"For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him." II Chronicles 16:9
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Ephesians 6:12
Have We No Tears For Revival?
By Leonard Ravenhill
"They that sow in tears shall reap in joy."1 This is the divine edict. This is more than preaching with zeal. This is more than scholarly exposition. This is more than delivering sermons of exegetical exactitude and homiletical perfection. Such a man, whether preacher or pew dweller, is appalled at the shrinking authority of the Church in the present drama of cruelty in the world. And he cringes with sorrow that men turn a deaf ear to the Gospel and willingly risk eternal hell in the process. Under this complex burden, his heart is crushed to tears.
The true man of God is heartsick, grieved at the worldliness of the Church, grieved at the blindness of the Church, grieved at the corruption in the Church, grieved at the toleration of sin in the Church, grieved at the prayerlessness in the Church. He is disturbed that the corporate prayer of the Church no longer pulls down the strongholds of the devil. He is embarrassed that the Church folks no longer cry in their despair before a devil-ridden, sin-mad society, "Why could we not cast him out?"2 Many of us have no heart-sickness for the former glory of the Church because we have never known what true revival is. We stagnate in the status quo and sleep easy at night while our generation moves swiftly to the eternal night of hell. Shame, shame on us! Jesus whipped some money changers out of the temple; but before He whipped them, He wept over them. He knew how near their judgment was. The Apostle Paul sent a tear-stained letter to the Philippian saints, writing: "I have told you often and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ."3 Notice that he does not say they are enemies of Christ; they are, rather, the enemies of the cross of Christ. They deny or diminish the redemptive values of the cross. There are many like this today. The church of Rome does not stand as an enemy of Christ; it traces heavily on His holy name. Yet it denies the cross by saying that the Blessed Virgin is co-redemptive. If this is so, why was she not also crucified? The Mormons use the name of Christ, yet they are astray on the atonement. Have we tears for them? Shall we face them without a blush when they accuse us of inertia at the Judgment Seat saying that they were our neighbors and an offense to us, but not a burden because they were lost?
The Salvationists can scarcely read their flaming evangelical history without tears. Has the glory of the evangelical revival under Wesley ever gripped the hearts of the Methodists of today? Have they read of the fire-baptized men in Wesley's team? Men like John Nelson, Thomas Walsh, and a host of others whose names are written in the Book of Life; men persecuted and kicked in the streets when they held street meetings? Yet as their blood flowed from their wounds, their tears flowed from their eyes. Have the Holiness people set a guard at the door of the beauty parlors lest any sister should enter to get her hair curled, while a block away there is a string of prostitutes trying to sell their sin-wracked bodies with none to tell them of eternal love? Do the Pentecostals look back with shame as they remember when they dwelt across the theological tracks, but with the glory of the Lord in their midst? When they had a normal church life, which meant nights of prayers, followed by signs and wonders, and diverse miracles, and genuine gifts of the Holy Ghost? When they were not clock watchers, and their meetings lasted for hours, saturated with holy power? Have we no tears for these memories, or shame that our children know nothing of such power? Other denominations had their Glory Days of revival. Think of the mighty visitations to the Presbyterians in Korea. Remember the earth-shaking revival in Shantung. Are those days gone forever? Have we no tears for revival?
Leonard Ravenhill's message concludes here.
About Leonard Ravenhill (1907 - 1994)4
Leonard Ravenhill - was born in 1907 in the city of Leeds, in Yorkshire, England. He attended the local Methodist New Connection church with his parents, where he was converted to Christ at the age of fourteen. At fifteen, while attending services in the Leeds Holiness Mission, he became convinced of the truth of scriptural holiness. He spent some time at Cliff College under Samuel Chadwick, and later joined a group of young evangelists that went by the name Trekkers. The Trekkers worked the Lord's fields in England and Wales, and God gave them success! There was early evidence that Brother Ravenhill was gifted toward evangelism and holiness preaching, and he engaged in it with both vigor and power. Eventually he became one of England's foremost outdoor evangelists. His meetings in the war years drew traffic-jamming crowds in Britain, and great numbers of his converts not only followed the Savior into the kingdom, but into the Christian ministry and the world mission fields. In 1939, he married an Irish nurse, and from that union have come three sons. Paul Grandison, a missionary, David Martyn, a minister in California and Philip Leonard, a museum curator.
In 1951, Brother Ravenhill started a ministry of international evangelism and moved to the United States in the late 1950s. God's hand is clearly seen in his writing ministry as well. His are penetrating words, that through the working of the Spirit, will expose and rebuke hypocrisy, sham, and spiritual complacency with devastating frankness. Some of his books include Tried & Transfigured, Revival Praying, Meat for Men, Sodom Had No Bible, and Revival God's Way. His most popular work was Why Revival Tarries, which was translated into twenty-five languages.
How can these few words sum up any man's life? They cannot. Leonard Ravenhill was a man who gave his life to God at an early age and spent his life to further the cause of Jesus Christ. His preaching was colorful, dynamic, and dramatically illustrated, but the true reason for the sway he had with men was that his ministry was always bathed in prayer. He continued to preach and write until a few months before his death at a very young 87 years of age.1
"Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me." Isaiah 6:8
Ask yourself if you are spending as much time communing with the Lord as He desires to spend with you.
Do you know the heart of God? Can you feel His burden for the lost and dying world? Did Jesus Christ pay such a high price so we could sit back and await His return?
Praying is our part - answering prayer is God's part! Let us pursue the desires of His heart in prayer until we see them fulfilled on earth as in heaven.
We need to pray for everyone we see, as we move about this planet. We should be praying for the protection of children throughout this world. Pray that the hearts of the lost would be softened and prepared for the Good News of Jesus Christ.
God longs to move in answer to the prayers of His saints. He longs to do good and show mercy, if only we would come to Him and ask, seek and knock! For as we have often heard:
"For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." Matthew 7:8
Let us pray.
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The following is a list of the references used in the writing above. All scriptures are taken from the King James Version.
- Psalms. 126:5
- Matthew 17:19
- Philippians 3:18
- Adapted from "A TRIBUTE TO LEONARD RAVENHILL" by Brother Herbert McGonigle and other sources. Though it cannot do justice to the life of Brother Leonard, it is presented only as a brief introduction to a brother.