Revival

Revive – to make something strong, healthy, or active again
In reality, revival is needed at all times.  If something is not maintained, it will grow weak and begin to break down.  This is true with our cars, our homes, our faith, our church, and our nation.
For a nation to experience revival, it has to start in one region.  For a region to experience revival, the church needs to seek it.  For the church to experience revival – individuals need to seek it.
Where do we get the concept of the fires of revival in the church?  The Holy Spirit is seen embodied as a flame (Acts 2) and our God is an all-consuming fire (Deuteronomy 4:24).  For a great fire to take off, there first has to be a spark (James 3).
All great revivals have documented that at their beginnings, an individual or small group of individuals whom were found in prayer and fervently seeking after the Holy Spirit.  This is where revival must begin – us as individuals seeking earnestly and fervently after the Holy Spirit.
The truth is that we can’t force revival to happen.  Revival is a work of the Holy Spirit, the only one who can bring the dead to life, the only one who can be our strength in our weakness, the only one who can bring healing to our sickness, the only one who can bring us out of our bondage into freedom!  However, we have an enormous part to play in revival as we, together, are the physical body of Christ here on the earth.  Jesus is our head and the Spirit binds us, the various parts of His body, together in unity via our diversity (1 Corinthians 12, Colossians 1).
In Revelation chapters 2 and 3, Jesus calls out seven churches in need of revival.  We can learn from their successes, mistakes, and how Jesus calls them to respond in order to allow Him to revive them.
Church Good Bad Response
Ephesus Do not tolerate wicked people
Persevered hardships
Haven’t grown weary
Forsaken their first love Do the things that you did at first
Smyrna Rich Afflicted and impoverished
About to suffer
Imprisoned and persecuted
for 10 days
Be faithful
Pergamum Remain true
Remain faithful
False teachings Repent
Thyatira Doing more than they did at first
in deeds, love, faith, and service
Some do not follow the false prophetess
False prophetess Hold fast to what they have
Sardis Some have remained clean Reputation of being alive,
but are dead
Deeds unfinished
Wake up!
Strengthen what remains
Philadelphia Kept God’s word
Not denied His name
Endured patiently
Little strength Hold fast to what they have
Laodicea Think they are rich
Lukewarm, pitiful, poor,
blind, and naked
Be earnest and repent
How does revival occur?
We:
1. Remember – the essential basics and beginnings of our faith when we first came alive in Christ
2. Repent – change the way that we see and do things in order to cooperate with God
3. Return – to the Lord with all we are and all we have; fully surrendered and earnestly seeking Him