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After Revival, Now What?

Dr. George Bannister
Preparing For Revival  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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After Revival, Now What?
Acts 2:42–47
Acts 2:42–47 NLT
42 All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. 43 A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. 44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. 46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity— 47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.
INTRODUCTION:
Now that the revival meetings are over, you and I need to answer some key questions.
1. What impact have the services had upon my life?
2. What specific directions has the Holy Spirit given for me to follow?
3. What specific actions do I need to carry out in order to fulfill the directions that God has given me?
4. What do I need to do in order to fuel my renewed love for Christ and passion for his mission?
In our text, the members of the early church faced the same questions. The individuals who were already believers prior to Pentecost had been reignited by the power of the Holy Spirit. They had experienced the cycle of emotions that moved from love for Christ and excitement about his mission (during his earthly ministry) to fear and despondency experienced after his crucifixion. They had faced the exciting, yet uncertain days between Christ's resurrection and the infusion of Holy Spirit power on the day of Pentecost. As the Holy Spirit came upon them, he had accomplished great things through them on the harvest day known as Pentecost. Over 3000 souls had been saved in one day!
The thousands of new converts on the day of Pentecost experienced Holy Spirit ignition for the 1st time. The joy of experiencing the forgiveness of sins and the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives imparted joy that words could not describe. In addition, the Lord had continued to add to the church daily those who were being saved.
While individuals in these 3 groups were at different levels of spiritual growth, they all faced the common question, "what now!"
The word of God has some pointers for us that will not only help continue the effects of the reignite services, but can also help the results of those services to grow in intensity. Throughout history, the revival of God's people also ignited spiritual awakening within great populations of lost individuals. So, this morning, we are going to look at the subject "after revival, now what?" The pattern laid down in the early church to help them continue in the spirit of revival will also be of help to us. Notice the scriptural pattern:

I- GET SERIOUS ABOUT GOD'S WORD (Acts 2:42 a).

Acts 2:42a NLT
42 All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.
A – Pay attention to what God has said.
1. Listen carefully to scriptural teaching and seek to actively apply it to your life.
2. Your spirit has been awakened in revival, do not put it back to sleep!
B- Persevere in applying it to your life.
1. Seek to make specific application to your life.
2. This is where real life change begins.
(Romans 12:2)
Romans 12:2 NLT
2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
(Matthew 23:26)
Matthew 23:26 NLT
26 You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too.
C- Promote personal readiness in living out God's word.
1. Actively seek to walk in continual obedience to what God has shown you.
(Ephesians 4:24)
Ephesians 4:24 NLT
24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.
(Colossians 3:10)
Colossians 3:10 NLT
10 Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.

II- GROW IN FELLOWSHIP WITH OTHER GROWING CHRISTIANS. (Acts 2:42 b)

Acts 2:42b NLT
42 All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.
A- Seek to form relationships with other committed Christians.
1- Close fellowship among believers was vital in the early church.
a. Christians lived in a social environment that was hostile to their commitment.
b. Family and friends many times turned their backs on these new believers.
c. Ultimately, Christians faced persecution and even martyrdom for their faith in Jesus Christ.
2- Contemporary believers also need this type of fellowship.
a. Christians today are also living in a social climate that is hostile to living out a commitment to Christ.
b. Many times, those who would live out committed Christian lives find themselves ostracized by old friends and family.
c. Christians who desire to grow in their commitment to Christ and his mission need to unite in close fellowship. This will help us keep the fires of our love for Christ alive and our passion for his mission intact.
B- Seek to deepen the level of fellowship with other committed Christians.
1- The deepening of fellowship requires that we become more involved in each other's lives.
a. A good description for this involvement is "living life together."
1) Living life together begins with intentionally choosing to spend time together.
2) Living life together includes being willing to share the concerns of life with each other. (James 5:16)
James 5:16 NLT
16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
a) The Scriptures give several examples:
· Concerns about the work of God (Acts 4:23 – 24)
Acts 4:23–24 NLT
23 As soon as they were freed, Peter and John returned to the other believers and told them what the leading priests and elders had said. 24 When they heard the report, all the believers lifted their voices together in prayer to God: “O Sovereign Lord, Creator of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them—
· Concerns about difficulties (Romans 7:15)
Romans 7:15 NLT
15 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.
· Concerns about burdens (Romans 9:1–4; 10:1)
Romans 9:1–4 NLT
1 With Christ as my witness, I speak with utter truthfulness. My conscience and the Holy Spirit confirm it. 2 My heart is filled with bitter sorrow and unending grief 3 for my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters. I would be willing to be forever cursed—cut off from Christ!—if that would save them. 4 They are the people of Israel, chosen to be God’s adopted children. God revealed his glory to them. He made covenants with them and gave them his law. He gave them the privilege of worshiping him and receiving his wonderful promises.
Romans 10:1 NLT
1 Dear brothers and sisters, the longing of my heart and my prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved.
b) The sharing grows until both joys and sorrows affect others involved in the fellowship. (Romans 12:15)
Romans 12:15 NLT
15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.
3) Living life together results in a growth of mutual love. (1 Thessalonians 3:12)
1 Thessalonians 3:12 NLT
12 And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows.
a) the growth of mutual love for each other creates a family atmosphere in which there is a natural caring for each other. (Acts 2:44 – 45)
Acts 2:44–45 NLT
44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need.

III- GIVE YOURSELF TO AN ACTIVE AND SERIOUS PRAYER – LIFE. (Acts 2:42 d)

Acts 2:42d NLT
42 All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.
A. Be open and honest with God.
1. Do not try to put on a mask.
a. God knows the difference. (John 2:25)
John 2:25 NLT
25 No one needed to tell him about human nature, for he knew what was in each person’s heart.
2. be open and honest about your sin.
3. Be open and honest about your feelings.
4. Be open and honest about your fears.
5. Be open and honest about your concerns.
B. Be bold with God. (Hebrews 4:16)
Hebrews 4:16 NLT
16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
1. Do not give up. Continue to ask, seek, and knock. (Matthew 7:7)
Matthew 7:7 NLT
7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.
2. Remember the story of the woman and the unjust judge.
C. Be given to constant prayer. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
1 Thessalonians 5:17 NLT
17 Never stop praying.
1. it is possible to live life in conversation with the living God!
2. It is important that we seek him in all that we do. (Proverbs 3:5 – 7)
Proverbs 3:5–7 NLT
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. 7 Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
CONCLUSION:
When we continue to live in the way taught above, notice the results – Acts 2:43 – 47.
Acts 2:43–47 NLT
43 A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. 44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. 46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity— 47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.
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