The teen stayed upstairs this evening and he said whatever we wanted to do. So we’ll do that this evening. Appreciate the teenagers being here and normally we’d have you go downstairs but I think this evening message we’re gearing up for camp meeting and I hope you’re gearing up for camp meeting, I hope you’re ready, ready for revival. So we’re going to touch on several different passages of scripture because I’ve got a thought that I want to give us this season on how to prepare for revival, camp meeting, whatever you want to call it we can have revival before revival gets here for the series of meetings get here, we’ll have to wait on that. Turn with me to John chapter number twelve in verse number 21 I’m going to I wouldn’t say steal, but borrow brother Jerry Blockston’s thought from Monday night and if he preaches again Sunday night you just shout to victory and say hallelujah and keep on going, amen. But you’ll see where we’re going with this we turn to John 12 look at verse number 20 first it says and there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast. The same came therefore to Philip. Which was of Bethesda of Galilee and desired him. Saying sir. We would see Jesus that is the theme of our revival. The theme of our camp meetings. Sir. We would see Jesus tell you Jesus is the answer to all of men’s needs. All the women’s needs. Your needs. My needs. The world’s needs. He satisfies the longing of my soul does he satisfy the longing of your soul? Jesus is the answer, John 3:30 says he must increase, but I must decrease. So that’s the thing, we want to see Jesus lift it up, we see Jesus lifted up, others will see Jesus lifted up, they’ll be drawn to Him and he can help meet their needs. So Revelation chapter number three revelation chapter number three in the book of Revelation there are seven letters to seven different churches, like what one commentator said, he said every letter in chapter two and three has a primary association, it is a local and direct bearing upon the church to which it was written. We’re going to look at three churches here revelation three church at Sardis at Philadelphia and of the Laodiceans and it had a primary association, it was dealt with direct things coming out of that church. How would you like to have been one of those churches and have your name in the word of God and said to the church of PAX Branch and I could just I don’t know really what the Lord would say, but that would be a little unsettling, wouldn’t it? I haven’t recorded the word of God. A primary association also has a personal application notice when we read this it applies the letters were addressed to the church as a whole but the Bible says at the end of each of these letters. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the spirit saith unto the churches. It has a personal application. It’s up to the individual to decide whether he wants or she wants to do what’s right and get things squared away, get things right with the Lord. But also it has a prophetic anticipation. I love how these men that study the Bible can alliterate like this. I am envious of their litteration skills. But anyway, on this sidetrack here, prophetic anticipation. You know as well as I do, we’ve studied through Revelation with Pastor Vance. Each of these churches each of these church represents a certain time period during the church age. And you and I know that we are living in the lay on the sea in church age. So there’s that as well. But I want you to notice some practical things from tonight. Louverse number one. And under the angel of the church and Sardist the angel of the messenger. Under the angel of the church and sardis write these things, saith he that hath the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know thy works that thou hast to name that thou livest and art dead. He said, if everybody was to look at your church from the outside, they would say, that’s a thriving church. That’s a church that’s alive. You may even change the name to a live church. And with all the other names of churches today, we got the bridge, we got the fellowship. Don’t even have church got elevation or whatever it is. I don’t know. I would be leery of a building that didn’t have the name church on it. Just telling you, I’d be leery of a building that didn’t have the name Baptist Church on it. That’s free. You can take it for what it’s worth. Okay? He said, but thou hast the name of thou livest in our dead. If everybody else saw what was going on, there was activity there. They were coming, they were going. They had the assemblance of being alive that Jesus said, I know your heart and thou art dead. I’m not saying that our church in here is dead, but I’m saying we could be revived. There are things that are lacking notice. You just keep reading. Be watchful and strengthen the things which remain that are ready to die. I said, there are things that you’re still hanging on to that’s good things. Don’t let them die, for I have not found thy works perfect before God. You know what their problem was? Their problem was the fire had gone out, that they had lost their zeal for the Lord. I don’t want to get to that point. I’ve been there. I’ve been there more times than I care to remember, and you’ve been there. Our Christian life is up and down. Sometimes we want fire for God. Then we get cold. And one fire, then we get cold. But this church here had a name that they lived, but they were dead. Their works were not perfect before. God knows our works. God knows our heart. He sees beyond the outside. He knows what’s on the inside. He knows whether we’re doing what we’re doing for the Lord, whether we’re doing it