Next week we have the event of revival–preaching, singing, other churches visiting. That’s a blessing. When other churches come, it helps us out but they also come for themselves. Paul wrote to Corinth, Ephesus, and many other churches. He would say to the church at _____ in Christ Jesus. The opening verses teach us that it doesn’t matter so much where you are as the fact that the church is in Christ.
As a church of Christ Jesus and as his children, we are subject to God’s chastisement. Brother Derek has a burden for the church and the lost. He’ll do his part; you and I can’t wait till next week to do ours. We have to prepare ourselves to be revived. I already see people putting brush out on the roadsides to be picked up by the town. They are clearing the way for spring. Some of you may have already prepared the ground for your garden. Revival takes a clearing away of our lives. Just like brush left lying around gets harder to clean up the longer you leave it, our life does the same if we leave sin lying around. Revival is not so much when we think of others. It’s when we think of self; we clean the way for it.
II Corinthians 7:6 Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus; 7 And not by his coming only, but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you, when he told us your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward me; so that I rejoiced the more. 8 For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season. 9 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. 10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
This second epistle to Corinth is different than the first one. God’s attention was drawn to this church. It was a mess of confusion and disunity. There was even a “preacher religion” going on. Some would say that Paul saved them while others would say Apollos did. Salvation in a preacher is a disregard of the Word of God. The writings of the apostles were building the New Testament and they were disregarding it. They sinned in every which way you can think. The devil is the author of confusion and he tries to confuse our mind. There are so many voices out there. It’s easy for even seasoned Christians to get confused.
We can sin in our heart and fall out of love with each other, with God, with the church. We sin in mind, heart, and life. They had strayed. We can stray by how we live. Turned around in our deeds and words we contradict our testimony. Many thought they were in God’s will when they were not. It takes consistent sifting and judging of our life. Really check yourself and ask if you’re in God’s will. We can get turned around. The people at Corinth had made the communion everything but what it was. Paul told them to put things in order or he would do it when he came. He came down hard on them.
I’m thankful when the Word steps on my toes. But it must do more. It must remake us, revive us, and return us to God. That’s what revival is. We can be dying and not even realize it. It takes a jolt sometimes to show us. It’s awful to do wrong and try to excuse it. It should bring godly sorrow. We hurt God when we sin. Sometimes we get afraid. David did. But instead he prayed and asked God to clean his heart and said cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. He admitted his sin and asked forgiveness. Paul hated that the first epistle made them sorry but he wasn’t sorry he wrote it. It brought the change that was needed. It made them sorry and they repented. It cleaned the way for revival.
We can look at all sorts of points for revival but it boils down to this. Is my heart right? Is my mind right? Am I obeying the Lord? Am I putting him first? Have I left something out in what I should be doing? We can sin by action but also by what we don’t do that we should do. Both are a sin. Let’s get it all fixed up to clean up and prepare the way for revival. Verse 10 says godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. Revival is being completely right with God. Godly sorrow brings that. Let’s pray for revival!