5th May 2024

Awakening – Part 2

Passage: Romans 13:11-14, John 14:7-11
Service Type:

This sermon further explores the concept of “spiritual awakening”, emphasizing the importance of moving from spiritual slumber to a life of active faith. Drawing from Romans 13:11-14, the message highlights the need for Christians to cast off the works of darkness and to put on the armor of light, embodying the character of Christ. It also discusses historical awakenings, demonstrating how the Holy Spirit's powerful movements can revitalize both individuals and communities. The sermon encourages believers to seek a deeper, transformative relationship with Jesus, resulting in a vibrant fellowship and renewed commitment to God's mission.

Automatically Generated Transcript

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In the morning service...in the morning service we were looking at the concept of awakening. And a part of the reason for so doing is in the scriptures, we had this morning this set of verses in Romans 13 and I'm continuing on from that talk this evening. Let me just have this verse again besides this, you know the time that the hour has has come for you to wake from sleep." The idea of waking from sleep is the idea of an awaking. For salvation is nearer now than when you first believed. It's looking at salvation as a whole, including your coming to Christ and then your sanctification and finally, your arriving in glory. All of that is your salvation, and the conclusion of it is nearer now than when you first believed.

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So, then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the Armour of Light. And what awakening is about is a term that's used in the history of Christianity to there being times of sudden movements of the Holy Spirit, such that areas of people and groups of people have had an awakening which you would call a spiritual awakening. that spiritual awakening they do, just this, cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy, but put on the Lord Jesus Christ which is where we finished in the morning. What we're to do is to seek to what is meant by, put on the Lord Jesus Christ and as Cameron who was leading then told us, it's a mysterious statement. What does it mean to put on the Lord Jesus Christ? It means

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to let him be very much who he wants to be in you. It means to let his character be the one that dominates rather than the flesh in us, which could be very different from the character of Christ. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify it's desires or fulfill the desires thereof the old version said and the fact that we as Christians before we get to glory do have the problem of the flesh against the spirit is being referred to here as the possibility then that even though we may have genuinely come to Christ and one of the things I explain in the morning is that when people get converted that is for them and initial awakening into the spiritual world but even though you've we've had the initial awakening of being—coming to Christ, nonetheless you can get lax and you can get lazy.

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And you can get content to put up the defeat of being a person that's merely displaying the things of the flesh rather the things of the Spirit. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ is when you let by the Holy Spirit the likeness of Jesus be that which comes out of you. Now, I wanted to go a bit further because some people ask about this use of the question or use of the word awakening as to whether or not we haven't made up some technical term to talk about something that maybe is not what the Scriptures are saying or maybe which doesn't exist. Some of the proof of there is such a thing as an awakening is found in history because because at different times across the centuries there have been just out of the blue

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happenings where the Holy Spirit has come upon peoples or groups of peoples or sometimes a district, where everybody riding a horse into that district came under a conviction of sin and found themselves getting converted. There came the work of the Holy Spirit so that either individuals or persons who were not not Christians became Christians, or persons who were Christians, felt led to get back to the roots, and to get back to where they were to be. The second evidence we have, for this being a proper term — biblical term — is indeed because of what we have in the Book of Revelation, I referred this morning to chapters 2 and 3 in the Book of Revelation, which gives the letters of Christ to the churches and where Now he refers to things of churches being different, different states, being to different

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conditions, and some of them were being called back to what they'd been at the start. And in one case was exhorted to do the things they did at first. And that sudden movement of the Spirit upon Christian people in churches can be an awakening in a church. And as this morning I was trying to say, I believe it is a genuinely good aim for us to have as a church to be aiming at having a time of an awakening, at least to ask God for such. It is something in his sovereign hand, so you can't just decide to because we decide to, but we can pray. And there are lots of Old Testament examples of the people of God in the old Covenant being overcome by circumstances in their times, which might have been famine, might have been warfare, it might have been disease, could be a number

