Pastor Steve Ellison
Lost church members are holding back revival in 21st century America. The condition of my heart and the hearts of other saved church members is holding back the revival that God wants to bring to America. Our refusal to dwell on things that are honorable, right, pure, lovely, praiseworthy, and excellent is keeping God from sweeping through our churches with a time of refreshment and reviving. Please do not misunderstand me. Confronting evil is not prohibited by Scripture; rather, it is commanded. Confronting evil, hating that which God hates, does meet the guidelines of things that are honorable, right, pure, lovely, praiseworthy, and excellent. However, I think much of our focus is not on things which are honorable, right, pure, etc.
There is another thing to consider concerning revival: my attitude and your attitude. The Bible speaks of burning hearts, cold hearts, and lukewarm hearts. Revelation 3:15-22 is an eye-opening passage. Christ is speaking to His Church, telling us that our lukewarm state is nauseating to Him. He literally tells us that He will vomit us out of His mouth unless we change. We often use verse 20 as an evangelistic verse but that is using it completely out of context. Christ is not knocking at the door of the unbeliever but rather at the door of the church! Is there a sadder thought in all the Scripture? Christ, the head of the Church, who died for the Church, is standing at the door of the Church, knocking and no one answers His knock. The lukewarm hearts that make up the 21st century church in America are shameful and denigrate the memory of the Author of our Faith and the memory of faithful Christians who delivered that faith to us. We must evaluate our attitude and commitment to Christ and His Church. These two illustrations should be shocking to you. They should jar you out of the apathy which nauseates your Savior. He will vomit the lukewarm believer out of His mouth. He knocks at the heart of the believer asking to be admitted and the knock is not answered. Is it possible to read this passage without being overwhelmed with grief and sadness? Please take care to read it with a view toward examining self, not some other person.
Revelation 2:2-5 contains a sober warning as well, “I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; and you have perseverance and have endured for My name's sake, and have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place — unless you repent.” (NASU) This passage makes it plain that it is possible to do many good things that are much needed in the kingdom of God and yet not be pleasing to God. We must be careful to serve Christ out of love and affection. Christ must be our “first love”. We must not serve out of duty alone.
The condition of my heart and your heart is a determining factor in whether or not God blesses our churches with revival. I must not be lukewarm in my affection toward Christ. I must not leave my first love. I must serve out of love for my Savior. The existence of good works is not sure proof of an acceptable attitude. Love for Christ is the only indicator...……..…..firstname.lastname@example.org