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  Acts 4:31-33

Introduction:     Imaging Churches packed from coast to coast, wanting to hear the Word of God. Imagine Public Schools beginning with prayer and Bible study each day. Imagine Abortion declared murder and made illegal. Imagine Homosexuals repenting of their sin and seeking God for help instead of imposing their perverted lifestyle on society. Imagine wrongs being made right, crime declining, alcohol sales dropping, and pornography going out of business! (Revive us again; fill each heart with thy love...) We need REVIVAL. The destruction of our homes says we need revival. The deadness of most of our Churches says we need revival. We'll not have revival until we learn to spell revival. You say that's simple Preacher, R-E-V-I-V-A-L. A grade school child could spell it. But it's deeper and more dynamic than that! I believe the early Church knew how to spell it. Their Freshness, and their Fire, and their Freedom tell me they knew how to spell revival.

There are seven letters in revival, and each is a characteristic of revival. Spell it with me:

I.          R.......REPENTANCE
you have to have an R because you can't spell revival without repentance. We need National Repentance. Our AIDS and Alcohol, Pornography and Perversion tell us we need revival. But I want to remind you that the repentance that will change America will not come from the White House. It must come from the Church House! (2 Cron.7:14; expound; 1Pet.4:17) "...judgment must begin at the house of God..." When God comes to judge a nation He always begins with His people. You can't spell revival without repentance. Notice vv.31, 32. 

Do you know why they Prayed and Preached, and Praised with Passion in the Book of Acts? Do you know why buildings moved when they prayed? THERE HEARTS WERE RIGHT WITH GOD! They had Pure, Righteous, Clean hearts.

We need Repentance in the modern day Church! There have been three Spiritual Awakenings in this country. The last was 140 years ago. Some say we'll never experience another great Awakening because our culture has changed. That's true, but so has the Church. (Example of Jonathan Edwards. He was ridiculed because he dared to preach about Sin and Judgment, Separation, and Consecration, Righteousness, and Holiness.

Yes we need repentance today and it needs to start in the Pulpit and sweep through the church all the way to the back pew. THEN EVERYONE WILL KNOW GOD IS HERE!  (How will we know?)

When repentance comes the Tongues of the Timid will be Untied. The Pocket Books of the Greedy will Open. Pride will be Brought Low. The Angry will Ask for Forgiveness. THEN WE'LL HAVE REVIVAL! But you can't spell it without Repentance.

II.         E.......EXPECTANCY (V.31A)

"Shaken" = agitate, to disturb or to move. (That's not a typical Baptist prayer meeting) Why was the place "shaken" when they prayed? They EXPECTED God to show up! (Illus. Church in Midland Tx. and rain) God give us that kind of expectancy! They expected God to move because of what He had done in Chapters 3, 4. We don't live like that today.

The state of the Church today: We believe in the Supernatural God of Yesterday that parted the Red Sea and rained down fire from heaven. We believe in the Supernatural Son who is coming in the clouds to rapture the redeemed. We believe in the Grand God of Yesterday and the Glorious God of Tomorrow, but we have a real problem EXPECTING much from the Great God of Today. I just expect my God can do anything! He can: Raise a dead Church, heal a sick Church, clean up a dirty Church, or fire up a cold Church! WHY? Because He's God!! You can't spell revival without Expectancy, but there's more.

III.       V........VITALITY (V.33)

If there was one word that described a worship service in the first century Church, it would have to be ALIVE! When the redeemed of God get together we ought to be alive by the power of God. We may not all worship the same way, but where the Spirit of God is there is:   Joy and Jubilation, Life and Liberty, Victory and Vitality. Cold, Dead, Ritualistic worship is the Enemy of Evangelism, and the Rebel of Revival.  God help us to - Get Up, Look Up, Pray Up, Preach Up, Sing Up, and never Back Up, Shut Up, or Let Up, till we're Taken Up! ...AMEN!!!

Church you can't spell revival without Vitality.

IV.       I........INVOLVEMENT (V.31b)

"All" = absolutely everyone. What thrills me about this Church is that they were All Giving, and All Going. Most of all, when it was time for worship, they were All Gathering.

They were all Assembled Together. (v.31b)  Church attendance for the Christian is not an option. (Heb.10:25). I know we've got STRESS, and SUFFERING, and SCHOOL WORK, and SCHEDULES. But I also know We'll Do Just What We Want to Do! Some won't be back tonight, or Monday, or Tuesday, etc. But some of that same crowd can spend 3-4 hours at a ball game (expound) or hunting in the cold and rain. You can't spell revival without Involvement. You just have to be there when God shows up!

V.        V.......VOWS (V.32; 34)

There is another V there. You can't spell revival without V-O-W-E-S. (v.32)

The key word is "possessed" = What you have in your hand. That meant that everything they had belonged to the work and ministry of the Lord. These were some SOLD OUT, SURRENDERED SAINTS. They had made some vows before God and were not about to break them. In some of our churches today there is a spirit of serve ME hood instead of servant-hood. A recent survey reveals that:

                                    25% of active church members never pray.

                                    35% *   Never read their Bibles.

                                    60% *   Never give to missions.

                                    75% *   Never assume any responsibility.

                                    85% *   Never invited even one person to church,

                                    95% *   Never led one person to faith in Christ.

God help us!  What ever happened to our Vows?

Their Vows belonged to God. (v.34)  at the core of their worship was their Spirit filled giving. At the core of every Holy Ghost Revival there is a Spirit of Giving. I ask you (because I love you) what vows have you broken before the Lord? You can't spell revival without Vows.

VI.       A.......ALTERS (V.31)

You can't spell revival without Alters. (v.31)  "When they had prayed" The first activity in the Book of Acts was a prayer meeting. No public ministry will commence until it has been privately clothed with power in prayer. Notice their prayer in V.29:  They didn't pray for Protection. They prayed for Power. They didn't pray for the fire of God to fall on their enemies. They prayed for the fire of God to fall on their lives so they could speak the Word of God with boldness. If we would spend less time in the dinning room and more time in the prayer room revival will come to America.

VII.      L.......LOVE

You can't spell revival without Repentance, Expectancy, Vitality, Involvement, Vows, Alters, and you can't spell revival without Love.

            A.        First, they Loved the Savior.  Their hearts were changed and it was reflected in their lives. Many difficulties would be overcome if we would simply fall in love with Jesus.

            B.         Secondly, they Loved the Saints.  There were no Isms or Schisms, Factions or Fractions. No Divisions or Dissensions. They just got along, and the power of God shook that place. 

Conclusion:       May He shake this place. May we truly experience real lasting revival. May we spell revival like the early church. May we spell it together.