Want to learn more about Reformation and Revival? Use these Bible Studies for personal devotion, group Bible studies, or teaching a church class. Below are links to the lessons in this 13-part series.
They say that lukewarm water is best for you. Not so
cold that is shocks your stomach. Not so hot that it burns your
mouth. Just nice and lukewarm. (Gag.) They also say that eating dark
green vegetables is good for you. I’m hoping that they mean
watermelon. I worry that they mean kale, since I suspect that
watermelon (a fruit) does not qualify. The Bible speaks of lukewarm,
and it gives hope to those who (like us) like cold and hot, since it
suggests that God shares our view! This week we begin a new series
entitled “Revival and Reformation.” Just like our preferences in
beverages, our goal is avoid being slightly warm. Let’s dive into
our lesson and learn more!
How do we start a revival? Can we start a revival?
Last week we learned that the church of the end of time is
spiritually lukewarm. We discussed ways in which we can personally
move from lukewarm to hot. What about moving the entire church to
hot? When I was in college, I experienced revival. There are times
at Regent University, where I teach, that I feel the Holy Spirit and
the spirit of revival. How do those things happen? Let’s dive into
our study of the Bible to see what we can do to spark a revival in
Our study is about the Bible being the “foundation” of
revival. That seems a bit odd at first glance. If the lesson claimed
that the Bible was the foundation for reformation, that would make
perfect sense. Who reads the Bible to become converted? It seems
that you hear the gospel, give your heart to God, and then read the
Bible to better understand. Well, maybe not. Consider how our series
started. We learned that we are living during the “lukewarm” age of
the church. Those already in the church have heard the gospel. Thus,
if we want to revive those (like us) who are already in the church,
we need something more than the initial excitement of being
converted. Let’s plunge into our study of the Bible to discover its
role in revival!
Have you ever asked, “What is in it for me?” This is
the most basic approach to converting others to Christianity – we
tell them how it will make their life better. God uses that
approach. Consider Deuteronomy 28 where God says obey and be blessed,
disobey and be cursed. Tithing promises tangible benefits (Malachi
3:10-12). Heaven is promised to have gold even in its streets!
(Revelation 21:21) This approach creates a tendency to remain focused
on self even after we are converted. Our lesson this week challenges
us to look outward. Let’s dive into the Bible and find out more!
Two weeks ago, in our discussion of Hebrews 4:1-6, we
saw two groups who heard the gospel, but only one accepted it. One
group accepted the gospel because they combined it with faith. With
that acceptance, the group entered into God’s rest. Hebrews 4:6
continues to say that some will not enter into God’s rest “because of
their disobedience.” If obedience is the fruit of revival, what does
it mean to obey? Let’s dive into our Bible and review some chapters
in the life of Saul (who became Paul) to better understand the
meaning of obedience!
What is your attitude toward sin? Are you mostly
concerned about what others will think about you? Or, are you
concerned about how your sin impacts God? When I was growing up, my
father would encourage good behavior by saying, “I don’t care what
other boys do, you are Don Cameron’s sons!” If my father’s point was
that sin is a matter of personal reputation, that would not be good.
But, if he was standing in the place of my Father in Heaven, then his
advice was perfect. Let’s plunge into our study of the Bible and
learn more about sin, confession and repentance!
What does unity mean? Does it mean that we give up
personal opinion? Does it mean that we no longer compete with each
other? Does it mean that we look, talk and act like other church
members? When Jesus prays that we will all be “one,” in the same way
the Trinity is one (John 17:21), what does that mean? If unity is
essential to revival, and it seems it is, we need to understand what
unity means. Our lesson this week is about unity. Let’s dive into
study of the Bible and learn more!
One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is the discerning
of spirits. 1 Corinthians 12:10. Why would God give this gift?
Apparently, because not all spirits are good. Jesus warns in Matthew
24:24 that false Christs and false prophets will perform miracles
with the goal of deceiving Christians. This means that we are to be
alert to those who falsely claim the power of the Holy Spirit. At the
same time, Jesus warns us of the extreme danger of attributing to
Satan the works of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 12:32. Let’s dive into
our study of what the Bible teaches about how discernment can
safeguard rival in the church!
Two weeks ago we learned that we need to have unity
with God by having the Holy Spirit live in our minds. This allows
us to live a Spirit-led life. Last week we learned about spiritual
discernment, judging whether the spirit speaking to us is God or
demonic. If we have these two things down, that we invite God’s
Spirit every morning to live in us, what is next? We need to do
something, right? What is it that we need to do? That is our topic
this week. Let’s dive into our study of the Bible and find out!
We started this series of lessons with the warning that
we are the church of the last days, the Laodicean church. Revelation
3:15-16 tells us that our church is “lukewarm,” and God would rather
it be hot or cold. If we are lukewarm, we are not willing to grow and
change. What, exactly, does it mean to grow and change? What will
motivate us to grow hot? Let’s jump into our study of the Bible and
see if we can find the answers!
“Garbage in garbage out,” is what people say in the
computing world. Is that statement also true when it comes to our
minds? The entertainment world rates what is acceptable to come into
our mind based on our age. The idea being that age makes a
difference; older minds are less susceptible to bad influences. Is
that true? Frankly, I think garbage in garbage out applies at any age
because people of all ages are influenced by those around them. Ask
yourself, do you use expressions that your friends use? I have an
old friend who refers to a small detail as a “featurette.” Because
of him, my wife and I refer to “featurette” from time to time. Let’s
plunge into our study and find out what the Bible teaches about our
Sometimes unity is hard work! Many years ago, I was at
a meeting where our local church leadership was meeting the new
conference president and our new pastor. As Lay Pastor, I was the
leader of the local church. The new conference president asked each
of the local elders their thoughts about the church. A newly elected
elder said things were fine, except their was something wrong with my
theology and the church leadership had a problem with racism. My
immediate thought was that unity would be best preserved if I walked
over and strangled him! The two of us had never had a personal
discussion about theology. He had just transferred to our church, and
although he was of a minority race, within a year we had elected him
an elder – unlikely actions for a group of racists! This unexpected
and unwarranted attack on my reputation and the church leadership
created hard feelings in my heart. What should we do when things like
that happen? Let’s dive into our Bibles and see what we can learn!
We come to the final lesson in this series about
revival and reformation. After these studies, what do you now think
is the goal of revival and reformation? Would you agree that it is to
get to know God better so that we love Him more? What is the purpose
of getting to know God better and loving Him more? To get ready to go
home to live with Him forever? To take with us as many as possible?
Let’s plunge into our study to contemplate how we finish the work God
has given us!