We Desperately Need Revival 0

Jonah 1:1-6

1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.” 3 But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. 4 But the Lord sent out a great wind on the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship was about to be broken up. 5 Then the mariners were afraid; and every man cried out to his god, and threw the cargo that was in the ship into the sea, to lighten the load. But Jonah had gone down into the lowest parts of the ship, had lain down, and was fast asleep. 6 So the captain came to him, and said to him, “What do you mean, sleeper? Arise, call on your God; perhaps your God will consider us, so that we may not perish.”

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Will we choose to make a difference or choose to just ignore the moral free fall all around us? What will have to happen for there to be an extraordinary spiritual awakening?

We live in unprecedented times. There has never been a time like this, but it is the time that Paul talked about as the last days.

2 Tim 3:1-9

1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; 9 but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.

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 It is not surprising that the world is celebrating wickedness as right and moral, but when the church of the risen Savior declares that Christians should not judge the wicked; something is simply wrong. It is the world who is telling the Christian not to judge wickedness and the Christian believes it to be true based on Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:1

Do not judge, or you too will be judged.

It is amazing how people can take a simply statement and completely misinterpreted it. Jesus was not saying we could not judge wickedness, what He is saying is to not judge someone when your life has more sin then the one you are judging. Do not be a hypocrite. However, Jesus said in John 7:24

Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.

It is the duty of every Christian to respectfully and lovely call the wicked to turn from their wicked ways and come to the Father who can change their lives. Then we can pray that the Holy Spirit will convict the heart and a life will be saved. Pastor James tells us

James 5: 20

20 let us know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

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In recent days we have had the LGBT agenda thrown in our faces and we have been told to accept it as it is. “This is the way God made people and we should not judge.”

God did make people, He little boys little boys and He made little girls little girls. He does not make mistakes. If a person is confused about who they are, it is the devil who is trying to steal their identity.

We should not be lifting these folks up as heroes or courageous for accepting who they really are, they need the power of the Holy Spirit to set them free from the lies of Satan! They are not courageous, but laden down in sin and need to repent and be set free from their wicked lifestyle.

We can no longer choose to be intimidated by the world or from postmodern church leaders who have decided to water down the Word of God. It is time for us to wake up and hear the challenge of the day.

Just as God grew a great fish to wake up Jonah, it is my hope that God is preparing something that will shake us from the slumber of what is going on around us. Come Holy Spirit we need Thee.

The story of Jonah and the revival that came to Nineveh is more than a fish of story. It is about the greatest spiritual awakening in history. On the opening day, thousands dedicated their lives to God. It is a picture of what God can accomplish through His servants who have chosen to prepare themselves to become agents of revival. I would like to explore the principles that will prepare us for the revival that God is sending to SeaTac. The first principle is:

Where Are You Headed

God was calling Jonah to Nineveh to preach against sin. However, as soon as Jonah heard the call of God he took off in the opposite direction. You can run from God, but you cannot hide from God.

One of the most important things we must have in revival is clear direction. It is also important to know where to find that direction and how to obtain the direction.

What does it profit a person to be traveling if they are going the wrong way? If we desire to be headed in the right direction, we need clear direction. God calls each of us to our Nineveh. God has placed each of us in our own church and community to be agents of spiritual awakening. God is saying, “Go to Nineveh.” Where are you headed?

There are only two roads in this life: one road leads to Tarshish while the other road heads to Nineveh. One heads toward revival while the other heads to ruin.

It was as though God took out his map and circled Nineveh and gave it to Jonah. God was specific with Jonah. Nineveh was an ancient city which was very large and very wicked. Jonah knew all these things and I am sure it played a big part in his running away from the call of God.

There is no doubt that we live in a place and time where things are very cruel and brutal. Sin has affected the conscience of our culture. We no longer govern according to what is right and wrong, but we govern according to what works and what makes money. Our creed is greed and our god is gold. The things that use to amaze us now amuse us. The things that use to embarrass us now entertain us. Our culture has sold its soul to materialism, filled nearly every sector with liberalism and has the theme, “If it feels good, then do it.”

Even so we cannot hide our heads in the sand, run away from what God is calling us toward or even think that somehow we can hide from God. It is time that we stood for righteousness. Sin is still sin no matter how loudly someone proclaims it is not.

