Your Last Revival
“For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.”Romans 7:9
“I don’t like going to church because it just leaves me feeling bad about myself.”
Have you heard this before? Have you FELT this way before?
This feeling is the first step toward a real, spiritual revival. Sadly, for most, it is also the last step they will ever take toward a rewarding Christian life.
The Long Road
Humans are given the gift of life with a totally clean slate in God’s eyes. Regardless of the heritage or the circumstances surrounding one’s entry into this world, in this age, the Lord is no respecter of persons. You and I started our lives innocent- we did not know what sin was.
“What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” (Romans 7:7)
Then somewhere along the line, we were told, “NO,” by a caring parent. As a child, we had never been bothered before in our carefree life, but suddenly we stumbled into a boundary. We didn’t see the fence for what it really was, a defense against outside predators to keep us safe. All we could see were the limitations put on our personal pleasure. Instead of choosing to be thankful, we became resentful.
That resentment comes from inside us, from our conscience. The conscience is a God-given device in our spirit that seeks to do right. At a certain time in the aging of every human being, they are convicted by their conscience of some word, thought, or action that is SIN. Conviction is a guilty feeling produced by your conscience when you have done something wrong. When you get correction, (“Don’t touch that outlet!”) you also get a new sensation of guilt for attempting to do evil. It’s a sort of… reviving.
From the time we recognize what sin was, we may try to play dumb, swapping our innocence for ignorance. But time is not on our side. The more we grow, the more we know, and sins that once passed for ‘accidents’ we can no longer deny. Our conscience continues to bother us about wrongs we’ve done. And then we move to concupiscence: a desire for unlawful pleasure. We WANT to do wrong because it makes us feel good, and we could care less about the consequences.
“But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. “ (Romans 7:8)
For example, concupiscence starts when:
- You repeat a obscenity you heard on an internet video.
- You see and enjoy a movie that glamorizes a crime.
- You overreact with hatred or violence.
And you feel badly for doing these things, but you also don’t want to stop. You just wish you’d never known good from evil, so you could feel good about yourself again.
How can you enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, despite that guilty conscience? How to get freedom from inhibitions? How to live and let live? Solution: The conscience must be silenced. So, by repeated dives into ‘what you know is wrong to do’, it is seared repeatedly. Until finally, it whispers its last warning and dies.
Swiftly and silently, a person moves from innocence to an awakened conscience to a hateful resentment of the fence put up by a caring person telling them, “NO.”
Same Old Nature
This process is a universal truth plainly shown in the Bible. The reaction I’ve just described can happen in 4-year-old or a 40-year-old. It happens in atheists and ‘second-generation Christians.’ The fallout from either group is destructive.
Believers claim to want ‘revival.’ They want a spiritual awakening in their church, and in their community. They start out the right way: they pray, they listen attentively to Bible preaching and teaching. The Word of God shines like a light at 3am during a new moon into areas of life untouched by truth. Revival is close! Illumination into the darkness of their soul is what they desperately need!
Sins that had been ignored, now are spotlighted. Faults that had been forgotten must be faced. Habits that are contrary to the leading of the Holy Spirit are halted in place, like a deer caught in the headlights. You had NO IDEA there was so much room for improvement! I mean, you knew some things might have to change; but HOW MANY areas of your life are ‘outside of the fence!’
You didn’t know– until the light of the glorious gospel of Christ shone in. When the Light turned on, you were first shocked, then embarrassed, and then offended by what it revealed. The moment of truth- do you repent, or RESENT?
That’s about as far as ‘revival’ ever goes.
People feel better before a sermon than they do after; logically if you want to feel better more: leave out the sermon. If church makes you uncomfortable, don’t go they figure. “For I was alive without the law once” they say. “Things were better before,” or, “I just don’t want to deal with this right now.“
To come to Jesus Christ for salvation, you must first admit that you are a sinner. Bad news first. There is no positive without the negative. Unfortunately, many will never know the blessings of Heaven because they reject the bad news.
To return to Christ for revival, you must first repent of the secret sins that have sprouted like mushrooms in the dark corners of your life. Like a tumor, it can’t get better until it is removed, and surgery is traumatic. There will be no treatment if there is resentment of the diagnosis.
Will this be the end of revival for you? Will this be the last revival you will ever feel?
“For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, SIN REVIVED, and I DIED.”
“The proof that man is depraved is that he cannot see his depravity when God reveals it to him. You sense and feel the effects of real depravity when attempting to wake up Christians in any small (American) town to their missionary and witnessing obligations.
There is a feeling of hopelessness and helplessness when confronted with the unchangeableness of human nature.”
— Dr. Peter S. Ruckman
One Reply to “Your Last Revival”
Oh my! Thank you for these convicting and soul changing messages. I am so guilty when it comes to putting forth my best for Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I find it is my aging flesh that refuses to cooperate for most tasks at hand.
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