Tag Archives: God

GOD’S LOVE FOR YOU


John 3:16; I Peter 1:18-19; Revelation 1:5

Joh 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 

John 3:16 is the verse that says so much with just a few words. If some one has memorized only one scripture from the Bible, it will be John 3:16. It is the scripture most often quoted.

We need to consider God’s Love For You in light of the statement, “For God so Loved…This does not mean that God approved the conduct of men, assuredly it doesn’t. It means that His love was a feeling of benevolence toward man, not approving the conduct but “earnestly desires the Happiness of those who are sinful.

Let us consider the statement, “The World”. That simply means all mankind. It does not indicate a certain part of the world. It clearly shows man as man His love is for all men. All men of the world had rebelled and therefore deserved the punishment of death. His love for the world was shown in giving His Son. The giving of His Son was brought about because of these circumstances:

  1. All the world was in ruin, and exposed to the wrath of God.
  2. All people were in a hopeless condition.
  3. God gave his Son. Man had no claim on him’ it was a gift – an undeserved gift.
  4. He gave him up to extreme sufferings, even the bitter pains of death on the cross.
  5. It was for all the world. He tasted “death for every man”, according to Hebrews 2:9.
  6. He “died for all,“ II Cor. 5:15
  7. He is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world,” I John 2:2
  8. Propitiation – The act of atoning for sin.

That He Gave – A free and unmerited gift. Man had no hold nor any claim to this gift. Where there was nothing else to save, it pleased God to give His Son into the hands of men to die in their place. “Who gave himself for our sins” – Galatians 1:4 Love moved God to express His eternal compassion and desire that sinners should not perish forever.

His only-begotten Son” This is the highest expression of love which we can conceive. A Father gave His perfect without sin Son to die for others who stand guilty shows a higher love than could be manifested in any other way. What great depth of love that God has for wicked man, and it could not be shown in any greater way.

1Pe 1:18  Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 

1Pe 1:19  But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

Peter gives us an argument here for a holy life to be lived. That argument is that we have been redeemed. This reminds me of the song, “I’m redeemed by love divine, glory, glory, Christ is mine.” What a comfort this is to know that the precious love of God has redeemed me. Nothing in this world could redeem me but the love of God has provided for my redemption.

Rev 1:5  And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 

Rev 1:6  And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

This term – “faithful witness”. This is Jesus giving a testimony that he can be completely relied upon. He is worthy of our belief. The First begotten of the dead.” Not that He is the first to rise from the dead, but he is the first who rose from the dead to immortality.

Notice how He loved us. Washed us from our sins. Jesus is the prince of the kings of the earth, yet he has made us kings and priests unto God, His Father. The Love of God has elevated us from sin and ruin into a kingship and priesthood that I do not deserve and certainly could not attain on my own.

HOW GREAT IS THE LOVE OF GOD.

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Vacation


Never take a vacation from God.

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DIVINE COMFORT


Isaiah 40:1; Isaiah 61:1,2; John 14:1

What a wonderful concept, comfort.

  • Comfort is something that each of us seek from time to time.
  • We work hard each day and come home to comfort.
  • We travel from time to time and sleep in unfamiliar beds.
  • We are happy to get home to our own familiar comfortable bed.
  • There is a desire for comfort and it does not just relate to physical comfort. We desire to be mentally comfortable.
  • There are times when we cannot wrap our mind around happens and events.
  • When these mental issues chase away the comfort we want, we seek knowledge to dispel the mystery that makes us uncomfortable.
  • We seek mental comfort.
  • The other area of comfort is spiritual comfort.
  • Spiritual comfort is the most neglected area of comfort.
  • Neglected not by God but by man in ignoring the Word of God.

God said to His people, “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people saith your GodIsaiah 40:1

God is speaking comfort to His people. God’s comfort is that warfare is accomplished. Another comfort was that Jerusalem’s iniquity is pardoned. God said that His people had paid double for their sins.

Now God is calling for them to be comforted. God has a desire that his people are comforted.

Isaiah has more to say about comfort. I believe there is a list of comforting things that Isaiah speaks relays to us.

Isaiah 61:1,2 “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2. To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, an the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

  • We each should have the Spirit of the Lord GOD upon us; certainly not as a prophet or a preacher, but as a comfort for us.
  • Each of us should comfort the meek and tell others about Jesus Christ our Savior. Surely this is a comfort to us and our desire should be to comfort others by telling about our Savior.
  • A comfort is that the Lord is coming again. With the heartbreak that is experienced here, the sorrows that overcome us, the disappointments that abound; the LORD is coming again.
  • During our present day trials and tribulations, history does not inform us, but God’s word informs us and comforts us that prophecy is being fulfilled, yet God is with us and His return is close.

