Get Your Personal Revival Now

by Lloyd L. Streeter

We should not necessarily expect to see a great nationwide or worldwide revival before Christ’s return. Such a revival would be possible if people everywhere would seek God, but they will not do so. The Bible tells us about conditions that will prevail on the earth in the last days: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves. . . . evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” ( II Tim. 3:1-2, 13).

Jesus asked, “When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). The present age is one of apostasy, and God will not send universal revival to an apostate people.

There will be a great worldwide revival in the future. During the great tribulation, multitudes from every tribe, tongue, and nation will be converted; however, that revival will occur after Jesus comes back for His true church (cf. Rev. 7:9-17).

This means that we should not necessarily expect a nationwide or worldwide revival in our day, but we certainly can (and should!) expect personal revival and local church revival.

Four problems among Christians make personal revival a must.

1. The problem of spiritual indigestion. There has been ample preaching and teaching of the Word of God in Bible-believing churches, but there has not been an ample reception of biblical truths. Many Christians hear the Word with their ears, but they are not living the Word. They are surrounded by Bible truths, but they are not giving out God’s Word.

One preacher said that some Christians reminded him of cows that eat and then lie down and do nothing but chew their cuds. Some Christians feed upon the Word and even ruminate, ponder, dissect, and go over and over it. That is good as far as it goes.

At a certain zoo, there is a hippopotamus that eats eighteen out of every twenty-four hours. He seems to live to eat, devouring tons of foliage every year. He must eat at every moment when he is not asleep. I often have wondered whether he gets indigestion. He eats, but he never works. He illustrates one of the problems in the church.

Spiritual indigestion is a symptom showing that Christians need revival.

2. The problem of spiritual indecision. Some Christians have no trouble deciding about other things but cannot seem to make up their minds about spiritual matters. Some professing believers can make decisions about recreation, vacations, styles, associations, business, and almost everything else. They are most emphatic, resolute, and adamant in their views. They know what they want, where they want it, and when they want it; but the same individuals have trouble deciding to obey God in all things. They are hesitant to get involved in service for Christ. They are reluctant to commit themselves to be faithful in attending church services, in supporting the Lord’s work financially, and in maintaining regular personal devotions.

Indecision leads to inactivity. Many times we are indecisive because we subconsciously desire to be inactive. Indecision can be an escape mechanism to avoid coming to grips with an issue. The real problem is in the heart. Often people will say, “I know I should serve God, but I can’t seem to get around to it.” They reason that their failure to decide to do right somehow alleviates them of their biblical responsibilities. The truth, however, is that making no decision actually is a decision. The person has decided not to decide! The fact that many Christians are afflicted with spiritual indecision indicates a widespread need for personal revival.

3. The problem of spiritual indifference. Jesus said, “Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Matt. 24:12). There is a pallor and a spiritual coldness that can creep into the lives of believers and into the lives of Bible-believing churches. Many who attend church simply are going through the motions of being Christians. Each week they engage in religious practices and exercises; but they have no real concern, no real warmth, no real joy, and no real enthusiasm for the things of the Lord.

Many Bible-believing churches today are cold! As a whole, the people in them are indifferent to the things that will mean most in eternity. Very little praying takes place in these churches for the salvation of the lost and for the needs of other believers. Their members hurt one another through gossip, hatefulness, and meanness. The members act this way because they are spiritually cold and indifferent; they just do not care.

The members of a church usually follow their pastor. When a church is spiritually cold, usually it is because the pastor is spiritually cold. Yes, church members tend to take on the personality and spiritual characteristics of their pastor. If the pastor is warm, loving, concerned, friendly, prayerful, and dedicated, the people of the church will tend to have those characteristics. May God help us to not be cold!

Spiritual indifference among Bible believers is symptomatic of the fact that they need a personal revival.

4. The problem of spiritual indulgence. Many indulge themselves but ignore God! Some church members have had things soft and easy for so long that they have allowed the world’s attitude to invade the church. The world’s attitude is that one always must have things easy. In everything that some people do, they want to know, “What’s in it for me?”

Some professing Christians are so indulgent that they do not want anything to do with the Lord’s work unless they get some attention, some prominence, or some recognition. Like the people of the world, they want their fair share; and if they do not get it, they will not cooperate.

Many Christians today are extremely soft. They are in sharp contrast to those Christians who lived during persecutions and inquisitions of old and who faced hard times. Christians behind the iron curtain today have it hard. By way of comparison, how much love for Christ do some of us show?

