[b]Five Characteristics of a Revived Church[/b][i]by Erwin W. Lutzer[/i]The following are five characteristics that will be found in any church that experiences revival.First, there is opposition. Some of the greatest enemies of true Christianity are found within "Christendom". There are many who call themselves Christians but are enemies of the true Gospel and would resist revival if it were to come. True revival always divides a community. Those who are on fire for God are a powerful rebuke to others who have no regard for Him.Second, there is unity. Revival always produces unity; it forces people to takedown the barriers that divide them. Divisions within churches vanish as people forgive each other for their own petty differences. So often the differences that divide us have to do with personalities, the desire to find out who is in control, and subjective evaluations of ministry. When God comes these matters dissipate in the presence of His love and holiness.Third, there is generosity. Today, many needy people have nowhere to turn because there is no one in the church willing to help them. Often their needs are ignored because all of us are concerned only about ourselves. Revival changes that. There is a spontaneous, sacrificial spirit where people are willing to share at great personal cost. When revival comes people actually walk around looking for others whom they can help. A spirit of generosity makes sacrifice a sheer delight.Fourth, there is purity. Revival always brings honesty. The conviction of sin is so overwhelming that people would get right with God and being ready to hear the prayers of those who were in need. Pornography, moral uncleanness of all kinds, cheating on income tax, unpaid expense accounts, routine lying which we think are petty sins
until we see God and His holiness. Revival always produces purity; it is God purging His church and cleansing it so that He can fill it with Himself.Fifth there is evangelism. People sense an inner compulsion to witness, they seek out those who need to hear the Gospel. When God comes witnessing becomes the overflow of a Spirit-directed heart. Revival means that we have an inner life directed by the Holy Spirit. We witness because we love Christ and it spills out of our life.
_________________SI Moderator - Greg Gordon