Date: April 27, 2010 (Special Meetings)
Bible Text: Psalm 40:3 | Roger Voegtlin
Series: Transcribed Sermons
Bible Text: Psalm 40:3 | Preacher: Roger Voegtlin | Series: Transcribed Sermons
Again, I want to thank everybody that’s traveled to be with us here this morning. Again, we have been praying. We really have been praying as a church for weeks that God will use our speakers and be a blessing to everybody, that people will be challenged, that lives will literally be changed. We’ve had good preaching already. Brother Unger, boy, I could just sit and listen to him, and I think, “Wow, does God teach him things that he can show us. And then Brother Smith, he went wild last night. I always enjoy his preaching. People love to hear his preaching. I hope that you will again when you come, we don’t have lots of sermons, just three a day. And we do that purposely. We used to have four or five a day, but we want you to be able to absorb what’s said. We want you to be able to go back your room and think about what God’s done for you. And I hope that you’re here wanting to hear something from God. We’re not putting on a show. We never do. It’s not a façade. It’s something that we just crave from God, and we’ve just got a burden as our country is going to the devil. Fundamentalism is following right behind like a puppy dog, and we just are determined just to stand, and I don’t mean that in God’s progress, but as far as the world is concerned. We’re just determined to just take the Bible, go by it, not care what anybody else thinks, and again, we’ve been praying that we’ll have a good week, so join in with us, if you haven’t already. I’ll just say what I’ve said with out people, you pray that God will deal with your heart. That’s not being selfish. It’s being proud if you don’t think that God has to deal with your heart. I want God to deal with my heart, and I was praying just this morning that God would do a work, that I would take another step forward for Him. Now, I’m going to be 67 in about a month. You might say, “Well, you’re there. I mean, there’s no more.” Oh, yes, there is. At least in my heart and mind, there’s a lot more. And I crave it from God. So, again, pray with us during this week that God will continue to use the preaching.
The title of my message this morning is plainly “Revive Us, That We May Rejoice.” Let’s pray.
The happiest people in the world, of course, should be the people of God. And we put fronts on, but I’m just a straightforward person, and I’ve been around quite a bit. That’s not true. It should be the people of God, but so many, especially today, I’ve seen the independent Baptist movement change so much in my lifetime. And everybody seems to follow and just go along with it, and as I said, so much of it is a front. It’s an act. And so we smile and we act the way we think we should. But so many of us are slipping and sliding, whether it’s in our marriage, in rearing our children, in our relationship with God, and we have no power. We have no direction, and there’s Christians all over this country who are not happy. They have no peace, they have no joy, and many of them are pastors. Full-time Christian workers, school teachers, deacons, of course, church members. I could be wrong, I hope I’m wrong, but I think I have to say, in my estimation that the majority of people who name the name of Christ don’t have joy. Now, why? The Apostle Paul said, “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice.” We ought to be rejoicing. We ought to be happy. We ought to be praising God. Turn in your Bibles to Psalm 40. We have every reason to have joy bubbling in our hearts. I don’t claim to be any model Christian, but I know, when I wake up in the morning next to my wife, that makes me happy. I’m happy for a good wife and a good marriage, and I’d be the first one to say if it wasn’t for God, we wouldn’t have the right marriage. We wouldn’t. You’ve got to work at it. You’ve got to follow God and go against the flesh. I praise God for my children. Now, let me say, I’m not saying this with any pride. I went to secular college for some years, and when I finally surrendered to preach, and I went to Bible college. I thought, “Wow, finally, I’m not going to be going against the grain.” And in the very first class that I was in had to do with the home, and my professor got up and said, “When the Bible says ‘Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he’ll not depart from it’ it doesn’t mean that.” So from day one, I’m fighting against fundamentalism. Now, I want to stop here a minute. It’s very close to my heart. It’s true. Don’t let those that have not practiced it take that away from you. It’s true. I’m no English major, you’ll tell by my preaching. But any nitwit understands when the Bible says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” And by the way, I don’t think that means they go away and come back. It could be a battle. It was a battle with me and my family. I don’t mean, I have to watch myself, my kids are all sitting here. I don’t mean they were rotten kids or anything, but it’s a battle. And you have to have faith, and the devil whispers in your ear, it’s not going to work. You better be more positive about it. You