Some of us can hardly discipline ourselves to faithfully attend the services of our church. When we do attend, we often complain about the length of the sermon! When we attend the services of our local church, do we want to be entertained, or do we want to be fed “the sincere milk of the word” (I Pet. 2:2)?

The spiritually indulgent say, “Please, let me be excused! Let a younger person do it. Let a talented person do it. I’m too old, too busy, and too tired.”

Church members need to stop indulging themselves to the point where they cannot serve God. The fact that some Bible believers are so spiritually indulgent means that they need a personal revival.

Each believer can have his own personal revival. Such a revival is not a complicated, out-of-reach, hard-to-understand thing. It can be realized. A personal revival simply means that the Holy Spirit has produced an awakening in a Christian with the result that he begins to do the things he should have been doing but has not been doing because of negligence.

The Bible says, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (II Chron. 7:14).

In the biblical context, of course, the above verse was not intended to be a direct formula and a promise for a national revival in our nation today; rather, the Lord was addressing Solomon concerning the nation of Israel. King Solomon, the son of David, lived about a millennium before the birth of Christ. On this occasion the temple was being dedicated.

However, there is an application of II Chronicles 7:14 that should be made to the individual believer. The unchanging principles of truth in God’s Word can be applied to every people in every age. Do you want to have a personal revival? If so, follow the principles of this verse.

Many blessings that God offers are conditional. In exhorting the Israelites to abandon their idols and turn to the Lord, Joshua said, “Choose you this day whom ye will serve” (Josh. 24:15). Speaking to Solomon, the Lord said, “If thou wilt walk before me, . . . then will I stablish the throne of thy kingdom, . . . But if ye turn away. . . . then will I pluck [you] up by the roots out of my land” (II Chron. 7:17-20).

The principle of conditional blessing and judgment may be seen in Abraham’s prayer for the righteous in Sodom (Gen. 18:23-33), in God’s withholding judgment from Nineveh (Jonah 3:10), and in God’s offer to unrepentant Judah to withhold judgment in exchange for repentance (Jer. 18:7-10).

If you want to have personal revival, you must act according to the principles and conditions that God has set forth in His Word. In II Chronicles 7:14, we find the conditions and results of revival. If you draw near to God, He will draw near to you (cf. Jas. 4:8). If you obey Him, He will bless you.

Notice that there are three revival principles in II Chronicles 7:14. First, you must humble yourself. We read elsewhere, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall  lift you up” (Jas. 4:10). Self-sufficiency and pride are the enemies of revival. Pride often gets in the way of making rightful apologies! Haughtiness often prevents us from extending forgiveness to those who have wronged us!

D. L. Moody told the story of a petition that was being circulated in England for signatures. The petition concerned a very controversial matter and was presented to the House of Lords; however, one word was left out. Instead of reading, “We humbly beseech thee,” it simply read, “We beseech thee.” It was rejected because of the missing word. Yes, if we want to be heard in heaven, we first must humble ourselves. The Bible says “God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble” (I Pet. 5:5).

The second revival principle found in II Chronicles 7:14 is that we must pray and seek God’s face. The Bible says, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: . . . whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him” (I John 5:14-15).

The words “pray, and seek my face” (II Chron. 7:14) indicate the need to be serious about prayer. We need to wait on God. The sad fact is that most of us are too busy to stop and be quiet and give God our undivided attention. We are reluctant to take the time to seek Him with all our hearts.

Our personal revival prayers should be filled with faith in God. We know He has been faithful in the past. We should trust Him to bless us today with His presence and power.

Our prayers for personal revival should be focused on our personal spiritual problems, sins, and needs. We must pray specifically.

Our personal revival praying must be fervent. Like Jacob, we must wrestle, saying, “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me” (Gen. 32:26).

The third revival principle found in II Chronicles 7:14 is that we must turn from our wicked ways. The Bible exhorts believers, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9). We are told what to do about our personal sins. We must accept the responsibility for our sins and turn from them.

I must ask myself. Do I really want to stop sinning against God? If I really do, then I must stop making excuses for my sins. I must be willing to turn away from all of them. I then can experience personal revival.

The believer does not have to wait for some sensational, spectacular experience in others. He does not have to concern himself first with national revival or even with local church revival. The Christian’s first priority should be to meet the the conditions for revival himself.

You can have personal revival! Get yours now!