to be seen of men. Tell you how I want to get the fire back that I should have for the Lord Jesus Christ, don’t you? I want to get that fire back. I want our church to be on fire. Not literally amen, but spiritually speaking, with a zeal for lost souls looking for Jesus to come. God’s instruction to correct. Look what he said. He said, I want you to be watchful, be aware that you’ve got this problem. Strengthen the things which remain so there are things that are ready to die, but there are things that are remaining. You hang onto those and strengthen those undergird those. Support those. Remember how you have received. Look at verse number three. Remember therefore, how thou hast received and heard and hold fast and repent. You know what? And this is maybe a little supposition on my part, but you know what this verse strikes me as is they didn’t forget necessarily what they had learned, but the manner in which they learned. Let me ask you this. If you know you’re saved, how did you get saved? Somebody brought that message to you, right? I would think that one of the things that a church like this had gotten away from would be soul winning, going out and telling others about the Lord Jesus Christ. They had forgotten how they had received the plan of salvation, the message that God had for them. And he said, hold fast, don’t let go of it altogether. Get back in the fight. Get engaged in giving the gospel out and telling others about the Lord and repent. If therefore, thou shalt not watch, I will come on the as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. Think about that. God said, I’m going to visit the church, but not in a way of blessing. I’m coming as a thief. You’re not going to know when I’m coming. Wouldn’t it be an awful thing for God to visit at camp meeting and for an individual to miss out on God’s presence, on God to move because they weren’t ready to receive what God had for them? Would it be an awful thing for God to move upon a church or want to visit the church, but instead of visiting to bless the church said, they’re not ready to receive what I have for them. They’re not listening. They’ve shut their ears like maybe a toddler would do, if you have any experience with that. They’ve closed their ears. They’re not willing to hear. And so instead of coming to bless them, I’m coming as a thief when I’m coming to take something away I don’t want God to take his presence away, his blessings away. You remember what? I forget who it was or their relation, but it was one of Eli’s descendants named Ichabod. The glory has departed. I don’t want that over our church. To you I’d rather say, Emmanuel, God with us. Amen the fire to still be here. So look what he said. He said, Thou hast a few names, even in sardines, which have not defiled their garments, and they shall walk with me in white, for they are worthy. He that overcometh the same shall be clothed in white. Raymond. He that overcome with individual application there is a need here if your fire has gone out, there’s a need for revival. Number two. Look at verse number 14. Go jump down with me to the church of the latest. And we want to skip the church in the middle for a minute. Under the angel of the Church of the Ladies, right? These things say it. The amen, the faithful and true witness the beginning of the creation of God. I know thou works. If thou art neither cold nor hot, I would thou weren’t cold or hot. They were careless in their attitudes. They were careless in their actions. They were apathetic. They weren’t cold or hot. They weren’t doing anything for the Lord. And I don’t want to get to that point. Listen, this world is full of apathetic people, of people that could care less. Try to get waited on, right? Try to get customer service at our famous retail departments and assistant store managers aside, people could care less whether they serve your needs or not. In most cases. Not all cases, in most cases, but that’s creeped into the church house, we’ve become content with what we have. He said, I know thou works, that thou art neither cold nor hot. I would thou work cold or hot. So because thou art lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth. Verse 17 because thou sat, I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing, and knowest not that thou art wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. You know, we can deceive ourselves into thinking we’re something when a matter of fact we’re absolutely nothing without the Lord said, you say, I’m rich and I’m increased with goods. I don’t have need of anything. I’m independent. But when we get to that point where we’re independent of God, we have failed. We’re not independent God. We need God’s hand upon our lives, upon our church. We need God’s hand upon the camp meeting next week. What? Would it be wonderful if every service God visited in a great way? It’s not always going to be people shouting to victory and people running up and down the aisles. It may be a quiet service, but God will speak. If you’re listening, god will speak to your heart. They were careless. They were lukewarm. And I daresay many a Christian, and myself included, has been to that point. I don’t want to get there. I don’t want to stay there. I don’t want to make a dwelling there. I want to get the zeal of the Lord back. I want to get the fire back. Verse number let’s just look at it real quick. Verse number seven. And the angel of the church in Philadelphia right these things saith, he that is holy, he that is true. He that hath the key of David. He that openeth and no man shutth and shutteth and no man openeth. I know thou works. Behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it. For