better be more of a friend, and all the rest of that. But I’ll tell you it works! And I wake up and say, “Thank you, Lord, for my children. By the grace of God, they’re living for you.” And they’re raising our grandchildren. I can enjoy them. Everybody loves their grandchildren, but as a Christian, just be so happy that they’re being raised by the Bible, and they’re going to grow up and live for God. Shouldn’t we be happy? For the Bible here tells us how to be successful financially. Now, I’m not into this prosperity type stuff, but the Bible does tell us how to be successful. I find it interesting that a lot of people here in our community are mill workers, union mill workers, and I’ll tell you what, they have those Cadillac plans with their glasses and their teeth and everything else taken care of. They get a great salary; yeah, Bill, you’ve got a great salary. William, here, he’s on retirement like a, you know, rich guy because he’s an ex-mill workers, but what I’m trying to say, is, what amazed me is that I used to think the mill workers around here were poor. I thought, I felt sorry for them. I remember the first mill worker I found, I was making $5,200 a year. He, without a doubt, was making $52,000 and I was bringing him groceries. You say, “What are you getting at?” We don’t, the Bible doesn’t say we’ll be rich, but the Bible says that He’ll take care of us, and He does. Not all Christians because they don’t practice, but those that, and we go on and on. Whether it’s friends—if you’re the right Christian in the right church, you’ve got friends that are like family to you. You will be successful and you will be happy. You’ll be happy. Not without problems, but you’ll have joy and peace. Rejoice, that’s natural with Bible-believing Christians. In Psalm 40, verse 3, it says, “And he hath put a new song in my heart, even praise unto our God. And many shall see it and hear and shall trust in the Lord.” It ought to be natural for Christians to be rejoicing and that is a real testimony. You live the Christian life at work, and I’m no neo-evangelical, but I believe people will, I saw it happen as a young man in secular work, people will sneak up behind and ask what you have. So we ought to ask, Why is there so much gloom in our churches? Why is there so much despair?” Some would say it’s the day we live in. Stress. Strife. Pressure. Husband and wife both working in many cases. Some would say it’s the social ills of the homosexuality, and that makes me sick, and the abortion; they’ll say it’s the things around us, but circumstances should never control the believer’s joy. People should never control the believer’s joy. Remember when Paul wrote Philippians 4:4, remember he was in a dark, damp, dirty jail cell. And he said, “Rejoice, and again I say, rejoice.” Turn over to Psalm 85:6. I don’t know all the reasons for the lack of joy I see among independent Baptists, but it’s not the circumstances. They may think it’s the circumstances, but it’s not. Now look with me at our text, Psalm 85, verse 6 for the reason. “Wilt thou not revive us again, that thy people may rejoice in Thee? Wilt thou not revive us again, that thy people may rejoice in Thee?” I look at that as the front door. “That thy people may rejoice in Thee.” That’s the back door. There’ll be no rejoicing without revival. It’s like a bicycle built for two. You can’t have one without the other. When you have revival you will have joy, I’ll guarantee you. We need it. Let me ask you—Do you have peace? Now be honest, take that front off. Do you have tranquility in your life, in your marriage, in your home, on the job? Do you have joy? If not, you need revival. Boy, we need it for many reasons. For the spiritual blindness of our day, if you were going to go around the country and ask what the greatest need is, how many do you think would say, “Revival.” Go to Huntsville, Alabama, and you ask, “What do we need?” And they’d say, “Space exploration.” And if you went to the Pentagon, they would say, “More military might.” And if you went to the Department of Human Services, they’d say, “Food for the poor.” Or the Center of Disease Control down in Atlanta, Georgia, they would say, “A cure for AIDS.” But listen to me, you go to the average Christian today, and if there’s a secular, if they’re not, a secular reporter or somebody, would come to the average Christian today and say, “What’s your greatest need?” How many do you think would say, “Revival.”