In this generation, whose voice but Ian Paisley's is more clearly heard booming in the memory of multiplied thousands of individuals, when he said:
“The Church of Jesus Christ is LARGELY SLEEPING, like a great bedroom, and you have all the Christians in bed and they’re all sleeping, and they’re saying, “PLEASE, don’t wake me up! I want to sleep on!” And of course, when God starts to operate a revival, people CANNOT SLEEP - you can’t sleep in the Church when the Spirit of God awakes the people. Look at the 1st verse of this 52nd chapter: “AWAKE! AWAKE! Put on strength!” Wake it up! You’re sleepy Christians! Awake thou that sleepest, arise from the dead! Christ will give you life!” – Ian Paisley (The Revival Hymn)
Do you remember when you first tasted salvation?
Do you remember when you were an alien to God's Kingdom, a stranger, and then you met God?
How that, afterward, the world was as deplorable as stinking dung (Php. 3:8)!?
How that, at this time, Christ was your darling "first love" (Rev. 2:4)!?
What is the eternal destiny of those who are Spiritually Sleeping?
When searching the scriptures -->
- spiritual sleep addresses a regenerate individual's personal salvation with God (presently and progressively, and finally)
- it does not address the unconverted public, nor does it point to a citywide move of God so that the heathen are converted; notwithstanding, if the Church is awakened, widespread conversion amongst the heathen is a potential result.
None of these questions are clearly answered in "The Revival Hymn", so the hearer is left in a condition - not unmoved, but still in bed. The hearer is convicted of sin, but uncertain of the actual sin which needs to be repented of, and consequentially, uncertain of the fruits of righteousness which verify God's Divine acceptance of their repentance. If a man does not know what revival is, he does not know what sinful behavior (in heart or actual deed, in omission or commission) needs to be changed, therefore the hearer leaves with a false sense of security even though personal repentance and personal revival are yet out of hand. God would not give personal peace to the man who lacks personal revival, who is at present, spiritually asleep. God's trumpet-loud CRY to such a man is, "Awake thou that sleepest, and ARISE from THE DEAD, and Christ shall give thee LIGHT" (Eph. 5:14)! Jesus Christ is both Life and Light, and spiritual damnation is both death and darkness - therefore this charge in Ephesians 5:14, also quoted by Ian Paisley, is addressing a matter of eternal consequence in the life of a regenerate believer! Leonard Ravenhill recognized the woeful "false security" which hinders biblical revival. He said, "I believe that one main barrier to revival is false security." My reader, if your lamp has gone out because you have no oil, "go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves" while you still have time (Matt. 25:9). This is, by interpretation, forsaking foolishness and simplicity; it is learning wisdom and circumspection - to the end that you "make your calling and election SURE" (2 Pet. 1:10). My reader, I beg you, be SURE that you are awake, ready, watching, and received when "The Bridegroom cometh" (Matt. 25:1-13)!
My reader, let's face it! How many listen to "The Revival Hymn", and then walk away with a "false security"? It is because they don't really know what revival is - personally and corporately, and also on what grounds one would be condemned without it (Rev. 2:26, 3:2) or justified with it (James 2:24). "Many of us have no heartsickness for the former glory of the Church because we have never known what true revival is. We stagnate in the status quo and sleep easy at night while our generation moves swiftly to the eternal night of hell. Shame, shame on us!" - Leonard Ravenhill
and hath closed your eyes..." - Isaiah 29:10
When God puts a man to sleep, He sends them an evil spirit, "the spirit of slumber", and henceforth they have "eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear" (Rom. 11:8). How terrifying! My reader, what if God, from Sovereign heights, included you in the number when He said - "Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway" (Rom. 11:10). My reader, this is a spiritual "FALL" (Rom. 11:11), a spiritual "cut off" (Rom. 11:22), a spiritual blinding (Rom. 11:7), a spiritual "casting away" (Rom. 11:15) if, when a man falls asleep he does not wake up from it! And we are in "The Last Days" - in which it was prophesied, "THEY ALL slumbered and slept" (Matt. 25:5). Do you want to be awake? Do you want to be wise? Do you want to be prepared with an oil-laden lamp for the "midnight" hour of your trial (Matt. 25:6)? My reader, count the cost.