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of factors. And so, in 2 Chronicles, you know the famous passage, if my people caught by my name shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven. And we will forgive their sin and we will heal their land. And whatever might be something that is a thing that's came across the land of Israel then God

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would have an answer to. And similarly, in a parallel way in the New Covenant times, there are things that come across the church. Sometimes they're economic. Sometimes they're having a Covid time when all sorts of problems come to the church meeting and carrying out its normal practices. But if we cry out to God, what ever be the problem that is that which is upon us? Not necessarily like the Old Testament of there being a pestilence or there being the Philistines coming from it's act. But nonetheless whatever is the problem of the day it then boils down to the church as to whether or not they're simply going to look for some human response,

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reliance on our wisdom humanly, or whether we're going to rely upon God. And so the application of that Old Testament verse – if my people who are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray – is still the answer, even though the problem may be a different one in our times, where we cry out to God to help us and there can come in that crying out to God what would actually be one about these Awakenings – and And that is actually how some of them actually started back in their different circumstances in history. Now just as we talk about there being in history these enlightened's, let me just say for a start, by the way, did you know that there are people who believe in the same sort of thing but who are not in the Christian religion.

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For example, both Buddhism and also Hinduism talk about what they call and enlightenment. Did you know that the very name Buddha means enlightening? It means awakening. The very name means, and as a part of their religion, there is a belief in seeking to work towards having a, what they call enlightenment, but it's the same thing as we're saying as, an awakening, the difference being that we're trusting in the God of heaven and they're trusting in their particular religion. So the word is in credence, it is in use in all sorts of places. It's also, if you read in English novels, you'll find that very often that the name of the writer is to bring his readers to a place of having some enlightenment or awakening

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to social factors or to factors in the society which people were unaware of beforehand, and So it is possible that there could be an enlightenment that is not necessarily a spiritual one, just a natural one. Many of us discover this when we go into some line of work, Christian work, or in some line of business. It may not be necessarily Christian at all. But as we go along the way, we come to actually know more of the factors that influence the behavior that we're involved with, and the decisions that we have to make. And there can be a time when people say, I've had an enlightenment as to what this job is all about.

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There's nothing wrong with there being sort of human enlightements according to us suddenly realizing where the land lies. And many a person has discovered in their life. Usually, this is something that can happen in your late 20s, for example, where you suddenly realize that you've been completely unaware of the chief factors that have to do with of the socialization you're involved with in the Church or has to do with your getting a success and getting your foot on the ladder as far as your career is concerned, and you could say quite appropriately that I have had an awakening as to how I should go about this. There's been times many folk have come to place humanly of realizing that they've been spending their energies and time in the wrong manner. They have not realized

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what was the real necessity of their predicament or of the thing that they have launched themselves to be involved in. And that happens even in sporting groups or people who find that they've been going about it in the wrong way whether you're in cricket and you've learned, I want to tell you I had an enlightenment as a cricket player in school this is. This is not big-time cricket, but just schoolboy stuff. But the enlightenment was when— because I was in the place, in the team I was his captain but I was, because of a very good bowler,

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but I was a lousy batsman. And for many years I didn't know why batting was hard for me, do you want me to tell you what my enlightenment was? I used to face up for the balls coming down with my bat on the ground and when I suddenly realised that the clever thing to do was to lift it up ready, now it might sound simple, but I was stupid enough not to realise, so that when the ball did come down I saw what to do I went like that, it went by ...

