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Why We Need Revival

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
October 26, 2020 8:00 am

Why We Need Revival

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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October 26, 2020 8:00 am

People come to church for a lot of reasons. But in this lesson, Dr. Tony Evans will explain that its not about going to church; its about coming to life as he talks about why we need revival.

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When you look at the division among God's people, when you look at the perversions, we need a revival. Dr. Tony Evans says revival is more than just making people go to church. It's making people come to life.

We're not better off because we showed up. What we actually need is not a sermon. We need a revival. This is The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of the Urban Alternative. A lot of people attend revivals looking for more energy or enthusiasm.

But today, Dr. Evans will talk to us about what we really need to literally be brought back to life. Let's join him as he starts our lesson with this story. When we left on vacation, we went overseas to do a Mediterranean cruise. And I was looking forward to it. I love cruising.

It's very relaxing, and you get to see numbers of different places. But a few days after we boarded the ship, there was a problem. The upper left side of my mouth began to hurt. At first, it was just a low-level, irritating pain.

And so every now and then, I'd grab my face and sort of just shake it off and ignore it. Each day, it got worse. Took some aspirin. I took some things to try to make it better because I'm so far away. After four or five days of this increased pain, now turning my vacation joy into a vacation job, I was now in excruciating pain so much and so that I could not get out of bed. So I'm now on vacation, which is supposed to be relaxing and joyful, when I just couldn't take it anymore. I went down, and the ships have medical centers in them, to the doctor and said, I can't take this.

This is killing me. I can't move. I can't eat.

Who wants to go on a cruise if you can't eat? The pain was getting worse and worse. Finally, I got to a telephone, and I called back to Dallas, Texas, to my dentist. He asked me for the details of what I was going through, and I explained it, and I said, I just can't—if I need to fly back home, I'll do that, but I just can't take it anymore. He said, you've been treating the wrong problem.

You've been addressing the wrong problem. You've been addressing the problem of pain when, really, your pain is symptomatic of a much deeper problem. He says, from what you have described to me, you have an infected tooth.

There is infection or an abscess in your mouth, and all the Advil and aspirin and codeine in the world won't solve that problem. In fact, he said, to tell you how bad it is, if you're taking those painkillers and they aren't fixing the problem, that means the true problem is overriding your attempts to make it better. He says, we have to address this infection if we're going to make things better, because if we don't address the infection, you will forever be popping pills that, at the best, can mask your real problem.

In fact, it's actually better that they didn't work, because if they had worked, you would think you were okay. When you really aren't okay, and that infection could breed further into your body. So he prescribed some antibiotics. I was dealing with something to fix my pain.

I was hurting and I was in pain, but he prescribed some antibiotics to get to my root problem. Because if I could fix the root, I would address the fruit that I was having to deal with, and that was the pain in my life. All my attempts failed because I was addressing the wrong thing. Now, I was addressing a real thing. I was in pain. But the real thing wasn't the right thing. It was real. I felt it.

But it would not rectify my problem. Today, we are going to embark on a journey, a journey taken from Psalm chapter 85 and the phrase found in verse number 6, Revive us again. How do we know we need a revival? A revival presupposes something.

It presupposes spiritual decline. I spent my time during my vacation reviewing the revivals of the Bible. We will be going through them. I actually looked at the different revivals that took place in Scripture, and virtually everyone was introduced with a crisis. People were hurting, and it needed to get fixed.

But in order to get it fixed, they had to first identify what was really wrong. Spiritual decline was consistent with the need for revival. Revival need is evident from the lack of spiritual life and victory among God's people. When you look at the amount of addictions that we have in the church among Christians, we need a revival. When you look at the fact that 50% of Christian couples are getting divorced, equal to the world outside, we need a revival. When you look at the division among God's people, the anger, the lovelessness, we need a revival. When you look at the perversions and the child abuse and the abortions, we need a revival. Revival was needed because God's people had so strayed from Him, producing spiritual decline, abandoning the will and the Word of God.

They needed something that would get to the root of what was really wrong, rather than simply popping pills to make them feel better. The way we know we need a revival and the way we know that spiritual decline is the order of the day is that we come to church Sunday after Sunday or Wednesday after Wednesday and there is no change. Nothing is changing. We're still the same or worse. We're not thinking better, functioning better, relating better. Then something deeper is wrong. We regularly pop sermon pills.

We regularly pop song pills. But there is no change. We're not better off because we showed up in the house of God. That's because what we actually need is not a sermon. We need a revival. Revival is not more religion. Religion has its place. But revival has to do with God changing something inside.

