What is Revival? (Part Two)
In my past teaching on revival the question was presented to me, “Dale, What now for America?” People have been saying that we need revival. They were framing this question and statement in regard to the present state of affairs in our country and the role of the Church.
Can the Church make a difference in our culture? Can we, as Christ-followers, impact local, state and national elections?
Excellent and thought provoking questions!
The answer to these questions is a resounding YES!
Part of the answer has to do with gaining biblical knowledge, knowledge of what our Founding Fathers believed and what the Constitution says.
Listen to Hosea:
“… my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. ‘Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children’” – Hosea 4:6 NIV
“They set up kings without my consent; they choose princes without my approval. With their silver and gold they make idols for themselves to their own destruction” – Hosea 8:4 NIV
In the context of each of these verses Hosea is implying that there will be spiritual, societal and political leadership ramifications for the health of Israel.
The Apostle Paul requested the young pastor Timothy, to “pray for kings and all those in authority, that there may peace”, implying that it would be easier for people to come to a knowledge of the truth when their was good leadership (1 Timothy 2:1-4). Samuel Chase, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and justice of the U.S. Supreme Court said:
“Religion is of general and public concern, and on it support depends, in great measure, the peace, and good order of government, the safety and happiness of the people.”
To naively think that the direction of our government will make no difference for the expression of our religious faith is profoundly myopic. To disassociate from the political realm as Christ-followers will surely allow evil men to spread their agendas that are totally contrary to our, Yahweh.
I believe Abraham Lincoln was right when he said:
“To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.”
– Abraham Lincoln
If you haven’t heard of The Founder’s Bible with notes from Signature Historian David Barton, I highly recommend it to you! I picked it up at www.wallbuilders.com.
It is beautifully illustrated with over 200 articles on subjects like, The Role of the Judiciary, The Pilgrims’ Legacy of Economic Liberty, The Doctrine of National Accountability, background to many of our national monuments and a huge variety of other topics. In addition to this, 68 founding era biographies are included in this Bible. Believe it or not I am not receiving a financial cut for the sale of this Bible 🙂 Linda and I have just been so impacted by it and are actually contemplating paying our children and grandchild a nice some of money if they will read all the articles and biographies within it!
Please consider buying this Bible for yourself and family members. Give them as birthday presents, wedding gifts, or for Christmas. If our children and grandchildren will read just the notes, they will receive a far more accurate and thorough education in American History then they will receive in our schools – including many of our Christian Schools.
I have two New Years Resolutions this year:
- To read all the notes in The Founder’s Bible
- To read all the notes from the Defender’s Bible.
Now where was I in regard to the concept of revival :)?
The other day I was in Costco and I saw a wonderful man that I knew from my years in my ministry as Senior Pastor. I asked him how he was doing and he said he was very discouraged about the election results.
I then asked him, “What did your pastor do prior to the election? Did he recommend that the congregation register to vote? Did he provide voter registrations during the services? He said, “NO” to all of the above. I then proceeded to ask “Did he pass out voters guides so people could evaluate each candidate on moral issues? Again he said, “No”. I proceeded; “did he ask people to vote according to their Biblical conscience? Did he challenge his congregation to enlist other godly people to vote?” The answer sadly was “NO” to all of my questions.
I said, “the evangelical church will get exactly what they deserve or perhaps that is too strong, they will receive the outcome of what they purposefully neglect.”
Thomas Jefferson was correct when he said:
All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
Revival is far less sensational then we think. It is simply intentionally acting according to God’s principles. Just think if that Pastor would have challenged the wonderful church family to be salt and light. What if 10 evangelical churches did the same? Perhaps we might see revival in our churches that could affect election outcomes at least in the state of Oregon. To be honest, it is so puzzling for me to consider why we have become so privatized in our faith?
Jesus calls us to be Salt and Light (Matthew 5:13-17)! Salt has two primary purposes: to preserve and to destroy.
We are called to preserve the righteous morals of the Bible by modeling, talking, working and influencing the larger society on a personal level and by creating kingdom realities in all spheres of life (Matthew 4:23-25; Romans 15:17-22).
We also, like Jesus, are called to destroy the influence, work and power of the Devil and his strongholds in our lives and culture (I John 3:8 and 2 Corinthians 10:4&5).
Light also has two primary purposes: Illumination and Exposure.
When we walk in obedience to the truth of the Good News of the Kingdom, the Holy Spirit illuminates us with clarity, understanding and gives us power to walk in purity (1 John 1: 5-7). Light also brings exposure and, in a spiritual sense, it brings conviction to those outside of Christ because our righteous actions are usually contrary to the way non-Christians are living (John 3:19-21).
On a larger scale, when a church or an extensive group of churches embrace repentance as a way of life with the intentional component to influence their culture, revival is expanded and will have a much broader impact.
Revival is a word Christians have historically used to describe the way God pours out His Spirit; primarily only on His people so that they can enjoy His renewing, energizing, and purifying power. Real revival, however, is never intended only for Christians to become more holy. It is the manifestation of the Sprit’s power released in us to change people in our webs of relationships and the society in which we live!
We are empowered to become “Kingdom Freedom Fighters” that raise the moral fabric in our businesses, schools, and yes – even the political outcomes. Christ is looking for “revived” obedient Christ-followers to change their immediate world in which they live. It will take a “forceful” kingdom advancer to bring about such a change (Matthew 11:12)!
Revival is taking sides with God in the maze of interconnected compartments of our lives to bring authentic transformation not only in ourselves but in others.
The ongoing lifestyle of repentance keeps the transformation (revival) process moving. It carries out the intent of the original kingdom transaction that made us not only citizens of the heavenly kingdom but also extenders of the reign of Christ into every fabric of our culture (Luke 22:29).
“Oh, Holy Spirit we give you permission to revive us again and again and again!”
With Hope of Revival,