The Price of Revival

By Hyman Appleman (1902-1983)

In the first part of this article, Appleman looked at the three reasons for revival, as well as the personnel of revival. In this next part, he explores the price of revival. Let's listen in:

We have considered the purpose and the personnel of a revival. Now let us think about the price of a revival. What is the price of a revival? What did Moses have to pay? What did Samuel have to pay? What did Elijah have to pay? Isaiah? Hezekiah? What price did Joshua have to pay? What price did Peter and Paul and Luther and Wesley and Whitefield and Spurgeon and Moody and Billy Sunday have to pay? Each of us has to pay the same price—exactly the same price. There is no difference. There never will be any difference. God has never changed His terms. Power is costly. The most expensive power in all the world is the power of Pentecost. The price is high—but we can pay it. Here is how.

We must have a personal devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ. If you will study the biographies of these men I mentioned, you will find that they were characterized by one outstanding attitude. They were in love with the Lord Jesus Christ. You and I must fall in love with Jesus. Passion and devotion to Christ will take care of the sin problem in our lives. If we love Jesus we will hate the Devil, hate the world, and hate sin. If we really love Jesus, all that might put a shadow between Him and us will be a horrible detestation to us. I wish I could go to each of you, one by one, and ask you, “Do you love Jesus?” I wish I could press the question upon you until your hearts responded with the answer, “Yes, I love Jesus more than I love life itself.”

- We must visit for Jesus’ sake.
- We must invite for Jesus’ sake.
- We must sacrifice for Jesus’ sake.
- We must attend services for Jesus’ sake.
- We must give our money for Jesus’ sake.
- We must preach for Jesus’ sake.
- We must win souls for Jesus’ sake.

We must have a personal devotion to Jesus—not in word only, but with all our hearts, with all our souls. There must be a passionate devotion that will wake us in the night, that will be with us in the day, that will beset us on every hand, at home and abroad. “Jesus, Jesus, blessed Jesus!”— that must be the cry of our hearts.

The second price of a revival is a purposeful compassion for the souls of men. I say “purposeful” because I mean it. There is compassion and compassion.

B. B. Crimm held a revival in Lawton, Oklahoma when I was a soldier at Fort Sill. He could tell fascinating stories about dogs. I went every night I was not on duty. Church members sobbed and wept over his dog tales, but I knew that most of them never prayed, never sought the lost. I do not know what you call that in English, but the Jewish name for it is hypocrisy. It is lying. By compassion I do not mean the compassion which causes one to weep when a moving story is told. I mean the compassion that burns high and clear when there is no revival that flames on Monday even more than on Sunday, and is higher on Tuesday than on Monday. I mean the kind of compassion that gives us no rest nor peace until we give the best of our thought, the best of our talents, the best of our time, the best of our efforts to seeking out the lost for the Saviour.

- We need a purposeful compassion that will wake us in the morning crying, “O Lord, for Jesus’ sake, save our city.”
- We need a compassion that will drive us to our knees and make us say when we go to bed at night, “O Lord, for Christ’s sake, save our people.”
- We need a compassion that will seek out and make opportunities to witness for Christ day and night. That is purposeful compassion.

The third price that we must pay for this revival that God wants, that you, Christian reader, want, that I want, is persistent intercession. We must have not only personal devotion to Christ, purposeful compassion for the souls of men, but persistent intercession.

- We must pray without ceasing.
- We must pray as we have never prayed before in all our lives.
- We must pray for ourselves.

Three Reasons for Revival

By Hyman Appleman (1902-1983)

Some people think the need for a revival is a sign of decadence in a church. This is not always so. In the New Testament, in the Old Testament, in Christian history, revivals have been a part of God’s plan for the advancement of the kingdom. This is natural. This is spiritual. This is psychological. It is impossible for a farmer to be always harvesting. The same is true of the Lord’s work. We cannot have a perennial revival. It is impossible to have a perpetual harvest, physical or spiritual. We are so constituted that it is impossible for us to be always on the heights. We would go mad with the strain. We could not endure it. The flesh is still with us.

What many people call revivals are not revivals at all. You have heard of revivals with supposedly great singing, with supposedly great preaching—and with few if any noticeable results. Such meetings are not revivals. They may be extended seasons of singing and preaching, but that is all. A revival is a revival. You do not have to be told you were born. You know it. You were there, not consciously, but you were there. The same is true of a revival. You will know it. You will witness it when it comes. Mere preaching is not enough.

We want something that will make people know there is a God in heaven, that the Bible is His Word, that the promises of God are yea and amen in Christ. A real revival shakes, breaks, melts, molds, and causes the power of God to flow over the hearts of people. We want a revival. God is ready to give it. He wants us to have it. He will give us that kind of victory the minute we make room for it. How can we make room for God? That is our present and pressing problem. Let us therefore consider the purpose of a revival, the personnel of a revival and the price of a revival.

The first purpose of a revival is to expose sin in the hearts and lives of God’s people and in the hearts and lives of the unsaved multitudes. You know without my telling you that when workmen build a giant skyscraper, the higher they go the deeper they must go. As the walls go higher, the basements and subbasements go deeper. The same is true of a revival. To build a structure for the glory of God and the salvation of the lost, you must dig, blast and carry away all those things which might hinder progress. I can say by experience—thank God, I can witness to you of personal knowledge—that nothing can convict of sin, condemn for sin, bring people faster and more definitely to a realization of their sins than a revival of religion.