? We really don’t see our need. We think we can work it out. We’re content to do without revival, and I think a sign of the need of revival is the way Fundamentalists treat the subject. Many say we can’t have it. I’ve heard preachers preach that. “We’re in the last days. Things are too cold, they’re too bad.” But do you realize the greatest revivals have come in the worst times? And in Elijah’s day revival fell from Heaven right under the nose of Ahab and his wicked wife Jezebel. When I was a young guy, I used to think these great revivals like Whitefield and Wesley, I thought that they just kind of, things built and built, and got better and better until God could send revival, but most of you have read these accounts. No, they didn’t build and build. They were hated. They were in days like these. They could not preach in a pulpit in all of England. They could not preach. They kicked them out of the church, then they kicked them out of the streets, and they kicked them out of the fields, and you read the stories of Wesley preaching on his father’s cemetery plot. And people came with eggs and threw it. Read it! And not just eggs, stones. And I don’t have time to go into these different people, they drug them through the mud, they’d try and drown them, they hated them! But they’d have up to twenty thousand people coming to hear them preach. Oh, how we need revival when we see the phoniness of religion. The Pentecostals claim signs of spirituality, they speak in tongues. They heal, they run around the church. I don’t even have a television, so don’t take this wrong. I don’t sit and watch them, but sometime I’ll be preaching out and it’s a Sunday night, and I’ll just turn that on. I remember I used to laugh at Tammy Faye. She looked like a clown. Some of those shows, I sit there, and it’s like CBS or ABC is putting on a skit to make Bible believers look foolish, but no, that’s their churches. Now the point I want to make is that many of them used ot have standards. They used to be pure, but they’re gone. But the point that I want to make right now is, that we have nothing to say. Please answer it at least. There’s not much difference, and I believe this as much as I’m breathing. We preach against the main-line denominations, but if we’d be honest with ourselves, there’s not much difference between the main-line denominations like the Episcopal and the Presbyterians, and the Methodists, and the American Baptists. There’s not much difference between their churches and many of our churches. You say, “What do you mean?” We preach right doctrine, but we don’t practice it. We have just as much divorce and adultery, man we have kids. I preach in churches and the kids are in the back rows just chewing gum and talking. And teens, even in our church, run around, I’m not saying all. We’ve got some great teens, but there’s some teens, even in our church, that run around like a dog in heat! Something’s wrong! It seems as though more preachers are jumping in bed with women than the average sewer worker! And when Baptist preachers get together and get excited, it’s to denounce preaching like this. Boy, preachers hate preaching like this. They want Friendship Conferences. They hate preaching on true repentance and reaping. Why are so few lives changed in the world and in our community? Why do we have so few drug addicts saved and sitting in our pews? There’s a dormancy. There’s an apathy. People are sitting in their Lazy Boys with their feet up, “Preach, Preacher. Preach, Preacher.” Fathers say, “Teach my children. Youth Pastor, raise my teen. I’m doing my job. I provide the home and the food, and I make sure we go to a Bible-believing church, and that’s where my responsibility lies. You train them.” But then we try and train them, and they fight us. “Don’t tell me my child’s a rebel. Don’t tell me that. Don’t tell me my teenager is sex crazy. Don’t tell me that. I won’t take that. Don’t tell me my child’s going to the devil.” That’s why most pastors and youth pastors have just, kind of, let it go. “I just want to do what I want to do. I don’t care enough to dig the sin out of my life. I’m not going to get excited. I’m too busy looking good. I’m too busy covering up. Don’t try and uncover it. Don’t ask me to feed my family. Don’t ask me to buck my wife, if it needs be. Don’t ask me to spank the sin out of my kids if they need it. I tithe. I pay my tuition. I’m at church regularly. Don’t ask me to get excited and assert myself.” We need revival. We sin, God can’t bless, and then we doubt God. And we just go through the motions. We need to get off dead center and want something from God. But get back to our text, we need revival to see the joy that God wants to give us. To rejoice in victory over sin. Not covering it, not hiding it, but to rejoice in victory over sin. To rejoice in our marriage. Our people, I say this, and embarrass my wife, but six months after we were married both of us wanted a divorce. The only reason we stayed married is that we believed God and we believed the Bible. And you work at it and you work at it. Only God can give you a good marriage today. It’s not a show. Same thing goes with our children and souls. Nehemiah said, “The joy of the LORD is our strength.” And we don’t have God’s joy, we’re weak. Now I want to study, sounds like Brother Smith lastnight. After forty-five minutes he says, “Let’s get to the sermon.” I want to study Psalm 85:6 “Wilt thou not revive us again, that thy people may rejoice in Thee?” I want to look at the person of revival. Wilt thou…who is that? The evangelist? The pastor? No. He’s talking about the source of revival, and that is God. Our prayers go up and revival comes down from God. Repentance goes up. Humility goes up. Sacrifice, dedication, love goes up, and revival comes down from God. And if there’s nothing going up there won’t be anything coming down. And again, that’s what’s wrong with the sham we see around today. God says, “If my people,” that’s us, “which