We are called to not let our heart be troubled. Here is the question with which we need to deal with; do we believe in God? If we believe in God, we must also believe in Jesus Christ.

Joh 14:1  Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 

2  In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 

3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. 

4  And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

Here are our marching orders. – Let not your hearts be troubled. This does not mean to simply lay down and not resist. Resist the sin and wickedness with all courage and might. Yet we are comforted, knowing that God is in control and we know his coming is imminent.

  • We have divine comfort knowing that the provision of God is manifest in that He has already prepared a place for us.
  • We have divine comfort knowing that He is coming back for us.
  • We have divine comfort knowing that He is going to receive us in the place He has prepared for us.
  • We have divine comfort knowing that where He is we will be also.
  • We have divine comfort knowing where He went and we know that way.
  • That way is through the blood that Jesus shed for us upon the cross. That way is by repentance of sin and receiving the free gift offered by Jesus.

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A CHICKEN THAT WON’T GO AWAY


William Andrew Dillard


There it goes again, waddling down the corridors of my mind. I do not refer to the proverbial chicken that crossed the road, or the chicken that must die because three or more Baptists got together. I do not refer to a particular breed of chicken such as Leghorn, Bantam, Dominique, Minorca, Corrnish, Rhode Island Red, or a dozen other varieties. Just any chicken will do. Aside from picky demands of KFC, a chicken is, after all, just a chicken.
I know where chickens came from: any chicken, all chickens. God made chickens in creation long ago. Now evolutionists say not so. But there is no such thing as a chicken evolving from a fruit fly, duck, or mosquito. Regardless of how men have manipulated chickens, they are still chickens, and legitimate offspring of what God created originally. If that is not received as proof, well, tough! It is still true. Do I have anyone who want to argue to the contrary about the chicken? Of course the same would be true of any other species. The evolution of created beings within their species is evident from the manipulation of men, but one species does not become a different species, never! Chickens are still chickens!
So what is the deal with the chicken? The point is understandably true enough, but it applies to something much more important.
Reference is now made to the true church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Satan, the master counterfeiter has done much to bury the identity of the Lord’s church over the last nearly two thousand years. His purpose is to turn men away from it, but the predestination of the church is more sure that that of the survival of the chicken.
There are multiplied hundreds of churches, so called, that mix a little truth with falsehood (making them the biggest lies). They say the church is universal and visible. Others say the church is universal and invisible. Still others tell us the church ceased somewhere in the dark ages and men are now in the process of renewing it. The lies go on and on. But, the church Jesus started is still here, and has never ceased to exist since its beginning,. “Prove it,” they say. That is when the chicken runs by.
The truth is that Jesus forthrightly promised His church perpetuity, and it has been kept by the power of the Holy Spirit throughout the many attempts to kill it. There is kinship in the false churches of religious iniquity, and none of them want the core doctrines of old fashioned Baptists. Moreover, such would not make sense to Baptists either except for the presence and tutorial consistency of the Holy Spirit. I am grateful for the help and grace of God for understanding His Word, and . . . yes. . . I am thankful for that chicken that won’t go away!

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BACKSLIDING


Proverbs 14:14; Matthew 24:12; Hebrews 10:38

How wonderful it would be if we could say as the Psalmist said 44:18 – “Our heart is not turned back, neither have our steps declined from thy way;”.Sadly, there are few that can make that claim. Drawing away from God for different reasons happens to most saved people. It could be the influence of a spouse, a friend or the lure and lust for the things of the world. Even when faithful in church services, there are time we are closer to God than at other times. According to Proverbs 14:14, “The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways. There are times the struggle within us is so real. The carnal striving with the spirit bringing indecision and division. It can happen in different areas of life. Financial, physical and mental division. We can be filled with our own ways, become narcissistic in the things we do. An attitude that my way is better than God’s way. The whole of life becomes about us instead of God and His Son Jesus Christ.