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And there was the enlightenment for me to realize that if you want to be a good batsman, what you do is ... There was a number of things I have to learn. One was to lift your bat up and the other's to put your eye over the line of the ball coming down. What a stupid goose I've been all the time never to know that, I got enlightened. Now, I want to say to us tonight, just because there is a natural part of being enlightened as you suddenly get you dawn on what is the chief factors you've been missing

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that doesn't mean that they can't also be times of what we call spiritual enlightenment. When the Enlightenment comes because of the Holy Spirit then it is a spiritual one. And the Holy Spirit can bring understandings as to where Christianity's all about. That is actually what happens when people first get converted. there's many a person who's been a church attender or a person who's had a religious bent or someone who's believed in Christianity because their family did and they've always just accepted it, but they had no idea that what that

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Christianity was about was actually about them and Jesus and the fact that he's available to know you. Like the young man who said to me, after he came to Christ, one of my school friends, he says, I have had no idea how did he word He said, I don't know why I had so much trouble understanding... I don't know, he said, I don't understand how come I had so much trouble understanding before, before we realized that Christ as a Savior is a real living person available for him to come to. And he said to me, Jimmy said, you've got something. I don't know what it is, but I want it. And I said back to him, it's not a thing. It's a hymn, it's Jesus. And he had to come to the place of realising it was an enlightenment for him,

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that what Christianity is all about is your relationship to Christ and whether or not you found him to be your personal savior. There's many a person who's thought that being a Christian was ascribing to some way of life or taking on board a certain set of behaviours or even being a worshipful person. Some people think being a theist makes you a Christian but being a theist doesn't make you a Christian. In fact, the book of Hebrews says, if any person would come to God, he must first believe that he is—that's being a theist—and that he's a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. There are some things further steps forward than just believing in God than makes you

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a Christian. It is to realize that you need to do business with Christ as a Savior. It's quite possible amongst the numbers that we have here tonight that there's someone here who's actually never twigged. You've done all the right things to put yourself in the running to be a Christian person, but have you ever realised that the key to actually happening is when you realise that he puts out a call and you need to respond? And I'm talking about myself. That's what happened to me who thought I was a pretty good little Christian at the age of nine.

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It's funny what you think when you're little. But I'd never done business with Jesus as a saviour, and on the week that I realised that was the truth was the week that I came to Christ because I was awakened and how did that happen? That only happens because the Spirit of God gets involved and Jesus told his disciples as they approached near the end of his time with them. He says that he's going to go back to heaven. They were all disappointed at what he was going to do but he said spirit to them. And when he comes, he will convict the world of sin." Later on, of righteousness and of judgment, he said, the Holy Spirit will convict of these

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things. And so it is a spiritual happening that gives you that first initial enlightenment that makes you a Christian. And what I was saying this morning is, thereafter there's times when you can get lazy as a Christian and need another moment of enlightenment where you're lifted out of the laziness and the sinfulness or the slothfulness, or the prayerlessness or the laxness, whatever it might be in your case, and made to become someone who's keen. And one of the features that's happened in our church is at different times there have been people who've been just regular persons going to church but they've somehow caught alights… got on fire, whatever wording we want to use to describe her, but that's a happening

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that's actually an enlightenment. In my church in Sydney was a young man who was a very, very keen person for missions and he publicly told him, described himself and said it was about him that he was what he called a mission head and everything was about missions. He had contexts that were very much involved in missions and he was going to one day be a missionary and he said he was a mission head. But there came a day when he told me that he'd stopped being a mission head and he'd become a gospel head. A gospel, however, how he was wording it, someone who realized that there's something more enlightening than just the practice of mission—more important than the practice of mission—it is actually the gospel.

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And if you look at the Great Commission in the New Testament, the Great Commission is just about kicking people out on the mission. The New Testament's about the gospel. And what they're being asked to do is to preach the gospel to every creature. That doesn't mean the animals as well, but it means to every person. And you can see that when you put together the Great Commission in Matthew and compare it with Mark, and what they have in common is the command to go with the gospel, is what underlies mission. mission actually makes sense when you understand it is to take the gospel to the world. Well, anyway, that was an awakening for him in a sort of human sense that was

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triggered spiritually. I remember there was another young man who at the invitation by the evening service came forward amongst some who were responding to Christ, and he was one of my youth leaders. He was a very good youth leader. He's presently a pastor in Sydney. He's a person who's a very skilful young man in lots of areas areas of life including music, but he came forward and I talked him out, took him out of the side, out to the counseling place and I said, why did you come forward? And what he said to me is the Book of Romans got me. I can't remember the exact wording but the Book of Romans got me.

