Our Last Hope For Revival
Excerpts from a message by Lester Roloff
Do you ever wonder why so many people have lost out with God? Why are we staring in the face of the end-time apostasy? Why have such pillars of the faith fallen in the last five or ten years? Now, dear friend, if you are self-righteous and self-satisfied or have pride and arrogance, then I won’t be able to help you. You’ll have to deflate that first. You might say, “Brother Roloff, I don’t think you’re talking about me.” Well, let’s each examine ourselves for just a few minutes. Do you have the power of God you once had? Do you love the Bible like you did when you first got saved? Do you love to be in God’s house and worship God with God’s people like you used to? Do you sing the songs of faith around your day of work that you used to sing when you first got saved and had the joy of God’s salvation and real power with the Lord? Do you have a testimony to win people to Jesus Christ today like you used to have? If you do not and your answers are “no,” then you have lost out with God. Don’t kid yourself. Listen, if you tolerate sin that used to bother you, but now you have no compunction of conscience, then you have lost out with God. If you sit and read the newspaper instead of reading the Word of God and have no compunction of conscience when you used to be faithful in the Word, then you have lost out with God. Now then, I trust by now you’re willing to go with me to face your own need. I long for revival, but we’ll never have a great evangelistic outreach to the lost until God’s people have a spiritual upheaval and revolution in our own lives.
The Bible is filled with people who had lost out with God. Some never made it back. It’s easier to get away from God than it is to get back to God. It doesn’t take as long, even though many people over a period of years just drift a little at a time. It’s the little foxes that spoil the vines. It’s the little sins that accumulate. Paul said, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1-2). The writer of Hebrews said, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2). The weights will keep us from running the good race. Many times the people of God throughout the Bible did not run the good race but rather drifted away. They got into idolatry. They didn’t remain true to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
The best news I know of for those of you who realize that you have begun to lose out with God is found in I John 1:9. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” In Psalm 85: 1-6, the Psalmist cries out, “LORD, Thou hast been favourable unto Thy land: Thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob. Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of Thy people, Thou hast covered all their sin. Selah. Thou hast taken away all Thy wrath: Thou hast turned Thyself from the fierceness of Thine anger. Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause Thine anger toward us to cease. Wilt Thou be angry with us for ever? Wilt thou draw out Thine anger to all generations? Wilt Thou not revive us again: that Thy people may rejoice in Thee?” A people who are not revived are not a happy people. Don’t think for a minute that God doesn’t still operate His pruning shears. He prunes His groves. He will prune off the dead limbs. He will convict us of our sins. He said, “Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh away” (John 15:2a). God’s people need to have the fear of God put in their souls again concerning this responsibility of living for the Lord.
The world has lost confidence in us, because we live so much like the world.
Now, if you really want revival in your heart, and if you want your joy back again, then let me give you something. When your joy is gone, then your song is gone, and then your strength is also gone. When you quit singing, you start sinning. It won’t be long before you’ll start sighing, and then you’ll start crying, and then you’ll start dying. Many of you have lost out with God and are on thin ice. Here’s the sad thing: when your joy is gone, your strength is gone because “the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Neh. 8:10b). There’s no true joy but the joy of the Lord. The world has nothing but temporal pleasure. Most people are just lapping out of the muddy streams of worldly pleasure, but they are not satisfied with it at all. It just leaves a muddy taste in their mouths and a dissatisfied feeling in their souls. They have lost out with God.
Look with me at the greatest chapter in the Bible on revival. It’s the deepest prayer—the prayer that is most filled with compassion and desire. It’s saturated with tears: the Fifty-first Psalm. This is the greatest prayer in the Bible for revival. Any of you who want revival, if you’ll do what David did, no matter how deep and ugly and black and hideous the sin, you’ll hear from heaven. David was a man who had lost out with God, but he’s one of the few men who came back to God. David said, “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin” (Psalm 51:1-2). Oh the tears! David got back to God, and he walked with tears the rest of his life.
Now let’s notice one last thing: if you want revival, you’ve got to use a single-barrel shotgun. You’ve got to do some straight aiming. Unless you confess your sin and forsake it, you’ll block your own revival. You’ve got to search your own heart. You will never have revival until you begin to make this personal. Until you say, “Lord, if You’ve got something for me, I’m going to get ready for it. If I’ve got sin, I want it uncovered. I want to know what my sin is. When You reveal my sin to me, I’m going to confess it and forsake it.” If you do, God will bless you. The greatest praying in the world is revival praying. The greatest singing in the world is revival singing. The greatest living in the world is revival living. You’ve never known anything quite like revival joy!
Roloff Evangelistic Enterprises