 

Love in Deed

An article by Lloyd Streeter

Love is the greatest gift God gives! It is the only eternal gift. We will not need faith or hope in Heaven. In this world we walk by faith, but this will not be true in Heaven. The same may be said of hope. “For what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?”

Love is the greatest gift because none of the other gifts is any good without it. All the others need love to make them effective.

And love is the greatest because every Christian has it. Because the gift of love is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, we are all able to love one another. God commands us to do so in John 13:34, 35.

The need today is to have this gift exercised in the church. We need it more than any other gift. Corinth was a gifted church, but their need was to exercise love.

We give lip service to love without having the real thing. Genuine love acts. The world knows nothing about it. To the world love is a feeling: the sleazy frolics of soap operas.

Any love that does not act, and act scripturally, is not love.  The Bible commends an “unfeigned” love.

This was Paul’s concern when he cautioned, “Let love be without dissimulation.” Dissimulation is hypocrisy. Action proves love; sickly feelings of sentimentalism do not.

Romans 12 describes nine actions of love.

Love is kind. “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love.” Genuine love is proved when we count others as important as ourselves. Being kind is simply doing what makes people happy, and not doing what makes people unhappy. We cannot displease God to make people happy, but we should be willing to do something displeasing, inconvenient or sacrificial to ourselves in order to make others happy.

Love respects. “In honor preferring one another.” The flesh says to fight for superiority. Love allow others to have preeminence and does not demand it for self. Love sees others as more deserving than self and praises the virtues, performance and service of others. Respect is recognizing the value of another. “. . . In lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” That is respect.

Love works. “Not slothful in business, fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer.” Business, here, refers to being busy in serving the Lord. We should be using our gifts to bless others, to preach the gospel, to edify the saints. And we should not be lazy about it!

We must keep on patiently working and praying even in persecultion or against great obstacles. If we have a genuine love of one another, we will be busy serving, helping and encouraging one anbother. Ian Paisley has said, “Love is not a sleeping sloth, but a serving slave.”

Love gives. “Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.” It is a mock, hypocritical love that ignores the sincere call of a Christian brother for life’s necessities. Love demands that we be hospitable, offering food and clothing to the Christian poor.

We are not required to give something just because people ask for it or because they say they need it. But when we know a Christian has a real need, being destitute, we have a responsibility to help. Good wishes and kind words instead of help are shameful if it is in our power to give. Actions, not words, prove genuine love.

We owe all our fellowmen some concern, but special care is owed to our brethren in Christ.

Love forgives. “Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. . . . Recompense to no man evil for evil. . . . ”

An enemy is not someone you despise but someone who despises you. Your enemy is someone who wishes you ill. An enemy is one who may say bad things about you or seek to do you harm.

You may not be able to avoid making enemies. A good case can be made for the idea that if you have never made any enemies, then you have never done any good in this world. You cannot move without producing some friction!

It is not a sin to have enemies. The question is how we should treat them.

WHAT TO DO WHEN TROUBLE COMES

A newspaper article by Lloyd Streeter

No life is without trouble.  Even the apostle Paul had plenty of it.  In Acts 27:4, Paul finds himself in a ship when a storm arises.  This storm was the result of a seasonal and well-known wind called Euroclydon.

All of us have our Euroclydons.  Though, presently, we may find a South breeze blowing softly, as Paul did just before his storm broke, we can be sure that there will eventually come a tempestuous wind.  It may be financial trouble, sickness, or family trouble that shatters our world.  Our cherished dreams may turn to nightmares.

Paul’s experience in Euroclydon gives us some biblical counsel about what we should do when trouble comes.  Here are five things for us to remember.

FIRST, SPEND MORE TIME IN PRAYER.  Paul did this in Acts 27.  He told his companions that he had been in touch with God, and that they should be of good cheer.

So, if we want to be strengthened for the time of trouble, if we want our perplexing problems solved, and if we want to see a sick body healed or a sinful soul saved, let us spend more time in prayer.

The hymn writer expresses the value of coming to God in prayer, “Sometimes when my faith would falter and no sunlight I can see, I just lift mine eyes to Jesus and I whisper, ‘Pilot me.’  ‘Fear thou not for I’ll be with thee. I will still thy pilot be.  Never mind the tossing billows.  Take my hand and trust in me.’ ”

SECOND, COUNT ON GOD’S PRESENCE.  Paul knew God was with him in the storm.  He said to his shipmates, “For there stood by me this night the angel of God”  Acts 27:23.