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We were going through the Book of Romans and this is one of the spots where at the end the book of Romans, all the pennies drop. And you can have a theological enlighting as to what makes people keen Christians. I want to tell you, it is when they suddenly understand the Gospel at depth and it gets a grip on them, it changes all your perspective as to what Christianity ought to be about. There are people who would like there a mission heads, you know. I think there are people who are what I call church heads. I have never used so i've never used it quite that way before but people who see that the chief thing is to be a church person there's actually a lesser thing to be than a Jesus person or a gospel person because the gospel is preeminently about the person of Jesus and our relationship with him and what he does when we hand over as in the book of romans chapter 12 when you've

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you've gone through all the things about becoming a Christian, Chapter 12 is about I beseech you therefore brethren by the mercies of God that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice and you'll go on to discover the will of God, it says, by, first of all, coming to the place of handing back to God that which has always been his. But the Gospel calls us to give ourselves into the hand of God and be a living sacrifice, and then you'll see things differently. You'll hear things differently. I had the joy of being involved with Leighton Ford and some of his reach-outs back at that time. And Leighton Ford had a sermon in which he gave an illustration that came out of Brisbane. It happened, I think, because he got to the five ways over there in the north side,

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just the inner north side, where there's five different directions you could go. And the car that he was in, I might have even been driving, I can't remember exactly, but it came to a stop. And there was a car came up next to us, which had its windows down, and the bloke inside, oh was it a woman anyway? The person inside was doing some antics. When you see someone doing an antics but you don't know why, you think uh.. It would have been unusual, you know? And I was looking across and she or he, I can't remember, was going, you know, like this, then they press the button to wind the window down.

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And then we heard the music to which all the antics made sense. And he used it as an illustration, that Christians are like that. We have got some internal thing in us. When you come to Christ, and you give over to him to be the control of your life there is something inside you that's creating spiritual music as it were. R the people looking in on our lives they see us thinking, that's a bit weird. That's why some of your friends think you're weird, you know, because they don't know the music you've got from Jesus, but if they could understand that music they'd understand why we do what we do. And the thing about being a person who's a Christian who's switched on is that they've come to that deeper commitment to Jesus to let him be heard by them from the inside out.

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That's what makes you a keen Christian, and that when you understand that the Gospel's all about you and Jesus and how to be committed to him and handed over to him, that's when When you hear the music, you'll get lots of your friends who will think you're a bit weird, you know, like this. Because the non-Christian people have no way to understand the joy and the leadings and the sense of fellowship you have. One of the things I think is one of the greatest witnesses that happens through a church, is the fellowship. Praise God for what he's doing in our church. It is that we have that coffee stuff at the back at the front.

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I'm not sure whether that's the back or the front but down there. After the service, and since we've been doing that, the people don't get to walk out to go around to the back there, that's good because they don't see their cars and they'd have the temptation to jump in and drive home. But they stay in the church and the people who serve in those things down there, they don't know how much they're contributing. And perhaps some of them do, to the fellowship of the church that that enables and when people stay here I'm always amazed at how long this place has got people in it after the morning service and they just don't go home. Usually I'm pretty tired at the end

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of the morning service knowing they're going to stay around long enough what if I've gotta close the windows. So it's so funny how all silly little feelings or thoughts come to you but I want to say it's a joy to see that people don't scurry home. My church in Sydney had a a coldness about it at first when I went there. And you'd have a benediction, I used to walk down to the door, The elders used to sit up behind me like this when I was talking, We had an old fashion, this is coming back a few years. And they walked down and stand in that way, and the shake hands of the people leaving. of the people leaving.

