The Rivals of Revival Sermon Series
Intro: As we enter into a season of revival here at Calvary Baptist Church, I’d like us to recognize that Satan will be working overtime to hinder it. We need to be spiritually minded and sensitive to his tactics. However, he won’t be coming inside the church in bodily form to break up the revival. He will use a variety of age-old tactics that have worked for thousands of years. If we are not careful, he will successfully integrate these tactics and roadblocks in our lives to prevent God from being able to do everything He wants to do.
As a pastor, I believe it is imperative for our hearts and our minds to be prepared for the upcoming revival.
Bro. Russell and Bro. Mullins will not be packing up a revival in their luggage.
They won’t bring it with them.
It will be a working of God – in our hearts and in our minds.
We need to be mentally and spiritually prepared for the meeting.
The seed will need to fall on fertile soil.
The messages will need to fall on tender, receptive and hungry hearts.
For God’s man to be able to plow and sow the seed, the fields need to be prepared and ready.
For that to happen, we need God to pull up all the stumps and clear out the rocks.
There are several things that are the Rival of Revival. Learn them, recognize them and deal with them:
I. The Rival of Denial – “I don’t need revival.”
One of the biggest hindrances to revival is an attitude of denial.
Saying “I don’t need a revival” is probably the biggest hurdle to overcome.
The church of Laodicea testified that they had “need of nothing.”
- Revelation 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Samson had been stripped of his power and had no idea.
- Judges 16:20 And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him.
As a pastor, I have watched church members for years
Revival is not a simple, cut-and-dried word.
Revival is different for different people.
A plant that is starting to wither and gets watered and comes back is revived.
A field that is plowed under and re-sown is revived.
God is able to do what needs to be done – no matter what level of revival you need.
Some people need smelling salts to come to.
Some need defibrillators to be revived.
Some people need a slap on the face; others need a shot of adrenalin.
God can do it – He’s able to custom fit your revival.
- A person that has simply gotten cold needs revival.
- A person that has ended up in the hog pen needs revival.
- A person that attends church but doesn’t pay attention needs revival.
- A person that has gotten completely out of church needs revival.
- A new convert dealing with distractions or you’re an older saint dealing with discouragement.
II. The Rival of Doubt – “I can’t have revival.”
Revival is a Divine work. God can do anything.
One of the most effective lies of Satan and Rivals of Revival is that you can’t be revived.
You may have just come to accept that you’ll never be spiritual or have an intimate walk with God.
God is able to do it!
Look at these extraordinary examples of God’s reviving power.
The Valley of Dry Bones – Ezekiel 37:1-14
The Dead Root – Job 14
- 7 For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease.
- 8 Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground;
- 9 Yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant.
The Dead Son – I Kings 17:22
Touching the Bones of Elisha – 2 Kings 13
- 20 And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year.
- 21 And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band [of men]; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.
III. The Rival of Deflection – “I don’t need revival as bad as others do.”
One of the most frustrating attitudes during a season of revival is one of comparing spirituality.
God can show up and move and do great things, but if you’re worried about other’s, you’ll miss out.
Revival is a church wide possibility, only after it is a personal reality.
If each person will focus on their own spiritual walk with God, revival can happen.
But if you sit through the service thinking others need it worse than you, you need revival!
You are like the Pharisee in Luke 18:
- 10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
- 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
- 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
- 13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
- 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
IV. The Rival of Delay – “I don’t want revival right now.”
Procrastination is a serious problem.
People know they need revival, but they also know it will drastically alter their life.
For some, revival is seen as something that will cramp their lifestyle.
They would be honest they need it, but not right now. Not yet.
- 13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
- 14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
- 15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
- 16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.
- 17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
There is a serious lack of urgency when it comes to some people’s spiritual walk.
They are not concerned about:
A. The time spent walking in the flesh.
B. The crop that will come up from sowing to the flesh.
C. The days lived without communion with God.
D. The long-term effects of every decision or choice made right now.
E. The possibility that this may be their last opportunity.
V. The Rival of Defiance – “I don’t want revival.”
- 5 Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return.
- 6 I hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright: no man repented him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? every one turned to his course, as the horse rusheth into the battle.
- 7 And my people are bent to backsliding from me: though they called them to the most High, none at all would exalt him.
A person that doesn’t want revival is worst off than any of these other 4 categories.
That means they know they need it, but do not want it.
They have grown comfortable being backslid, being cold, being carnal.
That is a terrible place to be. It doesn’t end well. God’s Word says so!
- Proverbs 14:14 The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: