I encourage you to read Revelation 3:14-22 carefully. Notice in particular vs. 19, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” Jesus rebukes & chastens The Church. Rebuke means - convict, finds fault with, or corrects. Chasten means - Train up, discipline, & instruct. So we see Jesus corrects and disciplines the Church. Why? Because He loves it. Who The Lord loves, He corrects (Prv 3:11-12). In Heb 12:5-11, we learn that if The Lord did not correct us, then we aren’t even His children, and He doesn’t love us. We also learn that we should never despise His correction, for it is good for us in the long run.
Correction and discipline are a blessing to those on the right path, but the one who hates it will die (Pro 15:10). If you refuse God’s correction, you hate your own soul (Prv 15:32). Good parents correct and discipline their children because they love them and want what’s best for them. If we hate them, we’ll let them do whatever they want (Prv 13:24). God is a good Parent. He loves us enough to correct us &discipline us when we need it.
Many Christians think Jesus being angry at us, or rebuking or disciplining us, is considered heresy now! “Jesus is love! We should only teach love! The Gospel is love!”. Finney wrote about this same issue in the 1830’s! There is nothing new under the sun. Back then, like today, if you talk about sin, holiness, works, repentance or any obligation we may have as Christians, you’re called a Pharisee and legalist by many. Well, I guess that means they think Jesus is a Pharisee & legalist, because He rebuked His Church and commanded them to repent! Are we not in the Church Age? Do His words to the churches in Rev. 2& 3 not apply to us? They certainly do! Jesus stands in the middle of our church! He encourages us to persevere in what we’re doing right, and commands us to repent of what we are doing wrong! Why? Because He loves us! This is the truth of God’s Word!
How do we love people out of sin, destruction, and Hell? Like Jesus did in Rev 3:19. Your not doing your neighbor any favor by allowing them to sin against God, while you say nothing. Your not “loving them out” of anything! Your just giving them a comfortable ride to Hell! In fact, it means you hate them in your heart (Lev19:17). No, you can’t make them change - but you can love them enough to tell them the truth. Tell them in love. Tell them because you care. But tell them the truth! If they don’t hear from us what God says is right and wrong, where will they hear it?
The Church needs revival! America is Sodom (Ezk 16:46-51), and Sodom has crept into (and in some places, taken over) the church. How do we know we need revival? No burden, no tears, no heart for the lost; no evangelistic zeal. When was the last time you led someone to Jesus? When was the last time you even tried? Lukewarmness & indifference about church, Jesus, holiness. Lax morals & toleration of sin. No confidence, no backbone, and a compromising attitude (aka “politically correct syndrome). Boredom with Christian walk. More interest and involvement in the world than the things of God. Self absorbed and isolated (aka “Me and my problems are the center of the universe). No compassion for sinners or saints - nitpicky, negative, complainer, gossip, problem causer, etc., etc. Does any of this describe you or your church? You need revival.
Biblical & historical steps in genuine revival are: 1. Conviction of sin (You get serious with God, and He wakes you up, and puts His finger on sin in your life). 2. Acknowledgement of sin (instead of denying it or ignoring it, you own up to it and admit it). 3. Confession of sin (you confess your sins to God with brokenness & sincerity - and to people you know you’ve sinned against). 4. Turning from sin (repentance). You renounce those sins and walk away from them by the power of the Holy Spirit. There will be no revival without starting here. This is where it begins. Revival starts in God’s House. The world won’t get right with Him, until we do.
What will be the result? A renewed desire for holiness; a deep inner joy; a renewed seriousness in your prayer life; a hunger for the Word of God; a dissatisfaction and distaste for the things of the world; a renewed love for the brethren and for church; a revelation of eternity & the seriousness of Hell, which results in a burden for the lost and being a soul winner. That sounds like Apostolic, First Century, real Christian living - doesn’t it? If you’re serious about revival, pray the following prayer - it will get you started. If you’re not, don’t waste God’s time.
Dear Father, I come to you as Your child, in the Name of Jesus. I have been awakened to, and convicted of, areas of lukewarmness, hard heartedness, and indifference in my life. I make no excuses. I acknowledge this is sin, and I confess it to you. I confess lacking zeal. I confess I’ve been indifferent towards the lost. I confess the areas of laziness in my spiritual life (name them). I confess I have let worldliness come into my heart. I have compromised in areas (name them). I’ve let down my shield. I have become lax in some morals (name them). I have been busy in many things, but not in your service. I am occupied with much (name it), but little of it is Kingdom business. I take inventory of my life right now.
I receive your correction Lord. Jesus, You tell me to be zealous and repent. Lord I believe - help my unbelief. Fill me as I stir myself up. I turn from lukewarmness. I turn from indifference. I turn from sin. Set me on fire dear Jesus! May I be a burning torch of righteousness in this world! May I be a bright light in the darkness! May I be a preacher of truth! May I stand for truth! May I live the truth! Dear Lord, ignite revival fire within me! Within the churches! In Jesus name! Amen!