Today as we live near the coming of Jesus, and realize what a privilege it is to know God, there is one thing that God wants us to experience.
We live in a time of turmoil, uncertainty, and trouble. Have you ever thought about the amount of spiritual knowledge that God has given us?
There are many Christians that do not have real genuine power in their lives. People talk about change and what that means. There are few people that do experience that change. It is due to a lack of power in their lives.
Pastor realizes this is not a popular topic. However, as we grow closer to the time of Jesus soon return, we need to carry out the mandate Jesus has given us. We need to carry out the mandate he has given us.
And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.
Sharing in All Things
32 Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. 33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. 34 Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, 35 and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.
Do we honestly believe that we can have the same experience today? Does God want us to have this kind of earth shattering experience today? We talk about prayer the most but practice prayer the least.
When they had prayed, the place was shaken. What would it be like to be the disciples. To experience what they went through. They were filled with the Holy Spirit. The place was shaken.
Jesus wants that same experience in His people today. In order for this to happen, the disciples could not have some sin standing in their way. There is a difference in the Christian life between willful sin and unintentional sin. Is Jesus going to take people to heaven that are engaged in willful deliberate sin? NO!
When Jesus went to heaven, He said: “I will send the Holy Spirit”. That was a promise. The disciples had not experienced it yet. But they did and they were looking for it. They said we don’t want anything to stand in between us and Jesus. They received the real evidence-the fruit of the Holy Spirit. They experienced revival. Real genuine revival in their lives. It took place in their lives and spread corporately.
There is one thing that God’s Seventh-day Adventist church needs today and it is real revival. The church that Jesus raised up experienced revival. Earnest, heartfelt intercession before God is needed now.
The sparks of revival begin by going to the altar of prayer. It takes place in prayer. We need to be in prayer. Revival and prayer are totally connected together. We as Christians must have earnest and deep fervent prayer.
Some of you may be saying did I come here today to hear something I already know about? Is that a fair assumption or should we ask ourselves, do I know what revival is like? Have I experienced revival? Do we as a church need to experience revival?
The early Christians united together in world changing prayer. Their prayer is why we are here today. We would not be here today if it wasn’t for the early Christian church. The disciples made such a difference that we are here today because of their prayers.
God worked through the early church. Because they prayed, they experienced revival. We are here today because of their revival. Jesus is coming for a people that have been revived. Listen powerfully this morning. If we don’t make this a big deal, we will come up short.
We live in a culture that doesn’t want to hear this message. God is the same today and we need His Holy Spirit.
Prayer was at the core of the Advent movement. Advent founders spent the entire night in fervent prayer in the nineteenth century. What would be the result if we were great men and women of prayer?
Do you think that God would leave things the way they are? The Book Gospel Workers page 259 says: “The greatest victories gained for the cause of God are not the result of labored argument, ample facilities, wide influence, or abundance of means. They are gained in the audience chamber of God when in earnest agonizing faith, men lay hold of the mighty arm of power.”
Pastor began thinking about the other Advent churches here in the county, the Adventist school we have and the members. What if we all were willing to be vulnerable with the Lord Jesus? What if we were all serious and came to God in humility?
In order for us to be ready for the coming of Jesus, we have to change. God says occupy until I come. But there has got to be a difference. The second coming of Jesus is going to happen. On that day when it happens, if we interceded now before Jesus came and shared Christ with our neighbors, our acquaintances, our friends, there will be a revival that the powers of hell can not stop us from experiencing. Do you want that kind of experience? Do you want revival?
Do you know who is serious about revival? Jesus Christ ! He wants to save all mankind.
What has prayer done in your life? What is it you can dream of that prayer can do in your life? One of the most dramatic events that took place in the world recently was the fall of the Berlin wall.
Few people realize that the event that happened on 9 November 1989 was a result of prayer. Christian Führer, a Protestant Pastor of a church in Leipzig, East Germany, because of the spirit of God, opened the doors of his church for prayers and discussions about freedom on Monday evenings. These prayer sessions grew on Monday nights until October 1989 there were over 8,000 people standing outside the church. A nation wide movement began with fervent prayer.
On that Monday night in October, over one million people were praying for freedom. Those prayers caused President Ronald Reagan to fly to Berlin and say those infamous words: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall”.
A political movement did not cause the freedom. It was because of fervent prayer. A former Communist government official said that we were ready for anything except for candles and prayer. The Berlin Wall could not stand after the power of prayer.
The powers of darkness that have a deep stronghold in this community are ready for anything except for the power of fervent prayer.
Looking back at the verses in Acts, revival happened because of deep prayer. Power and Grace was upon them all.
What would happen if we really did this and prayed like the disciples. They had a deep experience with Jesus. The walls that keep us from a deep experience with Jesus will fall if we have earnest prayer. Walls of pride and prejudice, anger, bitterness, lust, complacency, and materialism. Walls that separate children from their parents.
If you have a lost child or a lost spouse, begin deep prayer to Jesus. If you want to grow close to your spouse, begin praying out loud on your knees together. God will do something for you that is unexplainable. He will put love in your heart like you have never experienced. This will give way to the moving of the Holy Spirit. We should allow the Holy Spirit to X-ray our souls.
Are you willing to be that vulnerable? We open ourselves up to God and He can change anything. If God can change Berlin, He can change, you, your spouse, your children. He can change this church, this school, this city and county for the Lord Jesus.
The only hope we have here is fervent prayer that will change the status quo that we have grown comfortable with for so long. It is possible to live a Godly live. We must pray. When our connection with God is cut off, we are not praying.
1. Would you like to experience a spiritual revival in your life? You
may think you don’t need one. That is a good indication you do need one.
2. Do you desire a new spiritual experience?
3. Are you tired of complacency?
4. Do you long for a spiritual revival in our church?
Pastor can stand up and preach a thousand sermons but nothing will happen without a congregation praying. If you want to see a change happen, take God at His word and get on your knees and seek Him. It is the only thing that will make the difference.
Jesus says if my people who are called by My Name will humble themselves and pray and seek My Face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land.
Sermon preached at Bellingham, Washington Seventh-day Adventist Church on Sabbath, 2 July 2011.