By Hyman Appleman (1902-1983)

Some people think the need for a revival is a sign of decadence in a church. This is not always so. In the New Testament, in the Old Testament, in Christian history, revivals have been a part of God’s plan for the advancement of the kingdom. This is natural. This is spiritual. This is psychological. It is impossible for a farmer to be always harvesting. The same is true of the Lord’s work. We cannot have a perennial revival. It is impossible to have a perpetual harvest, physical or spiritual. We are so constituted that it is impossible for us to be always on the heights. We would go mad with the strain. We could not endure it. The flesh is still with us.

What many people call revivals are not revivals at all. You have heard of revivals with supposedly great singing, with supposedly great preaching—and with few if any noticeable results. Such meetings are not revivals. They may be extended seasons of singing and preaching, but that is all. A revival is a revival. You do not have to be told you were born. You know it. You were there, not consciously, but you were there. The same is true of a revival. You will know it. You will witness it when it comes. Mere preaching is not enough.

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