For a more complete
discussion of Revival, click here
we all know that God desires that all men be saved and we are not
seeing or experiencing a mighty church or new souls saved we know that
we are living in a contradiction.
God gives truth and
discernment to those who are committed to them and will handle take on
the responsibility to handle them as He has commanded. He will not give
discernment if we will not warn. He will not give truth if we will not
stand against what is error. We must love truth and hate error. If we
are willing to tolerate error, we separate our self from truth. Truth
cannot abide with the error. If we are willing to let others follow
error, we do not love the truth and will not hear it as we should.
others to respond correctly to the
truth we must do so first. If we don’t
respond responsibly to the truth, we will unknowingly spread that same
seed along with
the truth we sow and others will not respond to the truth we proclaim.
and truth do not come because of study and learning. They come by a
commitment and a yearning after them. God certainly uses study and
learning to increase and sharpen our understanding and proficiency but
we all know there are many who have studied and are ever learning
without coming to the knowledge of the truth.
in order to resurrect the Gospel, two things are necessary (even if you
don't agree that these things will cause a revival, you can not deny
their fundamental necessity to Christianity.) 1. We must commit
ourselves to seek only truth and reject/hate all error. 2. We must take
the responsibility God requires of those who know the truth. There can
be no compromise with the truth or our response to the truth.
If the present “gospel” is not working, it must be because it in not
the correct one given by God since His gospel is the “power of God unto
salvation”. The fault lies with us and our handling and our
understanding, His promise has not changed. His words do not fail.
make every effort to return to the
pure gospel and proclaiming only His words
We must strip our teachings of all traditions, understandings,
experiences, and doctrines of everything that is not based on His word.
Only His word draws, saves, strengthens and matures mankind. Signs,
wonders, miracles, manifestations, spiritual gifts do not. Jesus says
that certain signs will follow those that believe. Believing less than
the truth or a mixed message will not produce the promised signs.
We must seek and value His truth more than we do unity, agreement (lack
of strife), gifts, manifestations, results, recognition, success in
ministry. These are the things that “follow” the proclamation of His
word (They do not need to be sought, they will follow a true
must focus on feeding
His sheep with pure food that is not contaminated by man’s traditions,
the flesh’s desires, or the devil’s teachings. It is the shepherds duty
to lead the sheep into healthy pastures, and by still waters. No true
shepherd would knowingly allow a sheep to eat or drink tainted food or
water. The shepherd should never assume that a sheep knows the good
from the tainted -- that is why God provided shepherds.
Above all, shepherds must know true pastures and true food that
produces healthy and mature sheep. They must be intimately acquainted
with anything that would present a danger to the sheep and must
diligently and decisively lead their flock away from such danger. Their
job is always two-fold: To feed the sheep and to protect the sheep. It
does no good to bring a sheep to good food if the wolf has critically
wounded it. Nor does it do any good to constantly warn without feeding.
Shepherds must learn to comfort the sheep with the rod and the staff --
those tools are meant to comfort the sheep (Ps 23). It seems too many
shepherds would rather see the tooth marks of a wolf on a sheep than
the marks of a shepherd’s rod. The only reason a shepherd should use
the rod is to protect the sheep when warnings and the shepherd’s voice
has failed. But the shepherd must have made every effort to warn.
The church has fallen prey to the spirit of the world where any
discipline that causes pain is thought to be abusive. Social workers
and law authorities will take children away if a parent uses any
painful method to train or correct a child. A true shepherd will break
the leg of a lamb in order to keep it from straying into danger. We
must stop only saying soothing words when someone is heading for
as much of a shepherd’s job to
the sheep as it is to guide them with a gentle voice. Jesus and the
apostles did much warning. Any shepherd who does not see the wolf
coming and warn the sheep, is no true shepherd.
finds comfort in knowing the shepherd is committed to its safety. A
shepherd that pets and plays with the sheep and has a warm relationship
with the sheep, is NO shepherd unless he also protects them at all
costs. He lays down his own life for the sheep. Their health and safety
are more important than his leisure time, his other responsibilities,
his other "loves" and preferences. Their safety and feeding is more
important to the shepherd than is how they "feel" about the shepherd.
He will do right even if no sheep follows. But true sheep will follow a
true shepherd because his voice is the same as that of the Great
Shepherd. And His sheep hear His voice and follow Him. If a shepherd
speaks with the same words, with the same commitment to the sheep and
the same love, the sheep follow.
God will give a
shepherd all the tools he needs to properly shepherd, but he must be
willing to use them and to use them well. Shepherding is an impossible
task made possible only for those who totally rely on the Great
Shepherd of our souls.