God has promised us and called us to our towns and the people in them.

God called Jonah to cry out against Nineveh because of their sins. Surely God is calling more people to cry out against the sins of our culture today.

Which direction are you headed? Are you headed to Nineveh or to Tarshish?

The second principle of preparation for the revival that will change ALNC and SeaTac is that we must:

There Are Consequences

What are the consequences for disobeying God?

Disobedience is always downward, never upward. No one ever falls up. They always fall down. Jonah could not fall down fast enough. Given an opportunity to preach to an entire city and experience a spiritual awaking, he fled to Tarshish. What a horrible choice he made.

Are you contemplating leaving the will of God for your family, marriage, business, church, or future?

Decisions determine direction and destiny.

The Scriptures state that Jonah went down to Joppa, looked for a ship headed for Tarshish, bought a ticket, and got on the boat. Jonah did not trip and fall, he walked head long right into the face of his fall. It is a dangerous thing to justify disobedience just because things seem to fall into place. Jonah found a ship that no doubt was operating on time. The weather, winds, and waves were most likely favorable. Jonah counted his money after the ticket clerk quoted the price of the fare for Tarshish and discovered that he had enough for the trip. If you are contemplating going in the opposite direction then what God is calling you to and things look good from where you are standing, do not be deceived; there is a storm on the horizon.

Did you know that you cannot run or hide from the presence of God?

If you try to run from God, then you will eventually run into God. God does not have to go somewhere to get to some place. He is already there. He is everywhere at the same time.

When the storm came, the crew was frantic and prayed to their false gods. Yet, Jonah was sound asleep in the storm. This usually happens to men and women who leave God. While the others were fighting for their lives, Jonah was sleeping through the storm. Jonah should have been leading the prayer meeting. Prayerlessness is a main characteristic of people who have gone to sleep spiritually and have lost their discernment of impending judgment of God.

Why do we need revival here at ALNC and SeaTac?

Because there is a lost world all around us and people are dying and going to hell. If you can sleep while the ship is sinking then you need a wakeup call. There is a storm coming.

In the midst of the raging storm God was saying, “Wake up Jonah! Wake up Jonah!” Yet, Jonah did not even hear the storm or the voice of God. He was sound asleep, unaware of the dangers around him. These unbelieving sailors were more aware of their impending doom than Jonah.

When Jonah was thrown into the ocean, God had prepared a great fish for him. Can you imagine the smelly, dark, and desperate conditions of living three days inside the belly of a fish? There is constant motion. A fish goes up and down and back and forth. Jonah had to be miserable. The fish took him down to the bottom of the ocean. I would guess Jonah did not get much sleep over those three days.

How far will you go before God sends something to get your attention?

Jonah pleads for a second chance to do the will of God. If it was not for the second, third, fourth, or hundredth chance to do the will of God; many would never make it to Nineveh. How much longer will it be before we obey the will of God? The third principle of preparation for the revival that will change ALNC and SeaTac is we consider:

The Cost

Jonah paid the fare before he boarded the ship to Tarshish. Everyone pays their own fare when they run from the Lord. For Jonah the trip was more expensive than he ever dreamed it would be. Have you considered the cost of not pursuing revival? We will either pay the low price now for a spiritual awakening or the inflationary price for a spiritual awakening later. Today is the day to seek God’s face on behalf of our families, church, neighborhood, and city. We must not procrastinate to become agents of revival; if we do the price tag will be higher. It will never get easier to go to Nineveh than today. How large will God have to grow the circumstances before we go to our Nineveh and believe Him for revival to fall on ALNC and SeaTac? Revival is about God loving the saved and the unsaved too much to allow our culture to go its own way without a spiritual awakening.

Who will pay the highest price if there is not a spiritual awakening in our generation? It will be our children.

 Our children have been born in a Christless culture with very little hope of eternal life. If we do not have revival, our children will suffer the most in the years ahead. They will mature in a culture that has long forgotten the ways of the Lord. If we are not willing to go to Nineveh for ourselves, then we must go for the sake of our children. As I read every day of how schools and government are giving in to the moral decay of sinful lifestyles and calling them normal and then either trying to teach our children they are normal or changing laws to encourage immorality and to make Christians and Christianity outlaws; it makes me sad and concerned for my grandchildren. We need revival in the worst way!