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All the people were out and Sioux 15 minutes, Something weird struck me about that. And they got going, a music group, a group of singers all ages, and Ellen Krank actually was a one who was in charge of it, if you know her. And the day that that started, people coming out the door says, ìThat was a terrific group.î And I began to notice that they weren't running out the door so quick. Something happened in the church, a fellowship started that was live and real. people didn't want to just escape that quick. If you come along to church and you get home, you know, you've done my bit, you don't know what I'm talking about, I talked about,

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you need an awakening, an awakening about you and Christ. Because what will happen in that awakening is you also discover Sarah and John and Mary, and Peter and James, or I could go You discover the other people, the other christians, and one of the symptoms of people having come to an awakening is that they discover some very precious pearls in the people around them. People who they might have looked at as idiosyncratic types or unusual, churchy person, had a regard for those people all in different ways. But when you have an awakening about you and Jesus, one of the fruits of it is that you see Jesus in the other people.

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And there's a fellowship. That's what fellowship is. Truly our fellowship is with God the Father and with his son Jesus Christ. He is the one that causes the fellowship. And sometimes people need an awakening, not to think of church in terms of some sociological happening that they're attending to. to think of church as some historical connection they've had, when people backslide and go away from church and say. Well, I did that in my youth, but now I've grown up or something. They never

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found the real church, because if they did they wouldn't be in such a hurry to run out of it. Jesus is here. One of the evidences for the reality of the awakening, as I'm describing it and defining it, is in history that there have been times when the Holy Spirit has come upon groups of Christians, so much so that historians who study the advance of Christianity, who study the Western or Eastern world, depending on where you're studying, and the man under whom I did my PhD was an expert at just this very thing, studying Christianity, is that you recognize there have been times when the Holy Spirit came, just at certain moments, and they're given names. There's the First Awakening, there's the Second Awakening,

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there's the Third Awakening, just naming periods of time. And the First Awakening of Christianity was what happened in the USA, and then a concomitant time was happening in England with Wesley, and this is in the 17, see if I can get this right, I often don't say it correctly Because when you say 1700s, now you mean 1691 through to 1700, is it, or off the other way around, 1701 through, well the 1700s will be 1701 through to 1799, but that is the,

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which century, let me get it right, that's this 70th century, have I got it right, man? Come on, you're a, who's a historian amongst us? Anyway and so there were in the time when Jonathan Edwards in America and John Wesley in Britain and George Whitfield in Britain were people who had similar things happening and they actually got together. So there was some crisscross across the Atlantic and it's called the Great Awakening. And what happened was, there came a period of time The Holy Spirit came on whole sectors of people, starting in Connecticut

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in the Eastern side of the United States with Jonathan Edwards. And he had a grandfather who was a preacher and a father who was a preacher. And he got to be a preacher But there was something that happened while he was ministering where the Spirit of God came on people and they would be so aware of their sins that they would be crying out to God. And that happening came to all the people around the district. So that sometimes a man, who was riding a horse into the area, as he came into that area, came under conviction of sin and wanted to search out for a pastor or a minister to help him to know what to do about this awareness

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of how big a sinner he was! That's what a right revival does. It's a revival of religion, actually. Some people have all sorts of things they make out of what a revival should be because of the word revival, And some people say it's just for Christians. You can get books of Koo rung that write in that direction. But they're actually misunderstanding the fact the original term wasDC a revival of religion, that happened at a district where the Spirit of God came and the Great Awakening was one that was triggered by that.

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And a similar thing happened in Britain and in Wales and Scotland, where all sorts of areas came under some spiritual happening and the Spirit of God was working. were race to the Church, and want to know who can help me, who can help me? And where God came in power. That's what an awakening is. It's when God deigns to do something in a merciful way. You know the time in Britain where it happened and George Whitefield got converted, and he became an evangelist, one who

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began to lead and went back and forth between the United States and Britain. But this fellow George Whitefield was quite a backslider from the Church because the Church had gone all nominal, binomial. said there's a thing to do to go to church. But they weren't converted. They didn't know what it is to know Christ. They knew how to believe in God. As I say, being a theist doesn't make you a Christian.