Matthew really clues us in by saying in Matthew 24:12 “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” Do we see this today? Sure we do. If we would be honest we would admit that the flesh rules upon occasions. We have a denomination that split over the homosexual issue. Understand, I believe that denomination does not hold the true, but in morals they used to be very close to the Bible. Yet, some that should know better just blew them off as not having the truth to begin. So when do we worry about those that call themselves Christians? When they those false denominations are normalizing homosexual relations and even having two men that claim to be married, or two women that claim to be married “pastoring” churches so called? That is happening. Now I am going to hit some of you right between the eyes now. Are we backsliding when a sport has such a hold on us that we will support the halftime show of sex and crotch grabbing by watching the game? I know, some of you said we did not watch the halftime show. You spread all over face book, to children and teens that you supported the super bowl by watching it and thereby supporting the halftime show whether you watched it or not. How many children saw it and were influenced by it? I have read a few articles that were not written by preachers or even Christians. These lost carnal men are decrying the moral degradation of such a display in a public venue. Their claim is that it significantly displays how degraded people have become in their attempt to okay this sensual conduct. One wonders how far it will go before Christians will rise up in disgust withdraw their support from such wickedness.

The writer of Hebrews says in 10:38 “Now the just shall live by faith: . . “ Is your faith rooted in Jesus Christ. If it is, have you withdrawn yourself from the things of the world? Are these worldly things so important that they have a hold on you so that you can draw back from the Lord on a temporary basis and excuse it by claims that you did not see the smut. You do realize that you were counted in the millions that watched it and those that broadcast paid the super bowl based upon the head count. Therefore, you financially supported the halftime show. Is that drawing back from the Lord? The author of Hebrews is very clear here in 10:38 “. . . but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.”

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ANSWERED PRAYER


I Kings 18:37; Psalm 91:15; Luke 11:9

Prayer should be an important element in our life. I do believe that those that pray regularly see their prayers answered. When all others around us are discouraged and turning their back on God, prayer warriors are sorely needed.

Elijah was a prayer warrior. God strengthened him for what God needed him to do. His prayer was not loud and boisterous nor self-centered. It was simply sent through heavens gates to touch the ear of God almighty. It was a simple request for the demonstration of God’s great and mighty power in consuming a water drenched sacrifice offered to God. Such a simple prayer. “Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.”

Would it not be wonderful to hear this prayer offered of an evening to God that this day, may the hearts of the people be turned back to God? Notice how he phrased his prayer to God. He got God’s attention – “Hear me, O LORD, hear me.” I may be downstairs in my study and my wife upstairs and she wants my attention and she calls, “HEY”.

Notice the plea or request that Elijah has for the LORD. “that this people may know that thou art the LORD God”. This very first request was for the honor and glory of God. We must get this idea in our mind, our reason for being here, our purpose in life is to honor and glorify God.

The second request is “that thou hast turned their heart back again.” That is our quest today. We need to pray that God will use us to reach out to those that have strayed from God and turn their hearts back to Him. Here is the sequence that I see here. Hold God up to unbelievers. Serve God by drawing those that stray back to the fold.

God has made a promise to us.Psalm 91:15 “He shall call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.”

When we make the Lord our habitation, our dwelling place and continually turn to Him, we find that he knows us. We become familiar because He is our heavenly father and desires to cover us with His wings according to Psalm 91:4 Psalm. 91:11 speaks of His angels he has charged to keep us in our ways. We see He answers our call to Him. He is concerned for us. His promise is to be with us in trouble. He has promised to deliver us and honor us

Through our simple prayers, not only can we communicate with God, but we can plead with Him to change the hearts of people that have turned away from Him.

Luke 11:9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

We need the faith to ask, seek and knock. Notice the three steps given to us here. We need the faith to ask. First consider the glory of God. Ask that He might be lifted up and all glory will be God’s. Ask God that we might be diligent in serving God in all areas in our life. Then we ask for our needs.

We are then to seek. Search out what the Lord would have us to do. God has a purpose for us. He has something for us to do. Let us seek that purpose and find God’s desire in our life. He wants us to seek the salvation of the lost.

We need to see the return of some that have strayed. The desire of our heavenly father is that His people will turn to Him. His desire is that the lost be saved by trusting in His Son, Jesus Christ. May we raise a chorus of prayers to heaven that the Holy Spirit will touch hearts today, convict the lost of their need for a savior, and that those that have grown cold will yield and turn to serve.

We are called to knock so that doors shut to us will be opened. Sometimes it seems that entrance is denied and doors are shut. Knock. Allow the door to be opened. We understand that in a physical manner, we should do the same in a spiritual way. There are times that we need to knock to gain entrance. Let us be persistent and knock to gain entrance. May prayer become a habit for us in this day and age.

What is your prayer today?

