For whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:13-15 & 17)
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. (1 Cor 1:21)
Where does faith come from? It comes from hearing God’s Word. Only when we hear the Truth can one believe it. Faith is, quite simply, BELIEVING THE TRUTH. God’s Word is Truth, we can believe it, or not the choice is ours; you have the choice to believe Truth, or to believe a lie. Even after we have recieved the Truth, we have the option to honor, and believe it, or to decide not to.
Then said Jesus to the Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed.
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:31 & 32)
Do you want a revival? Perhaps a better question is: what is a revival? To be revived is to be brought back to consciousness, or brought back to life. In the church this means a widespread return to spiritual vitality. It is a restoration to FAITH – believing God’s Word. For ‘…it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.’
Revival WILL NEVER COME UNTIL THE CHURCH HONORS THE PREACHING OF THE WORD. The preaching of the Word has always been God’s plan to implement the salvation He purchased in His death and resurrection. Jesus spent His entire ministry training the twelve in the preaching of the Word (Mark 3:14):
Matt 10:7 – As ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. We need not read any further to the healing of the sick, casting out demons, and raising the dead if we have not first seriously taken to heart this command and edict to PREACH God’s kingdom.
I hear plenty of people declaring that they want revival, and admonishing others to ‘pray for revival.’ You can pray until you’re out of breathe, and revival won’t come until we honor the preaching of God’s Word; people can’t be saved without preaching of the Word.
‘…but to this man will I look, even to him tha tis poor and of a contrite spirit, and TREMBLETH AT MY WORD.’ (Is. 66:2b)
In our time – just like any other time – we like to disect God’s word. The trend right now is to remove the message of repentance from the Gospel. We want grace for all things without repentance; the church is largely unwilling to discuss repentance. We tend to feel that if we speak on repentance we will be considered ‘judgmental,’ and drive people away – instead we want our kindness, acceptance, and grace to win people over to Christ. Does that sound good? Boy, it sure does, but there’s a problem: Christ COMMANDED His ministers to PREACH. And what did He command them to preach? Repentance:
46 And [Jesus] said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
48 And ye are witnesses of these things.
49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
I wrote a book about John the Baptist – about whom Christ, Himself, preached sermons. John the Baptist was imprisoned, and eventually beheaded because of the message of repentance. Was the message of repentance too judgmental in his day? Herodias thought so, so John lost his head. But according to the Gospels, the only way to recieve Jesus was through John’s ‘judgmental’ message of repentance (John 1:6 & 7; Luke 7:29 & 30); and I must note that Jesus was impressed with John’s ministry.
John’s ministry birthed the revival which propelled Jesus into His own. As Jesus declared of John’s powerful ministry: ‘From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.’ (Matt 11:12) Why? Because John preached repentance. Jesus attributed the revival in Isreal which was drawing the masses to Himself to the preaching of John.
Do you want revival? Honor the preaching of God’s Word… preach it yourself, take every opportunity to declare the Truth that sets men free. Preach repentance from dead works, and faith toward God. Be instant in season, out of season, refute, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine; speak of these things in the way, when you sit down, and when you rise up. Bind them as frontlets between your eyes (not with literal phylactaries but in spirti and in truth – in vital reality keep your eyes locked on the Message).
Why are so many historical revivals attribbuted to certain ministers? Because in order for revival to happen, the Word needed to be preached so that men could believe.
Revivals which get off into excesses and fanatacism (historically) have been those which honored the spiritual above the Word, or those which tainted the simple message of the Gospel with innovations or cultural trends.
There is a revival movement at large today which honors the supernatural, and innovations above the Word of God. I find that there is very little Gospel, and very little (if any) repentance in THEIR messages either. They are fixated on spiritual power, and miracles. Many of them seem to think that God is in the Old Testament types, and the land of Palestine than is in the Gospel – they speak of the earthly nation that calls itself ‘Israel’ as if there’s spiritual power in it (idolatry) more than the Message of Truth (I’ve been in their services and seen the reverence they give the counterfeit Israel which rejects the Gospel, and yet is considered anointed; the counterfeit Israel, and them that follow it are in the bondage of Hagar (Gal 4:25), and connot have True revival until they come into the liberty of the Son of promise).
Only the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Rom 1:16). Signs, wonders, and prophetic types will FOLLOW the Gospel, whereas if we follow signs, wonders and prophetic types rather than the Truth we will be found in idolatry – of which we must repent. These may see interestng phenomena, and miracles, but neither will they see True revival until they honor the preaching of the Word.
Let us be revived unto the Word of God that we may be filled with powerto preach it. The power of the Holy Spirit was given TO EMPOWER US TO PREACH.
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: AND YE SHALL BE WITNESSESS UNTO ME…
Do you pray for revival? Please brothers and sisters – if you ever hope to see it – let His Word be continually in your mouth. Let us love the Truth that we be not decieved, and honor the preaacching of the Word.