The Christmas season is upon us with all the hustle and bustle that it brings. The busyness of the season can distract us from the important work of the Church that Jesus came to establish in the first place. From the moment that Jesus was born, the institutions of this world have been trying to snuff Him and the message that He brings out. But the message of Jesus is not a candle in the wind; it is a raging fire that no human can destroy. When they couldn’t kill his message, they settled for killing Him instead. Unwittingly, they had fulfilled the ancient prophecies and made the Gospel complete by enabling a powerful resurrection.
The forces of darkness are still intent upon killing the work of the Gospel at every opportunity and will use whatever means necessary to do so. It is the high calling of the Church to protect, preserve, and promote the Gospel, especially during the Christmas season when commercialism seeks to compete with the true reason for the season. And so, rather than be distracted, we must keep revival ever at the forefront of our thinking.
People who’ve experienced real revival know that revival is hard work. I had a wonderful godly man confide in me one time that he felt guilty because he didn’t really want to see his church grow. I asked him why and he said, “Because I have lived through one revival, and it wore me out.” I knew what he was trying to say. If you visit the birthing wing on a busy day at any hospital, you’ll see a perfect illustration of revival. A church goes through the process of pregnancy and the pain of labor and finally gives birth to spiritual babies in the Lord. All those babies need constant care and constant attention, or they’ll perish. Let me share three things that will kill revival just as surely as Herod tried to kill baby Jesus.
1. CONFLICT & COMPETITION
Technically these are two things. However, usually, conflict within the Church is directly related to competition. That’s why Scripture instructs us to prefer our brethren over ourselves (Romans 12:10). Pride, self-promotion, a heart that is easily and quickly offended, and competition will destroy the work of revival and hinder the flow of the Spirit. Therefore, refuse to participate or fall into the trap of these revival killers.
Complacency is the state of being satisfied with how things are and lacking any desire to make them better. In a spiritual sense, there are varying degrees of complacency, but the bottom line is that the Church is mandated to be constantly reaching, reaping, preaching, and growing. We can be satisfied with nothing less. Laziness, selfishness, self-righteousness, lack of passion, lack of compassion, and small-mindedness contribute to the dangerous prevalence of spiritual complacency.
There is an overwhelming trend towards diluting the Gospel, placing a stranglehold on churches around the world. Tragically, when you dilute the Gospel, it ceases to be the Gospel. Cafeteria Christianity does not save, it does not deliver, and although it will initially attract crowds, it ultimately fails to sustain. Easy believe-ism does not endure when the rubber meets the road. Those unwilling to buy the truth and sell it not (Proverbs 23:23) will abandon the cross like a child discarding a broken toy on Christmas night.