Hosea 6:1-2, “1 Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. 2 After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence.”
The definition of revival is, “a spiritual awakening of the church in their love for God and people that impacts the community with salvation, discipleship and community transformation.” The basis of revival can be seen in the Old Testament, as the prophets would express the heart of God towards backslidden Israel. For example, in today’s passage Hosea is pleading with the people of Israel to come back to God and ask for His healing because their sin brought about His judgment. Hosea went on to write in the same chapter, “Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth” (Hosea 6:3). For something to be revived or brought back to life it must have been living. Revival is about God’s people coming back to Him and following His ways.
Revival is not for those who are already dead spiritually but rather it is for who have been alive and are now dying.
The book of Acts doesn’t mention the need for the disciples to experience a spiritual revival because the early Christians lived in a state of revival. However, by the end of the 1st century, John recorded in Revelation that Jesus said some of the churches had lost their first love (Revelation 2:4), were full of false doctrine (Revelation 2:14-16) and had become lukewarm (Revelation 3:16).
Consider how much more the great majority of churches in the U.S. (and many around the world) need to be revived. Some churches have gone so far from the truth that they ordain homosexuals in the ministry. Also, there are many churches with good doctrines but they have lost their passion to win the lost and make disciples because the pastors are more concerned with preaching to those in the pews than reaching the lost on the streets! Still others have polluted the pure gospel with greed, lawlessness and selfish ambition. One preacher said, “The church can’t change the world because the world has already changed the church.”
I can speak personally as a leader in the U.S. that we need to see a massive awakening of the church in our country or we will lose an entire generation. Already stats point to just 7% of Americans are committed Christians and the number is a low as 4% with those under 30! While we have the largest churches, hippest music, coolest websites, entertaining social media and the most popular speakers- the gospel ship is sinking faster than at any other time in our history. Christianity has declined in the U.S., while Islam and Atheism have grown exponentially. We need a move of God and we need it now! Our prayer should be, “God send revival- start in my life, family and church.”
Here are four ways to stand for spiritual revival; (1) No matter the cost, live 100% for Jesus Christ. (2) Be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, with the evidence of speaking in other tongues, and be an empowered witness for Jesus (Acts 1:8). (3) Join a church that lives in a state of revival. (4) Reach out to lukewarm Christians and inspire change by your Christ-centered life!
Do you know any Christians that need to experience spiritual revival?
- Explain from the Bible why you should stand for spiritual revival.
- Pray for backslidden Christians and leaders to return to Jesus.
- Resources: “Why Revival Tarries,” by Leonard Ravenhill & “Revival Fire,” by Dr. Wesley Duewel.
One Year Reading Plan
Zechariah 14:1-21, Revelation 20:1-15, Psalm 148:1-14, & Proverbs 31:8-9. Click here to read online.