Psalm 85:6, “Wilt thou not revive us again that thy people may rejoice in thee?”
Revival! It’s the want of our hour. Revival! It’s the answer for our nation. Revival! It’s the remedy for the ailing church. Revival! It’s the antidote for the world-battered, war-worn Christian! It is an old-fashioned, Spirit-filled, heaven-sent Bible revival that we desperately need and yes, revival can still be realized in this generation!
In Psalm 85:6 we find the inspired hymn-writer posing a questioning that is proposed to me on a regular basis. Basically, he is asking, “Can we still have revival?” “Will God still send revival?” “Can revival happen in this day?” My answer to this line of questioning is emphatically, “Yes”! DR. B.R Lakin often remarked, “We will get back to having revival when we get back to giving God a chance.” Let us not forget that God is still on the throne. He is not tired nor is He on vacation. God has not retired! He’s still in the revival business! 2 Chronicles 7:14 is still in the Bible and if we as believers will meet God’s conditions then revival will come! You say, “Wilt thou not revive us again?” Sure He will!
There is a dangerous tendency today to just talk about revival, to just study about revival, and to just sing about revival, but to never expect a revival to happen. In some circles, the term “revival” is treated like a yellowed-phenomenon, a decayed impossibility, or some moth-eaten miracle of days long past. Revival is referenced as if out of reach and talked about in tones that make it seem as if out of the question. Many approach revival with apathy rather than anticipation. They never expect to see the altar flooded, the baptismal pool stirred or a church filled with the power of God. The cry of the day seems to be, “Wilt thou not revive us again?” and my answer remains the same, “Sure He will!”
I am privileged to travel the expanse of our great nation and to preach in some of our country’s finest fundamental churches each year. Just last year we traveled over 60,000 miles and preached over 300 times in fundamental Baptist churches, schools, and colleges. Even now as I write this article I’m sitting in a hotel room and am in the midst of a week-long revival meeting far from home. As an evangelist naturally my heart beats for revival. I don’t want to just sing about it, read about it, or hear about! I want to live it!
I’ve preached in churches in the north and in the south. I’ve preached in churches within miles of the Atlantic Ocean and have proclaimed God’s word on the Pacific coast. I’ve held revival meetings under tents in rural areas and traveled out winding mountain roads to preach in old country church houses, but I’ve also conducted meetings in metropolitan areas and in many major cities. The more miles that I cover on the revival trail and the more calendar pages that I turn in the ministry the more convinced I am that the churches God is blessing and those that are experiencing revival, are not being blessed nor seeing revival by accident! I believe there is more to it. I do not believe that the Lord haphazardly stirs the embers of revival or flippantly allows revival fire to burn. Many speak of revival in dry dialogue like some endangered species while across town others are simultaneously shouting the victory and being saturated with “showers of blessings”! There must be a reason for this.
Billy Sunday declared, “I believe there is no other doctrine more dangerous to the church today than to convey the impression that a revival is something peculiar in itself and cannot be judged by the same rules of cause and effect as other things.”
Revival is happening in our day. God is moving in this hour. Great things are being done in this generation. Revival is more than just on the flyer or only on the marquee of many local churches and I am persuaded that all of these wonderful things transpire on purpose! No, revival does not come in the hip-pocket of the evangelist and it isn’t a meeting manufactured by a church, but I do believe both the evangelist and the local church play a major role in setting the stage and preparing the way for a powerful move of God. There are several key marks that I have observed in these choice fundamental churches that seem to make them regular venues of genuine revival. Here they are in brief:
- Churches Were the Program is Fundamental!–Jude 3 “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”
The churches that have revival as their theme do not have compromise in their vocabulary! You won’t find heavenly rain pouring down at the “Rock,” the “Vine,” or the worldly, wishy-washy worship center! The fire still burns at the old-fashioned independent Baptist church were the program is fundamental!
- Churches Were the Pulpit is Fiery!–2 Timothy 4:2 “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”
Preaching is still God’s order of the day! Where the preaching of God’s Word is still the main event revival won’t be long in coming! We need preachers, not CEOs, fat cats, or marketing gurus. Lester Roloff used to say, “Thank God for preaching preachers!” Preach, preachers preach!
- Churches Were Prayer is Fervent!–Acts 6:4 “But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.”
The early church didn’t have an extensive resume, but they had the essentials on their resume! Prayer was and still is the grease that keeps the engine of revival in tune and turning over! No doubt about it, the prayer-closet is the boiler-room of a blessed church.
- Churches Were Purity is Fortified!–1Timothy 5:22 “Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.”
Revival isn’t breaking out where the world is breaking in! Today many are trading out godliness for gimmicks and holiness for relevance. They’re trading out purity for popularity and forfeiting the power of God! The place that keeps a high premium on holy living and strives to be a people of purity is a place where God can pour out His blessings!
- Churches Were the Pursuit of Souls is in the Forefront!–Acts 5:42 “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.”
Soul-winning is still the heartbeat of God. It’s why our Saviour died on the cross! The winning of sinners is the chief command for every Christian. The churches that are enjoying the fruits of revival are those churches that frequently empty their tract rack and employ themselves in fishing for men!
Maybe you’re wondering just as the psalmist did long ago, “Wilt thou not revive us again?” “Will God still bless a church?” “Will God still fill me with His power?” Without hesitation, I close by saying, “Sure He will!”