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And the whole of Britain were basically people who had a Christian underpinning to their understanding of life and to reality. But that doesn't mean they were converted. And George Whitfield was one of them. And he was actually quite a sinner in the making when he got converted. He actually joined a holiness club. It's amazing that someone who was always already tracking off into all sorts of sins found himself joining as an intellectual at the university into this holiness club where

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they get together and discuss how to be more holy. They couldn't be holy because they didn't have Jesus to help them be holy. They hadn't ever come and be properly converted, and George Whitfield got converted to Christ and he was so changed and moved that he wanted to tell everybody. But what happened there is, he wanted to preach in the Anglican churches, and they didn't like the stirring up of these people. These evangelicals, I don't even know if they call them them, but these ones who had the evangel, the gospel,

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and the leaders of the denomination said, no, you can't preach. You haven't got the right columns around you. You haven't got, you know, all the training. You're not one of us. You haven't come through the ranks. No, no, no, you can't preach. Poor old George Whitfield Burton, because he suddenly discovered the gospel. And when you become a gospel person,

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It's something that gets a grip on you on the inside, and you can't help but probably claim it, and want to proclaim it, and that's what he did. So he had to go out. And because they wouldn't let him into churches, he'd start talking to people in the fields. And there came a practice. Both him and Wesley would do this. He'd go out and find somewhere where people were just gathering and begin to preach to them,

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and then the news of it would happen. And he'd get crowds of people preaching. And of course, the hierarchy of the church were a bit annoyed because they were wanting them all come along to church and put their offering in, and be proper citizens in the church, but he was getting them out in the fields, and they were listening, and many people were getting converted. He went across the States, John Wesley actually was someone in the same Holiness Club, but he actually hadn't got converted yet – fancy being an intellectual and Anglican, and you're in the Holiness Club, and they're talking about how to be more holy, but you actually don't know Christ, and he didn't know that he didn't know. And so he volunteered

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I've met people who volunteered to be a missionary without really knowing that they did not yet themselves know Christ. It's a fantastic thing to discover went the Minister of the Church where you are doing a crusade and ask you to come back to his house and then he tells you when no one else is listening, I'm not really sure about myself. This particular minister, another denomination, opened his heart that he didn't know about him really being a Christian, meaning knowing Jesus the way that I've been talking about. And John Wesley was like that, and he went as a missionary to the Indians in America and gave himself of all the energies that he could muster in his humanity and got exhausted and came home a flop of a missionary. It's amazing how many stories there are of people

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who start out trying to do good for God and find they haven't got anything to give. John Wesley did and he got a boat back to England, and on the boat you've probably heard this story, it's a very famous one, of how on the boat were a lot of a particular group a group of people from Europe who were enthusiasts for the Gospel and they were on thee deck passengers but back in those days those old ships who were made of wood, were dangerous in storms because if the pressures of the winds and the waves got too great all those pieces of lumber that are joined together to make the boat they come unstuck

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And the timbers pull apart and the water comes in, the boat goes down and everybody on in the boat knew that this is a possibility. And this terrible storm came and John Wesley was in fear for his life. But he saw on the deck these Moravian missionaries who loved the gospel and they were praising God in hymns. So he went out on the deck and he says, How come? we were about to all die, and you're sinking in this. And they said, when the boat goes down, our souls come up. And they displayed that assurance you have when you've done business with Jesus, and he's yours, and you are his.

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The fear of death is something of the past. The frightening amount of death might still be yours, if you went all too near a line in Africa or something. but nonetheless there's something different, the other side of coming to Christ as to how you see all the difficulties and dangers of life here. And Wesley was so deeply impressed that when the boat didn't sink by the way but they got to Britain and when he got to London, he looked up the home services of that group of people They are talking from the book of Romans about trusting in Christ for the forgiveness of sins and becoming people who had an enlightenment through knowing Jesus and heard it too. That's how he became a person who then went out and led to quite developed

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a Methodist denomination and participated in the awakening that happened in America along with George Whitfield and George Jonathan Edwards. That's the first great enlightening and they actually can track it down to certain dates to see if I can get it right, but it's in the first great awakening, but it's a thing that happened in the, now let me see, John Wesley was born in June 17, 1703 and that makes it the 18th century now I'm getting it right. The 18th century is in the 1700s, you get it? And Jonathan was actually born on October 5th, the same year as was Wesley. And this intercontinental connection is how that great awakening had effects in both Britain and also North America.