thou hast a little strength and has kept my word and hast not denied my name. We’ll stop there. I know we hit these real quickly, real briefly. I’ve seen some things in these churches that could be, if we’re not careful in our church and have made their presence known in our lives. He said here this was a good church sandwich between the Laodiceas and the Church of Sardines. He says, this church of Philadelphia, there’s some strength here. He said there’s an open door, and they were making use of that open door. And I think I know the period of time that this is referenced to in church history, how people were on fire for God. They were going out in countless droves to other worlds, other countries, and telling them about Jesus. But why can that not apply to us, to our local church? We had an open door. You know why they had an open door? Because look, he said, I have set before thee verse eight, an open door and no man can shut it, for thou hast a little strength and has kept my word and has not denied my name. Listen, you and I can have an open door set before us if we’ll keep God’s word and not deny his name. That sounds pretty simple, don’t it? Keep his word, hold fast to it. Take his word to a loss of dying world. Don’t deny his name. And he said, if you’re faithful in that, I could open a door that no man can shut. That’s what we want. Isn’t awful when you go to trying to tell somebody about the Lord and you feel as if the door is closed, you can’t get any further. God can open that door, and God has opened that door. So how are we going to prepare for camp? Meaning, how are we going to prepare for revival? Well, I hope we recognize our need and our dependence upon God. How many of you realize you need God? Just raise your hand, okay? It means you’re awake, right? Because all of us need God. We’re all dependent upon God. Turn with me to Ezra. That’s in the Old Testament, chapter number seven. Ezra, chapter number seven. You find psalms. You turn left, find Genesis, you turn right. Okay? Right in the middle there, somewhere in Ezra, chapter number seven, verse number ten is the verse twelve I want to look at tonight. It said, For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord and to do it and to teach in Israel’s statutes and judgments. There’s three there’s three things here. For Israel had prepared his heart, number one, to seek the law of the Lord and to do it and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments. We’ve got to come with prepared heart to hear from God. You remember what Samuel said? He said, Speak, Lord, or see, he said, Speak for thy servant hereth when we come to the services. I hope you’re coming with that attitude, Lord. I need something, maybe not even know what it is. Would you speak to my heart? Would you show me what it is that I need? If you want to hear from God, we’ve got to examine our lives and remove any known sin. That sin breaks fellowship with God. You don’t have that communion that we once had. If there’s a known sin in your life, get it out. Let’s get it out. Remove distractions, come expecting God to speak and then look not only prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, to listen, to hear, but also to do it. It does no good for you to hear something from God and then not follow through with it and apply it to your life or my life, whatever Saint Timothy 316 says, all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and it’s possible for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction and righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect through the furnished and the all good works. If we come this coming week and we hear a doctrinal truth, a teaching in Scripture, we ought to take that, hide it in our hearts, apply it to our life. If we are reproved for a sin that’s in our life, you know what we ought to do? Say yes, Lord. I agree with you, Lord. Your side against my side. You win. I’m submitting to you I’m getting right. If God corrects us, we ought to agree with the Lord and fix it. If God instructs us in a way to walk, let’s follow Him with it. Let’s just agree now, when we meet together on Sunday morning and start off with Sunday school, that whatever is taught that we’re going to agree with and follow through with it. If it’s in the Bible, okay? I imagine that everything well, let me say that I imagine it will be in the Bible, okay? If it’s in the Bible, you can’t argue with God. So whatever it is, make up your mind now. Say yes to the Lord. And then he was willing to teach it. He was willing to share with somebody else. Psalm 100, verse one. Says, make a joyful noise in the Lord all your land. Serve the Lord with gladness. Come before his presence with singing. Know you that the Lord, he is God. It is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves. We are his people and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise. Be thankful unto him and bless his name. For the Lord is good, his mercy is everlasting, and his truth endureThe all generations. How many of you say amen to that? You know what it says. He said, Come before his presence with singing. Enter into his gates with praise or thanksgiving into his courts with praise. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing if we came to every service next week and we came rejoicing, not complaining or murmuring, not even maybe watching Fox News before he comes? We don’t get riled up and stirred up but just coming in a spirit of worship unto the Lord and praising God. Spirit of humility, a prepared heart come in praise and worship to God. I want you to look at Acts chapter number four.
