Leonard Ravenhill said that “any true revival can be proven by the fact that it changed the moral climate of an area”. There seems to be a difference in the Book of Acts between those events where the Apostles preached the gospel message to evangelize and where they spoke to the religious people to convict them of their moral state. Peter’s first sermon addressed his own Jewish people (“Men of Judea”, “Men of Israel”, and “house of Israel) who were steeped in their religious traditions but had missed the message of the Old Testament (Acts 2:14, 22, 36). The result of this Spirit-filled message was that those who “heard this…were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the Apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”” (2:37). As the following verse shows, there was a dramatic ‘change to the moral climate’ through repentance!
Stephen answered the Jewish council and high priest as “Brothers and fathers” (Acts 7:22). Sadly, there was no ‘change to the moral climate’ because they refused to allow God’s Word to convict their hearts.
Often, we see churches go to extremes in promoting “Revival” services, some for weeks. In speaking with a pastor recently after a revival event at their church, I asked what the result was? As he lowered his face, looking down at the table, he said, “Nothing, people have gone back to the way they were”! It is my conviction that revival only happens when we want a moral climate change to take place in our own hearts. Revival is a cry of the heart to God that He change what we cannot change. With His help, we turn away from the old and seek God’s help, “put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator” (Colossians 3:9-10).
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