The first essential for the coming of the Holy Ghost into a heart today is that the heart should be cleansed from sin, for the Holy Spirit does not fill an unclean heart. What God has cleansed, He then fills. Finally, whom God fills, He uses. A holy life is the authentic sign of being filled with the Spirit.
Entertainment is the devil's substitute for joy. The more joy you have in the Lord the less entertainment you needwhen you can say, 'Thou, O Christ, art all I want.' But listen, be careful: it may strip you of everything else you have; you may lose some of your best friends who think you're fanatical; they don't mind you being kind or good, but you become holy and zealous
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Can any deny that in the modern church setup the main cause of anxiety is money? Yet that which tries the modern churches the most, troubled the New Testament Church the least. Our emphasis is on paying; theirs was on praying. When we have paid, the place is taken; when they had prayed, the place was shaken!
I read of the revivals of the past, great sweeping revivals where thousands of men were swept into the Kingdom of God. I read about Charles G. Finney winning his thousands and his hundreds of thousands of souls to Christ. Then I picked up a book and read the messages of Charles G. Finney and the message of Jonathan Edwards on 'Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,' and I said, 'No wonder men trembled; no wonder they fell in the altars and cried out in repentance and sobbed their way to the throne of grace!'
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The church as we know it today seems a million miles from the New Testament church. That may be a great generalization, but I will stand on it. There is a gulf between our average Christianity and the church of New Testament that makes the Grand Canyon look like a cavity in someone's tooth.
No man is greater than his prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying. We have many organizers, but few agonizers; many players and payers, few pray-ers; many singers, few clingers; lots of pastors, few wrestlers; many fears, few tears; much fashion, little passion; many interferers, few intercessors; many writers, but few fighters. Failing here, we fail everywhere.
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God pity us that after years of writing, using mountains of paper and rivers of ink, exhausting flashy terminology about the biggest revival meetings in history, we are still faced with gross corruption in every nation, as well as with the most prayerless church age since Pentecost.
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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?
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Paul never glamorized the gospel! It is not success, but sacrifice! It's not a glamous gospel ,but a bloody gospel, a gory gospel, and a sacrificial gospel! 5 minutes inside eternity and we will wish that we had sacrificed more!!! Wept more, bled more, grieved more, loved more, prayed more, given more!!!
The Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Power helpeth our infirmity in prayer. The Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Life ends our deadness in prayer. The Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Wisdom delivers us from ignorance in this holy art ofprayer. The Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Fire delivers us from coldness in prayer. The Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Might comes to our aid in our weakness as we pray.
If I was to ask you tonight if you were saved? Do you say 'Yes, I am saved'. When? 'Oh so and so preached, I got baptized and...' Are you saved? What are you saved from, hell? Are you saved from bitterness? Are you saved from lust? Are you saved from cheating? Are you saved from lying? Are you saved from bad manners? Are you saved from rebellion against your parents? Come on, what are you saved from?
The Cinderella of the church today is the prayer meeting. This handmaid of the Lord is unloved and unwooed because she is not dripping with the pearls of intellectualism, nor glamorous with the silks of philosophy; neither is she enchanting with the tiara of psychology. She wears the homespuns of sincerity and humility and so is not afraid to kneel!
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You know, we're the most undisciplined generation the world has ever knownhow many of you are disciplined? How many go to bed at the same time every night, get up every morning at the same time? How do you discipline your appetites, how do you discipline your tongue? We're the most weak, effeminate Christianity the world has ever had-no wonder nobody wants it. It has no strength, it has no character
The attitude of the average Christian today is relax and be raptured. But He is coming... and when God gets angry you ´ve no idea what it is. Like a thousand volcanoes exploding. He has appointed a day in which He is going to judge the world and the poor blindworld doesn ´t know much about it and the poor blind church doesn ´t think much about it now.
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We Christians are debtors to all men at all times in all places, but we are so smug to the lostness of men. We've been 'living in Laodicea,' lax, loose, lustful, and lazy. Why is there this criminal indifference to the lostness of men? Our condemnation is that we know how to live better than we are living.
Our spiritual immutarity never shows up more than in our lack of praying, be it alone or in a church prayer meeting. Let 20% of the chior members fail to turn up for rehearsal and the chior master is offended. Let 20% of the church members turn up for a prayer meeting, and the pastor is elated.