Category Archives: Revival

The Ordinary Christian Life

Christian%20Living

   There are many different views of the Christian life all ranging from minimal to radical.  I think all Gospel lovers and all true students of the Word would agree that Christ calls His people to radical commitment, you would even say extraordinary.  That is a good word to describe the born again believer, we are extraordinary people who believe extraordinary claims and live extraordinary lives.  But we can also see that there is something incredibly ordinary about our lives.  When I use the term ordinary in this sense there are no negative connotations involved.  Just a humble attempt to view our work and lives as Christians as wonderfully ordinary.

Let it be known that I am a preacher of the extraordinary, of revival, and of God working in supernatural ways, I believe in a God who still interrupts the “normal” to move His way.  In fact the church desperately needs this, the very life and body of the church is charged with the supernatural power of God.  But all this is determined by the Head(Christ) of which in his sovereignty directs to all the rest of the body.  We as the members of the body have been trying to tell the Head what to do.  He takes no orders from us, we listen to Him and respond accordingly.

There is a danger to avoid here as well, we must not always seek supernatural experiences and “good” church services.  When we become people who follow after the next great thing we are no better than those of whom Jesus rebuked for needing a sign (Matthew 12:38-39 – Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas).  The point of this post is to show that outside of God sent revivals and miracles the Church is to operate day-to-day proclaiming the Word, visiting the sick, caring for orphans and widows, feeding the homeless, loving our families, and showing grace to the world.  This all happens in very ordinary ways through ordinary men and women.  Although it is God who supplies grace and strength to do so.

Throughout church history we can find sovereign acts of God upon a people group or church.  These are classified as revivals or spiritual awakenings, from the reformation to the first and second great awakenings on down to our day God has wrought wonders!  These have brought about conversion of sinners, re-establishment of morality, social justice, and the overall expanding of the kingdom of Heaven.  But outside of these we find a church that continues her work day in and day out without much fanfare.  We need both the evangelist and the pastor, both the prophet and the teacher.  We need the revival along with the ministry of longevity.  I believe there are missionaries who live in obscurity that will never be known by men but cherished by God.  There are those who intercede who prevail with God in prayer, they will see no earthly rewards but they will be numbered with the saints of old for their “ordinary” ministry.

We must not be afraid of the ordinary, of the day-to-day grind of being the church.  Let us not fall into the notion that every service needs to be a spiritual blow-out, or every sermon needs to be at 100 mph, or that every song needs to excite the crowd.  The result is that many people come to church with these personalized expectations rather than to just submit to the teaching of the Word of God.  We want sensational rather than sanctification, entertainment rather than worship, and in the pulpit a man who parades rather than a man who prays.  Let it not be said of us in this hour that we are more concerned with pleasing men rather than God.

So I call on you dear brothers and sisters to expect the extraordinary with God but learn to live in the incredible ordinary that is the church.  Let good works be seen among men so that they may glorify your Father which is in heaven.  Do not look for thunder, fire, and earthquakes when God is speaking in a still small voice.  Get on your knees with an open bible, pray and worship in secret, and learn to listen to the slightest whisper of the Holy Spirit.  He brings fire but he descends as a dove.  Embrace the ordinary ministry of the church, walk with God through the spectacular mountain tops and lowly valley but in all things be content.  This is the Christian life, it is always glorious no matter how ordinary it may seem at times.

Leave a comment

Filed under Ministry, Revival, Uncategorized

God trumps ministry

New-Testament-Walk-with-God-540x300

Yes that’s right, God trumps ministry!  Please don’t misunderstand me when I say this.  I strongly believe in a church who is missions/ministry minded, a church who is reaching out in service and outreach.  This is God’s plan for the world…for the church to be His body to impact the world around them.  I also firmly believe that the most important thing we can do is seek after God.  Our great task and privilege as believers is to continually seek after God.  To know God, to walk with God in a daily living relationship!  Above even ministry, outreach, teaching, preaching, singing, organizing, this stands alone and is the peak of the mountain…to know God.

In His high priestly prayer Jesus prayed…(John 17:3) “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent”.  This was the cry of Christ to the Father, very simply that we might know Him!  Listen to the plea of Paul…(Philippians 3:10) “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death”.   Earlier in the text of the same chapter Paul states all of his accomplishments and religious qualifications and then quickly dismisses them for the treasure of knowing Christ.  He counts all as loss that he may win Christ.  This is the real treasure, this is the pearl of great price!  To belong to Him and He to us!

Tread with me out to the tabernacle of the congregation where there is a meeting taking place between God and Moses…listen in as the creature talks to the Creator.

(Exodus 33:11-18)…

11 And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.

12 And Moses said unto the Lord, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight.

13 Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.

14 And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.

15 And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.

16 For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.

17 And the Lord said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.

18 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory

Notice the thread weaved in the conversation?  Moses wanted one thing, to know God, to see the glory of God!  Forget about the land flowing with milk and honey, forget about the promise, forget about everything, if God is not with us it means nothing!  What we need as a people, as a church is to apply this to our lives today.  Forget about outreach, forget about missions, forget about ministry, if God is not with us it means nothing.  If there is not a real, living relationship involved…what are we really offering people?  Do we seek for this, or de we seek for our ministries to be great?  Do we desire that God be known, or our names be known?  What we need is communion over commotion, purity over popularity, Holy ghost manifestation over human manipulation, more prophets and fewer profits, more gospel and fewer games. 