Whose Child Are You? 1

Phil 2:15-16
15 That you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.
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When I was a young man, around 16 or 17 years old, we attended a Church of God church in Pasadena Texas. At this time in my life I was not serving the Lord, and was very rebellious and disrespectful toward the things of God. One Saturday the church youth group decided to have a pick up football game and I was invited. Being summertime in South Texas no one wore shoes. At some point in the game, I was thrown the ball and was running toward the goal and I was going to score. However, as I was running toward the goal line I somehow stubbed my big toe on my right foot. I fell to the ground in great pain and out of my mouth come words no one should have to hear. I didn’t care until I heard one of the youth pastors say, “Isn’t that brother Kilough’s son?” Suddenly I realized that it wasn’t about me, it was who I represented that matter. I had disrespected my father and he wasn’t even there to defend himself. I will always be impacted by my behavior that day.

When we say we are followers of God then we become His representatives to the world. If we do not live up to that decree then we are in effect taking the Lord our God’s name in vain. If we say we love God, then our lives should reflect godly living, not sinful living. If we say we love God, then we will not make promises to Him if we are not going to keep them. If we say we love God, then we should not be making promise in His name if we are not going to keep them. And finally, perhaps the worst thing we can do, if we say we love God; then we should not use the name of the Lord carelessly in our conversations.

It concerns me when I hear people using the name of God so carelessly. He is God and He is to be honored and held in great esteem. The next time you need to express excitement or bewilderment, my encouragement to you is to come up with a better way to express it.

Clearing Out the Rubbish 0

We have been doing a study on Sunday nights on the book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah was such a man of God and a true hero. Although he was cupbearer to the king and held no spiritual position during the time of the captivity of Israel, God called him to go back to Jerusalem and rebuild the walls

Nehemiah experienced opposition as the walls were going up, but the opposition that must have carried the greatest pain is found in chapter 4 verse 10 when the tribe of Judah told him the task was impossible because of all the rubbish that was in the way. How that must have been so hard to hear

Neh 4:10

10 Then Judah said, “The strength of the laborers is failing, and there is so much rubbish that we are not able to build the wall.”

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Eugene Peterson gives a great word picture in his lecture series “Follow the Leader.” He describes a home with a large picture window that has a wonderful view of mountains in all their majestic glory. One could look out this picture window and see the mountains anytime without obstruction. One day while they are looking out at the mountains a bird comes along and poops on the large picture window. The person runs outside with Windex and a cloth to clean off the window.

The next day while they are watching the mountains, two birds come along and poop on the window. Again the person runs outside and cleans up the window, because they do not desire to have anything obstruct the view of the mountains. Over the course of months and years the person finds that the window is too large to clean very well from the ground, so they begin to find ways to clean the window using tools. Then they discover that if they build a scaffold in front of the window it is really easy to clean. Unfortunately, over time the view of the mountain is lost to the apparatus used to keep the window clean.[1]

The church has had to content with rubbish all through its history and things have not changed in the twenty-first century. In our day we face the onslaught of postmodernism and compromise trying to keep back the building of the walls. We find even our own telling us that we know longer can touch the world unless we too become postmodern and compromised. Our heart stings as we hear and see our leaders and pastors reject time honored and time proven biblical ways to touch the world. Must have felt a little like what Nehemiah felt when he heard Judah say, “Can’t be done, too much rubbish in the way.”

I believe God is raising up, in these last days, a group of men and women who will stand against those who are watering down the Word of God and who will stay true to righteousness. My friends let us know with all certainly that God has matched the rubbish-makers with excavators, and all through church history God has empowered His men who would deal with the rubbish ruthlessly and fearlessly. I hear a triumphant cry that says, “Let’s clear everything out of the way and get through to God!”[2]

[1]Eugene Peterson, “Follow the Leader: Peterson Conference” (lecture, Regent College, Vancouver, BC, 2000).

[2] Alan Redpath, Victorious Christian service: Studies in the book of Nehemiah (Kindel), Location 900.