DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – WEDNESDAY WARRIOR! #9… WE NEED A PENTECOSTAL REVIVAL! Part 2.
Lady asked Billy Sunday: "Why do you keep having revivals when it doesn't last?"
He asked her, "Why do you keep taking baths?" - Source Unknown.
Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, "What does this mean?" Some, however, made fun of them and said, "They have had too much wine." Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: "Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It's only nine in the morning! – Acts 2:12-15. TNIV
Last week in, Part 1, I shared how we desperately need a Holy Spirit driven Pentecostal revival here on the Gold Coast of Queensland. I said that I didn’t mean an Assembly of God revival, a Baptist revival, a Charismatic revival, a Reformed revival, a Roman Catholic revival, a Presbyterian revival, or any other denominational revival; we need a Holy Spirit Pentecostal revival!
What is a true "Pentecostal" revival? The picture of Acts is often a far cry from what we see in many Pentecostal churches. First let's look at what it is not.
A Pentecostal revival is not:
A revival of programs
A revival of human personalities
A revival of pomp and circumstance.
A true Pentecostal revival is…
A REVIVAL OF POWER
The disciples of Jesus went out in power, and turned the world the right way up... But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." - Acts 1:8.
These mighty men and woman of God, including Mary the mother of Jesus, were empowered by the Holy Spirit, to witness all over the world, of the person of Christ, of His miraculous birth, of His deity and sonship, of His incarnation, His ministry, and His miracles, of His suffering and death, of His resurrection from the dead, and His ascension to heaven. Displaying the majesty of God by bold preaching, and the demonstration of His power by sign’s and wonders.
In a seminary missions class, Herbert Jackson told how, as a new missionary, he was assigned a car that would not start without a push. After pondering his problem, he devised a plan. He went to the school near his home, got permission to take some children out of class, and had them push his car off. As he made his rounds, he would either park on a hill or leave the engine running. He used this ingenious procedure for two years.
Ill health forced the Jackson family to leave, and a new missionary came to that station. When Jackson proudly began to explain his arrangement for getting the car started, the new man began looking under the hood. Before the explanation was complete, the new missionary interrupted, "Why, Dr. Jackson, I believe the only trouble is this loose cable." He gave the cable a twist, stepped into the car, pushed the switch, and to Jackson's astonishment, the engine roared to life. For two years needless trouble had become routine. The power was there all the time. Only a loose connection kept Jackson from putting that power to work.
J.B. Phillips paraphrases Ephesians 1;19-20, "How tremendous is the power available to us who believe in God." When we make firm our connection with God, his life and power flow through us. - Ernest B. Beevers.
I thank Jesus that we serve a God of POWER... His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. - 2 Peter 1:3. Not like the gods of wood and stone, which have hands but cannot save, ears but cannot hear, eyes but cannot see. Not like the gods of secular humanism, which have no power to transform a person, or lift them out of their sins. He is a God of power! He is an awesome God! One thing God has spoken, two things I have heard: "Power belongs to you, God, - Ps 62:11
But not only does God have power; He wants that Power to work through us... Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, - Eph 3:20. Power for what? Power to shout? I started shouting the day the burden of sin was lifted off my shoulders and I haven't stopped yet! Shouting is not a sign of power; shouting is a sign of joy!
No, we have been given power to witness, and to walk the walk. It grieves me to see Pentecostal’s and Charismatic’s shouting about having the power of the Holy Spirit, saying that they speak in tongues, saying that they posses the gifts of healing, prophecy, word of knowledge etc; but they can't stop smoking, they can't stop gossiping about their neighbours, they can’t stop lusting after money, they can't stop sinning, and won't witness for Jesus. If they have got power, then there will be enough power to witness, and to live right!
If to be a Christian is worthwhile, then the most ordinary interest in those with whom we come in contact would prompt us to speak to them of Christ.
If the New Testament be true--and we know that it is--who has given us the right to place the responsibility for soul-winning on other shoulders than our own?
If they who reject Christ are in danger, is it not strange that we, who are so sympathetic when the difficulties are physical or temporal, should apparently be so devoid of interest as to allow our friends and neighbors and kindred to come into our lives and pass out again without a word of invitation to accept Christ, to say nothing of sounding a note of warning because of their peril?
If today is the day of salvation, if tomorrow may never come, and if life is equally uncertain, how can we eat, drink and be merry when those who live with us, work with us, walk with us and love us are unprepared for eternity because they are unprepared for time?
If Jesus called his disciples to be fishers of men, who gave us the right to be satisfied with making fishing tackle, or pointing the way to the fishing bank,s instead of going ourselves to cast out the net until it be filled?
If Jesus himself went seeking the lost, if Paul the Apostle was in agony because his kinsmen, according to the flesh, knew not Christ, why should we not consider it worthwhile to go out after the lost until they are found?
If I am to stand at the judgment seat of Christ to render an account for the deeds done in the Body, what shall I say to him if my children are missing, if my friends are not saved or if my employer or employee should miss the way because I have been faithless?
If I wish to be approved at the last, then let me remember that no intellectual superiority, no eloquence in preaching, no absorption in business, no shrinking temperament or no spirit of timidity can take the place of or be an excuse for my not making an honest, sincere, prayerful effort to win others to Christ. - J. Wilbur Chapman.
Oh that the Spirit would blow across this sinner’s paradise, and fan the flame within the followers of Jesus, that they would walk the walk, and talk the talk! God’s power is for righteous living, and for winning the lost!
Loving Father, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit to be a mighty warrior for you, and for the extension of your Kingdom, help me to realise that revival begins in me, fuelled by the teachings of Jesus, and in the power of the Holy Spirit. I ask this in the wonderful Name of Jesus. Amen.
Next Wednesday… The Conclusion.