What is it that makes a person a good citizen? Is it that he votes, pays his taxes, rises when the National Anthem is played, or is willing to serve in time of war? By these criteria we judge our citizenship and that of others. Paul was often in chains for his faithfulness to Jesus Christ. He was proud of his Roman citizenship but more so of his heavenly.
If the average Christian were as sloppy in his American citizenship as in the heavenly we might soon find our country in a great deal of trouble. What if the call for military service went unanswered in time of conflict? What if we should decide not to pay our taxes this year? Why then, it is very likely that in no time at all we should be speaking another language and saluting another flag. None of us wants to see our young men and women go off to war and none of us is particularly overjoyed at paying taxes. We accept these necessities because we love our freedoms and are proud of our nation.
You’ve guessed by now that I want to speak about individual Christian responsibility. Increasingly we see believers slipping away from the church. Some congregations accept compromise as a way to offset their losses. In many cases, all that is necessary is to shift the focus from spiritual to social. Become ecumenical - accept every religious view as being equal, and offer people a place to gather and connect and its possible to staunch the flow of members away from the church.
I agree with those that say the church has become stale and old fashioned. I do not agree that we need to open our minds to every new belief. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit preceded the sermon delivered by Peter at Pentecost. What we need is a revival! I am not referring to a series of meetings lasting from Sunday through Friday, but a refreshing! A typical revival service is much like polishing a car that won’t run – it doesn’t help but it does make you feel better about the thing. We desperately need a reawakening of the Spirit of God within us.
I. Do We Need A Refreshing? Just Take A Look
A. For the world’s sake
1. People neglect the soul to feed the ego
2. People are hungry for meaning – the lost don’t need to be accommodated in their beliefs. They need to hear the truth
B. For the Christian’s sake
1. The world will grow increasingly hostile
2. There are difficult times ahead
3. We are forsaking the place where real relationships are formed
II. Where Do We Go For Refreshing?
A. Return to God – He hasn’t moved
1. Repentance is the first step
2. How sad that people try everything else before trying God
B. Put aside false beliefs
1. That revival occurs without effort
2. That an individual or a program can give it to us
3. That we can find what we need apart from God
III. Bottom Line, What Will it Cost?
A. Individual cost – Obedience and labor (praise, prayer, repentance)
B. Congregational expense – change, being shaken from our comfort zone
C. Much less now than later
1. Our friends and family need our help
Can we afford not to be refreshed?