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Sabbath School Lessons on Reformation and Revival
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About the Author
Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 41 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 2: The Heartbeat of Revival *
Introduction: How do we start a revival? Can we start a revival?
Last week we learned that the church of the end of time is
spiritually lukewarm. We discussed ways in which we can personally
move from lukewarm to hot. What about moving the entire church to
hot? When I was in college, I experienced revival. There are times
at Regent University, where I teach, that I feel the Holy Spirit and
the spirit of revival. How do those things happen? Let's dive into
our study of the Bible to see what we can do to spark a revival in
- Preparation and Revival
- Read Acts 1:1-2. Who is teaching the disciples? (Jesus and
the Holy Spirit!)
- Read Acts 1:3-5. Was John the Baptist a revivalist?
- Were the disciples to be revivalists?
- Would they be better than John? (They would
have more powerful gifts.)
- Why was John not able to baptize in the power
of the Holy Spirit? (Read John 16:7 and John
16:12-15. John the Baptist was preparing the
way for Jesus. Jesus was limited by His human
form. Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would come
after Him in a way that would allow God to live
in all of His followers. There was an inherent
order to this.)
- Read Acts 1:6. As Jesus is floating up into heaven, His
disciples ask Him a question. What do you think about this
question? (If I had been Jesus, I would have kicked the
nearest disciple in the ear for asking this! Had they not
yet figured out that Jesus was not setting up an earthly
kingdom? How frustrating!)
- Read Acts 1:7-9. Is Jesus' answer to their question
contained only in verse 7? Or, is He continuing to answer
in verse 8? (I never noticed this before, but Jesus says
that "restoring the kingdom to Israel" has a spiritual
component. If I'm right, the promise of the power of the
Holy Spirit is part of restoring the Kingdom of God.)
- Why do you want revival in your heart and in your
church? (To restore the Kingdom of God!)
- What does Jesus say is the key to revival and
reformation? (The Holy Spirit.)
- Prayer and Revival
- Read Acts 1:12-14. The disciples are following Jesus'
command in Acts 1:4 to wait in Jerusalem for the baptism
of the Holy Spirit. When someone tells you to "wait," do
- Why do you think that the disciples, Mary and Jesus'
brothers were "constantly in prayer?"
- What does that mean? Are you repeating your
request? If prayer is talking to God like you
would speak to a friend, why would you repeat
yourself? That would annoy my friends.
- Can we be "constantly in prayer" without any
repetition? (If you look at the rest of Acts
chapter 1, you will find that the disciples are
working on a leadership issue. Perhaps they
were not repeating their prayers. It is clear
that they were not constantly in prayer from
the time they were in the upstairs room until
the time the Holy Spirit was poured out in
- Read Acts 2:1-4. Jesus promised them a gift, they prayed
for it, and what did they receive? (The Holy Spirit.)
- What let them know their prayers had been answered?
(The sound of violent wind, tongues of fire on each
one of them, and speaking in "other tongues.")
- Why would the Holy Spirit come in such a way?
- Read Acts 2:5-8. What kind of gift of "other tongues" is
given to the disciples? (We are told that "each one heard
them speaking in his own language." The gift was speaking
in such a way that others understand you. Sounds like the
ability to speak a foreign language.)
- What ideas does this suggest about the reason why the
Holy Spirit came as He did? (To get the attention of
the people. Much like Jesus' miracles attracted the
attention of the crowd, so the wind, fire and tongues
drew the attention of the crowd.)
- Read Acts 2:37-41. Is this revival? (Yes!)
- How did it start? (With a promise, prayers and the
power of the Holy Spirit.)
- Prayer Conditions
- Read Mark 1:35 and Luke 5:16. What do you find in common
in these texts? (Jesus withdrew to a private, quiet place
where he could be alone to pray.)
- Do you want to be alone?
- Is there any time in your life when you are alone?
(We think we need to be constantly entertained. We
are surfing the Internet on our phones, watching
television, texting, or listening to music. We have
no time for private thoughts.)
- Read Matthew 18:19-20. This shows that not all prayer is
to be solitary. What is the advantage of praying with
others?(Praying with others involves agreement. This
creates an obstacle to selfish prayers. It helps our
prayers to be more reasonable and considered. God promises
that He will be there if only two are praying together. It
is an assurance of His presence in very small groups.)
- Lord's Prayer
- Read Matthew 6:5. I once heard a man praying about how
much oil his country produced. He was not asking for help,
he was giving production numbers. What kind of prayer is
described in this text?
- What does Jesus mean when He says, "they have
received their reward in full?" (They wanted others
to be impressed with their prayer, well, that is what
they get and all that they get.)
- Read Matthew 6:7. Recall we discussed the "constantly in
prayer" question earlier? What does Jesus say about
repetitious prayers? (Constant prayer has to be in the
nature of a discussion with God. Just repeating the same
thing over and over is "babbling." God doesn't like it
any more than you like to hear babbling.)
- Read Matthew 6:9 the first part. What is Jesus giving to
us? (A model for prayer. A pattern for prayer.)
- Read Matthew 6:9 the second part. What does this teach us
about how we should start each prayer? (We start with
praise to God.)
- Read Matthew 6:10. What are we asking for here? (That
God's will be done on earth as it is done in heaven.)
- Does this have anything to do with us? (Yes! It is
both a prayer about our own behavior and a promise to
help ensure that God's will is done on earth prior to
- Read Matthew 6:11. Are we allowed to pray for things that
we want? (Yes.)
- What do you think about the placement of this subject
in Jesus' model prayer? (It comes right after praise
to God and a discussion of God's will being done on
earth. It is early in the prayer, but it is
subordinate to God's will being done on earth.)
- Read Matthew 6:12. When you pray do you begin with a
request for forgiveness? (I suspect most people do.)
- What does the model suggest about whether we should
start our prayers with a request for forgiveness?
- What condition is placed on receiving forgiveness?
(We need to be forgiving toward others.)
- Read Matthew 6:13. Would God lead us into temptation?
(Read James 1:13-14. This tells us that God does not tempt
- In light of James' statement, what do you think "lead
us not into temptation" means? (James tells us that
our own evil desires lead us into temptation. Right
after we confess our sins, Jesus reminds us to avoid
the things that bring us into sin.)
- Read Matthew 6:13, the last part. What does it mean to
pray for deliverance from evil, or the evil one? (This is
where we pray about our own spiritual and physical life,
and the lives of others who we want delivered from evil.)
- Friend, do your prayers resemble the model given to us by
Jesus? Prayer is key to unleashing the power of God for
reformation and revival. Will you, today, decide to focus
more on your prayer life?
- Next week: The Word - The Foundation of Revival.
* Copr. 2013, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.