Barriers to Revival! - Part 1
It is my delightful joy to continue preaching to you this series of messages about Revival.
The title of my message today is, "Barriers to Revival!" (Part 1)
My scripture reading is from Mark 2:1-5, and it says, "A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2 They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, "Son, your sins are forgiven."
"BARRIERS TO REVIVAL!!"
As a Christian and especially as an Evangelist, my prayer is that we as a church do not "hold back" the blessings of God. In our text we see Jesus preaching in a certain house. A crowd of people had gathered, a crowd so large that they filled the whole house and overflowed into the courtyard. Every door was blocked by a mass of humanity. There were people everywhere wanting to see and to hear Jesus speak.
In our text, we see that there was a sick man…but even though he was sick, he was very fortunate, because he had four friends in verse 3 who wanted to help him get to Jesus. They went down to the street to bring their sick friend to Jesus, but they couldn't get him in because the crowd was so large. This massive crowd erected ‘a barrier' between the man and the blessings that Jesus had for him. The text tells us how his friends took him up on the roof, cut a hole in it, and then lowered him down to Jesus and the blessings of God. THE CHURCH should never become a barrier to others that would keep them from getting closer to Christ and the blessings of God. If our hearts are not right with God, then we could easily become a barrier that would keep others from the blessings of God. Blessings that they so desperately need.
The Christian life is a life in the Spirit. If we have a wrong spirit, or a life that is not lived in the Spirit…the blessings of God can never flow to us or through us. WE MUST HAVE A GOOD SPIRIT!!
Let us look at some wrong spirits that easily become, "Barriers to Revival."
A SINFUL SPIRIT IS A BARRIER TO REVIVAL!!
Psalm 119:11 says, "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." Reading and studying God's Word is crucial in living a life that pleases God. If our life is not pleasing in the eyes of God, then our lives could easily become a barrier to others around us. Joshua Chapter 7 tells us of the defeat of the Israeli army and the defeat of Jericho. The reason why there was such a tragic defeat is because there was sin in the camp. Church, when there is sin in the camp, it will indeed be a major barrier to revival. Joshua and the elders of Israel tore their clothes and fell to their faces before God….WHY?
Because of one person's SIN. God said, "Get up off your face, Israel has sinned and that is why you were defeated." WHY? Because of one person's sin.
A REBELLIOUS SPIRIT IS A BARRIER TO REVIVAL!!
Jonah is a great example. God wanted to bless him and use him to help bring a mighty revival to Ninevah. God said to Jonah only one word…GO But Jonah replied with only one word…NO. WHY? Rebellion! With a rebellious spirit you are building a spiritual wall…a wall that no blessings can ever get over. God has a plan…REVIVAL! But if you rebel against God and erect a spiritual wall…you cannot expect the blessings of God. When Jonah turned from his rebellion and obeyed God's voice…the result was a mighty revival with complete repentance from the entire city of Nineveh.
A WORDLY SPIRIT IS A BARRIER TO REVIVAL!!
Demas is a great example of this point. Here was a young man who heard Paul preach…he was charmed by the personality of Paul. Every word Paul spoke was a challenge to his heart. In a great moment of spiritual ecstasy he cried out, "I will leave everything and go with this man in the service of the Lord." He started out fine, but one day they came to a great city of bright lights and the world blinded Demas. And then we read these sad words spoken by Paul in II Tim. 4:10, "Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world." Demas cut off every blessing from God because of his worldly spirit and became a barrier to revival and the blessings of God. There are so many like Demas…they start off great for God, then one day the world or worldly things call them away.
You may, at one time in your life like Demas…you were really sold out for God, but now you look, listen, and follow the things of this world. And now, Christ has no room in your life. Your blessings have ceased to come because of that worldly spirit. And with that kind of spirit you will be a "Barrier" to revival. Let's not be a "Barrier" to our friends, but let's lead them to Jesus. The sick man had four friends that led him to Jesus…they found a way to get him there. This should be our main desire… to bring someone to Christ and believe God for a mighty world-wide revival. Let's not let anything become a "Barrier" for revival
LET US PRAY:
Father, I pray for everyone listening to this message today. I pray that you would forgive them of their sins and that they would live for You and believe You for revival. I ask this for personal revival in their life in Jesus name, Amen.
I close by saying this; I encourage you to accept Jesus as the Lord of you life today and live for Him. God Bless!
FOR YOU TO CONSIDER:
- Are there additional barriers to revival?
- What is a barrier in your life?
- How can we help others with their barriers?
- What are modern day barriers in the church?