Revival on the Southcoast

July 2, 2016

I had the privilege of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ this past week up in the Corky Row area of the city with my own church members and a mission’s team from Forest Hills Baptist Church in Nashville Tennessee. We do a program called Vacation Bible School with young children from 4-14. It’s open to the public. Our church children and the children in Corky Row come together for the week and share life together around the person and work of Jesus with songs, stories, games, crafts and other special events.
Forest Hills spends thousands of dollars each year in blessing the young children in this area of the city. They’ve been at it for 4 years. This year we had over 80 children sign up and averaged between 50-60 kids per day in the park. We are praying for revival in the Corky row area of the city
What is revival, or might I say what is biblical revival? The Webster’s dictionary of 1828 gives a good definition. The word revival means to revive, to return, recover, or recall from death to life, or apparent death. In other words, people who are dead spiritually come to life spiritually. It happens when the Holy Spirit of God awakens a soul that is antagonistic to God and gives spiritual life to that person.
How do you know if you are alive spiritually? Let me give you five examples. 1-You desire the things of God, 2-Your ambition is to please God with what you say and do. 3-You emote as Jesus might. He wept when people were taken advantage of and cared for those forsaken. 4-You actually start to think thoughts that come from the bible and 5-You actually start to obey Gods word AND ENJOY IT. IE-you are no longer the most important person in your universe BUT Jesus is.
There are many religious spiritual people in and around Fall River but statistics state less than 10 percent are born again. We taught from John 3 this week. Jesus who the bible declares IS God in flesh (John 1:1; 14) said you must be born again. This was not an option but a command. Are you? Jesus didn’t say you must be Baptist, or Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Methodist, or Catholic. You know IF you are born again. If you don’t………
Many people go to church but they never have come to a place where they have repented of all their sins, trusted in Jesus alone for salvation, and started to obey his word. Many religious people, who are not born again, hate when the bible is shared. It’s because they are not born again. Born again people love the word of God because it speaks truth and it is the word of God that is used in revival.
Often time’s revival is a process. It starts off with a biblical burden. God calls people who pray for God to move on the burden (living bodies/dead souls). In due time the workers plow the ground (start talking about Jesus), like a farmer that casts seed, they water it (share some more), and pray that a harvest will come forth. They are fully dependent on God for the results.
Just as a farmer desires to see a crop come forth, those who pray for revival want to see people come to Jesus and confess him as Lord and follow him in accordance with the scripture as our soul authority.
I have a friend named Marilyn who is in her 9th decade of life. She remembers a time when Christian churches gathered together and shared life together here on the Southcoast. She doesn’t go to my church but she has the same burden I have. She wants people to come to Jesus for eternal life (John 5:11-13).
She is willing to start a prayer group with people from other churches in her home. There are a few ready to join with her. If it grows which I’m praying will happen, our church is available in Fall River, and I’m sure other churches that have the same burden will open their churches to help prayer go forth to the heavens. All you need is one prayer warrior from each church and then they could report BACK to the churches with what’s going on.
Billy Graham, known as the greatest evangelist in the past 100 years would often come to areas with a burden for souls and churches willing to work together.
God doesn’t need a bunch of Pastors to start praying BUT what he does is use common ordinary people with a burden to change the landscape. Neil Damgaard the Pastor of Dartmouth Bible Church in Dartmouth said it eloquently “Anyone with a burden to start a prayer group should just do it”.
I’m glad Marilyn sees value in life with Jesus after 80 and is willing to be part of a future revival here in the Fall River/New Bedford area.
I’ll close with this illustration from the Billy Graham Association on the impact of prayer and proclamation as a result of revival.
Mary Skaggs who is part of a large church, writing to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association explained the power of churches praying and working together for souls, “Recently our pastor asked for a raise of hands of how many accepted Jesus into their heart through Billy Graham’s ministry. Over half the congregation raised their hands…a real tribute to not only the power of Billy’s message but the massive extent of lives touched over the years!”
The Fall River/New Bedford area needs churches working together for the saving of souls. God blesses unity. Jesus prayed that his followers would be one so that the world would know that God had sent him (John 17:21). Our strength and help comes from heaven above. Our cities are in shambles, our cities need Jesus. Will you pray, participate, and proclaim so that others will come together. If you’re interested, please email me at tom.rffr@gmail.com or hit me up on Facebook. Have a great Fourth of July.