Powerhouses of human intelligence were denounced as powerless, seminaries were made to feel cold and godless like as a cemetery is lifeless, and classroom religion felt unclean, appalling, and sour! Why? Men congregated to hear Ravenhill pray, weep, and preach, holding their breath in awe. "I can read the map in the back of my Bible, and weep," he cried! God's people who were divided by theological and doctrinal disagreement could all agree to this: Leonard Ravenhill was a voice sent by God!
A Peculiar Burden
"...knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked..." - Revelation 3:17
"The greatest tragedy, ever, is a sick Church in a dying world."
“The Church is blind tonight. Dear God, if we believed in hell this place would be packed out tonight. We’re blind to eternity. We’re blind to the fact that we have an obligation to 5 billion people in the world that we’ll never reach the way we’re going. The Church is wretched and blind - what do you think Jesus feels looking at His Bride tonight? He’s not coming for a limping, lame, ragged woman! He’s coming for a pure Church, a holy Bride.
It’s not that we’ve got a passion for Jesus, that’s a lie from hell, and the hindrance to His coming tonight is because the Church is impure. He’s not coming for an impure Church. He’s not coming for a blind old woman that is creeping around for help…that has no sense of danger, no sense of her obligation, and if she has, what can a blind person do, and wretched in the sight of God!?” – Leonard Ravenhill
cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish"
- Ephesians 5:25-27
The Bride's Qualifications
How often do Christians excuse themselves because of their understanding of Romans chapter 7?
Ravenhill preached that Romans 7 was a self-centered funeral march, but Romans 8 was a Christ-centered wedding march! He was grieved with how the “self-pity, self -interest, self-seeking, self-concern, me-first" Christianity was always excusing themselves to sin! He sought to rebuke and alarm them by scathing rebukes, some of which are quoted below:
“There’s only two kinds of people in the world, those who are dead in sin and those who are dead to sin." - LR
"Get rid of this bunkum about 'carnal Christian'. Forget it! If you're carnal, you're not saved." - LR
"Do you think Paul finished out his days, 'Oh wretched man that I am?' He said in Romans 7, 'It's not I but sin dwelling in me.' In Galatians, he said, 'It's not I it's Christ living in me.' You can't have the indwelling Christ who is indwelling carnality - one has to get out of the way! Who preaches salvation? We're preaching forgiveness!" - LR
“We pray that some of us may go to our own funeral tonight, and die to self, and end all the failure and all the weakness” – LR
"When Jesus comes for the Bride, He's not coming for every believer, I'm assured of that." - LR
“Do you think Jesus died for this dirty, rotten system we call Christianity? Not on your life!” – LR
“People say the Church is dead - it isn’t dead! It is worse than dead! She’s poor, and wretched, and naked.” - LR
In Thy Storehouse - by Ravenhill
There are riches in Thy storehouse,
But my Lord we are so poor.
There is power in Thy storehouse,
But the cripple clothes our door.
There is wisdom in Thy storehouse,
But in ignorance we grope.
There's revival in Thy storehouse,
But we've millions without hope.
There is freedom in Thy storehouse,
But Thy people are so bound.
There is glory in Thy storehouse,
But it does not shine around.
There is love within Thy storehouse,
But Thy people are so dry.
There's compassion in Thy storehouse-
Then, my Savior, why, oh, why
Are Thy people stony-hearted
And our eyes so desert dry?
After listening to the two recordings above, can I ask you, my reader, are you serious to answer such a call? God is calling, but have we answered His call? Have you reformed your entire life around seeking after and obtaining a move of God? If we sacrifice ALL to lay hold upon the means of grace which are available to us in Christ, then peradventure God - The Sovereign - would apprehend us! It grieves my soul how Ravenhill did often mingle jokes with the most searing things he preached, but he did not do this in his old age! When he was nearer and nearer, looking death right in the face, he sobered up! He was weary of the jokes, the lies, the games, the facade of lip-service Christianity, all the powerless revival meetings with a purposeless people, going home and sleeping well... people who are heartless, careless, prayerless! God have mercy! My reader, what about you? Are you playing games with the God of Acts? Perhaps you never will wake up from spiritual sleep until you acknowledge - YOU MUST!