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THE TURBULENCE AND TRANQUILITY OF “THOMAS”


William Andrew Dillard

Ranking high among the pleasures of reading God’s Word is vicariously identifying with its cast of characters. Perhaps it is the unshakable focus and patience of Noah that inspires us or the unwavering faith of Abraham. Isaac brings calmness to the soul, while adventuresome excitement flows from trickster Jacob. Joseph inspires us in all our troubles as does Job, but what could be more of an emotional roller coaster than the life of Moses. On and on the chronicles of life itself in so many contexts speak loudly to us of what is right or wrong, good and bad. Who could have had a greater storybook life than David or Solomon, or the austerity, faithfulness, and fortitude of the impressive prophets. But some largely prefer to identify with the apostles. John was so trusting and loving. Peter was so impulsive and often wrong. Paul was a trail-blazing evangelist and doctrinal instructor. But there is another that claims a lion’s share of connection in many disciples in every generation. It is Thomas who is more often than not referred to as “Doubting Thomas.”
Often pushed into the back recesses of heart and mind, the more open doubts of our “Thomas” are hidden away. Out of view by others, he will command the mental easy chair of meditation or the center stage of a mind unwilling to surrender to nightly rest, calling into question some things deeply embedded as unchangeable truth. Our personal “Thomas” seems to strongly raise questions, affirm denial, and cause one to flounder in the pool of amazement over what is long known to be truth in the absolute.
The biblical Thomas knew the Lord, he received heaven’s baptism at the hands of John the Baptist, and positively responded to the call of Jesus. He loved the Lord and soaked up so much of Jesus’ teachings. The crucifixion threw him for a loop as it did most of the apostles. But not being present at the early appearances of the resurrected Christ, his knowledge consisted of the reports of the others who had seen Him. But no one rises from the dead. Four thousand years of consistent history proved it. But his brethren were not given to false statements. He wanted so much for it to be so, but determined he would not believe it until he had personally seen Him himself. What a time that was when Jesus appeared to them all inside a locked room, and he was bidden both to see and to feel the body of Jesus. A new level of solidification enveloped him as the turbulence gave way to tranquility.
That process of turbulence to tranquility is the prospective joy for every disciple who will stop long enough to meet with Jesus in the room of His Holy Word. When your “Thomas” finds his way to center stage, allow Jesus to speak as He did so long ago: “Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.” John 20:27.

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ANGER


Psalm 37:8; Proverb 16:32; James 1:19

Psa 37:8  Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. 

Pro 16:32  He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city. 

Jas 1:19  Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 

There is an old saying, “They can git glad in the same britches they got mad in. Ecclesiastes 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: We each have been given an emotion that can be used properly or improperly. How often is it used wrongly and really is a witness against us?

The Psalmist says to cease from anger and forsake wrath:. The context shows that anger or wrath is inappropriate in some instances. The Lord says to not fret or be angry over those wicked that prosper. There are certain things that we can do nothing about, but we should depend upon the Lord in these situations. So let us not be angry over the wicked, that is God’s responsibility. Let us not be angry over what we perceive. We could be wrong in our perception.

Paul said to the Ephesian brethren in Eph. 4:26 – “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath. Consider that dwelling upon situations that bring anger accelerates anger. This is more or less, mental violence with a desire for revenge. The call is to settle the issue of wrath before the day was over. Anger is a self-defense mechanism that causes an immediate reaction to a sudden personal physical attack. We find an immediate anger is self protection from physical danger and yet there is an anger that is associated with mental perception of slight or verbal offence.

There appears to be those that are very sensitive to verbal responses and see slight that causes anger. My first advice is to not be so sensitive. The last part of Proverbs 16:32 makes a statement that we are advised to heed. – “he that ruleth his spirit is better than he that taketh a city.” Notice the thought, “ruleth his spirit.” An unchecked emotion such as anger is detrimental to your health. It can cause mental agitation, hand wringing and stomach problems. This sensitive disposition should be calmed by the Word of the Lord and prayer. Some people wreck their health over perceive slights. Take it to the Lord.

Proverbs says to be slow to anger. Let us not mistake a situation and be wrong in our anger. Often, prayer and patience reveals that anger is not necessary. James says be slow to wrath. Haste to become angry often testifies against us. It reveals a heart of unforgiveness. We are to be a forgiving people. Do not misunderstand what is said. The scriptures do not say to never be angry, but our encouragement is to use our anger in such a way that it is beneficial to all. Do not allow anger to rule us but rule anger as Jesus did when he drove the money changers out of the temple. Eph. 4: 30 – 32, – “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Anger, don’t lose it, use it.

