We had a good day @ The Ridge Sunday. Still seeing several new faces and many second and third time returning guests. Love seeing that! I am also encouraged as I see God working in some individuals in powerful ways! Love watching Christ do transformation work!
This past Sunday we continued our series “AWAKE!” with part 2: repentance. Repentance is not something we talk much about really. Most Christians don’t really get it. We tend to want the relationship with Jesus without repentance. We want to be able to live like we want under grace and enjoy the things of this world for the moment and still get the benegfits of eternity in heaven.
Every once in a while I have one of those dreams that I know I’m dreaming and I try to wake myself up…then I think I’m awake, but I’m not. Weird isn’t it?
I think a lot of us in the church are like that. We think we are awake to Christ, but we aren’t. We think we are a Christ follower, but we aren’t. I believe this is true of the church in America today. It has been said that Billy Graham once said that he believes 80% of the people sitting in churches on Sunday in America are not really saved.
How do we know that we are really saved…really a Christian…really a Christ follower? If we want to know for sure about this, then we need to examine three areas of our life….and our relationship with God. We will be doing that over the next few weeks. Today we are going to talk about the first thing…
I don’t know if that percentage is totally true…it may be…it may be worse than that…but I do know that much of the church in the world is sleeping and needs to be awakened.
In Revelation 3:1-5 we read a warning from Jesus for the church to “wake up” :
“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars.
“‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.
Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.
Dr. Henry Blackaby says that it is scripturally impossible to have a call for revival without a call for repentance. This has always been God’s requirement for His people.
The truth of the matter is that in the church today, many who call themselves Christians have little or no understanding of what repentance really is. We claim to be Christ followers, Christians, with little or no understanding of repentance.
True repentance comes from a clear understanding of how significant our sin is. We come to realize the gravity of our sin along with an overwhelming desire for our sins to be forgiven and hearts to be made clean through Jesus Christ. It is turning away from self and from sin and dead works to faith and obedience.
Someone once said, “Revival has always been, and remains to this day, God dealing with the sin of His own – not the world.”
Therefore, if we as the Church never recognize our need for repentance of sin, then our “call” for revival is in vain. Isaiah warned God’s people:
“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from God; and your sins have hidden His face from you; so that He will not hear“(Isaiah 59:1-2).
Could it be that God doesn’t hear the cry for revival in America today, because the church is unrepentant?
Two quotes that I shared Sunday, I believe, are very powerful and relevant…
You cannot repent without the cross. You can only apologize. – Mark Driscoll
“The Church has been waiting for the world to get right with God. When will we realize that the world is waiting for the Church to get right with God? Oh, child of God, we can scarcely imagine the impact that will be felt in our world when we do.” – Nancy Leigh DeMoss
It is time for us to wake up…
We all started a 30-Day prayer & devotional Journey this week with this book:
I hope you’ll pick up your FREE copy this Sunday and join us on a prayer journey for revival and awakening.
OR BETTER YET…join us this Wednesday at 7pm at Austin Middle School for our Awake! Prayer Gathering as we gather on the patio in front of the school for prayer together as the church. We’ll have these devotion books available there. Also…you don’t want to miss this because I’m gonna give you some updated info that we need to be praying about together as the body. God may be doing something significant and I want you to know about it. Be there Wednesday and you’ll get the “inside scoop.”
CONNECTION NIGHT went well Sunday night. If you missed the opportunity to sign up for Groups @ The Ridge, then you can do so the next 2 Sundays in the Atrium. There are a ton of opportunities for everyone! Don’t Miss Out! Get Connected!