are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked way, then I, then I. God works when we meet His requirements, and if we don’t have revival don’t blame it on God. He wants it more than any human being on the face of this earth. There is nothing He wants more than to see this church revived or your church revived and see His power dumped upon it. He doesn’t hold revival back, we do. The sound of abundance of rain came from Heaven. In Acts 2 the rushing mighty wind came from Heaven. In Kings when the fire fell, it fell from Heaven. When we meet His requirements, He’s poised to send revival. He wants it. He would love to see this Chesterton area shaken, and He would love to see your home area shaken. All the machinery is put in place in a church like this and a church like yours to spread revival, but we must meet His requirements, and the devil just blinds us. We must really want it. We must truly strive for it. Isaiah said in Isaiah 6, verse 1. “In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the LORD sitting upon the throne, high and lifted up and his train filled the temple.” He looked up to God and he got his eyes on the source of revival, and it came. We’ll never see revival until we get a true realization of the power of God and wanting it to come. Sometime we look to God through real serious sickness or death. We’ve lost all the answers, and we forget our pride, and we cry out to God. Sometime a church goes through deep waters, and I talk about our time because to me, it’s such an example when the church was only four years old, and we fought the government over the family rights, and I was put in jail. The newspapers were horrible, horrible. Day after day on the front page. Every day it was horrible, but we kept on going. And what I’m trying to say is, it forces you to your knees. You have no hope. The school lost well over one hundred, the academy, the buses went to basically nothing. On top of that, we were building that first original auditorium. The bank had promised us a loan, and we started it early. The exterior was already up, and they pulled the loan. How would you like to be there? No hope. What happens when you have no hope? You cry out to God. And God knows I'm not trying to brag on this church, but we cried out to God. Not only did He give us the money cash for the building, but enough to pay our bills. We were able to go into that banker that pulled the loan and say, "I think we'll just pay things off." And the church grew, and again, our people know this. It grew from two hundred to eleven hundred in one year. To sixteen hundred the next, and two thousand the next. That's God. I know, I was here. That wasn't me. I could show you pictures that are amazing because our buildings couldn't handle it. John Hall is an engineer. He told me he was afraid the rooms were going to cave in. That's God! In the past national catastrophies brought revival. If you read of the revival in the camps in our Civil War, I'll tell you when they're stacking hundreds of thousands of bodies like cord wood, you cry out to God, and they had revival! Now the point I want to make is, what's happening today in our lifetime should make us run to God. Our country is no longer a Christian country. The sad thing is our president gets up and says that to the Muslim country, and we're lifting up the Muslim religion more than Christianity. And people are basically saying, "We're not a Christian nation." I'm old enough to remember that even if they didn't like us, they respected Christians. They respected pastors and churches. But it's gone from respect to hate. We are the most hated organization in this county. Prayer and the Bible are scoffed at. Christian families are being torn apart all over America, but instead of parents turning to God when they lose a child to the devil, pride makes them stiffen up and, in a real way, they make excuses for that child and they actually follow the child. We need revival! Preachers and full-time workers are falling into the worst sins and instead of falling on our faces before God in repentance, instead of wanting to get clean, we want to hide our sin. You want to lose a church member, you pastors know this, let the sin of some church member get out. That's pride. That's not repentance. They want to go on with it and get mad at people that disagree. We need revival. We need one, two, three people in our church to fall on our faces and rid ourselves of that sin and get ahold of the altar of God and not let go. D. L. Moody went to London just to see, just to observe, Spurgeon's church. And when he got there, the church invited him to preach. That morning nothing really happened, but that night about five hundred professed Christ, and a sister came home to her invalid sister who couldn't attend church, and told her what happened. She just shouted. She said, "I've been praying for years that Moody would come and that we'd have revival." The point is, don't look to others. Revival starts with one person. Again, I say, why don't one or two or three or four, I don't mean you have to get together, just fall on your face, determine to look to God for revival. And understand, though, revival starts with God. He is the person of revival.