path, making unity and peace among God's people wherever we can, supporting the preaching of the word by our prayers and our encouragement, and being, quite frankly, godly Christians. We're too enamored even in Reformed churches of gifted people, not of godly people. People need to see that my significance before God in the life of this church depends on me being absolutely committed to the means of grace, to giving myself to prayer.

There was a lot said, some profound things said in that particular sound clip. We're too enamored with gifted people rather than godly people. And it's the ordinary means of grace, that expression again, that we need to pursue. So what is your final charge today for Christians listening? How can revival be stirred in our own lives? How should we be praying as he was just saying, praying for revival, expecting it to happen, but still working in case it doesn't happen?

I think part of the answer to that will sound very prosaic, very ordinary. Get on with doing what God has called you to be and do. Live to the praise of his glory.

I think we need to be careful here that we don't just say, well, so just get on with, you know, live as I'm living now. Well, no, you know, be a repenter, be a believer, preach the gospel. And if you're not preaching it faithfully, preach it yet more faithfully. If you know that you're being lazy, then ask God to forgive you and get on with the work of the kingdom more earnestly and more ardently.

But do it not expecting that a little more effort and you'll turn the corner, but do it pleading with God that God would bless his means to his ends, by his power and for his glory. See, so often I've been in so-called revival prayer meetings. And what you basically hear is, Lord, there are a lot of terrible people out there. Please will you do something about them? Actually, I think the prayer meeting of a church that is in danger of being revived is, Lord, there are a lot of terrible people in here.

Please do something with us. And so I think God gives to the people he wishes to bless a spirit of prayer. They plead with God, not that they will be exalted, but that he will be exalted.

They pray that God would glorify his own name, and they expect God to do that by the means that he has appointed. And so that's why I think we go back to it's the extraordinary intensification of God's ordinary work. On one level, you're saying, well, nothing has changed.

On another, you'd have to say everything has changed. And so preacher, go and preach Christ and him crucified, independence upon the Holy Ghost. Christian, go to church having prayed that the Lord would bless you, opening your eyes that you might behold wonderful things from his law. Plead for God's favor in your soul, in your family, in the church, in your community.

Go and tell people about Jesus Christ and do so pleading that the Lord would strip away from you the fear of men. Go to the prayer meetings of your churches and go there ready to grip God's promises and to pray until you are blessed. Go to the preaching of God's word with the eager expectation that God, by his truth, will bring that word to bear upon your soul. Do what God calls you to do. Be who God calls you to be. Do and be those things unashamedly, unembarrassedly, eagerly, vigorously, readily and expectantly. Pleading with God to do his ordinary work in his ordinary way and if he sees fit to grant that the sermon that before maybe stirred the heart of one or two a little bit now stirs the heart of 10 or 20 or 50 or 60 or whatever it may be and there's a sense of heaven drawing near, of us seeing what we've not seen before. So work and pray, pray and work.

Look to God, labor for God and rely upon God in his time, in his place, by his means, in his ways and for his glory to accomplish what he has appointed. Jeremy, may the Lord just so bless you richly for all the diligent work that you did in writing and presenting this revival, the work of God documentary film. Thank you so much for coming on the Christian worldview today. Thank you for surrendering yourself to the Lord's work as you pastor and preach at Maidenbauer Baptist Church in Crawley, England and we just wish all of God's best in grace and revival to your country and ours.

Thank you so much again. It's been a real pleasure, David. Thank you for giving me this opportunity. All right, really enjoyed speaking with Jeremy Walker over the last couple of weeks and I'll just tell you one more time how you can get the film that he wrote and is the host of. It's entitled Revival, The Work of God. It's our new featured resource. It's a two-hour documentary and it looks at periods of revival over the past 500 years in the UK and the US and it's a two-disc set. It also includes 14 hours of bonus content.