There has never been so much gambling, drinking, adultery, corruption in high places and in low as there is now. Immorality, indecency, infidelity are rife. How we need to expose the rottenness, the evil, the corruption in the hearts of all the people! We go on day after day, month after month, year after year, in the even or uneven tenor of our ways. Sin becomes so common, so prevalent that we pay no attention to it. We have every sort of philosophical and psychological
explanation. “Everybody does it.” Our consciences are dead. Our minds are befogged by Satan. We have grown fat and sleek in our souls. We love to hear soft, warm, perfumed platitudes. We need a shock of terrific dynamite to blast us out of the rut into which the Devil has thrown us. The only kind of explosion that can accomplish this is a Holy Ghost revival.

The second purpose of a revival is to enlist souls. First we must seek to enlist God’s people. Why are our churches half empty? Why do not souls come to Christ? Because Christians are not sufficiently concerned about the work of the Lord. We have to enlist God’s people. We must enlist those who are twice born, who are washed in the blood, who have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit, who claim the Lord as their personal Saviour.

We must enlist also the unsaved, bring them out of darkness into light, lead them from hell to heaven, from sin to salvation, from iniquity to righteousness. We must win them for the Lord Jesus Christ. The majority of people who have been saved since the beginning of Christianity have been reached and enlisted during revival meetings. The majority of those who will be saved in this dispensation of grace will be reached for Christ during revivals.

The third purpose of a revival—the chief purpose, God help me to tell it, the noblest motive, the highest passion, the only purpose God can really bless, God will bless, God has blessed—is to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ. I am very much afraid that one, if not the chief, reason why God is not blessing our efforts more is that we are selfish, that we have no thought for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is why many of us are not doing anything. Many of us are not in love with Jesus. We have no compassion for the lost. We work for each other, for our churches, for our pastors, but the least little thing throws us off balance.

If we are in love with Jesus, if we have a passion for Jesus, no matter what the difficulty, no matter what anybody else does, our passion for Christ will drive us to give, to pray, to do. We need to exalt Christ. “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” Only by enthroning Christ can we claim the promises of God, the fullness of His Holy Spirit, the answers to our prayers.

Consider also the personnel of a revival. Most important, of course, are the Three Persons of the Trinity: God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. There are many things we can do in our own strength. We can visit, advertise, invite, attend services, but, my friends; we are utterly unable to bring about a revival. We need God. We need Christ. We need the Holy Spirit, to convict, to constrain, to convert, to consecrate, to attract. Thank God, I can tell you, dogmatically, positively, assuredly, beyond doubt or peradventure, that the Holy Spirit is eager, longing, and able to bless us if we will but give Him the opportunity.

Classic Sermon: Delight in the Will of God

John A. Broadus lived from 1827-1895. Some consider him the father of American expository preaching. Noteworthy is the fact that he was personal friends with Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee and ministered to the Southern Troops in the War Between the States. Let’s listen in to one of his class sermons entitled, “Delight in the Will of God.”

I delight to do thy will, O my God! (Psalm 40:8)

This psalm tells of one who has suffered, been graciously relieved, and now responds in grateful praise and grateful obedience. This is not shown by mere externals of worship, but by delighting to do God’s will, by having his law in the heart, by proclaiming his glorious character and gracious dealings (verses 1-10).

Verses 5-9 apply to Christ. So it is with various psalms; often the language is exclusively prophetic of him. These words, therefore, are designed to be adopted by anyone, while at the same time it may look to the great example of the Lord Jesus Christ. Observe, that this delight is not merely to hear, but to do, the will of God. 

I. In one sense, the will of God will always be done, Whether we do his will or not.

Here we touch a most difficult subject but we need not turn away from it; but we must be humble, and content to take what we can understand, and leave alone what We cannot.

Grieving the Spirit

This is a classic sermon from J. Wilbur Chapman. Chapman pastored several Presbyterian churches before entering evangelism in 1893. He preached with D. L. Moody, Billy Sunday and “Praying” Hyde. Here is an excerpt from this class sermon.

Of all the epistles that ever came from the heart of the great Apostle Paul, this letter to the Ephesians seems to me about the sweetest and best. It is the epistle in which we find “the heavenly places” mentioned so many times; it is the epistle in which we find so many different names applied to our Father in heaven; and I suppose it is the letter in which we find the very highest spiritual truth presented in all the Bible.

How to Avoid Falling into Error

George Whitefiled was a man of God who lived from 1714 to 1770. Here is an excerpt from his classic sermon "The Duty of Searching the Scriptures." As you read it, let the Holy Spirit you the importance of the Spirit and the Word working together in your life, for this is the only way that we can be balanced Christians who avoid doctrinal error. Without further ado, here's the promised excerpt:

Our blessed Lord, though he was the eternal God, yet as man, he made the scriptures his constant rule and guide. And therefore, when he was asked by the lawyer, which was the great commandment of the law, he referred him to his Bible for an answer, "What readest thou?" And thus, when led by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil, he repelled all his assaults, with "it is written." A sufficient confutation this, of their opinion, who say, "the Spirit only, and not the Spirit by the Word, is to be our rule of action." If so, our Savior, who had the Spirit without measure, needed not always have referred to the written word. But how few copy after the example of Christ? How many are there who do not regard the word of God at all, but throw the sacred oracles aside, as an antiquated book, fit only for illiterate men? Such do greatly err, not knowing what the scriptures are... Have Christ, then, always in view when you are reading the word of God, and this, like the star in the east, will guide you to the Messiah, will serve as a key to every thing that is obscure, and unlock to you the wisdom and riches of all the mysteries of the kingdom of God.

Search the scriptures with an humble child-like disposition.