“So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, “I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked…” Revelation 3.16, 17
Ministers of Scotland: Lectures on Revival
The Rev. John Bonar, Minister of Larbert and Dunipace
“So long as the Church is weighed down by a body of sin – so long as there is in all her members a law in the flesh which warreth against the law of the mind – so long as without ceasing there arises from her the voice of distress, ‘Oh wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of death!’ the enlightening, convincing, and converting influences of the Spirit will be required at each step of her process through the wilderness. And so long as the world remains a valley of the shadow of death, every where times of revival will be required – every where needed – every where to be sought.”
There is never a time in which churches are not candidates for revival, for our experience of the life of faith is never as rich or full as it could be, and often we are deceived as to the true condition of our faith, and what we most require. So we must always be seeking the Lord for revival, and not allow complacency to settle into our lives or ministries. Pastors must stir their people with extraordinary visions of what God can do, and then lead their churches into extraordinary labors of prayer, pleading with God to do what only He can. Central to being revived is facing up to our sin and turning from it. Preaching that exposes sin, and calls for repentance, is a characteristic of times of revival. If we prefer to succor the saints and blink at their sins, hoping their sins will go away without our having to say anything, we will not know “the enlightening, convincing, and converting influences of the Spirit.”
What indications would suggest that your church might be ready for revival? How could you lead them to seek it?
Preparing for Revival
To help you in preparing for revival, we have two brief books that won’t take you more than an hour to read. Preparing Your Church for Revival tells you what to expect as the Lord begins to move, and shows you how to get ready even now (click here). Restore Us! provides the rationale and means for praying together for revival. It includes 12 psalms to guide your times of praying together (click here).
All quotations in this series are taken from Ministers of Scotland, Lectures on Revival, Richard Owen Roberts, ed. (Wheaton: Richard Owen Roberts, Publishers, 1980). Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.