Time and time again in the Bible, God promises to be with His children.  “My presence shall go with Thee” Exodus 33:14.  “I will fear no evil; for thou art with me” Psalm 23:4.  “I will never leave thee” Hebrews 13:5.

A believer in Christ had a terminal illness.  He told his Christian doctor that he felt very alone, and that he feared dying.  The doctor pulled up a chair and told the patient to imagine that Jesus was sitting there.  As the days went by, the dying man gripped the arm of the chair more and more.  The nurses found him there.  He had gone to heaven, but in death, he gripped the arm of the chair.  The doctor said that in the patient’s mind, he was holding to the nail-scarred hand of Jesus.  Jesus was there.  We can count on His presence.

THIRD, BELIEVE THE PROMISES OF GOD.  During Paul’s Euroclydon, he said, “I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me” Acts 27:25.

God has made many promises to those who know Him.  He has promised to never leave us; to come back for us; to hear and answer our prayers; and to supply our needs.

God is not a man that He should lie.  He will keep His promises.

Adoniram Judson made a famous, often quoted statement–“The future is as bright as the promises of God.”  Those words have encouraged many.

But, what was the occasion of Judson’s words?  Was everything “coming up roses,”  for Judson?  NO. Judson was in a filthy Burmese jail. He had been put on the rack and beaten.  Now, on a straw bed, he was taunted, “What do you think now of your plans to win people in Burma to Christ?”  It was then that Judson made his famous statement about the future being as bright as God’s promises.

FOURTH, COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS.  That is what Paul did in that awful storm.  He “gave thanks in the presence of them all” Acts 27:35.

There is always something for which we can be thankful.

About a year ago, a family’s home was destroyed in the California forest fires.  The owner was interviewed on T.V.

“Your home and all your possessions have gone up in flames.”

“No,” he said, “not everything.  I still have my wife.  I still have my little boys.  I still have faith in God.  I still have a God Who watches over us.  And, I still have a home in heaven.  I’ve lost very little, really.”

FIFTH, GET RID OF EXCESS BAGGAGE.  It says of Paul’s companions, “They lightened the ship” Acts 27:38.

It is a good time not only to lay aside sins, but also to lay aside the weights of worry, fear, and dread.  These things easily beset us.

Sometimes we treat God like we treat our spare tire.  A spare tire is forgotten for months when no trouble is seen.  However, when we have a flat, then we want the spare to be in good condition, ready for use.  Trouble should bring us back to God.  It should cause us to pray more, to depend more upon Him, and to examine our own lives.

SOUND REASONS FOR CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS

A newspaper article by Lloyd Streeter

“School days, school days, Dear old golden rule days. ‘Readin’ and ‘ritin’ and ‘rithmetic, Taught to the tune of a hick’ry stick.  I was your queen in calico.  You were my bashful barefoot beau.  And I wrote on your slate, ‘I love you, Joe’, When we were a couple of kids.”

Yes, once again, it is time for school to begin.  Parents and students have been shopping for school clothes and school supplies.  In a few days, the classrooms of grade schools and high schools all over the Illinois Valley will fill up with students.  It is an exciting time.  There are old friends to meet and much to talk about.  There are new students and new teachers to get to know.  It can be one of the happiest times of the year.

All across America, many parents have chosen to send their children to Christian schools.  Many of these schools are conservative, patriotic, and have good academics.  Parents who choose these schools sometimes do so as a matter of conviction rather than convenience.  These parents enroll their children in the Christian school because they believe that God has commanded in His Word that children be given a Christian education.

Sometimes those who do not understand ask, “Why do Christian schools exist?  Why would parents pay tuition to send their children to them?  Aren’t the facts of math, science, and history the same no matter where they are taught?”

Of course, there is much more involved than the facts of math, science, and history.  Why do Bible-believing Christian schools exist? Here are some reasons.

Because the honor and glory of God is the highest purpose of life, including education.

Because the major purpose of education is to show a student how to face God, not to show him how to face the world.

Because Christian schools give a good, sound, conservative education which is integrated with the Word of God.

Because students study the Bible and pray every day in Christian schools.

Because classroom discipline, necessary for education, is highly valued in Christian schools.

Because children are impressionable and need to be taught the truth and need to have teachers who are good examples.

Because the approach of Christian schools to music, drama, social life, and athletics is one of seeking to honor God.

Because Christian school norms on achievement tests are well above average.

Because Christian schools teach students to respect government leaders, to pray for and love our country.