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WE ARE NOT ALONE


William Andrew Dillard

A study of angels always proves to be most interesting. They intrigue our minds as their basic nature, order and ministry are considered. Contrary to common thought, angels only assume material expressions (bodies) to be seen of men when it is necessary. Otherwise, they carry out their God-given duties precisely in their natural form. Basically, they are ministering intellectual spirits according to Hebrews 1:7-14.
God created angels and His ministers to minister unto Him in the triune realm of his constitution: mental, spiritual, physical. The chief angels over these orders are Gabriel, mental realm; Michael, spiritual realm; and Lucifer, the material realm.
Of course we know that Lucifer fell because of originating sin, and many of the angels under his command fell with him, and doubtlessly some that were not under his command, too. Hence, the presence of demons on earth, and the locking away of some to the day of judgment.
Angels of God continue to minister unto Him. They are also given charge over affairs on earth. “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him and delivereth them.” Psalm 34:7. Guardian angels are not myth, but reality.
Of course, one can recall so many times in the Old Testament that angels appeared unto men for the purpose of delivering a message from God or for other purposes. It was Jacob who wrestled with an angel all night, Genesis 37. Angels also executed judgment by destroying Sodom and Gomorrah and thousands of Israelites on certain sinful occasions. It was also an angel who announced the birth of Jesus to Mary and Joseph.
No, we are not alone. The songwriter penned, “I can see an angel peeking through a broken windowpane.” Angels are here. They occupy the same space, but live in another dimension. Angels can cross over into our dimension, but we may not cross over into theirs until death. Notice in the defense of Dothan, the city was surrounded by Assyrians and the prophet’s helper was beside himself as he pointed the situation out to his master. The prophet was not disturbed and said that they that be for us is more than they that be for them. Then he prayed that God would open the eyes of his helper that he might see what the prophet could see. God opened his eyes and he saw angels and chariots of fire ringing the hills about them. Elisha prayed that God would smite them with blindness which He did. Then Elisha led them away into the midst of Samaria where they were defenseless.
How marvelous is the Lord! How great is His love and care for His people. We are not alone. Angels are here and some have entertained them unaware. We are not alone!

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We need revival, folks !


Joseph Caples

1. WE NEED REVIVAL WHEN CHURCH DINNERS ARE BETTER ATTENDED THAN PRAYER MEETINGS.

2. WE NEED REVIVAL WHEN WE DO NOT LOVE GOD AS WE ONCE DID.

3. WE NEED REVIVAL WHEN WE WOULD RATHER WATCH TV THAN READ THE BIBLE AND PRAY.

4. WE NEED REVIVAL WHEN WE MAKE LITTLE EFFORT TO WITNESS TO THE LOST SINNER.

5. WE NEED REVIVAL WHEN WE HAVE TIME FOR RECREATION AND SPORTS ,BUT NOT FOR BIBLE STUDY AND PRAYER.

6. WE NEED REVIVAL WHEN WE TOLERATE “LITTLE” SINS OF GOSSIP, A CRITICAL SPIRIT, AND LACK OF LOVE.

7. WE NEED REVIVAL WHEN OUR HEARTS ARE COLD AND OUR EYES ARE DRY.

8. WE NEED REVIVAL WHEN WE ATTEND CONCERTS AND GUEST SPEAKERS BUT FAIL TO BE FAITHFUL TO OUR CHURCHES SERVICES.

9. WE NEED REVIVAL WHEN BELIEVERS CAN BE AT ODDS WITH EACH OTHER AND NOT FEEL COMPELLED TO PURSUE RECONCILIATION.

10. WE NEED REVIVAL WHEN WE AREN”T EXERCISING FAITH AND BELIEVING GOD FOR THE IMPOSSIBLE.

11. WE NEED REVIVAL WHEN THE FIRE HAS GONE OUT IN OUR HEARTS,OUR MARRIGES, AND THE CHURCH.

12. WE NEED REVIVAL WHEN THE FAMILY IS NOT PRAYING TOGETTER.

13. WE NEED REVIVAL WHEN PEOPLE HAVE TO BE BEGGED TO GIVE AND TO SERVE IN THE CHURCH.

14. WE NEED REVIVAL WHEN WE KNOW THE TRUTH IN OUR HEADS THAT WE ARE NOT PRACTICING IN OUR LIVES.

15. WE NEED REVIVAL WHEN WE WOULD RATHER MAKE MONEY THAN GIVE MONEY.

16. WE NEED REVIVAL WHEN PEOPLE HAVE TO BE ENTERTAINED TO BE DRAWN TO CHURCH.

17. WE NEED REVIVAL WHEN WE ARE MORE CONCERNED ABOUT OUR CHILDREN”s EDUCATION AND THEIR ATHLETIC ACTIVITIES THAN ABOUT THE CONDITION OF THEIR SOULS.

18 .WE NEED REVIVAL WHEN WE DON”T LONG FOR THE FELLOWSHIP OF GOD”S PEOPLE.

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