The normal retail price is $40 plus shipping. For a limited time, you can order the DVD set of Revival for a donation of any amount to the Christian worldview. Just go to our website, thechristianrealview.org or call us toll-free at 1-888-646-2233 or write to us at Box 401 Excelsior, Minnesota 55331 and that information will be repeated right at the end of the program today as well. Just to summarize a few key points from the past two weeks, Jeremy defined revival as believers enlivening, growing in greater holiness, obedience, having increased evangelistic desire and service to those within the church and outside the church. Then it spills over to non-believers as well as believers become more committed and more fervent in evangelism. Unbelievers hear the gospel and they come to believe.

Eventually, you can also possibly change broader society or the community as well when there are more committed Christians in their midst. Then the point was also made by Jeremy and also within the film several times that God causes revival through His, quote, ordinary means of grace rather than by man manipulating or creating an environment for it. So the ordinary means of grace are just the regular practices that God has ordained for believers in the community of a local church that God then works extraordinarily through. So these ordinary means are prayer, reading and meditating on the Word of God, preaching of His Word verse by verse in Scripture, expository preaching, the sacraments of communion, remembering the Lord's death and resurrection, baptism, believers baptism after salvation, fellowship with other believers is a key one, an ordinary means of grace and serving one another. So when these ordinary means of grace are pursued, all of a sudden God may choose to extraordinarily bless and revive believers and then others as well come to saving faith.

One thing that stuck out to me from watching the film and then the interview with Jeremy is that one's worldview, or perhaps better said, your theology or doctrinal beliefs dictates how you define and how you pursue revival. When you understand that God is sovereign, that means He's in control. He reigns over all things. He ordains everything in life. Nothing that happens is outside His either causing or allowing it to happen and that only God can sanctify the believer or justify the non-believers, not to man.

Then you faithfully pursue these ordinary means of grace, trusting that God will give the increase. And this is what it says in 1 Corinthians 3 where Paul writes, what then is Apollos, he was a well-known teacher at the time, and what is Paul? They're servants through whom you believed. He's talking to the Corinthian church, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. He says in verse 6, 1 Corinthians 3, I planted, Apollos watered, but here it is, but God was causing the growth.

So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything but God who causes the growth. In other words, we do these ordinary means of grace, but God is the one who is the cause of growth. Philippians chapter 2 verse 12, work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

So there is human responsibility here. Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. Pursue revival, verse 13 though, for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. So let's not think that we or the church need to do something new, to create some spectacle or inspirational moment that will necessarily lead to revival. The mentality that if we just start up 24-7 prayer team, if we just have more stimulating worship services, if we just lower the lights and add the fog machines, people will be moved and revived. And as I've been thinking about these last two programs, two words have been coming to mind, manufacture and manipulate.

I don't know if it's true or not, but you have that root word in each of them, man. And that's what we don't want to do to manipulate things that we think are going to turn into revival. Again, just the ordinary means of grace, pursue those faithfully. So I just want to replay a short portion from a clip we played earlier in the program today about how Jonathan Edwards was evaluating what was taking place. He's trying to work out what is genuine and what might be false. He's looking at people who are moved by temporary religious excitement and others in whom a work of God takes a deep and lasting route. And he's saying, so what is the difference and how does this work? Previously careless or thoughtless people are being convinced, persuaded they are understanding feelingly the truth as it is in Jesus Christ and crying out not to Edwards to stop and not to Edwards for help, but asking God for mercy.

Did you notice some of the words that were being said there? Edwards was evaluating whether there was a temporary religious excitement, something that touches the emotions, versus others in whom a work of God takes a deep and lasting route. He wanted to see if people were being convinced, persuaded, that has to do with our minds. Then he used this expression, understanding feelingly the truth.

So what does he mean by this? Well, if you think about how we process things and pursue life, we have a mind where we think and we reason and we observe. So for instance, we're walking down the street and we look on the side of the road and we see a car and we say, well, there's a nice car. It's spacious. It looks fuel efficient.

It's got four wheel drive for winter. That's something that takes place in our mind. We think, reason, observe. And then there's another level inside of us, which is our desires or our affections, our motivations, where we'd say, not only have I observed the car in my mind, now I want that car. Now that could be a right or wrong desire, but it's turned from just being an observation to being an affection of ours, a motivation, maybe even a lust if it's a sinful desire. So desires need to be shaped or constrained by a scripture influenced mind.

