“A MIGHTY REVIVAL”
INTRO: We have before us the account of a revival that lasted two years. It tells us in
v10—“And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in
Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.” Today if we see a
revival that lasts a week we are doing well. Most are three days. I heard of a Church
where they were going to have a one night revival.
Paul had gone into the city of Ephesus to proclaim the good news of the Lord Jesus
Christ. During this time a mighty revival broke out. Friends, this is what we need to
see in our Church and in the Churches in our association. In fact, our state needs to
see revival as well as our Country and our World. By revival I mean a great moving
of God's Spirit. WE need to see a marvelous turning of the hearts of God's people and
mind to the spiritual matters. As we consider A MIGHTY REVIVAL let us see...
(1) THE BEGINNING OF THE REVIVAL
ACTS 19:1-7—“And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having
passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they
said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto
John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of
repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should
come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized
in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the
Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. And all
the men were about twelve.”
A. A CONDITION FOUND. When Paul arrived in the city he went to work. First, he found
a few disciples. These were disciples of John, who, had not yet received the Holy Ghost.
Paul asked them, ”Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?” (v2a). This
question is asked in order to lead their way to knowledge of their imperfect
obedience. (B. W. Johnson. The People's New Testament. Bible Explorer 4.0. Copyright
2006. WORDsearch Corp, Inc). Paul, at Ephesus, found some religious persons, who
looked to Jesus as the Messiah. They had not been led to expect the miraculous powers of
the Holy Ghost, nor were they informed that the gospel was especially the ministration of
the Spirit. But they spake as ready to welcome...it. Paul shows them that John never design
that those he baptized should rest there, but told them that they should believe on Him who
should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. They thankfully accepted the discovery, and
were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. (Matthew Henry. Matthew Henry's Concise
Commentary. Bible Explorer 4.0. Copyright 2006. WORDsearch Corp, Inc).
B. THE COMMITMENT NEEDED. Revival always begins with God's people (2 Chronicles
7:14). These disciples were willing to do whatever it took to obey God and fulfill His will.
Friends, we will never see revival unless we are willing to do whatever it takes! Whatever
God requires and whatever God requests. It means we lay aside our wills and follow His
will in all! But friends, I want you to notice something. Not only does revival begin with
God's people, but it begins with only a few of His people. It tells us in v7--”And all the men
were about twelve.” They were now endowed for usefulness, and perhaps did great service
in the religious revolution that soon transformed all that part of Asia (B. W. Johnson. The
People's New Testament. Bible Explorer 4.0. Copyright 2006. WORDsearch Corp, Inc).
We see THE BEGINNING OF THE REVIVAL but also...
(2) THE BOLDNESS OF PAUL
ACTS 19:8-10—“And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of
three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of
God. But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way
before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples,
disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus. And this continued by the space of
two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus,
both Jews and Greeks.”
*IN THE WORK OF THE LORD...
A. BOLDNESS IS REQUIRED. Friends, this business of witnessing for the Lord Jesus Christ
requires a great deal of boldness.
ILLUS: In today's politically correct environment where you have to be so careful to keep from
offending anyone, we might all have to give reports like this fourth grader who
reported on the origins of the Thanksgiving holiday. "The pilgrims came here seeking
freedom of you know what. When they landed, they gave thanks to you know who.
Because of them, we can worship each Sunday, you know where." -- From the files of
Leadership. (Bible Illustrator For Windows. Version 3.0f. Copyright 1990-1998.
Parsons Technology, Inc. All Rights Reserved).
But friends, witnessing for Christ is not for sissies. It requires a holy boldness that only the
Lord can provide. Jesus promised in Acts 1:8—“But ye shall receive power, after that the
Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in
all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” When we rest in this
B. BOLDNESS IS REVEALED. Paul had boldness because he realized that man's only hope
is in the Gospel. Paul said in 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.”
