An evangelical preacher observed Sunday that the great evangelical revivals witnessed in the USA and Europe in the past have died.
Dr. Nathan Shehu, a medical doctor and evangelist, preached Sunday at the ECWA Plateau Church in Jos, as this Nigerian Christian evangelical congregation began the celebration of its weeklong annual thanksgiving program, which ends end Sunday.
"Revival has died in Europe and America because the children of evangelical revivalists have forgotten about the exploits that God did through their parents, who were the instruments of these great evangelical revivals in these two continents," Shehu said.
"For there to be a revival again in these nations, there must be a remnant that will pray for it. The remnant in these countries in USA and Europe must pray for revival to take place. We see so much evil, not only in these countries, but all over the world because revival has died long ago," Shehu continued.
The preacher stressed the need for Christian parents to teach their children the importance of remembering God's wonderful dealings with them at all times.
"Our children need to have the Jordan experience if they are not to forget God's dealings with us," he said.
Reminding the congregation about the significance of remembering God's dealings with His creation, Shehu said the nation of Israel was instructed to remember God's provisions, protection and dealings with them in the wilderness. And since Christians have been brought into this covenant relationship with God through Jesus Christ, they must all abide by the teachings of the Bible in appreciating what God has done in their lives.
"A new generation of Israelites had to experience the miracle of the crossing of the Red Sea at the Jordan River to enable them know God's miracle in the lives of their parents, who had left the captivity in Egypt and died before reaching the Promised Land. So the crossing of the Jordan was the re-enactment of the Red-Sea-crossing miracle in the lives of the new generation of Israelites who were not part of those who left Egypt," Shehu explained.
"In our time, too, our children must be taught God's faithfulness in our lives, so that our children will remember such wonderful dealings when we are long gone," Shehu said while reading from Joshua 4:1-11.
The Lord's memorial can be observed constantly in the lives of Christians only when they learn to thank God at all times for His unmerited love through the sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross at Calvary, said the preacher.
According to the preacher, Joshua, Jehoshaphat and David all faced difficult times in their lives as they had to fight difficult battles, but they depended on God to overcome such challenges.
"David, in spite of facing a coup d'état from his son, lost a child to death and faced persecution, never gave up serving God," Shehu said. "He sang praises to God while facing difficult times. We read in Psalm 138:1-8 about his thanking God for what God has done for him and what God will do for him in the future. So, we must learn to thank God for His doings in our lives now and as long as we live."
"We also see how King Jehoshaphat, even while his nation was under siege from the armies of Ammonites and the Moabites, depended on God and praised Him, and was given victory at the end of the day. In the same way, Joshua led the nation of Israel in praise of God while moving 'round the city of Jericho. Through this, they conquered that city and its people," he added.
Shehu said life is full of challenges, but this should not stop Christians from offering thanksgiving to God.
"We have economic, financial and relationship challenges," he said. "But all these difficulties should not prevent us as Christians from thanking God. And in offering to God, Christians should know that God looks at the person who offers the sacrifice and not the sacrifice itself."
"We see an example in the lives of Abel and Cain," he continued. "Abel's sacrifice was accepted not because his sacrifice was better. No, Abel was pure in heart and feared God—that was the reason his offering was accepted by God."
Shehu called for personal and family thanksgiving, as he said this is the only way Christians can please God.
"Thanksgiving is personal and begins from the heart," he said. "Christian families should learn to thank God, no matter how difficult the times may be. Christians should determine that thanksgiving is very necessary and this must be done with a pure heart. Some pitch their camps with the devil and think that they can deceive God with their offering. It is not possible to do things this way. That is the reason the Prophet Isaiah condemns these acts [Isaiah 29]."
He concluded, "God is calling us to change our lifestyles, if we as Christians are to truly show thanksgiving to God. The woman with the alabaster oil offered her oil with a deep heart longing to serve God. Likewise, Christians must come before God with pure hearts and contrite spirit for their offerings to be accepted by God."