Otherwise our desires will lead to the next level, our will in making a sinful decision. So yes, I want that car. There's a desire. But the next question is, but why do I want that car?

And is it a good desire? Can I afford that car? Do I need that car?

Would this be a wise decision? Because that's the next level. Our will, our volitional part of us is that part which makes decisions and choices, a myriad of choices every single day where we say, I'm going to buy that car. Not only have I observed it, not only do I want it, now I'm going to buy that car.

And again, that could be right or wrong based on how the mind and the desires have led to this decision within the will. And then finally, the next level is the emotional level. Our emotions respond to what we encounter, our circumstances. And so we might say, I love this car. I'm so glad I bought this car. There's an emotional aspect to it as we respond to what has taken place. Now, if you run that process backwards and start with the emotions, I love that car. That's your first response. And you go directly to the volitional part, I'm buying that car. And then next you go to the third part after you've bought it. Of course I want that car because now I own it.

It's a done deal. The mind has never been engaged. And I think this little example is what takes place so much of the time in evangelical churches and outreaches today. Here's what it says in Romans chapter 12. In the first verse, it talks about presenting your body a living and holy sacrifice. But in verse two, it says, do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

So how does this relate to revival or the church? Well, there needs to be a preaching first and foremost to the mind so that the mind can reason and become convinced, persuaded. Then we can evaluate whether the desires that we have inside of us are pleasing to God or dishonoring to God. And then there's a preaching to the will to take what's been preached to the mind, the truth of God's word, knowing what desires are right and what are wrong. Now to act, to make a decision, to choose to become obedient to what God has revealed or for the unbeliever to repent and believe in the gospel.

And finally, that next level of the emotions. If the mind has been preached to properly, if desires have been laid out as to show which ones are good and which ones are wrong, if the will has been engaged, that there's something for us to respond to and decide upon, then the emotions will properly respond to the mind, the desires, and the will that have been rightly preached to. And this is why the great pastor from England in the 1900s, Martin Lloyd-Jones, didn't want to have anything extraneous in his church worship service. There was no special music or trios.

There was no altar calls. He wanted it as stripped down and as simple as possible so there was nothing to distract from the engaging of the mind, affections, and will through clear preaching. Because the emotions rise and fall, the emotion-driven life will be an unstable life. Modern evangelicalism has become so emotion and experience-driven. The objective is to move people, to stir them, to lead them to an emotional experience.

And that's why the lights go down, the colored stage lighting comes on, there's highly moving videos, there's sensual driving music, there's an encouragement to sway and raise hands, and invitation is to come to stage to kneel or do something that makes you gain some experience. To be clear, I'm not saying that all these things are wrong or heretical. I'm just saying that the objective is to stimulate the emotions. This is also why nothing that makes the congregants sad or fear emotionally is ever spoken, like sin and righteousness and repentance and judgment, because those don't make us feel good. So they stay away from those things and they just emphasize the aspects of God that do make us feel good.

The attributes of God that have to do with love and forgiveness and compassion. Let's remember that the proclamation, the preaching of the word of God is the start, the source of revival that is lasting. Thank you for joining us today in the Christian worldview. In just a moment there will be all kinds of information on this nonprofit radio ministry. We believe what the Bible says, that Jesus Christ and His word are the same yesterday and today and forever.

So until next time, think biblically, live accordingly and stand firm. The mission of the Christian worldview is to sharpen the biblical worldview of Christians and to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. We hope today's broadcast encouraged you toward that end. To hear a replay of today's program, order a transcript or find out what must I do to be saved, go to thechristianworldview.org or call toll free 1-888-646-2233. The Christian worldview is a listener supported nonprofit radio ministry furnished by the Overcomer Foundation. To make a donation, become a Christian worldview partner, order resources, subscribe to our free newsletter or contact us, visit thechristianworldview.org, call 1-888-646-2233 or write to Box 401 Excelsior, Minnesota 55331. That's Box 401 Excelsior, Minnesota 55331. Thanks for listening to the Christian worldview.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-04 03:58:58 / 2023-03-04 04:17:34 / 19

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