Listen to today’s broadcast:
You will remember that Mr. Campbell went to the island expecting to stay for 10 days and ended up staying for 3 years because of the moving of God. This is the most recent real revival of our time. There was a sweeping moving act of God.
God has moved here in the States in a mighty way in the past. There have been what we call “the Great Awakenings.” Mr. Campbell used the same word in his book on the Lewis Island revival. He called it “The Lewis Awakening.”
The idea is that when God moves in such a way as He did in these “awakenings” there is an awakening of ourselves to God. He mentioned to things that were prevalent in this revival. The first was the fear of God was upon the people. The knowledge of God, the awareness of God, just seemed to hover amongst them.
The second thing that was so striking about this movement of God was the knowledge or awareness of their own sin. There was a deep conviction and disgust for their own sin.
One of the great passages that God used was Hebrews 10:30-31. It was used by Jonathan Edwards in the first Great Awakening. This was where he got the title of his famous message “Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God.” What a thought it is to be in the hands of God and for Him to be angry with us.
One of the major problems in our day is that all we are getting from the pulpit is fluff. We are getting chicken soup messages designed to sooth our souls and be gently urged into the niceties of Heaven and religion (2 Timothy 2:3-4). We preach about the goodness of God.
The Bible says that the goodness of God will lead us to repentance (Romans 2:4), but it doesn’t actually bring repentance. It is like the old proverb that says, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” If you study the Scriptures you will find that the thing that brings revival is fear and remorse. It is the fear of God and true remorse for sin (2 Corinthians 7:10).
I want to go back to some of the things that were said by Duncan Campbell and expand them a bit. I which you could really see my heart. My heart is broken over the lack of spiritual maturity in our nation. As I look at current events I see our nation under God’s judgment and I see the necessity of real repentance and God sent, revival. Revival will not come until there is repentance.
God has made it very clear, in 2 Chronicles 7:14, how revival comes. I have mentioned this verse many times and it bears repeating because the principles it teaches are absolutely necessary if we want to see God’s working. There are four things that this verse tells us we must do:
1. We must humble ourselves
2. We must pray
3. We must seek God’s face
4. We must turn from our wicked ways
Only when God’s people do these thing will He hear from Heaven and will forgive our sins and heal our land.
God want’s to heal our land, to forgive our sins, and hear our prayers, but He has chosen to give us a free will. He as limited Himself to doing His work only after we have done ours.
The greatest mistake we have about revival is that we are the ones waiting for God. We are waiting for God to move first. We think that when the stars are in the right place, when the time is right, then God will choose to through down revival from Heaven. We think that it will just come upon us, even when we are not ready.
No, Folks! It is not us who are waiting upon God, it is God who is waiting upon us. He has given us the recipe for revival and is waiting for us to do our part. If we are ever going to see restoration in this nation we must first repent and turn back to God.
If you have listened to the broadcasts or read the transcript you will see that this is what happened on Lewis Island. It started with someone wanting revival enough to get serious with God in prayer. There was a broken heart that caused repentance. Then, and only then, God sent revival.
Lets look at one of the stories recounted by Mr. Campbell. There was a farmer named Donald. He met with Mr. Campbell and said “maybe one day I will come to church.” When he finally came, he heard the preaching of God’s Word. Afterward he was so burdened and overwhelmed with his sin he cried out to Heaven saying, “Hell is too good for me.” He was so burdened by his sin that he thought he deserved worse than Hell.
He was in such a state that people thought he had gone crazy or something. They Called Mr. Campbell and he came to the farm. There were people praying for Donald and his heaviness of heart. I love what his wife said. She said, “There’s the mighty sinner, may he take his tummy full of it.”
You may think this was harsh, but don’t miss the point. We should become so disgusted with our sin that our tummy aches over it. We should be full of remorse, full of hate for what we have done, how we have offended God. We should stew in our conviction until the Holy Spirit does His work.
Mr. Campbell said that we often mess up God’s work by our counseling. We come to people who are under conviction and full of remorse for their sin. We try to comfort them and ease the pain as if their sin isn’t really all that bad.
Folks, our sin is so bad that it obligates God to cast sinners into Hell and, eventually, into the Lake of Fire where there will be suffering for all eternity. You can tell how bad a crime is by the punishment it receives. You don’t give the same punishment for a traffic ticket as you give for cold blooded murder. The punishment God will put upon man for his sin shows the terribleness of sin. Sending them to an eternity of pain and torment tells us how bad our sin is in the eyes of God.
Do we hear that kind of preaching in the pulpits of our day? Hardly ever!. That is why we are in trouble. We are not preaching God’s judgment because it is not popular. The churches that are popular and big will not touch this with a 10 foot pole. It would cost them too much.
Those who are in these churches will call me a nut or a wacko for what I am saying. I just read recently where someone was talking about the message by Jonathan Edwards, “A Sinner In The Hands Of An Angry God.” They said that most of the young preachers see that message as a bunch of junk. Oh how wrong they are. We need to return to that kind of teaching if we want things to turn around.
They refer to those, like me, who preach the fear of God as hate mongers. They call this “fear evangelism.” Doesn’t the Bible say that the fear of God is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom (Proverbs 1:7 and 9:10)? They say it will only last as long as the fear lasts.
What is the alternative? Fun evangelism? Fun evangelism will only last a long as the fun lasts.
You know what got me saved? I got saved when my Sunday School teacher dangled me over Hell. When I understood that my sin would send me to Hell it caused me to tremble and to fear God. I couldn’t wait to get saved, I couldn’t stay in that state. I wanted to be freed from it.
One of the great preachers of yesteryear, they call him the prince of preachers, C. H. Spurgeon’s favorite people to read after was Joseph Alleine, who in his book “Alleine’s Alarm”, said “He that formally thought that there was little hurt in sin, now comes to see it to be the chief of evils. He sees the deformity and the filthiness of sin. So that he is affrighted with it, loathes it, dreads it, flees from it, and even abhors himself for it. He that could see little sin in himself, and could find no matter for confession, now sees the rottenness of his heart, the desperate and deep pollution of his whole nature. He sees himself altogether filthy, corrupt, both root and branch.” He writes, “He cries unclean upon all his parts and powers and performances. He discovers the filthy corners that he was never aware of, and sees the blasphemy, and theft, and murder, and adultery, that is in his heart, of which before he was ignorant. He saw no form of comeliness in Christ, no beauty that he should desire Him but now he finds the hidden treasure and will sell all to buy this field, Christ, the pearl he seeks.
Folks, we must understand what bring Christ close us is a contrite heart, a heart that is broken, a heart that is full of contrition for our sin (Psalm 34:18). Folks, salvation is not something that someone gets just because he wants a ticket to Heaven. No, salvation comes to those who are distraught and have contrition and remorse for their sin and want to turn from it. It comes to those who come humbly to the feet of Jesus and ask Him to have mercy on their souls and to save them.
That is true salvation. That is what revival will bring to this nation when we seek His face and humble ourselves.
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