See, for us to become alive, God has to change something inside so there is the impartation of his life and we become alive. What then is the problem that is the root cause of the need for revival? Please notice some words in this passage. Verse 2, iniquity. Verse 3, fury and the word anger. Verse 4, indignation. Verse 5, anger. The need for revival was because God had been ticked off. Indignation, anger, sin, fury. God had been ticked off by his people because his people had rejected him.

You're going to discover something when we go through these revivals that in almost all of them, the word idolatry or some form of it comes up. God had been traded in. And the way it became evident that God had been traded in, that the true God had been traded in for a cheap, saccharine substitute, was the sin of the people. Their sin was their proof. They had changed their God. So the sin was really the fruit of a shift of God's. Producing indignation, if you will, or anger by God that had to be assuaged. He says revive us again.

In order to be revived again, that means he had already been revived at some other time. Well, he helps us out there in the first three verses. Oh Lord, you showed, E.D., showed in the past, your favor to your land. You restored the captivity of Jacob, forgave our iniquity, covered our sins, withdrew your fury, and turned from your burning anger.

Israel was in rebellion against God, and because of their rebellion, they were sent into captivity, where for 70 years, they were now captive in a miserable place called Babylon because of their sin. But when the people cried out to God for revival, and addressed the sin that was the fruit of the idolatry, God entered in and restored them back to the place that they left from. A revival is new life. Revival takes place when restoration occurs in the life of God's people, when God's people and God get reconnected with one another. See, our problem is we have church, but we don't have life.

We have activities, but we don't have life. Sermons without life. And that is the issue of revival. When he says revive us again, he says give us back life.

Spiritual life, that is the connected life, the abundant life, the God life. When Dr. Evans continues our message in just a moment, he'll tell us more about that connection between the spiritual and the physical. First though, today's your last chance to request the special resource package we put together to go along with Tony's current teaching series. It starts with his popular devotional book, Stronger Together, Weaker Apart, focusing on ways to harness the power of prayer and overcoming anger, disagreements, and misunderstandings. You'll learn how to heal relationships, find common ground, and impact our world in meaningful ways. Along with it, we'll include all 14 lessons in Tony's current two-volume teaching series, Turning a Nation to God.

Both are yours as a way of saying thanks for your contribution to make this 100% listener-supported broadcast possible. Just contact us to get the details and make the arrangements before days end at, or give us a call anytime day or night at 1-800-800-3222 and let one of our resource team members help you. Again, that's 1-800-800-3222. Well, Dr. Evans will return with more of today's lesson right after this. The Bible makes it clear that you know when God has cursed a land, when its fathers are nowhere to be found. Dr. Tony Evans says that what becomes of the next generation of men depends on what happens with this one. Our kids need to see men in their midst who love God and who love them. But what does it take to be that kind of man?

You can find out with the help of the Tony Evans Training Center's free course called Kingdom Man. It'll teach you to see past the phony images of manhood that society surrounds us with and become the loving leader that a wife and family would want to follow. As with all of our courses, there's in-depth study material you can work through at your own pace, lots of exclusive content from Tony, tightly focused Q&A videos, and an online forum where you can collaborate with other students. It's almost like having a seminary on your smartphone. Check out the free course called Kingdom Man and the growing list of other subjects waiting for you.

Visit today and follow the link to the Tony Evans Training Center. Andre Crouch said it best, take me back. Take me back to the place when I first received you. And some of us need to say revive us again because we remember a time when we were in love with the Lord. We remember a time when pleasing Him was our passion. We remember a time when time with Him wasn't viewed as a waste of time. We remember a time when we sensed His glory, but now years later, we found our faith to be boring and inconvenience getting in the way and church okay, but it's really no big deal.

Why? Because there has been a drifting to the wrong side. To the dark side. He makes it plain when he says at the end of verse 7, show us your loving kindness O Lord and grant us your salvation. That word salvation means to be delivered or rescued. Rescue us from what we're having to deal with. I wonder if anybody here needing to be rescued, rescued from an empty life, rescued from an addiction, rescued from a situation.

You need to be delivered. Let me say something about this very briefly theologically. I just want to read from powerful passage in Romans chapter 1.

Paul says in verse 16, I'm not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God for salvation and everyone who believes to the Jew first and then to the Greek for it is the righteousness of God. It is revealed from faith to faith as it is written, but the righteous man shall live by faith for. The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. It's built in wrath. Let me tell you something about God's wrath. God's wrath is not capricious or reactionary. In other words, God's wrath isn't just I'm upset today. God's wrath is his built in response to that which is not in keeping with his character.