ILLUS: Peter Drucker, internationally known author and business consultant, said Churches
will be strong when they 1) emphasize what they really believe, and 2) do not
Friends, we must get back to that holy boldness for the Lord. Every believer must follow the
admonition—“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an
answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and
fear.” (1 Peter 3:15). An old Chinese proverb says, ”He who deliberates fully before taking
a step will spend his entire life on one leg.” (Chinese proverb. Leadership, Vol. 11, no. 2).
We see THE BEGINNING OF THE REVIVAL, THE BOLDNESS OF PAUL and...
(3) THE BLASPHEMY OF THE JEWS
ACTS 19:11-17—“And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: So that from
his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases
departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them. Then certain of the
vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits
the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul
preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the
priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and
Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on
them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of
that house naked and wounded. And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks
also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord
Jesus was magnified.”
A. THE START OF TROUBLE. When did this trouble begin? After God begin to work
mightily through Paul. Friends, it never fails, when God starts of work, so does the devil.
B. THE SOURCE OF TROUBLE. Where did this trouble come from? Two sources:
TROUBLEMAKERS. V9 tells us—“But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.”
COUNTERFEITERS (vv. 13-17). Friends, we can count on it that when we cast the Gospel net some of the fish we catch won't be for real. We don't even have to go looking for fakes in our Churches, they eventual show their true colors, and like Judas, hang themselves. The Word will clean them out. A preacher friend told me once, ”The Word will either bring them in or drive them out!” If we try to clean them out we'll probably do more harm than good.
(4) THE BURNING OF THE BOOKS
ACTS 19:18-19—“And many that believed came, and confessed, and showed their
deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together,
and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it
fifty thousand pieces of silver.”
A. A TIME FOR CLEANSING. The people brought all their evil books out and burned them.
I wonder if most of us don't need to clean out some evil things in our lives?
Perhaps we need a cleaning out of our bookshelves. What are we reading? Does it dishonor God?
Perhaps we need to clean out our TV schedules. The TV has brought a flood of filth into our homes. We need to do one of two things: control them or get rid of them.
Perhaps some need to clean out their refrigerators. A preacher, of all people, was once heard of defending the drinking of beer saying it was only a social beverage.
B. A TIME FOR CONSECRATION. How do we know these people consecrated themselves
unto the Lord? It tells us in v18—“And many that believed came, and confessed, and showed
their deeds.” Their consecration was:
OBVIOUS. It tells us—“many that believed came...and showed their deeds.” Not only did they confess their sins but they, through their actions, were forsaking their sins. There was real repentance, and they brought forth its fruits.
OVERWHELMING. V19 tells us—“Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.” Their arts and offences had been public, and they sought now to undo the evil, as much as lay in their power, as extensively as they had done it. (Albert Barnes. Albert Barnes' Notes on The Bible. e-Sword. Version 7.8.5. Copyright 2000-2007. Rick Meyers. All Rights Reserved Worldwide).
We have seen THE BEGINNING OF THE REVIVAL, THE BOLDNESS OF PAUL, THE BLASPHEMY OF THE JEWS, THE BURNING OF THE BOOKS, and finally let us see...
(5) THE BLESSINGS THAT FOLLOWED
ACTS 19:20—“So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.”
A. THE REQUIREMENTS FOR REVIVAL. Friends, to see revival there has to be a hunger
for it. Jesus said in Matthew 5:6—“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after
righteousness: for they shall be filled.” Friends, I am hungry for this! I want to see a Holy
Ghost, Heaven-sent revival! I want to see this Church on fire for the Lord! I want to see us
winning souls to Christ and maturing believers. I want to see us ALL excited to come to the
Lord's house and worship our KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS! I am hungry for
this! Are you?
B. THE RESULTS OF REVIVAL. V20 tells us—“So mightily grew the word of God and
prevailed.” Friends, this will always be the result of true revival!
CLOSING: Friends, what we truly need to see is A MIGHTY REVIVAL! Are you hungry for
Prepared by Brother Bryan L. Browning, Pastor of Beechmont Baptist Church, Beechmont, KY for Weds. Evening, October 10, 2007.