As I have mentioned before, I am part of a Saturday morning bible study group of men who love getting together to read and study the Word of God. We have completed studies of the Gospel of John in the New Testament and the book of Esther in the Old Testament. At the beginning of the year we returned to the New Testament and began a new study of the book of Acts. As most of us realize, Acts is a very important book because it details the beginning of the church. We are right now in the middle of chapter two and have just covered one of the most remarkable events in all of the bible. We see the arrival of the Holy Spirit on the scene just like Jesus had promised not many days before. The Holy Spirit was heard, He was seen, and then was felt as He filled and indwelled the believers on that day. Amazing things began to happen with those early believers because the Holy Spirit was in control. And this forms the basis for our post tonight.
Immediately following the appearance of the Holy Spirit, Peter stood and preached that great Pentecost sermon which resulted in so many being saved. Later we see the first apostolic miracle with healing of the lame man, the sudden death of Ananias and Sapphira after their lying to the Holy Spirit, Stephen’s address to the Sanhedrin and his ultimate stoning and Paul’s conversion experience on the road to Damascus. Therefore the evidence of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling and control is much too great to deny. Many years have now come and gone since the early days of the church and there is no doubt there have been outpourings of the Holy Spirit down through the centuries at different times and different places. However, it has been quite some time since I have witnessed or even heard of a such an outpouring in this country of ours like there has been in the past. It seems to me that there is something missing.
I remember times when I was a boy and even into my teenage years that the Holy Spirit was present in just about every church service I attended. I remember prayer meeting times when men would be on their knees and faces praying for God to intervene in the lives of others as well as their own. I’m not talking about one man at a time but many and all praying out loud at the same time. The Holy Spirit would fill the place and you knew it. I’ve heard people testify and weep because of what God had done for them. And yes I have seen and heard people shout on many occasions. People who overflowed with gratitude for the blessings they had and for answered prayers. The Holy Spirit was in the midst. No put on. No embarrassment. Just filled with the Holy Spirit. So what happened? What has changed?
What I have described above may sound somewhat strange and may be foreign to some of you. But I know others of you can attest to and have witnessed some of the same thing. But something is missing today. And I believe it is the presence of the Holy Spirit. If I am correct in my assumption then what has caused this to happen? Well, my guess is the problem lies with us. We have changed. The church has changed. We and the church are so full of the world we left no room for the Holy Spirit to do His work. We have grown complacent and unconcerned about our spiritual life and many have fallen for the lies of false teachers. We’ve neglected personal study of God’s Word and have almost totally abandoned our prayer life. God help us! Sin is still sin, disobedience is still disobedience. We have a problem and something needs to be done about it. We should be reminded that we may have changed but God has not. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. So the problem is us. So what do we do?
Folks, we, and especially me, need real revival. We need to come to our senses like the prodigal son and return to our father. We need to humble ourselves and pray, then repent and turn from our wicked ways just as we have been instructed to do. If we do, God promises that He will not only heal us but He will heal our land. I long to see another real outpouring of the Holy Spirit and I know that in order for that to happen revival must first begin in my own heart. God give me a true desire for that and help me to be open and willing for it to happen. Can I get a witness?