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Old 03-12-2008, 06:43 PM
Posts: n/a

I agree that today's churches are overall dead. I do pray for revival in spite of also agreeing that we are in a "Laodicean" age. God has brought wonderful revival to many a lukewarm church in the past -- that's the whole point, a church is dead and needs to be revived and when His people seek Him for it He has often answered with wonderful revival -- real revival: deep scouring conviction of sin, true and lasting repentance, many conversions and filling with the Holy Spirit. If we are in the very last days, and I believe we are, we are certainly in a pathetic condition to face them. Surely the Lord wants a strong church to do exploits when the worst comes.

I do think that if a church's doctrine is far enough off, if scripture is clearly disobeyed, that God won't bring revival to that church. It's obvious the liberal churches, the Roman church, other apostate churches, aren't going to get revival -- except maybe a version dreamt up by the devil to dazzle the flesh. But many of today's "evangelical" churches are off on many points and may also not expect true revival.

And although I know that there are true Christians among the Pentecostals and Charismatics, I've become convinced that the "gifts" emphasis places them outside the hope of true revival. In the early 90s I was in a charismatic church, had the "gift of tongues," went through a period of painful disillusionment and am still not completely free of its effects, but am now completely convinced that there have been no true manifestations of any of the gifts since the early church, that they are all false -- yes, even when the "gift" is exercised by what I feel sure nevertheless is a true believer. That's a long story and not the subject of this thread, but I thought I should put in that I have some experience of these things.

When God truly comes with power He comes with this scouring of the soul first in conviction of sin. I have been praying for this. First I have been praying that He will give me the fervency and persistence I need simply to pray as I should since I am very weak in prayer, as I think many Christians are these days. Revival praying at some times in the past was done in some cases by the whole eldership of a church plus some members for HOURS ON END, sometimes with fasting. That sort of dedication seems beyond the vast majority of Christians today. I'd love to have it. I've finally begun praying more FOR these things I recognize I lack and the churches lack. I want that conviction of sin, I want that total dedication, I want the river of living water He promised to those who believe Him -- where is it in any of the churches? I don't think there has been a true revival in the world since Wales in 1904, and in America since probably the Great Awakening but at least the Second Great Awakening despite all its tendencies to heresies. (I know some think there are others. J Edwin Orr acknowledges one in the 30s. I'll have to listen again to his discussion of all this, but I'm mostly aware of the counterfeits, which were notorious throughout the 20th century, some still continuing in some charismatic camps.)

But we can always start with ourselves. We always need revival personally whether or not God revives whole churches. So I pray to be revived myself as well as praying for the church to be strengthened, for the building up of God's Kingdom. I don't know if He would still bless whole churches with revival, but I think He would if their members started with a humble willingness to be wrong about many things and a desire that God would search them and convict them of sin and doctrinal error. We can pray for all these things.