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But there was a second time when God's Spirit came in awakening power in the United States. And the second one was not the one in the 1700s, which is the 18th century, but in the 1800s through 1899, which is the 19th century. And that was a second great awakening. There has been a third great awakening, which is thought about from 1900s through to the year 2000 with its great expansion in Christianity. And that is called the Third Great Awakening. and they have different characteristics I won't go into just now. But the fact that there have been seasons

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where God's Spirit has worked upon the Western world is why we have Christian countries in the West. There have been similar things happening in the east, in China, but the details of which I haven't got here. But where God's Spirit chooses to move, that is what they, in America, would call a revival, an awakening. And now, over there they use the word for it, or evangelistic crusade, they say, we're having a revival. They might not have a revival at all, they might just have an evangelistic crusade.

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But the reason that has got confused, is because in those special times, in the first Great Awakening, and in the second Great Awakening, a time of Gospel Emphasis, it might be a mission that's turned into an Awakening. And that can happen, if God's sovereignty so allows it to occur. And one of the goals that I think for our church that I've been trying to underline is to make it our goal to head towards the possibility of there being revival powers. We can't make that happen because they are in God's hands, so to do.

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But if we follow the clue from that second chronicle 714 verse, if my people who are called by My name shall humble themselves and pray and seek My face, confess their sins and seek My face, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." And what the healing of the land was back then was the restoring of the crops and whatever. or the stopping of the drought and having the rain come or stopping the Palestine and their attacking or being, you know, having something like that as a thing.

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That we've got different problems that are our ours today maybe the political climate of all the difficulty of the nations or maybe the economy that goes bad or a time when there's a real down. What would happen to Australia if we had such a down play and everybody was in poverty at the moment? Or what would happen if another form of covid came along and they keep being different little types of covids and turn up? What if a really bad one came and everyone was getting sick and dying or like they had in Britain when they had the great deaths

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and they had people dying everywhere and bodies having to be carted out on… Those sorts of things can happen. And maybe there is an issue that may come that's peculiar to the society or due to factors that are not necessarily spiritual or whatever it is that our land needs. Nonetheless, if we cry to God and ask him to step in and seek for a spiritual answer and not just change the way we handle things humanly, if we seek for a spiritual answer so we can take the promises of the old covenant time,

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if my people, called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.' And I think what Australia needs more than anything else— this is going to surprise you— is it needs the Christians to believe their Bible and to humble themselves and pray to the God who can make it different. And whatever is the need of the R.I.H., He can provide an answer for us. He can give us the finances. That's why missionary people understand a certain truth that they all know the mission people should do.

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And they say it, that if you try to do God's work, God's way you'll never lack God's resources. And if God seeks to lead you in a certain way and you're willing to go because He has spoken to you when you yield to him. And in yielderness, let him have his way and seek to have him provide. It's amazing what God can do. And there are stories in history, people, like Muller looking after the little kiddies in the groups that he had and people who've gone off to do mission work when there wasn't any funds to send them.

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There have been all sorts of stories of people who took God seriously enough to humble themselves and to seek his face and to look for a spiritual answer? A spiritual answer is one where you trust God to keep his promises, and that can be an awakening for you to realize that that's what you wanna do. Don't rely upon just the human brain to think up some sociological answer,

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all those things apply, but they're not the ultimate answer. The ultimate answer is to cry to God and ask him to do whatever is the need of our land. And if we the Church would pick up the need so to do before God in our times, where there's all sorts of pressures coming on the Church, if we try to guard how heal ants I do believe will be an awakening and a movement of the Spirit and who knows whether he couldn't do that even in the Salisbury Baptist Church? Are we that difficult for him to start a revival here?