I know we’re jumping all over the place, acts chapter number four. And we don’t have time to look at this, but it was a trademark of the early disciples to be constant in prayer. When Jesus ascended, you know what they did? They went back into the upper room and continued there in prayer. They were obedient to what God told them to do. They were in prayer when Peter and John went into the temple about the hour of prayer and they were able to heal the lame man. God gave them power to do that. They were in prayer when the Holy Spirit descended upon them. They were in one accord in prayer and descended upon them, empowered them, and they spake boldly the word of God. Acts chapter number four. There was opposition. The opposition was grieved that they taught the people through Jesus the resurrection from the dead. Verse 1812. Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, testified that it was the name of Jesus Christ, that the layman was made whole, and he preached Jesus. They threatened him further. And then Peter and John answered them. Verse number nine whether it be right in the sight of God to harken unto you more than unto God judge you, for we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. Verse 23. And being let go, they went to their own company and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God. What’s the next three words? With one accord. You know what? We need to be in one accord. Listen, if there’s any disagreement, let’s get it resolved before Sunday. Amen. Let’s just get it resolved so we can get our prayers answered. We can go to God in one accord with one desire to see Jesus lifted up. See Jesus glorified jesus preached and expecting God to do so. Verse number 24. When they heard that, they lift up their voice to God with one accord and said, lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that in them is they praise God. They entered into his courts with thanksgiving, into his gates with thanksgiving, into his courts with praise. They came before him, praising him, glorifying him. Verse 25. They had faith in him, who by the mouth of thy servant David has said, why did the heathen rage and the people imagine vain things? That’s back in the Psalms, in it, Psalm two the kings of the earth stood up and the rulers were together, gathered together against the Lord and against his Christ for of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed. Both Herod and Pontius Pilate with the Gentiles and the people of Israel were gathered together for to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. He said. Psalm two. They realized through faith that psalm two was fulfilled in Jesus. And so that’s what they were. They were praying, they were thanking the Lord for it. Then verse 29 and now, Lord, this is their petition. Behold their threatenings and grant unto thy servants that with all boldness they may speak thy word by stretching forth on hands to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child, Jesus. That’s their petition. Look at the response. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost. Dad has often said, all means all. And that’s all, all means every single one of them, from the youngest to the oldest, was filled with the Holy Ghost. And they spake the word of God with boldness. Now, they didn’t all do signs. You’ll see that in a little bit. The apostles were able to do signs and wonders and miracles for a while, but not all of them were able to do signs. But look at verse number 33. No, I’m sorry, let’s skip skipped it. Verse number 32. And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul. Neither said any of them that the things which he possessed was his own, but that he had all things common and with great power gave the apostle’s witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. See, God worked through the apostles certain miracles before time to testify to the Lord. But look at the last part of verse 33. And great grace was upon them what all god poured out his grace upon all of them. All of them were recipients of the great grace of God because they got in on the prayer in one accord, with one heart and one soul. They wanted to see jesus lifted up. We’ve been all over the Bible this evening and the reason is I want you to see that we have a need. I don’t want to become like the church at Sardis where the fire had gone out. I don’t want you to become like a member of Sardis. There may even just be a spark left. But let’s get that rekindled. Let’s get it reignited, get back in the service for the Lord. I don’t want to be like the people of Leonusa where it’s just careless. I know I’m saving my way to heaven and I can’t help anybody else. I want to be on fire for God, don’t you? I want to see God work and God move and God help. I want to be like the Church of Philadelphia where God opens the door and we go through it. We engage those around us about the Gospel. We are growing spiritually. We’re doing something for God. But we’re only going to get there if we come with a prepared heart, like Ezra prepared his heart. We got to come humbly before our God. We got to come in prayer in one accord. We need to desire as a church, decide as a church that we’re going to come expecting God to do something, but come in a way that we’re not sitting on the back row, no offense by that, and say, Bless me if you can, Preacher. Right. I know, brother lady. Don’t say that. I don’t think he says that anyway. But you come expecting, ready for the Lord to speak to us because he will speak to us if we’re listening. It may be a message that’s the whole theme of the message might be something that’s related to someone else. But God will speak to you in that message if you’ll listen. If you’ll listen, god’s got something for every single one of us. Come in worship, as Psalm 100 said. Come anticipating God to do, exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think that. I don’t know what kind of services we’ll have this week as far as numbers. I don’t know who I was going to come. I don’t know if they’ll be great soulstory and emotional services or if we’ll be quiet services. I don’t know what type of services we’ll have. But I know if we come ready to hear, god can meet those needs. God can speak to our hearts. That’s what I want. That’s what I’m looking for. I’m looking for my soul to be stirred, my fire to be reignited, be stirred up and to be ready to go again. So what are we to pray for? We’ll pray for your soul to hear and receive God’s word. Pray for God’s word to be declared boldly and go forth unhindered. There’s been a lot going on this week and I was telling somebody this earlier. I’m glad they were sick this week. So hopefully next week they could be here. But satan would love for nothing else than to distract from the message, distract from the service, and life happens. Life is going on as we speak. But let’s do everything we can to limit the distractions, to limit the outside influences, make a commitment. I’m going to be here every night that I can. If I’m providentially hindered, then that’s one thing. But if I’m not, I’m going to make an effort to be here and listen to what God has for me. Come anticipating that God will do more exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think. Pray for the Spirit of God to have his will and way, and that pray that others would respond as well. Amen. When they gathered together in one accord, brought their petition before the Lord, he answered in a great and mighty way. Why does this have to be just in the early church age? Why couldn’t we have it? I believe we can have it. I believe God wants us to have his power just as they had his power. Not healing, not doing these crazy things you see on TV, but speaking the word of God, boldly, seeing folks saved, seeing the Gospel go forth unhindered. Listen, I’ve been encouraged already with what God is doing just today, I’ve been encouraged with what God is doing. But let’s not let up. Let’s come looking for God to do even more, okay? Let’s stay in the head bout and eyes closed.
