Monday, April 23, 2018

By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
     For years, pundits from the Religious world as well as those from the press, have written about the phenomena called variously ‘A Religious Awakening’ or ‘Revival in the Church’.
   The Bible says, "Wilt thou not Revive us again: that Thy people may rejoice in Thee? Show us Thy mercy, O Lord and grant us Thy Salvation." (Psalm 85: 6, 7)
    The most vital thing we need in Canada and elsewhere in this 'Midnight Hour', is a return to Jesus Christ and the Holy Bible! And that, necessitates a deep conviction of SIN and sorrow for our cavalier and insulting attitude toward our Lord and His Word!
      Repentance toward God and Faith in our Lord Jesus Christ are the two pillars of the Christian Faith. They are necessary for receiving His forgiveness, peace and the assurance of eternal salvation! Without repentance there is no saving faith and without faith there would be no salvation.
     The Bible says: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: It is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph. 2:8, 9)
   “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men to Repent: Because He hath appointed a day, in which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised him from the dead." (Acts 17: 30, 31)
 "Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, Repentance toward God, and Faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." (Acts 20: 21)
   Before his death in an alleged terrorist plane crash in 1956, Dag Hammarsjold, the First Secretary General of the United Nations and a Swedish diplomat stated: "Unless the world in the very near future returns to the old time Evangelical Religion it is irredeemably lost."
                              PRAYER IS ANOTHER KEY!
    Here is another powerful Key to Revival: "A prayer of Habakkuk, the prophet upon Shigionoth. O Lord, I have heard Thy Speech, and was afraid: O Lord REVIVE Thy Work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy." (Habakkuk 3: 12)
      The prophet was concerned about Israel and his people. While in prayer God warned him about coming judgment upon His people because of their sinfulness. The prophet was afraid and cried out for mercy. He asked for a revival of righteousness. Instead of judgment he craved a spiritual awakening. And he wanted it immediately in the midst of the years!
    He was saying, “O Lord, don’t wait until it is too late. Make Yourself known to us while there is still mercy to be had. And it You must
judge us, O Lord, in Your great WRATH, please show mercy!”
     The Bible gives us the key: “If My people which are called by My people shall humble themselves and PRAY, and seek MY face, and turn from their wicked way, then will I hear from Heaven and forgive their sins and heal their land.” (2 Chron.7:14).
There are four things we must do if we are to see a gracious REVIVAL. They are: Repentance, Prayer, Seeking God and Forsaking Sins. We call this verse, 'The Blueprint for Revival'. When God's people are willing to repent, pray and seek God's face in sincerity and faith and forsake their sins, He is ready and willing to forgive, receive us and fill us with His Holy Spirit and bless our land!
     Rev. Charles Spurgeon was a powerful Baptist preacher in London, England in the 19th Century. He pastored a large church seating several thousand people. One day a group of Ministers came to visit his great Church. They wanted to know the source of his spiritual power. Spurgeon took them to the basement of the church and opened the door to a room with 300 praying parishioners. He said, “Gentlemen, this is the source of my power!”
                          THEY OBEYED GOD TOTALLY!
     Nothing could stop the early Church apostles, disciples, deacons and other believers. They refused to compromise! They counted it a joy to be persecuted for Jesus’ sake. Here is their defense: 
And when they had set them in the midst, they asked: By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?  Then Peter filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and the elders of Israel,  
       “If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole: Be it known unto you all. And to the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, Who God raised Him from the dead, even by Him doth this man stand here before you whole.
      “This is the stone which was set at naught of you builders, which is become the Head of the Corner (Chief Corner Stone). Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4: 7-12)
      The Early Church leaders were so filled with God’s power and holy boldness that the Jewish Sanhedrin were taken aback when they witnessed the miracles performed under their hands, in Jesus’ name. They beat them, imprisoned them and warned them not to spread the Good News about Jesus the crucified and risen SAVIOUR around Jerusalem, however the disciples said: 
    “Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4: 19, 20)  
                             MIRACLES WAS ANOTHER KEY!
   “And by the hands of the apostles were many Signs and Wonders wrought among the people…And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women. Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of peter passing by might overshadow some of them.
    “There came also a multitude out of the cities round about Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed everyone.” (Acts 5: 12-16)
   Here is another KEY to Revival. After they had been warned repeatedly that they MUST NOT use the name of Jesus of Nazareth anymore in preaching or praying, they rejected their commands and became even more engaged in spreading Jesus’ gospel!
    “And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice with one accord, and said, Lord, Thou art God, which made Heaven and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is …
  “And now, Lord, behold their threatenings; and grant unto Thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak Thy Word, by stretching forth Thine hand to HEAL; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of Thy holy child JESUS. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spoke the Word of God with boldness.” (Acts 4: 23-31)
     The Holy Record shows that these men of God didn’t buckle or cave in to the demands of God’s enemies but stood firm and true to the commands of Jesus the Head of the Church, and were led constantly by the blessed Holy Spirit.
    They prayed for more miracles, not less! The modern church of today believes for less miracles in total opposition to the commands of Jesus, the ability of the Holy Spirit to produce those miracles in Jesus’ name and the example of the Early Church. 
     I stand with Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Word of God in opposition to the weakling compromisers of today who are making the Word of God of none effect by their refusal to obey God rather than man! Amen.

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