Why Revival Tarries

by Henry T. Blackaby Return to Articles

Ezekiel 18:31b-32 is the heart cry of God to His covenant people, Israel: "'... why should you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,' says the Lord God. 'Therefore, turn and live!'" God had just reminded His people that if "a righteous man turns away from his righteousness ... and dies ... it is because of the iniquity that he has done that he dies" (Ezekiel 18:24-26, 26).

Like the "house of Israel," God's people continue to sin against God in our day and live without any awareness of the consequences.

We seem to be totally indifferent to any judgment whatsoever, as if that only happened in the Old Testament. But, of course, that's just not true. It was to the people of God in Rome that Paul wrote: "... the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord." For anyone who sins and continues to sin without repentance -– especially God's people -– it leads to "death."

And did Jesus not warn God's people that they must repent or perish? Read the accounts in Matthew 4:17, Luke 13:1-9 and Luke 17:20-36. Repentance among God's people requires an immediate turning that changes our heart, will and actions. Repentance requires a changed lifestyle. Therefore, we too must heed Christ's warning for our own generation.

We must possess a wholehearted desire to return to God.

Many of us today are aware that America is in desperate need of revival, but we haven't made the connection. While we see the spiritual darkness around us, we do not recognize that the greater problem is with the light! Light dispels darkness! Jesus said that His disciples are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14-16). When the light of Christ is dimmed by our sin, the darkness flourishes. But when we repent, His light shines in us and through us to a watching world; people "see" and God is glorified!

For now, however, America continues to move steadily closer to God's judgment. And there remains a prevailing carelessness among God's people concerning this activity of God.

Revival tarries because God's people will not repent, and we see no reason to do so. So, even if we recognize that the times are urgent and the spiritual climate is dark, and even if we cry unto God for a mighty revival, without our repentance He will refuse to hear us because we keep iniquity in our hearts.

We must, therefore, heed His call: "'... Return to Me, and I will return to you,' says the Lord of hosts" (Malachi 3:7b). We must repent and return to Him in holiness, love and obedience, or the nation will surely perish under the judgment of our sin! (2 Peter 3:9).


8 Comments to “Why Revival Tarries”

  1. The church is quickly coming to a time when we will have to choose to be the Body of Christ or continue being a social club. God help us! Help us to seek You with all we are.

    It strikes me, too, that a room full of candles, ablaze with light, doesn't need another candle. It is those in darkness which benefit most from seeing His light, His glory, His forgiveness.

  2. Kathryn Tucker says:

    Which book contains the list of criteria for a church under God's discipline??? Thank you.

  3. Lisa Warner says:

    What you are saying sounds good, but I have been around this type of exortation a few times before. Do you really think there are no Christians repenting in this country or just not enough. There are actually many fervent believers in most evangelical churches. Unfortunately, this negative approach, "God won't help, if you are not holy enough" is contradictory to the idea that "it is God who draws you and helps you be seek Him." Perhaps we are not having revival because God is not ready to have revival. It is His choice after all.

    V/R Lisa Warner

  4. Tom Blackaby says:

    Good point. I also have wondered the same thing. I have concluded that all of our efforts cannot cause God to bring revival, nor does it 'release' revival because we have met all the conditions for revival. Our role is to be ready for revival to come, even if it is just in our own life - but God will bring it in His time and when His people (not just a church here or there) have turned back to Him. I believe there are pockets of revival all around the globe, but a great awakening is something different altogether.
    Tom

  5. richard blackaby says:

    Good comments. Lisa, I certainly understand your thoughts. But 2 Chronicles 7:14 is considered the classic statement in the Bible on revival. It says, "If My people, who are called by My name (obviously referring to Christians), will HUMBLE THEMSELVES, and PRAY, and SEEK MY FACE, and TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYS, THEN I will hear from heaven, forgive their sins, and heal their land."

    Clearly God ties revival to the behavior of His people. When we meet His requirements, He will forgive and heal the land. Clearly then, if He is not doing those things, He does not believe we have met His conditions. There are many places in the Bible, in the Old and New Testaments, where God calls on His people to repent or else face His judgment. We may not like it, or think that is fair, but based on Scripture, that is the way God has chosen to relate to us.

  6. MR. ARLEN says:

    TODAYS'S CHURCHES - INCLUDING INDEPENDENT FUNDAMENTALIST ONES - ARE PARTICIPATING STARBUCKS COFFEE, DUNKIN DONUTS, MILKSHAKE & HANG OUT CORNER. THERE ARE COUPLES WHO ARE NOT MARRIED, DAY & NIGHT LIVE IN FORNICATION AND PLACED IN MINISTIRES AND ALLOWED TO TAKE COMMUNION.
    WHEN SOMEBODY SINGS SUCH ARE GIVEN STANDING OVATION AND THERE IS VIRTUAL BEDLAM & CHAOS AS CONGREGATION START WHISTLING & HOOTING LIKE THE WITCH DOCTORS. WHEN FORNICATON & ANY SIN IS
    COUNTENANCED, CONDONED IN THE CHURCH IT IS AN AFFROTN TO GOD AND REVIVAL WILL NEVER COME UNLESS THE PASTORS AND LEADERS WITH CONTRITE, BROKEN, BLEEDING HEART SEEK FORGIVENESS AND CONDEMN FORNICATION, ADULTERY AND SIN.

  7. Wade Meyer says:

    Mr. T. Blackaby,
    I was having this discussion with my daughter about just what revival is and the missing link was your distinction between 'great awakening' and revival. I like the analogy of fire. If I am a pile of wood I cannot light myself it takes a flame from somewhere else. But as for a great awakening I shudder to think what would start one in this country. My hunch is widespread persecution of both saved and unsaved would do it. Something that would force a great number of us into literal house churches.

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