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We're not, we're not that bad. Well hell, I say that a better way. However bad we are is not beyond God's scope of being able to do something. And when you believe God, then he works on your behalf. And the evidence of history as you look at the great awakenings, and you look at what he has done, help us to believe that he can do it for us, and as he's done for others, he will do for you. Now, where did I get turned onto this sort of idea that I'm preaching on now?

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Because it happens from a book where one of the home groups came into read that a pastor was in a difficult area of the city and they weren't giving much money to even support his salary. He had a wife who wanted to help with music and he prayed to God he got a book that encouraged him and I forget the story there's another book that's written about him and that book written about him was given to me and I came down here into this church, and I began to pray and say, God, if you bless that little church over there, why can't you bless this one here?

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And along the way, I don't know how I got on to it but one of the songs that was written by a person who got converted in the Billy Graham crusade in 1949, I was born in 1949 the fellow who got converted was a radio announcer so very known for his blasphemous and non-Christian style of doing radio. And his wife became a Christian and took him along to the Crusade. And he got converted. And so a change came over him because he was a songwriter, that was his skills. He wrote a Christian song – It is no secret what God can do.

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What He's done for others He'll do for you. With arms wide open, He'll pardon you. It is no secret what God can do." And, the story of what God did through his life really impacted me in that song. What He's done for others, He'll do for you. and if I really trust God, he will answer my prayers and help me, whatever it is that I need, and I began to ask him to bless the fellowship of the Salisbury Baptist Church because it used to be at least the time I was here. It's been different, may be previous, but when I was here it was cold

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and people often said to me, you know, they know you knew this church is the coldest church I've seen to see one lady to miss as I sat next to her in the backseat, she'd been here in the past. Why is it cold? And I began to pray for the fellowship of the church. And something has happened, through the instrumentality of people doing that high grounds cafe, I think it's a big bar. But there's a fellowship that's grown. God can do what we need. What he's done for others, he'll do for you.

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Let's be bold enough to say, God, you helped a lot of spots have a big awakening. You had a revival sometimes when the church was at its lowest. It wasn't because they were also good churches. The idea of who the church will give you an awakening is the other way around. When you really need it badly, and someone in the church has the faith to ask God to step in, that's where he works and something happens. There's absolutely no reason why what's recorded in history, what happened in other churches, what are the promises of the Bible... that he's in the business of helping us

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to really learn how to walk properly, not in brokenness and failure of sexual immorality and all the rest. He can help you with the struggle against the flesh and the spirit that goes on. Galatians is the place to read. And we need to believe God and ask him to continue to work amongst us and to help us each individually be a part of him Doing something that will be the answer to our generation. I believe that would be if we had a revival study and we can call it an awakening yes.

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Awakenings are bigger and greater and more influential than just a little revival in one place. Why not make it a daily prayer to pray for God to outpour his spirit upon our church and to do that which we cannot do by our design and all the things that we bring about and see what happens. I wanted to let you in the evening service join in what God had laid on my heart for the morning service. Let's pray. Heavenly Father I thank you for this passage of scripture that talks

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about our salvation now being nearer than when we first believe, that's the salvation of getting in the door of Jesus and getting sanctified and eventually getting glorified. Lord, maybe the fact that we don't know it, for Christ's second advent may be closer, we can't say for sure. Many people have tried that before and named times that we're not told to try and do that. Lord, who knows, whether we're not closer to our salvation being what we have at hand. Lord, there might be people here, who knows, I could be one of them who within a short time is dead, and then that will be salvation time arriving. Lord, that salvation time can be our going to heaven

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or it could be heaven coming to us in Jesus return. just don't know. But we know one truth, that this passage is right, that it's closer than when we first believed. And help us to take that seriously, that the time is short, and to get ourselves in line for eternity's happenings. May that be our story, we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

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