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Returning for Revival (7 of 7)
Hosea 14:1-7 - ''O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. (2) Take with you words, and turn to the Lord: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips. (3) Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy. (4) I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him. (5) I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon. (6) His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon. (7) They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon.''
This passage speaks of the backslider. What is a backslider? It is a child of God who has gotten out of fellowship with God. A backslider isn't a lost person - but a saved person. You have to go somewhere in order to slide back. It is a person who needs to return.
Someone once asked - ''Do Baptists believe in backsliding?'' The reply? ''We not only believe in backsliding - we practice it!''
So often we call an evangelistic crusade a revival meeting. An evangelistic crusade and a revival meeting are two different things. You can't revive a dead man. Evangelism is turning dead men to life. What we need in our churches today is revival!
I believe revival is more important than evangelism because when we have revival - we will see evangelism. Our first job is not primarily to spread the Gospel; our first job is to be empowered so that we might spread the Gospel.
Acts 1:8 - ''But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea and in Sa ...
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