“Revival” is a word that shows up a lot in fundamentalist preaching and writing without ever really being fully explained. We know we all need a personal one and our church has one every spring and our country will go to hell in a hand basket without one but what exactly one is remains a little vague. As far as I can tell it goes something like this…
It will all start when people in churches across the country start to do a lot more stuff. They’ll hold long prayer vigils and throw out their Richard Simmons workout videos and force their children to tithe on their allowance money. Then God will look down from heaven and say “Gee Whilikers! I’d better send the Holy Spirit to revive those people! They look exhausted from doing all that stuff!”
And then the Holy Spirit will fall, only not really because we already have all the Spirit we’re going to get and there’s no second blessing or any of that Pentecostal type stuff. But either way, the Spirit will see to it that lots of good stuff will start to happen all over everywhere and people who otherwise would have scads of free will about whether or not they want to get saved will suddenly lose it and get saved whether they want to or not and the church house will be full of folks just lousy with tithes and offerings and we’ll finally finish the extension on the fellowship hall and give all our missionaries an extra ten dollars a month.
And once enough of these folks get saved and baptized and join Independent Fundamental Baptist churches around the country then the whole nation will turn around and we’ll get a good Independent Fundamental Bible-Believing Baptist in the White House and the Supreme Court who will outlaw all kinds of stuff we don’t like and bring prayer back to schools and (most importantly of all) cut our taxes and make sure we don’t run out of nukes.
But as good as all that sounds, the reason why it hasn’t happened yet is that some of you resisted the Spirit’s call to come forward last Sunday during the sixth verse of Is Your All on the Altar and then on your way out you didn’t sign up to clean the church bathrooms this month and then you went home and went to bed wearing shorts and in that rebellion you are HOLDING BACK REVIVAL!
Revival: It’s a work of the Holy Spirit that is totally dependent on you.