II Timothy 3-4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
While driving the other day I thought of how different going to church is today from the days of my childhood. Actually, I didn’t have to go that far back into my memory to see the change. I thought back to twenty-five years ago and then I moved the time up to ten years ago.
As a young girl, revivals were awaited with great anticipation. They were never scheduled for less than two weeks and if the Spirit was moving in the services, they went on for several more days. Twenty-five years ago, you could schedule a week revival and have fairly good attendance for the entire week. Ten years ago, we decided the three day revival was all we could handle with our busy lifestyles. But wait, that’s not all that has changed!
The men who are scheduled to preach for us are no longer referred to as preachers, evangelists, great soldiers of the cross, men of the Word, etc. but “speakers.” “Speaker” is not nearly as offensive a word as “preacher.” There’s something kind of acceptable and politically correct about calling someone a “speaker.” Be sure they don’t sound too old-fashioned with their message of repentance, trusting in the blood of Jesus to wash away our sins. We want a gospel of convenience preached to us today, not a gospel of commitment. We want to conform ourselves to the world rather than transforming ourselves into the image of Christ. Are your ears itching yet? But wait, that’s not all that’s changed!
We need to get a music director from another church in order to generate some excitement in the music. Don’t worry about opening up the hymn book, because we won’t be singing too many of those bloody, cross songs. In fact, we can scrap those old hymn books, because everything will be on a screen for us to read. But wait, that’s not all that’s changed!
We won’t even have to take our Bibles, because the scripture will be displayed on the screen for us. Never mind that the Bible is referred to as the “Sword of the Spirit” and a vital piece of the Christian’s armor. We won’t need it for revival and if everybody is like me, I’m not expecting much to happen anyway. Are your ears itching yet?
Over my seventy-nine years of life, I have seen the church and the gospel of Jesus Christ brought to an almost powerless place because of the chipping away of basic principles and landmarks that are a vital part of the church.
Do we have to have a two week revival to see the power of God revealed? Certainly not! God can begin a revival in the hearts of His people in an instant when He sees a surrendered people who love and serve Him. Do we have to sing certain types of songs? Of course not! The Bible tells us to praise Him with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. Do we need a special person to lead us in our praise to Him? No, we do not but if that person is gifted in the body of Christ to lead us in worship, then God will use him or her to usher His children into His presence. There are people in the body of Christ, gifted to serve Him and the church in all areas to make his work effective and successful. Evangelists and song directors are two of these very special people; however, they do not carry a revival in their suitcases. They are as powerless as we are if they have not prayed up, studied up, and ‘fessed up.
Since revival time is upon the churches in this area, let’s determine within ourselves that we want to be an instrument, surrendered and used by God, to bring revival to ourselves and others.
Father, let revival begin with me. Amen