Why Revivial Tarries
The Wake-Up Herald
And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof. Romans 13:11-14
Robert McCurry, Editor & Publisher
June 22, 2011
Why Revival Tarries
The following excerpts are from the forward and body of Why Revival Tarries, a 1959 book by Leonard Ravenhill (1907–1994). The article begins with excerpts from the foreword by A. W. Tozer (1897–1963). A much needed message for today.
Great industrial concerns have in their employ men who are needed only when there is a breakdown somewhere. When something goes wrong with the machinery, these men spring into action to locate and remove the trouble and get the machinery rolling again. For these men a smoothly operating system has no interest. They are specialists concerned with trouble and how to find and correct it.
In the Kingdom of God things are not too different. God has always had His specialists whose chief concern has been the moral breakdown, the decline in the spiritual health of the nation or the Church. Such men were Elijah, Jeremiah, Malachi, and others of their kind who appeared at critical moments in history to reprove, rebuke, and exhort in the name of God and righteousness.
A thousand or ten thousand ordinary priests or pastors or teachers could labor quietly on, almost unnoticed, while the spiritual life of Israel or the Church was normal. But let the people of God go astray from the paths of truth, and immediately the specialist appeared almost out of nowhere. His instinct for trouble brought him to the help of the Lord and of Israel.
Such a man was likely to be drastic, radical, possibly at times violent, and the curious crowd that gathered to watch him work soon branded him as extreme, fanatical, negative. And in a sense they were right. He was single-minded, severe, fearless, as these were the qualities the circumstances demanded. He shocked some, frightened others, and alienated not a few, but he knew Who had called him and what he was sent to do. His ministry was geared to the emergency, and that fact marked him out as different, a man apart.
To such men as this the Church owes a debt too heavy to pay. The curious thing is She seldom tries to pay him while he lives, but the next generation builds his sepulcher and writes his biography, as if instinctively and awkwardly to discharge an obligation the previous generation to a large extent ignored.
Such a man as this is not an easy companion. The professional evangelist who leaves the wrought-up meeting as soon as it ends to hurry over to the most expensive restaurant to feast and crack jokes with his sponsors will find this man something of an embarrassment, for he cannot turn off the burden of the Holy Ghost as one would turn off a faucet. He insists upon being a Christian all the time, everywhere; and again, that marks him out as different.
Toward him it is impossible to be neutral. His acquaintances are divided pretty neatly into two classes, those who love him with all admiration, and those who hate him with perfect hatred!
End of excerpts from the forward of Why Revival Tarries by A. W. Tozer.
Leonard Ravenhill begins...
Today God is bypassing men -- not because they are too ignorant, but because they are too self-sufficient. Brethren, our abilities are our handicaps, and our talents our stumbling blocks!
Elijah lived with God. He thought about the nation's sin like God; he grieved over sin like God; he spoke against sin like God. He was all passion in his prayers and passionate in his denunciation of evil in the land. He had no smooth preaching. Passion fired his preaching, and his words were on the hearts of men as molten metal on their flesh.
Brethren, if we will do God's work in God's way, at God's time, with God's power, we shall have God's blessing and the devil's curses. When God opens the windows of heaven to bless us, the devil will open the doors of hell to blast us. God's smile means the devil's frown! Mere preachers may help anybody and hurt nobody; but prophets will stir everybody and madden somebody. The preacher may go with the crowd; the prophet goes against it. A man freed, fired, and filled with God will be branded unpatriotic because he speaks against his nation's sins; unkind because his tongue is a two-edged sword; unbalanced because the weight of preaching opinion is against him.
Ah! Brother preachers, we love the old saints, missionaries, martyrs, reformers: our Luthers, Bunyans, Wesleys, Asburys, etc. We will write their biographies, reverence their memories, frame their epitaphs, and build their monuments. We will do anything except imitate them. We cherish the last drop of their blood, but watch carefully the first drop of our own!
Oh, my ministering brethern! Much of our praying is but giving God advice. Our praying is discolored with ambition, either for ourselves or for our denomination. Perish the thought! Our goal must be God alone. It is His honor that is defiled, His blessed Son who is ignored, His laws broken, His name profaned, His book forgotten, His house made a circus of social efforts.
God's problem today is not communism, nor yet Romanism, nor liberalism, nor modernism. God's problem is -- dead fundamentalism!
"So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold,
I will spew you out of my mouth." - Rev. 3:16
This generation of preachers is responsible for this generation of sinners... Sin today is both glamorized and popularized, thrown into the ear by radio, thrown into the eye by television, and splashed on popular magazine covers. Church-goers, sermon-sick and teaching-tired, leave the meeting as they entered it -- visionless and passionless! Oh God, give this perishing generation ten thousand John the Baptists!
More Ravenhill quotes:
"Today’s church wants to be raptured from responsibility."
"If weak in prayer, we are weak everywhere."
"Men give advice; God gives guidance."
"Are the things you are living for worth Christ dying for?"
"A sinning man stops praying, a praying man stops sinning"
"The only reason we don't have revival is because we are willing to live without it!"
"God pity us that after years of writing, using mountains of paper and rivers of ink, exhausting flashy terminology about the biggest revival meetings in history, we are still faced with gross corruption in every nation, as well as with the most prayerless church age since Pentecost."
"The Church used to be a lifeboat rescuing the perishing. Now she is a cruise ship recruiting the promising."
"The opportunity of a lifetime must be seized within the lifetime of the opportunity."
"My main ambition in life is to be on the devil's most wanted list."
"If Jesus had preached the same message that ministers preach today, He would never have been crucified."
"Entertainment is the devil's substitute for joy."
Wake-up, Pastors! Wake-up, Christians!
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The Wake-Up Herald is published by Robert McCurry. The publication is designed to exalt the true God of the Bible, the Lord Jesus Christ, and inform, inspire, and challenge its readers regarding biblical truth and real-life issues. The contents are the sole responsibility of Robert McCurry and do not represent or speak for or on behalf of any other person or group. There is no subscription charge. The publication is a ministry of faith dependent on the contributions of its readers. Contributions are not tax-deductible. Send all correspondence to: Robert McCurry, 605 Moore Rd, Newnan, GA 30263 or firstname.lastname@example.org Remove? Send reply with “remove” in Subject line.