-Philipp Meinecke, Guest Preacher
Why Revival Tarries is the title of a book by the late English Christian evangelist and author Leonard Ravenhill. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone who desires to see a mighty work of God, not only in their own life, but also in the country they live in.
Revival Tarries will challenge your thinking in a fresh new way. To put it differently, we could ask, “Why don’t we see and experience some of the great movements of God such as it is recorded for us in the book of Nehemiah?”
The answer might be a lot simpler than what we would be willing to admit. I am not sure we fully grasp the sense of urgency of our day. In large part, we have learned to delegate—abdicate, really—personal responsibility. We have done that not only in the church, but also in other areas of our lives as well. It’s easier to “choose the lesser evil” at the ballot box, rather than decry the lack of true leadership in our country. It’s much easier to decry something than to actively do something about it.
We desperately need revival: in our churches, our denominations, and in our country. Unlike many a generation before, we are facing a cultural shift that is both fast-paced and directed at multiple fronts that it is hard to pin down its immediate and long-term effects. The Church—particularly in Western Europe—isn’t just declining because of its scandals or its chasing after cultural relevance, but more so because of its inability to transfer true, genuine and biblical faith to the next generation. The percentages of biblical illiteracy among generations x,y, and z are more than alarming. According to recent studies, the proportion of young adults (16-29) with no religious affiliation are staggering.
A few generations ago, Dr Martin Luther King Jr. wrote: ”There was a time when the church was very powerful—in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society.”
Jesus’ words, “upon this rock, I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18, KJV) sound fictional, impotent, and unrealistic. Still, against the backdrop of this dark canvas, God desires to paint a marvelous painting brim with hope. In this sermon, we will discover what it takes for you and me (personally) and for us as a church (corporately) to turn things around. We will look at a passage of Scripture that will help us discover how God used ordinary people in similar circumstances to bring about the changes we desperately need today to effect lasting change.