We as the church can do a lot of things and never really do anything!  We can say a lot of things and never really say anything!  Jesus commends the church in Revelation for her works, then says…”I have somewhat against you, you have left your first love”  Let us return to our first love, then and only then our works will be in their proper place and will be effective in reaching a lost world.  When our God is placed above our activity, our activity then is just a natural overflow of our already thriving relationship.  When we love Christ, we will love the lost.  Let us be something in God first, then let us attempt something for God.  May we be people who are led by the Spirit and grounded in the scripture, full of the Holy ghost and faith!  If this becomes the case, we may just turn the world upside down.

In Christ,

Scott Neville

5 Comments

Filed under Ministry, Prayer, Revival

Are we in a famine?

famine

When surveying the current landscape of evangelicalism it is not very hard to see that we are currently in a theological famine. A famine of “hearing the words of the Lord” as can be found in Amos 8:11(Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord) This indeed is a frightening judgement given by God himself to a people who traded the very words of God for stale bread. The scriptures speak clearly of this condition(2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables) Is this not true of today, especially in America?

We have successfully to our own detriment turned the biblical God into a man made idol who grants wishes. We have turned His Christ into just another addition to the American dream that says bigger and better always means more blessings. We have traded His glorious Gospel for a shell of what it really is. The Christ that once called men dead in their sins to repent and be raised to new life has become a christ who sits beggarly at the feet of men. The cross we preach is padded or completely non-existent. It is Christianity without a cross, Religion without relationship, power without prayer, anointing without abasement.

In the midst of all this softening of Christianity, we have lost some vital things that have always been hills the saints of old would die on. Great truths that are diluted or gone altogether. Such as the lost condition of man, the drawing of the spirit, the nature of the Triune God and his attributes, authority and sufficiency of scripture, the atonement, propitiation of sins, repentance, justification by faith, sanctification, indwelling and baptism of the Holy Ghost, Lordship of Christ, final redemption, and so on! These are the great doctrines taught by the early church. These were preached by men such as Wesley, Whitelfield, Spurgeon, Moody, Tozer, Ravenhill and many more! We too must teach and preach these if we want to truly carry the torch the church has handed to our generation.

Until just a few years ago, I never really saw the value in these precious truths. I say this to my own shame, for want of self-righteousness and holiness in man’s eyes I struggled through my early walk with God just trying to please people and hide my own faults. While I am very far away, praise be to God for His grace that has broken me only to start the reconstruction His way. This must be done in our lives, we must be stripped of all false assurance of self until we see ourselves as utterly helpless. Then and only then, we can boldly but humbly walk before God and men however broken we are and sing…

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand

Why no youth, why no kids, why are churches across our nation half empty…is it because our theology is three miles wide but one inch deep. No serious teaching for the seeking soul. We have done the equivalent of promising the Grand Canyon, but taking people to see a crack in the sidewalk. The youth of our nation needs a revival of leaders who will be passionate not about being cool and dressing like them, but a passion of the Word of God! A passion for solid teaching that will help them see the beauty of Christ and what He has done for them! And above all let our pastors and youth leaders be people of prayer that have complete trust in the work of the Holy Spirit.

Thank you for reading and be much in prayer for a revival of the words of the Lord for our churches, families, and communities.

In Christ,
Scott Neville

Leave a comment

Filed under Doctrine, Prayer, Revival, Theology

The Gospel – The source of our strength and the lifeblood of the bloodwashed

what-is-the-gospel

Romans 1:16 –  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek

What is the Gospel?  One might answer this in many different ways but most if not all would say this is an easy question, or is it?  It is believed by many bible believing Christians that the Gospel is the entry point or basic message of Christianity.  That once you know it and understand it there is no need to harp on these points.  After all, we are people of progression and we desire to dive into the “deep things” of God.  The Gospel is simply pushed aside as “milk” as we move on to the “meat” of God’s word.  I am no one of important value, in fact I side with the apostle Paul…I am the chief of all sinners and the least among the brethren .  But as a voice, be it a small one and a minister of the Gospel I feel it is partly my duty to make the first things first.  It is the point of this post to state my deep concern for the wellbeing of the church at large and especially new converts and lost among us.  My prayer and plea is that the Gospel be preached and proclaimed among us who profess Christ!  That it be clearly and plainly stated so that all who come may hear and understand.  The Gospel message is not simply just an addition to Christianity…IT IS Christianity.  It is not a mere prop or crutch to our faith…it is the very lifeblood of our faith.

