During revivals, one of the most hurtful things I’ve experienced as a preacher is watching repentful souls respond to the preaching of God’s Word only to be misled or lied to about what is required for salvation. These souls are so vulnerable and anxious to be forgiven from their sins that they will accept just about anything the false preacher tells them. They unknowingly are led down the road to destruction. They have swallowed the lie that says salvation is a process whereby they must attend church and learn the churches views on faith and grow into maturity of the faith in order to become good Christians. Yet they fail to see that they don’t have the power in themselves to become a good Christian or mature into anything without first repenting, being baptized by submersion into water in the name of Jesus Christ and being endowed with the Holy Spirit of God. They are lost without first believing and trusting God’s Way and becoming submissive and obedient to God’s Commandments. That is why so many church folks are still in the grip of sin pretending to be Christians.
This leads me to the question, “What is a “Revival?” Why do churches have “Revivals?” What does a church revival accomplish? What is its main objective or purpose? These are questions that you should want to know the answers to.
According to one source, a “Revival” is a series of Christian religious services held in order to inspire active members of a church body, to raise funds and to gain new members to its congregation.
C.H. Spurgeon wrote that a revival may best be interpreted thus: “To live again, to receive again a life which has almost expired; to rekindle into a flame the vital spark which was nearly extinguished.” (From the December 1866 Sword and Trowel)
Regardless of which definition you choose, it appears that revivals assume that those sponsoring them are saved and need encouraging. Revivals assume that the sponsoring religious body has obeyed God’s ordained plan of salvation (repentance, baptism in Jesus’ name and the reception of the Holy Ghost as evidenced by the speaking in tongue). Without any biblical or spiritual proof that they are saved, many alleged Christian churches are having revivals without any biblical precedent, God given authority or power other than that of their own imaginations, traditions and man-made declarations of faith.
I do not personally support the notion of revivals. They seem to be more about the raising of money and the praising of the personality preaching than about the Kingdom of God and His ordained plan of salvation. Revivalists these days seem to be more interested in entertaining and drawing a large following than about exposing sin, uncovering wickedness and calling sinners to repentance. A great number of contemporary revivalists have adopted the quick and easy ineffectual and demonically contrived notion of salvation whereby one may be saved simply by “receiving Christ” or “reciting a sinner’s prayer” or ”believing in their hearts” or some other made-up foolishness of their imagination. The questions we should ask is: “How do I receive Christ without repentance and obedience?” How can the man-made sinners’ prayer save me when man didn’t die for me?” “How can believing save me when demons also believe and tremble?” “If these methods worked so good, why didn’t Christ or his apostles us them?” “Why didn’t the apostles of Christ have revivals?” How can the unsaved, disobedient, rebellious and prideful church or revivalist lead anyone to salvation?
Their formulas or methods of salvation are based upon human understanding, academic justification, denominational validation and emotional ratification. It just sounds good, looks good and feels good but its ways lead to death.
I am reminded of the lesson of Matthew 23:15 where Christ calls the religious leaders hypocrites and points out that they expend a lot of effort to win new member and when they have converted him to their religion, they make him twice as much a child of hell as they are. And again in Matthew 15:9-14 I am reminded that Christ plainly stated that they worship him in vain teaching only the rules (theology) of men. He calls them blind guides who lead others to the pit (Hell). Jesus plainly warns us to leave them.
I repeat what my Lord has already said. Leave them! They are only after your money and your membership in their religious organization. Leave them! They are only practicing a tradition of sedition whereby pastors take turns preaching in each others pulpit for money. Leave them! They are blind guides who cannot see that they need salvation. Leave them! They are hypocrites who are not saved themselves and cannot lead anyone else to salvation. Leave them! How can they revive that which has never been alive –born again? And why would a born-again child of the living God who is filled with God eternal Holy Spirit need reviving?
Our revival, our restoration, our renewal comes from God by His Holy Spirit.
Revivals are contrived by men and are of a corrupt and sinful nature – wolves in sheep clothing. Whereas “Evangelism” is the God approved way of witnessing and proclaiming the way of salvation if indeed we proclaim the “Truth” and fulfill our ministry.
It is certainly clear from Holy scripture that every born-again, Holy Spirit endowed Child of God has an obligation and a compulsion to evangelize lost souls where possible.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:16, “For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!”
2 Timothy 4:5 says, “As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”
1 Peter 3:15 says, “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
Evangelism in the early church was not just left to to the apostles. Everyone did evangelism and there was eagerness in their spirits for it.
One important aspect of evangelism is the way Christians live in loving fellowship with one another. A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:34-35). The command to love applies to all Christians, and one of the importance effects of that command is evangelistic witness.
The life you live will evangelize others.
Therefore, I reject revivals and revivalists as they are now known and function in most contemporary Christian churches. I encourage all would be believers and those who are seeking genuine, God approved and Christ ordained salvation to Leave them!
Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord.
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