Urgent Call to the Church

A passionately delivered sermon containing a lot of what the Lord has been addressing in my own life in recent months.

I don’t know anything about the preacher. I’m just presenting the content of this message as something worth noting.

Again the idea of “revival” is brought up within this talk, so firstly I’d like to share the following personal thoughts and observations.

  1. “Revival”  is centred on God’s people  bringing the church back in line with His Kingdom.
  2. It will lead to an awareness of who we are and what is required of us in Christ.
  3. It requires a turning from other allegiances, whether to nation, politics  and political solutions, or the pleasures and distracting entertainments of this world. We can only serve one Master.
  4. “Revival” won’t make the gospel more acceptable to the wider world, it will put us more at odds with the world, creating an increased contrast and greater conflict between the people of God and those who reject God.
  5. “Revival” will be an outcome of refining/pruning within the church to make it more fruitful.

4 thoughts on “Urgent Call to the Church

  1. I listened to both of his sermons: and I may have missed it (because part of the time I was “multi-tasking” as I listened): but I was surprised he didn’t cite a scripture that’s been much on my mind in these days: “For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God…” (I Peter 4:17a).

  2. And “judgement in the household of God” is very much implicit in all the 5 well-taken points about revival: particularly #1 and #5.

    It seems too part of the “flow” you perceived in your recent “morning thoughts” (preceding post). We all expect and desire revival, and can point to where scripture promises it.

    Perhaps it will not “normal” revival, and “not in the form expected.”

    Probably there’s a general sense that revival is something that will happen “out there,” in the world. We need to consider I Peter 4:17, if that’s our “normal” idea of revival. Indeed, strictly speaking, “revival” can ONLY apply to the (at least, formerly-) living, the Church.

    Habakkuk 1:5 comes to mind as well: that God is “doing something in ()our time” (as your “morning thought” was, that revival has already begun) that we “would not believe if [we] were told.” Another strike against our “normal” expectations of revival.

    This morning, the scripture that came to mind was a frightening one:

    “Alas, you who are longing for the day of the Lord,
    For what purpose will the day of the Lord be to you ?
    It will be darkness and not light;
    As when a man flees from a lion
    And a bear meets him,
    Or goes home, leans his hand against the wall
    And a snake bites him.
    Will not the day of the Lord be darkness instead of light,
    Even gloom with no brightness in it ?” — Amos 5:18-20

    (In the following verses, God specifically relates this to His people’s “normal” religious practices.)

    Rather than by its “normal” form, the revival that comes upon the Church may well be vouchsafed to us by the fact it’s NOTHING like we expected, or COULD have expected. And rather than the comfort of seeing revival, we may be terrified by it. When our old expectational wineskins “burst asunder,” it will be the Church, not the world, which is most deeply grieved..

    So we must hope, “For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, And He scourges every son whom He receives” (Hebrews 12:6).

    The prayer for pruning might be Psalms 85:4-8:

    “Restore us again, God our Savior,
    and put away your displeasure toward us.
    Will you be angry with us forever ?
    Will you prolong your anger through all generations ?
    Will you not revive us again,
    that your people may rejoice in you ?
    Show us your unfailing love, Lord,
    and grant us your salvation.

    I will listen to what God the Lord says;
    he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants—
    but let them not turn to folly.”

  3. Thanks Steve, you’ve given a lot to think about.

    Your Amos quote is one that’s stood out to me for some time now – particularly how Christians look towards the return of the Lord as some kind of escape for themselves and are quick to pronounce judgement on sinners (for example “sinful cities”). With that kind of outlook its easy not to see God’s patience at work, giving time for as many people as possible to repent.

    Only a few days ago I read Proverbs 17:5 and saw the second part expressed something similar to Amos 5.

    Whoever mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker;
    whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished.

    I’ve also just realised how appropriate the first part is too – considering the judgements announced at the beginning of the book of Amos were because of the excesses of the rich and their attitudes to the poor.

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