The Preaching of Saint Paul at Ephesus, Eustache Le Sueur, 1649. What does the picture show? Oddly enough it is something that would horrify many today. It is a book burning. See Acts 19:11-20. (from here)

This is the seventh part of my take on the results of the Virginia’s General Election (November 7, 2017). Here are the six previous posts.

What is the subject of today’s post? What does a revival involve? What does the New Testament suggest? Does the News Testament suggest anything? Yes.

A Confusion Of Concepts

We usually think of a revival as a restoration of the faith of believers who have fallen away. Yet what the New Testament describes for the most part is the spreading of the Gospel among a community of pagans, worshipers of idols, new believers.Oddly, however, much of what the New Testament says about revival is applicable to today, especially a portion of the Book of Revelation.

The Apostle John wrote Revelation as an old man. At that point John and the other apostles had had an opportunity to plant churches, and these churches had had an opportunity to take the Gospel to heart. As The Parable of the Sower (explained here) illustrates, however, not everyone who hears the Gospel believes. Some react with joy, but don’t fully take the Gospel to heart. Some who want to believe never develop a strong enough faith to take the Gospel more seriously than the cares and concerns of this life.

With the The Parable of the Sower in mind, take a moment to read Revelation 2-3. Here the risen Jesus Christ told the Apostle John to write to seven churches, seven churches in the province of Asia. Five, the churches at Ephesus, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, and Laodicea  received clear warnings. Two, the churches at Smyrna and Philadelphia, received only praise.

What Did Each Of These Churches Have In Common?

What did each of these churches have in common? Jesus held up the successes and failures of each church as either good or a bad examples.

  • The Christians at Ephesus still loved Jesus, but they did not love Jesus as they had it first.
  • The Christians at Smyrna had shown their willingness to suffer for Christ, and they were about to suffer more.
  • The Christians at Pergamum still struggled for the faith, but they had accepted some among their numbers who followed the false teachings of the Nicolaitans (Today the teachings of the Nicolaitans have been forgotten.).
  • The Christians at Thyatira were doing more than they had done at first. Nevertheless, accepted some among their numbers who followed a woman who appears to have been a Satan worshiper.
  • All but a few of the Christians at Sardis were Christians only in name.
  • The Christians at Philadelphia had maintained their faith in spite of persecution.
  • The Christians at Laodicea were indifferent. Apparently, these Christians were more concerned about the things of this world than they were Jesus Christ. The Christians at Laodicea looked too much to their wealth for salvation.

What did Jesus tell each of the churches that were failing? He told each to repent and turn from their sins.

What did Jesus tell the churches that were succeeding, the ones He called “rich”? These He counseled to be faithful, even if faithfulness meant death.

Jesus reminded all the churches that there is a reward for those Christians whose faith endures. In addition, Jesus ended His message to each church with this refrain.

If you have ears, then, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches!

Here what Matthew Henry says about those words.

A call to attention: He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Observe, (1.) What is written in the scriptures is spoken by the Spirit of God. (2.) What is said to one church concerns all the churches, in every place and age. (3.) We can never employ our faculty of hearing better than in hearkening to the word of God: and we deserve to lose it if we do not employ it to this purpose. Those who will not hear the call of God now will wish at length they had never had a capacity of hearing any thing at all. (from here)

Consider again the seeds in The Parable of the Sower. Consider why the Apostle Paul often returned to places he had visited before. Consider why Christians establish churches. When new Christian hears the Gospel and believes, don’t we want to do everything we can to make certain that a new Christian’s roots grow deeply the soil of faith? None of us can stand alone. We all need the fellowship of other Christians. We all need encouragement to pray and to delve into the Word.


So what does Revelation 2-3 suggest is required for a revival?

  • Repenting of our sins.
  • Faith in the salvation offered by Jesus Christ.
  • Hearing and hearkening to the Word of God.

But what about The Parable of the Sower? What happens during a revival? Does a revival reawaken the interest of sinners who have not quite taken the Gospel to heart, or does a revival revive the faith of Christians who have become half-hearted? That we will discuss in the last and final post.

Additional References

To Be Continued

  • What is necessary for a revival today?




8 thoughts on “HINDSIGHT ISN’T 20/20 — PART 7

      1. Tm, oOn the light side of “some work to do,”
        i started reading our friend Doug’s dissertation link, an endless list of reasons he hates Trump and it reminded me of a comedian I saw years ago explain in five words the reason God explained why he let all the sad things happen to Job to test him.

        The comedian said Job went to a mountain top high in the clouds and shouted out to God to answer why he allowed all the sad things happen to him.

        All of a sudden, a loud bolt of lightning thundered, the clouds opened up, and God answered him with the reason.

        The answer he gave Job is the real reason of why Doug is a Trump hater.

        The answer God gave in a loud commanding voice was.

        “Cause you piss me off”

        Regards and goodwill blogging.


        Liked by 1 person

  1. Umm…What?

    I live and vote VA. I’m not sure why you’re having an existential crisis.

    Our senators are both former governors and Democrats. Va went for Obama in both 2008 and 2012.

    My voting district (3rd) is so stupidly shaped in order to have a solidly black democratic voting block. This allows other districts to be happily Republican without worrying about having to work for their constituency (I’m looking at you: far western countries).

    Albemarle flip flops depending on if UVA students vote locally or at home (which is their right, by the way).

    Apparently Richmond is for hipsters, which I didn’t know until recently. But it makes sense. We’ve had governors that care about quality of life.

    I mean I can understand needing one post to decompress from what i guess you thought was a surprise victory, but not 7+ with this latest sounding like the apocalypse is here.

    It’s okay! We’ve yet to figure out how to get a real democratic majority in the state legislature. (Psst: because population distribution).


    1. @Catherine

      Not sure why I am supposedly having an existential crisis? That’s a bit of hyperbole, to say the least.

      You immediately answered your own concern. For the sake of a bit of ridicule you began your comment with a statement you knew to be untrue. You do know what this post is about. Why say otherwise?

      If you read the Bible, you will find the first five books contain the Mosaic Code. Ancient Israel was a theocracy. That is, the law of Israel was based upon the Old Testament. Contrary to what some say, God is concerned about our politics. Although Christians should not impose their religion on others, as citizens of a constitutional we do have an obligation to do our best to make certain the laws of the land do not require us to render unto Caesar what belongs to God.

      –When our laws not only recognize abortion of an unborn child as a woman’s right, but require that’s wrong.

      –When our laws put the government in charge of charity, that’s legalizing theft.

      –When our laws twist the arms of parents, essentially forcing the poor to send their children to “secularized” schools, that’s an infringement upon the freedom of religion.

      I could go on, but what would be the point? Besides gerrymandering, the only thing you complained about was the number of posts I wrote. Did someone make you read them?

      Do I support gerrymandering? Does anyone? Even the politicians who do gerrymandering don’t admit to supporting the practice. Yet both parties will engage in gerrymandering if given the opportunity.

      You have a solution for gerrymander? No, of course you don’t. You just wanted to gripe.

      Do I have a solution? No. Redistricting properly is like beauty; it is difficult to describe. Thus, its opposite, gerrymandering, is like the opposite of beauty, pornography. We know pornography when we see it, but making it against the law is problematic.

      Liked by 1 person

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