From: “THE REVIVAL WE NEED”. by OSWALD J. SMITH (1925)
So much is being said about revival, that we sometimes forget the root of what would bring the fruit of such a world shaking, devastating phenomena of lawlessness, violence and corruption.
Here are some thoughts:
“There is only one obstacle that can block up the channel and choke God’s power, and that is SIN. Sin is the great barrier. It alone can hinder the work of the Spirit and prevent a Revival. “If I regard iniquity in my heart,” declared David, “The Lord will not hear me.” (Psalm 66:18.) And in Isaiah 59:12, we have these significant words: “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear.” Sin then is the great barrier, and it must be put away. Nor is there any alternative. There can be no compromise. God will not work as long as there is iniquity covered up.
And not only sorrow for the consequences and punishment of sin, but for sin itself as committed against God. Hell is full of remorse, but only for the punishment incurred. There is no real contrition. The rich man uttered not a word of sorrow for his sin against God. (Luke 16:29-30.) But David, though guilty of both murder and adultery, saw his sin as against God alone. (Psalm 51:4.) Mere remorse is not true Godly sorrow unto repentance. Judas though filled with remorse never repented.
Now God alone is able to bestow a contrite and broken heart, a sorrow that will result in the confession and forsaking of sin. And nothing short of that will suffice. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” (Psalm 51:17.) “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” (Prov. 28:13.) “Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the Lord thy God.” (Jet. 3:13.)
There are three kinds of confession that must be considered :–
(1) Private Confession; for where the sin has been committed against God alone it need be confessed to no other but God. (1 John 1:9; Psalm 32:5.)
(2) Personal Confession; for where the sin has been committed against another it must be confessed not only to God but also to the one who has been wronged. Nor will there be any peace until the confession has been made and forgiveness sought. (Matthew 5:23,24.) of God is covered over and unconfessed just so long will the Spirit of God be unable to bring about a Revival. Men must get right with each other in order to be right with God.
(3) Public Confession; for where the sin has been committed against the church, that is to say, the entire congregation, a class, organization or company of people the confession must be as public as the transgression. As long as iniquity among the people
One night at the close of a searching message, a young man walked to the front, and, turning to the congregation, made the startling confession that he had stolen and used money that did not belong to him; after which he passed into the inquiry room to get right with God. He had been the treasurer of two important organizations and had squandered nearly all the funds entrusted to him …..”