If Repentance Is Lacking
By Donald Gee
What I believe to be the deepest need of every revival is repentance. If there is not repentance in a revival, it does not go deep enough. It is shallow.
"Then began He [Jesus] to upbraid the cities where most of His mighty works were done, because they repented not" (Matt. 11:20). There must be repentance before there can be a real revival. Too often we are missing God's first word to sinners, and His first word to them is not "believe," but "repent." When John the Baptist came to preach, his first word was "Repent"; when the Lord Jesus began His ministry, His first word was "Repent."
When Jesus gave the picture of the prodigal son, it became blacker and blacker until at last the young man came to himself and said, "I will arise and go to my father." His father never moved to meet him until the son took the first step. Repentance came first.
On the Day of Pentecost, under the fresh fire of the Spirit of God, Peter's first word to their inquiry as to what they should do, was "Repent and be baptized." Repentance is a change of the mind and the heart toward sin.
A beautiful thing about people who have repented is that they love the Word of God. The more the Word of God searches, the more they love it. Often we find people getting offended by the Word and then they run off to some other church. If you do that you have not repented as you should.
How Can We Have a Revival of Repentance?
Oh, to see tears of repentance! I believe three things are necessary for a revival of repentance. First, we need more solid preaching of judgment to come. Our Lord Jesus wept over cities because they did not repent. He had a vision of the judgment seat. There is not only a judgment for sinners, but also a judgment seat of Christ for believers. There is a place where our work will be tested. The wood and the stubble will be burned, but the gold and silver will remain. Oh, for more preaching along this line! But our preachers will never preach it until they tremble before the judgment seat themselves.
Secondly, we are helpless until the Holy Spirit gives repentance. It is the Spirit of God who moves men to repentance. Unless the Spirit moves, men will not repent. The Spirit of God is ever ready to move men to repentance. Our great need then is for the blessed Holy Spirit's moving.
If the ground is to be broken up, we must have more than a light shower; we must have rain from heaven. Oh, God, send us the rain! God says, "Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain" (Zech. 10:1). Preaching alone will not give the desired result. We need the rains of heavenly grace.
And thirdly, there is an anointed ministry that produces repentance. There is anointed ministry when preachers have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts, and they have realized in His spotless, shining presence, what sin is. When a man comes out from that presence, he comes out with something resting upon him that brings the grace of the Lord upon the people.
Let us pray for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the preacher and upon everyone of us, until the ground is softened by the "latter rain" and until we get a deep revival. We need a revival that produces repentance, and after it has produced that, will keep us broken, melted and softened before the Lord.
– Excerpted from The Australian Evangel.