I’ll tell you what let’s do. I don’t want this just to be an exercise, but I would love for us to gather one more time around the altar and just pray. Say God, would you help? Would you meet with us next week? Your word go forth unhindered. Would you help us? I’m going to ask dad if he come and lead us in prayer tonight. You come and pray,
Lord. Thank You, Father, for what you’re about to do next week. Lord, we’re anticipating a great week of services and Father, we’re anticipating you to move in our midst. We need you, Lord. Our church needs you. Our church. Family needs you, Father. There’s many hearts that are heavy, many burdens, lord, there’s many things pressing upon the families of this church. And Father, we need to see Jesus, as our pastor said earlier this evening, Father, we need to lift Him high and hold Him up, Father, so we can see Him and be encouraged and be strengthened in the faith. Father, I thank you again for what you’re going to do. I pray you bless every song that’s sung. I pray you’ll bless every message that’s preached. I pray, Father, our hearts will be ready, open and receptive to receive. Father, I pray that you’ll move in the midst. Lord, if there’s one here’s lost and done, you’ll save them for it’s everlasting too late. Each song that sung, Lord, I pray that bring honor and praise and glory to Thee again, thank you for. What you’re going to do. We’re looking forward to father. We’re going to do as we’ve talked about, our same school lessons. We’re going to walk by faith and we’re going to look to you to do great things, father, we’re going to trust you to do great things in our hearts and our lives. Just help us to be ready, Father, again, and pray to be round about those that are in the hospital this evening. Those need help, need encouragement. Strengthen them more. Let them know we love and we’re praying for. And we thank you again for all you have done and what you’re going to do in Jesus name and amen.
Amen. All right, we’re going to be dismissed. There’s a lot of different things I wanted to say tonight. Just trying to get ready for camp meeting. There’s another passage of scripture I had on my mind, as in Psalms, but we won’t go through. There might be another few minutes. We won’t do that, but let’s just come ready to hear from God, okay? Can you do that and make that commitment? I’m going to say yes, lord. Whatever he tells me, whatever he shows me, maybe he’s just going to encourage me to do the things that I’m doing, but I just may need to do it more. Whatever it is, I’m going to say, yes, Lord, I’m going to listen to Him. Okay? All right, so we’ll be dismissed. You’ll be back Sunday morning at 10:00. If you’re a man or a young man, or a young young man. I’m not sure how young we’re going to go, but we have to talk about that one. Rachel says, yeah, probably not that young, but be here Friday, okay? Friday at 05:00, if you can. And then Saturday at ten, like to have everybody out, just meet here for a few minutes. They’ll pray, and then we’ll be dispersed and go whichever way you need to go and take some things out of the community. Then Sunday morning at 10:00, sunday school will kick off camp meeting. Amen. And then we have visitors come throughout the week. But remember, this meeting is for us as a church to help us, encourage us. So she’s somebody that’s not here tonight, you encourage them to be here Sunday, be here this week. And if you got friends, if you’re fortunate enough to have friends and can loan me one or two, I’d appreciate it. Just kidding. Who needs friends right now? I’m just kidding. But if you’ve got friends, you bring them, okay? You bring them. They’ll be encouraged or be helped, be challenged, be a blessing. All right, how many of you looking forward to camp meeting? I hope you are. If not, I’ll keep you another 15 minutes and you will be all right. All right, brother Ray, you dismissed.