Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Empowered to Share

Leslie Basham: Did you know that almost one-third of the nation's adults are considered unchurched? That means that between sixty to sixty-five million of our co-workers, neighbors and family members never or rarely hear the Word of God. Who will tell them about Christ if you don't? It's Tuesday, January 11, and you're listening to Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Christ told His followers to go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them and teaching them to observe all His commands. (See Matthew 28:19-20). Today we'll hear how revival leads us to share our faith with others. Here's Nancy.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: We've been looking over the last week and a half at this matter of revival and we saw yesterday that when God revives His people, they have a new burden for those who don't know Christ and they become bold and natural in their witness for Christ in the community.

When God revives His people, not only are believers quickened to fulfill their responsibility in sharing the Gospel with the lost, but something else happens. Supernaturally God brings about a spiritual awakening among those who are lost.

You see, apart from God opening their eyes and their hearts, they're not going to have the interest and be responsive to the Gospel because they're blinded. Their hearts are hardened and far from God. But in times of revival their hearts are quickened and many are born into the kingdom of God. There is a harvest of souls among those who are non-believers.

This is certainly something that is needed in our day. In the last ten years the combined membership of our Protestant denominations has declined by four and a half million people, so I'm told, while the population of our nation has increased by twenty-four million.

Half of the more than the three hundred fifty thousand churches in this country did not report one convert last year. One hundred ninety-five million Americans have no faith involvement at all in their lives which, by the way, makes America the third largest unchurched country in the world behind India and China.

But in times of revival we see a great harvest of souls and let me say, by the way, I believe that the place where that will begin is probably inside the walls of our churches. I believe that our churches are loaded today with millions of men and women who profess something that they do not possess.

They know all about Christ, but they don't know Christ. They have no life; they've never been converted. They can go through all the motions, but they don't have a relationship with Jesus.

One of the things that happens in times of revival is that lost church members will realize their lost condition and will come to faith and repentance.

Dr. J. Edwin Orr was an historian on revival who died not too many years ago. I remember hearing him say years ago that in the unrevived state of the Church, saints go racing to find sinners.

But in the revived state of the Church, sinners will come racing to find the Savior. They're drawn to the Savior by the Spirit of God. And we see this born out as we look at how God has moved in past revivals.

During the first Great Awakening in this country in the 1700s, fifty thousand people were added to the New England churches out of a population of only three hundred forty thousand. During the second Great Awakening during the first half of that century, the population of the country increased four-fold, quadrupled, but church membership increased ten-fold.

And, by the way, that was in the days when you couldn't just walk down an aisle or sign something and join a church. In those days it was written into many of the church constitutions that you had to give credible evidence of conversion before you could become a member of the church.

It was said during the second Great Awakening that people would burst out of their houses as the revivalist would pass down the street, begging them to come in and help them find Christ. Can you imagine that happening in your neighborhood?

During the great prayer revival in New York City in 1858 the number of conversions was reported to be as high as fifty thousand a week. In that year-long period, there were over a million conversions to Christ.

In the revival that God sent to Wales in 1905, for a five-month period there was a great harvest of people coming to know Christ. There were one hundred thousand conversions reported. And it's interesting that when God is the one bringing about the conversions, the fruit that is His fruit remains.

In fact, five years after that revival some critics set out to debunk the revival and one of the things they used to try and discredit that revival was that five years later only eighty thousand of those one hundred thousand conversions or professions of faith were still standing, five years later only 80 percent.

Now I don't know if you've followed anything about statistics from modern-day evangelistic meetings, but most evangelists would give anything to have 80 percent of the professions of faith that take place in their meetings holding and standing firm in their faith five years later.

In the revival in the Outer Hebrides in the 1950s lost people, unconverted men and women, were drawn to a police station by the power of God in the middle of the night, no announcement, no meeting scheduled but spontaneously, simultaneously, they came to a police station where they knew there was a God-fearing constable, as the report reads, and they were found there in that station on their knees begging God for mercy.

You see, God moves in the hearts of lost people to be drawn to the Gospel in the wake of God's people being revived.

I have in my hands a report of one parish or one county on the Island of Lewis where it was said revival had surely come. And this is how the report read, "Duncan Campbell conducted four services nightly for five weeks at 7:00 p.m., 10:00 p.m., midnight, and 3:00 a.m., returning home between 5:00 and 6:00 a.m.