It's built in. It is the natural overflow of that which disagrees with who he is. He says the wrath of God is revealed, is made manifest against anything that is not in keeping with God's character. His wrath is his displeasure. All of us grew up in homes when we could see when our parents weren't happy just by the look on their face. Their displeasure was evident.

Sometimes our parents would say, okay, keep on. They hadn't done anything yet, but their displeasure was being made manifest. He says, give us your salvation that is rescue us, deliver us. We want God to change our circumstances without addressing the reason why he's upset. God, get rid of my pain, get rid of my not having a job, not having finances, get rid of my bad health, get rid of my single hood, get rid of my situation, get rid of it.

But we have not addressed the cause. But we want the salvation, the deliverance. We want him to change our circumstances without a return to him. The final verses from verses 8 through 11, he prays. I will hear what God the Lord will say.

He's asked him to revive us again. Because when he speaks, he will speak peace to his people, to his godly ones who do not turn back to folly, don't go back to the old way. His deliverance, salvation, is near, closer than you think, to those who fear him, that is take him seriously. And then in one of the most picturesque statements in all of the Bible, verse 10, loving kindness and truth have met together. Righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Loving kindness and truth have had a meeting.

That's powerful. God's loving kindness is the mercy he shows to his people. Mercy is not getting what you ought to get. God can't compromise his truth in order to show us mercy. Truth is not what you believe to be true. Truth is what God says is true. If you want God's mercy, it's got to have a meeting with God's truth. It means two things that were apart are now coming together.

There is a reconnect. We are functioning from a disconnect and wondering why we're not seeing the power of God when we're actually seeing the displeasure of God. Individually, as families, as churches, and even as a nation. What can I expect when God revives me? He says, righteousness will look down from heaven, verse 11, truth is going to spring up from earth and the Lord will give what is good. That's divine favor. People walk around, I want to be blessed, but I don't want to change my direction. I want God to show his power, but I don't want to move from my space. No, indeed, God will give what is good in our land.

In this case, you can put our lives, will produce its produce. My life will go in the direction it's supposed to. When God's people return to God and God then reacts and responds and returns to God's people, you have a clash of titans and revival that occurs and things change.

Not because you had to force them to change. They change because now God is in the mix and heaven has shined down and life and light has come out of darkness. God's favor is experienced once again. Dr. Evans will come back in a moment with a final thought to wrap up his current series, Turning a Nation to God. Don't forget, this collection features 14 of Tony's most hard-hitting lessons on what it means to be a citizen of heaven living on earth. And as I mentioned earlier, if you make the arrangements to get it today, it'll come to you bundled with Tony's popular new book, Stronger Together, Weaker Apart. Just visit, make a contribution to help us keep bringing you Tony's teaching on this station, and we'll send you this special two-resource package as our thank-you gift. Again, that's Or call us at 1-800-800-3222, where we have staff members standing by day and night to help you with your resource needs.

Again, that's 1-800-800-3222. People with a vibrant faith are often called on-fire Christians. Well, tomorrow, Dr. Evans will tell us about what gets them lit and keeps them burning as he starts a series called Divine Encounters. Right now, though, he's back with a final illustration for you. I have a meeting with my dentist. A few weeks ago, when I talked to him, I was far away. And all he gave me was his word. He said, this is what I want you to do.

I didn't see him, but I did talk to him. And I told him, I need a revival in my mouth. He spoke the word. He told me what to do, and I felt better. He told me in the word when he was talking to me. He said, when you come back, you come straight to my office and we're going to fix this thing once and for all.

You know what he was telling me? As long as you're far away, it's a temporary situation. But when you come back, when you draw near, and when you meet me face to face, and I look at this thing because we have now connected in proximity, we gonna take care of this thing. So while I'm happy that I've got relief for a period of time, I know that if I don't connect face to face, I'm gonna be right back where I started asking for another revival. But if I can connect from the word to the person, if I can connect from what I heard him say to what he does when I see him face to face, he says, then I will even have a greater transformation. So through this series, you're gonna hear the word, but I hope you don't settle for that. I hope you say, God, I wanna meet you face to face so that you can deal with me and what needs to be dealt with because I want you to revive me again. The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by The Urban Alternative and is made possible by the generous contributions of listeners like you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-01 19:57:23 / 2024-02-01 20:05:43 / 8

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