The world has changed. Not only has COVID disrupted and interrupted our daily lives; but the world seems angrier and more unstable than ever. Political authoritarianism, corruption, civil unrest, major cultural shifts and economic hardships leave us feeling unsettled, unsure and even fearful.
More and more I hear Believers say, “We need Revival”; “We need to see God moving”. More and more I hear prayers for God to intervene. However, how can we expect things to change without people changing? God has already given us the solution… what we need is a revival.
What will it take to bring revival and what is our role in a revival?
Let us turn to three chapters in Luke to see what Jesus wants us to know:
Basically we see Jesus preparing His followers to take the Gospel to the world and bring about real change.
Jesus Set the Example
Luke 8:1-2 After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, 2 and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases
- Jesus showed us how – He does it Himself. He preaches the Good News, going from place to place. Go! Not Come!
- Jesus showed others how to do it. He took them with Him.
- This was part of their training to reach and change the world.
In the next chapter, Luke 9 verse 1 – 6:
Jesus Sends Out the Twelve
1 When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 3 He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt. 4 Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. 5 If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” 6 So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere.
- Jesus sent out the 12 – they went to where the people were. They went to small, insignificant villages, not to Jerusalem.
- He gave them authority.
- He told them what to do and how to do it – practical training.
Then, in chapter 10 verse 1 – 3:
Jesus Sends Out the Seventy-Two
10 1After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.
- Not only the closest 12 but 72.
- Two by two.
In Matthew 28 He sends all of us. We call that the Great Commission!
COVID has changed the world, but despite COVID, three things are unchanged:
- People still need the Lord
- Nothing can bring about real change without meeting Christ.
- Our hope is not in a vaccine, or in politicians, or in a new system or in a stimulus package or a better economy.
- People need to be saved because our greatest problem is not a pandemic or even corruption. Our greatest problem is sin.
- The Great Commission has not changed.
- The power of the Gospel is unchanged.
COVID has provided an excuse for many to stop proclaiming the gospel. While there are many practical problems facing missions like travel bans, etc.; we need to beware that it is not used as an excuse.
People have always made excuses: See what Luke 9 verse 57 – 62 teaches us:
57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
59 He said to another man, “Follow me.”
But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”
62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
So, how do we bring about revival?
- We approach revival Prayerfully
Luke 10: 2 2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
- Recognize the Harvest: plentiful, it requires many workers.
- Value the Harvest: Be concerned about the Harvest, love the harvest
- Pray for the Harvest.
- How do you view the world? How do you see the lost? Does their plight concern you? Is heaven and hell real to you? Pray!
- We respond Obediently
Luke 10: 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.
- Stop making excuses.
- COVID is an opportunity:
- People are ripe, open to listen, ready for harvest.
- We speak Confidently
Luke 10:16 16 “Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.”
- Power of the Gospel
- God’s message not yours
- People are rejecting God not you
- No excuses for the Gospel
- No watered-down message
- No ‘user friendly false gospel’
- If people do not listen, move on!
- Luke 10: 10 – 12 But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’ 12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.
- We live Sacrificially
Luke 10: 4 – 9 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.
5 “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6 If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. 7 Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house. 8 “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. 9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.
- DO whatever it takes.
- Leave your comfort zone.
- Sacrifice your home, food, health for the sake of the gospel.
- Live Fearlessly
Luke 9:23 – 26 23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? 26 Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
- Revival comes at a cost.
- We must love Jesus more than we love ourselves.
- We must fearlessly face whatever persecution will follow our testimony.
- We must speak boldly, never ashamed of Jesus or the Bible.
- Live Joyfully
Luke 10:17- 20 17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” 18 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
- It all starts with your own salvation.
- Rejoice that your name is written in heaven. Seek the same for others!