So what is the Gospel?  Please note that my attempts are feeble and I am far from understanding the unsearchable riches that are in Christ.  Also I am not deceived into thinking that I am a scholar, I just know the power of the Gospel in my own life and have witnessed the message enter into once spiritually deaf ears and open them again.  I have traced the footsteps of great men gone before us and have discovered the beaten path they left leads to the Cross.  I have been awed by God’s grace in the lives of others and have sought out it’s source.  What I have found every time is that the great blessings of God flow from Calvary.  Apart from the death, burial, resurrection, and exaltation of Christ…we have no message!  This is the message.  The Gospel sheds light to all of scripture and empowers every doctrine of the Word of God.  All things hinge on this.  Rip any page of the bible and it should bleed the blood of Jesus.  Read the bible through the lens of the Gospel and you will see Christ in every text.  First we must know two things before we can even attempt to understand this message.  Number one…we are weak and number two…God is strong!  In short the Gospel boils down to this…God does for man what man can never do for himself.  While we were yet sinners Christ died for us.  While we were dead in our sins He has come to quicken us to new life.  Through grace, a gift unmerited He has adopted us as sons and heirs to share in the promises of the Kingdom of God.  This indeed is good news!  Through the old testament and the law, it’s demands were “Be holy” and “Be perfect”.  That is the radical message of the law.  Now turn over to the new testament where Jesus declares “I have not come to destroy the law but to fulfill it”, the question still remains how does He fulfill it.  He still requires His people to be holy but the bad news to you and I is that we will never be holy in our own strength.  So God requires something that we cannot fill? Exactly right!  We are weak through the flesh and apart from God’s mercy and grace we are all lost.  Enter the Gospel or the good news, God sends His only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life!  God is strong where we are weak and He does in us what we could never do.

Picture the scene…Moses climbs the mountain where the smoke of God does gather around, the heavens shake and roar with God’s thunder and the very foundations of the earth tremble!  What is the cause of this commotion?  It is none other that The Lord Himself coming down to speak with Moses!  All of Israel stays back in fear of being struck dead.  God would command them to stay away and not get to close to the perimeter of the mountain, for He is holy and who can look on His face and live?  In the meeting with Moses He gives him two tables of stone and with His own finger writes His holy and just law on them.  Every commandment is upright and perfect and by them He condemns mankind for their ungodly ways.  This is an accurate picture of the law, it is unapproachable, it is full of wrath and terror.  It was written on cold dead lifeless stone.  The law was never meant to remedy the problem of sin it was meant to expose it.  It was designed by God to be an arrow to point us to Christ.  Now move forward to the new testament where Jesus cries out to all who would hear…”come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” and again “whosoever shall drink of this water shall never thirst again”.  There is a stark difference between the old and new testament and the old and new covenant.  What was once unapproachable and full of wrath and terror is now carried to every creature and full of love and mercy!  What was once written on cold dead lifeless stone is now by the power of Grace written upon the human heart that is very much alive and warm!  I hope we all see this beautiful truth in a world where everyone is striving  to earn God’s favor and measure up according to their own righteousness which always leads to external dead religion that holds no power.  We may now come boldly but humbly before His throne by the way of the cross.  In our mess, our guilt, and our shame, the words of the dying Savior shouts to you and all who would believe…”IT IS FINISHED”!!!  What was once done by work is now done by faith, for the just shall live by faith!  What was once done by our own power is now done by the power of God.  Jesus Christ lived the life that I could not live and dies the death that I deserved.  Thus through His life He fulfilled the rigid commands of God and through death He conquered sin, and through His resurrection He would conquer death.  So the demands of the Gospel are “repent and believe”!  Both of which are products of God’s amazing grace!  We come to Christ helpless admitting to Him we are sinners in need of His grace and He in return points to the bloody cross where our sins were paid!  What a glorious exchange!  His righteousness becomes mine and my punishment was put on Him.  A substitutionary sacrifice.  He not only dies to forgive sins but more specifically He died for YOU and ME and our sins.  The wrath of God was poured out on Jesus for you!  This should make you cry out…”Son of God have mercy on me”.  The Holy Judge would slam His gavel down on not us but His own son.  Isaiah the prophet would declare…”Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand”.  All this so that we might be called, justified, sanctified, and finally glorified!

These are the great truths on which Christians have stood firmly for centuries many even dying as martyrs to preserve the purity of the Gospel message.  So when we look around the American church today and see the Gospel reduced down to a self-help mantra and packaged as a way to improve your already good life, we as stewards of the Gospel must stand boldly and contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints.  We are walking amongst dry bones.  The world does not need another motivational speaker but an Ezekiel to stand and declare the word of the Lord!  It is not profitable for us to lay down the sword of the Gospel for cheap, easier, softer means while men everywhere perish.  I love the Pentecostal church with all her imperfections and will never forsake my heritage but there is a time to stop majoring on miracles and healings, and start majoring on the Gospel.  When we preach Christ…miracles will happen, when we exalt Christ…healings will take place, namely that of the converted soul!  Let us as spirit-filled people wage war with the gates of Hell with the means God has given the church…The message of the person and work of Jesus Christ!  This Gospel message will ripple out and effect us in every way, not just when we are converted but every day throughout our lives.  May we be people that are spirit lead, grounded in the word, saturated in prayer, and consumed by the unmovable truths of The Gospel!

May God bless His church and may the church rise to her high calling,

Your brother in Christ – Scott Neville

Leave a comment

Filed under Doctrine, Gospel, Prayer, Revival, Theology