Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Revival We Need

I was listening to a message delivered by Keith Green in 1979... but it is as relevant today (perhaps, even more so) than it was then.

Keith quoted from a book called “The Revival We Need” by Oswald J. Smith:

“It is reported that there were 7,000 churches that did not win a single soul for Jesus Christ in an entire year. That means that 7,000 ministers preached the Gospel for a whole year without reaching even one lost soul. Supposing that they preached, putting it at a low average, on 40 Sundays, not including extra meetings, that would mean that these 7,000 ministers preached 560,000 sermons in a single year. Think of the work, the labor, the money expended in salaries, etc., to make this possible. And yet 560,000 sermons preached by 7,000 ministers in 7,000 churches to tens of thousands of hearers during a period of twelve months, failed to bring a single soul to Christ.

“Now, my brethren, there is something radically wrong somewhere. There is either something the matter with these 7,000 ministers or else with their 560,000 sermons, or with both.

“In reading over the Twelve Rules of the Early Methodist church I was struck with the fact that they aimed at and looked upon soul-winning as their supreme task. Let me quote from one of them: ‘You have nothing to do but to save souls. Therefore spend and be spent in this work. It is not your business to preach so many times; but to save as many souls as you can; to bring as many sinners as you possibly can to repentance, and with all your power to build them up in that holiness, without which they cannot see the Lord.’--From ‘The Twelve Rules.’--John Wesley.”

I look at churches today and see a lot of music, a lot of preaching... but little to no soul winning. I was heartbroken when my local church took a table of tracts and other materials that we had set up and discarded the whole thing. It was not important to them to give the parishioners the tools to reach souls... but it seemed to be vitally important to emphasize them giving more money to pay the church’s bills.

We are at a critical time... with an ongoing war hemorrhaging trillions of dollars out of the economy, jobless rates and mortgage foreclosures skyrocketing, and politicians who would rather sling mud at each other than to meet the needs of their constituency. People need Jesus... and yet they are blinded to this fact. They are sinking down in quicksand and demanding their rights to do so.

Time to wake up, folks!

Evangelism isn’t just for evangelists... it is for all of us who can reach people where they are... and by any means necessary. It is too important to put a roadblock in front of souls who are careening at top speed towards a dark, eternal hell.

God’s love is great... and Jesus says to pray to the Lord of the harvest that workers go forth.

Will you pray? Will you be one who goes?

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