Simultaneously, with desperate praying, the Spirit of God swept through the village. People could not sleep; houses were lit all night; people walked the streets in great conviction. Others knelt by their bedsides crying to God to pardon them.

Within forty-eight hours the drinking house was closed; today it is in ruins. Fourteen young men who had been drinking there were gloriously converted. Within forty-eight hours nearly every young person between the ages of twelve and twenty had surrendered to Christ and it was reckoned that every young man between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five could be found in the prayer meetings."

Now you say, "Can that kind of thing happen today?" Well, let me give you just a little glimpse.

Let me read to you a letter that a women sent after God had met with her not too long ago in a season of revival in her local church. She wrote some months later to tell us the ongoing work in her life and this woman had known the Lord or had professed to know the Lord for twenty-some years.

But she said, "I still had held the ball in my own court tossing it to Jesus every once in a while. I had not turned my life over to Him completely." Now twenty years later the Spirit comes and moves in her church and in her heart, and whether she had a fresh meeting with God or was actually born again at that point isn't certain. But, at any rate, she came to the place of fully surrendering her life to the Lord and experiencing a new cleansing and release in Him.

Now she writes to say, "First I quit smoking after forty-three years of smoking using no man-made helps -- the power of prayer works."

Then she said, "Second and most important was my son's salvation." She had asked for specific prayer for the salvation of her son. She said, "He was saved last month and baptized on Easter Sunday. I can't tell you the joy I felt after nineteen years of prayers and tears to see that answer come."

And she was the one (she tells the story here) who was involved in helping to lead him to Christ. But that's not all. She told what had happened over the period of time just since God had really set her free and revived her heart and she lists these things in order.

She says, "First of all my brother-in-law was saved, my mother was saved, my niece was saved, my nephew and his wife rededicated their lives to Christ, my daughter rededicated her life, my daughter's fiancé was saved, my daughter's friend was saved, my granddaughter who was saved at five was now baptized, my husband is growing spiritually, my daughter's fiancé's sister was saved, my son was saved and my son's fiancée's daughter and fiancé were saved."

And she said, "It goes on." You see what happens when God's people really begin to be the people of God?

One writer who was greatly used of God in revival said it this way, "When the churches are roused to their duty, men of the world will be swept into the Kingdom, a whole Church on its knees is irresistible."

You know apart from seasons of revival, we still have to be faithful in our witness, faithful in proclaiming the Gospel, faithful in calling men and women to come to faith and repentance.

But when God moves in this supernatural extraordinary way, our efforts are enabled and empowered in an unusual way by His Spirit and we will see fruit for the Kingdom of God in ways that perhaps we have never dreamed possible. That makes me want to pray, "Lord, would You do it again so that Your way may be known upon Earth and Your saving health among all nations?"

Leslie Basham: Nancy Leigh DeMoss will be right back. We have been praying that God will send revival again like Nancy was just talking about. And we would like to send you a free booklet called When Do We Need Revival? Just call 1-800-569-5959 and ask for a copy. We want to answer a lot of calls because we want a lot of people to be praying with us for revival.

In the coming months thousands of believers will be gathering in small groups and in churches to seek personal revival. A lot of people have already been making plans and have ordered copies of Nancy's new workbook Seeking Him: Experiencing the Joy of Personal Revival.

It includes a section for daily personal Bible study and it also includes discussion questions for small groups. Group leaders can also get a copy of Nancy's teaching on DVD to share with their groups.

For more information, you can visit our Web site ReviveOurHearts.com or call 1-800-569-5959. That's 1-800-569-5959. Putting together a small group is one way you can share God's truth with others; another is to give to the ministry of Revive Our Hearts.

If you believe in the teaching, we hope you'll partner with us so we can keep going. Tomorrow we'll talk about how God could use your local church to bring in revival. Now again here's Nancy.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: "God be merciful unto us,
And cause Your face to shine upon us.
So that Your way may be known upon earth,
Your saving health among all nations" (Psalm 67:1).

That's really a prayer for revival. A prayer that God will shine upon us in such a way that our lives will reflect His beauty and His glory and His Gospel to our world. And that's what brings God glory and that, by the way, is what all of life is for and about.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is a an outreach of Life Action Ministries.  

Thank you, Robin, for preparing today's Revive Our Hearts for the Internet.

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