After examining the three passages most easily associated with revival (II Chronicles 7:13-15; Jonah and Ephesians 5:13-19), we turn at last to five effects produced by a true Revival. If you have not read the two part series “In the Midst of Revival” click here to do so In the Midst… Part #1, Part #2.
SLEEPING SAINTS AWAKEN TO SORROW AND REPENTANCE
I my last post we look at Ephesians 5:13-19, in regard to the church needing to awaken in revival. This comes from Ephesians 5:14, a prophetic quote about the church, from Isaiah 26:19 and Isaiah 60:1, which declares “Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ with give you light“.
Remember this is spoken to the church, a fellowship, in Ephesus, that had begun to drift from Christ as its first love. The idea communicated is that of awakening someone out of a deep sleep, or coma like state. Revival, therefore, comes with an awakening that reveals what we have missed in the way of loving God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength.
Ephesians 5:14-18 14 Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” 15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit
Revival is an awakening to how we have walked into worldly entanglement, rather than walking circumspectly or around and avoiding the world. It is an awakening which reveals we have foolishly and to our own hurt, wasted precious time in our won pursuits. It is an awakening that we have left the will of God undone, as we have unwisely pursued our own.
This awakening, therefore, is an awakening to sin. Make no mistake, to walk as asleep in the light is sin, because all unrighteousness is sin (I John 5:17). In this awakening to sin, we grieve over how we have allowed men to perish while we played in our own desires. We grieve over how we have left our Lord Jesus Christ unglorified in our lives. We grieve over how our lack of holiness has been an example to other saints to live carnally.
This grief is godly sorrow which must produce something or our awakening will fall back to sleep.
2 Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.
In error, many have declared this passage to be about unbelievers coming to faith for the first time. I say in error, because although this must take place in and unbeliever to be saved, those being instructed in this process are Christians in a fellowship that had fallen into a coma like spiritual state of carnality.
Remember that the word salvation, in New Testament Greek, does speak to the atonement being applied to the sinner by faith for the first time, but the word carries with it a current, progressive delivering or salvation, as moment by moment or day to day, as well. This is important, because it does not matter if your past was wonderful and intense for Christ, if your present is a cold coma like spiritual state of falling away.
Hence the need for godly sorrow working repentance, or renouncing and walking away from the world, the flesh and the Devil, throughout our Christian life. The heart of repentance is a change of mind, concerning your sin, the judgment deserved for that sin and true righteousness, but its seen effect is a forsaking of sin and self. This is the second effect of true revival.
AWAKENED SAINTS FORSAKE THEIR SIN
As I previously wrote, the heart of repentance is a change of mind, concerning your sin, the judgment deserved for that sin and true righteousness in Christ; but repentance seen effect is a forsaking of sin and self.
Luke 9:23-26 23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. 24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. 25 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?
This is very important, in understanding revival. True awakening in the church, has always included saints, who believed they were “good with God”, seeing their true heart condition, and in fear of God, not only repenting, which includes restarting their stalled walk with God, but forsaking their sin also.
Revival produces a true understanding of holiness and sin. No longer can those who have been asleep pretend that there are acceptable sins, because we’ve got grace.
Dishonesty, lying, undue anger, sexual immorality, time wasting, silly pursuits, bitterness, love of worldly accouterments, self-righteous religious Christianity and selfish spending of money (as well as a host of others) are often seen, as behaviors we may grow out of. From a Bible perspective they are as unacceptable iniquitous intrusions to our relationship to God; the very compromisal stuff of falling away or an indication of never having repenting in the first place.
The forsaking of sin and its practice, in those who call themselves Christians is a huge sign that revival and awakening has taken place in the church, which leads me to some of the contemporary events of Christian culture promoting revival in America.
“The Jesus Revolution”
Recently, “The Jesus Revolution” movie, which is a biopic covering the first year and half of the “Jesus People” movement or what is referred to as the “Hippie Revival” of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, passed the 50 million dollar mark. It is true that what took place in the overall movement, has the hallmarks of true revival.
In this film, the viewer gets a look inside the relationship of of three men, at the middle of the “Jesus People” movement; Chuck Smith, Greg Laurie and Lonnie Frisbee.
What the movie does not reveal is the cautionary tale of a person, who is ministering, while not having fully repented of something or many things. Lonnie Frisbee, at the time of the “Hippie Revival” was a hippie, who “got saved” and “filled with the Holy Ghost” (allegedly). Prior to his testified salvation, he was involved in the drug culture and “free love” movement, which led him into homosexuality.
He never left behind what was characterized as flamboyance, in dress and attitude, although he preached the Christ, while not being heavy on “works of repentance”. At one point, he began to hob nob with the likes of Kathrine Kulmine, who’s practice and theology, have been the stuff of Pentecostal controversy.
After a year and half, Lonnie left the growing revival, eventually divorced his wife, was excommunicated by Calvary Chapel and voluntarily left the Vineyard movement, after admitting to a gay relationship while ministering.
These revelations are not to disparage a dead man, for Frisbee’s homosexuality was referred to by many in leadership, as an “open secret”. This means that Lonnie was encouraged to stop, but not called to forsake the sin completely or not be able to minster or fellowship in the church. This of course was the case, until the secret would become too open for leaders to tolerate.
The point is that in revival, the preaching of repentance with the forsaking of known sin, becomes primary, when it has fallen to the wayside. Remember that repentance always carries with it turning towards God and away from the Devil and His works.
Acts 26:17-18 17 I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, 18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’
Acts 26:20 20 but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.
This is important because we are known by our fruit and a good tree cannot bring forth bad fruit.
By this definition of forsaking of sin, the supposed revival at Asbury College, comes into question. During the events of this movement, known homosexuals led worship and were being interviewed, as to how God was bringing legitimacy to those who were students, and identify as “queer”, on campus.
Those of an LGBTQ persuasion, who identify as “celibate” but queer, were not counseled to seek freedom from temptation to what God calls abominable sexual immorality, and to renew their minds in God’s word accordingly, but to embrace it as a unique platform to minister for God.
To call someone a “celibate” queer (or allow themselves to identify as such on a Christiaan campus) is an oxymoron. By nature, sodomy and lesbianism are perverse sexual deviancy and will not be forsaken, unless the one tempted, knows it is absolutely evil and does not seek to deal with same sex attraction, but forsakes even a thought of it being normal or allowed by God.
This of course may take some hard work of reforming the mind, but that is what Christians do, empowered by the Holy Spirit, concerning any practice which offends God.
Revival comes with a conviction in all who desire Christ to forsake sin, and a call to forsake sin, that causes the insincere to humble themselves or walk on. This is because revival restores the holiness of the church, by setting the individuals stones to pursue holiness, without which none will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).
1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
1 Peter 1:13-16 13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
In the next post we will discuss the last three elements produced in a true revival.