Because Christian school teachers take the time to help their students, giving them prayer and care consistent with the Christian view of life.

Because Christian schools work in harmony with the Christian home, supplementing it, but not supplanting it.

Because man was created by a direct act of God, not by evolution.

Because Christian school teachers are godly, clean-living, spiritually-minded, highly experienced, and professionally capable.

Because Christian schools have a conduct code and a dress code which is enforced so as to produce mature behavior and a good learning environment.

Because Christian schools use as their core curriculum books and materials such as those from A Beka Book, a Christian treasury of textbooks that reflect the very best in scholarship, design, and practicality, developed and refined over a fifty year period in the classrooms of Pensacola Christian Academy.

Because Christian schools teach their students that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, that it is not just one of many religious books, that it is not filled with myths, fables, and errors.

Because normally Christian schools are free from violence, illicit drugs, and harmful teaching about globalism (international socialism), abortion, homosexuality, and other sins.

Because Christian schools endeavor to teach students to be like the Lord Jesus Christ.

Because God does exist.

These are sound and sensible reasons for the formation of convictions about Christian school education. After all, we can rear our children only once. We have to do it right.

ABORTION CLICHES

(A newspaper article by Lloyd Streeter)

Abortion has now been legal on a nation-wide basis for 33 years. Many millions of babies have been killed in the abortion holocaust. Every decent and thoughtful person should oppose this grizzly slaughter of innocent little babies. We should oppose it in our influence, in the voting booth, and in all of our thinking.

Abortion is a sin against God. It is sin because God, and only God, gives life; therefore life is sacred, and the unjustified taking of life is a slap at the Person of God.

Abortion is a sin against God because God values the unborn child. He deals with the unborn one as a person from the time of conception. There are many scriptures to prove this (John 10:8-12; Isaiah 49:1 and 5; Jeremiah 1:5; Psalm 139:13-16; Luke 1:41 and 44).

Abortion is a sin against God because an unborn child is a human being scientifically. He is not like a tumor, an appendix, a tonsil, or a blob of flesh. An unborn child’s heart beats, his brain works, he responds to stimuli, he feels pain, and he has intellect, emotion, and will. Make no mistake about it, when a baby is aborted, a human person is killed.

God is honored when little helpless unborn babies are protected. We have the responsibility of doing all we can to protect them. This means that we must oppose abortion which is the biggest threat faced by the unborn.

I have heard all of the clichés, “A woman has a right to privacy.” But wait, killing a person is not right just because it is done in private. Almost all murders are committed in private. Should we remove all penalties for murders if they are committed in private? The “privacy argument” is nonsense.

Another cliché, “Unwanted babies should not be allowed to be born because they will be neglected and abused.” But there are very, very few unwanted babies. They are all wanted by someone. There are never enough babies to satisfy those who want to adopt them. The “unwanted baby” argument is more nonsense.

Still another cliché says, “If we keep abortion legal it will be safer and more sterile and will save some lives.” Strange argument, this. We have legalized a procedure which is supposed to produce safety and protect lives, and it has cost fifty million lives of unborn babies! More nonsense!

Another cliché says, “The woman has the right to control her own body.” But the unborn baby is not part of the mother’s body. The unborn child is an individual human being with its own separate body. That unborn child should have rights, also. No woman should have the right to use her body to kill another human person, even if that other human person lives within the woman’s body.

One final cliché says, “No one knows when life begins.” Well, if you don’t know when life begins, then you certainly should not go about getting an abortion. Do you think it would be all right to fire a shot gun blast through a door when you do not know if someone is on the other side of the door? You say, “Why, that would be immoral!” Right! And it would be immoral to get an abortion if you don’t know when life begins.

Actually, we do know when human life begins. When a human sperm with twenty-three chromosomes unites with a human ovum with twenty-three chromosomes, the result is that human life begins. It is not a vegetable. It is not a mineral. It is not a cow. It is not a horse. It is human life.

I read a little story a while back. Here it is: A young teenaged girl learned that she was pregnant. She had a fiancé, but he was not the father of the baby. Her family was poor and it would be difficult to have another mouth to feed. Her family had a good name in the community, and she hated to see her family embarrassed. An abortion would have been a quick, easy solution to the situation. But she did not have an abortion. She had the baby. It was a little boy. She named Him Jesus.

I would not want to conclude without saying that there is forgiveness for any sinner, even for one who has killed, if he will come to Jesus Christ by faith, repenting of sin. “God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” John 3:17 and 18.