C.A.C SUNDAY SCHOOL MANUAL FOR AUGUST 21 & 28, 2022 UNIT ONE, LESSON THREE: TOPIC – THE END-TIME CHURCH NEEDS REVIVAL
CHRIST APOSTOLIC CHURCH Nigeria & Overseas SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
THEME: REVIVAL REDISCOVERING THE PATH TO SPIRITUAL MATURITY
JULY – DECEMBER, 2022
Unit One : The Meaning And Purpose of Revival
August 21 & 28, 2022
TOPIC: THE END-TIME CHURCH NEEDS REVIVAL
And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed (Romans 13:11).
Lots of churches and Christians are now fast asleep spiritually. Revive us, Lord!
The Bible makes reference to the men of Issachar, because of their deep knowledge of time (1 Chro. 12:32). Knowing the time and walking within the allotted time is a special privilege, because many don’t know or regard the time. They are either late of too early. Promptness is a special gift of God, and it translates to effectiveness and efficiency. Be timely.
The writer of Romans, in chapter 13:11, our memory scripture, challenges us on the need to be conscious of the time, especially, the time is, when everything is closing, or coming to an end. The Bible refers to it as the latter day, or end of the age (Matt. 24:3; 1 Tim. 4:1).
According to this writer, one peculiar thing about this time is that, it is a time to wake up from sleep and slumber. Why? Because salvation is nearer than when we first believe. “Sleep” here quickly brings to mind the case of the ten virgins who dossed down in the course of waiting for the bridegroom. That they slept off was not the issue, but five of them were not fully ready; only the prepared ones woke up and entered with bridegroom when he eventually came (Matt. 25:1-13). Believer in Christ must realise that the time now is a time to wake up from the sleep, or slumber of sin, death, works of darkness, lukewarmness, etc. Also, we must realise that now, salvation is nearer… This is the time, as the end time church, we need revival more than before, or when we first believe. The end time church wake up now!
DEVOTIONAL BIBLE READINGS FOR WEEK ONE
Mon. 15: Be An Overcomer (Rev. 21:7-8)
Tue. 16: Believe In Jesus And Live (John 5:24)
Wed. 17: Behold Jesus, And Live (Psa. 34:5)
Thur. 18: Best To Rejoice In Trial (1 Pet. 4:12-13)
Fri. 19: Behold! The Day is Approaching (Heb. 10:25)
Sat. 20: Be Faithful Till The End (Rev. 2:10)
1. To have a sustainable spiritual life and balanced church in this end-time, genuine revival and spiritual consistency are non-negotiable.
2. The Church of God needs spiritual alertness, watchfulness and vigilance, including sensitivity, products of genuine revival, to be triumphant in this end-time. Be alive!
BACKGROUND SCRIPTURE: Matthew 24:1-44
AIM AND OBJECTIVES
AIM: To show that the church today needs revival more than before:
OBJECTIVES: At the end of this 2-week lesson, the learners should be able to:
i. name the 7 churches of Asia and what each stands for in relation to today’s Church;
ii. explain what is meant by the persecuted church and relate it to today’s church;
iii. explain the meaning of the living church and what makes a church living; and
iv. identify when a church is faulty and needs revival.
TEXTUAL SOURCE: REVELATION 2:1-29; 3:1-22
Glory be to God for revealing His mind to us, that we end-time believers, through His undying and holy Word. The previous lesson WHY REVIVAL? helped us to understand what it means to be lukewarm, its signs, and dangers as well. The knowledge we have garnered has necessitated the need for divine intervention, which aims at helping us see the need for revival, individually and corporately, as people of God.
This lesson is the third in the series, titled: THE END-TIME CHURCH NEEDS REVIVAL. The picture of the seven churches is a true representation of today’s church, nowadays Church. Therefore, we shall be examining the revival need of the end-time church from the angle of the message of Jesus to these seven churches. The condition of the churches evident in the different commendations and condemnations they received, is a replica of the condition of today’s Church, which ranks as the end-time church.
There is no doubt that we are in the end-time, characterised by perils (2 Tim. 3:1ff). The antidote to the end-time saga for the Church is true revival. May the Holy Spirit assist us to be wary of the perils of the end-time that have totally turned many away from the Faith. May churches that are on the right track continue to be steadfast in the Lord, and those losing the mark, or are not doing well receive God’s grace to retrace their steps back to Jesus Christ since that is the essence of the letter of John to the churches.
I. THE FAULTLESS ONES MUST CONTINUE
A. THE PERSECUTED CHURCH
B. THE LIVING CHURCH
II. THE FAULTY ONES NEED REVIVAL
A. THE LOVELESS AND COMPROMISING CHURCHES
B. THE DEAD AND LUKEWARM CHURCHES
INTRODUCTION TO EACH DIVISION
This lesson is divided into into two sections, I and II. Each of the section is further divided into A and B.
DIVISION I– THE FAULTLESS ONES MUST CONTINUE:
This division shows the challenges faced by two of the seven churches in Asia, similar to the challenges being faced by some Church’s today. It however, reveals how faithful, obedient and passionate these churches were, without any condemnation, but commendable from the Lord, the groom of the Church. The Church today must take a cue from their attributes, so as to receive also the corresponding reward from the Owner of the Church with the correct assessment.
DIVISION II—THE FAULTY ONES NEED REVIVAL:
The second division tagged: THE FAULTY ONES NEED REVIVAL, reveals that God has so much concern for His Church and wants to always make her worthy of Himself. The five churches with condemnable attributes were carefully identified, rebuked and shown the need for repentance which births revival. Those features condemned by Christ in those churches are present with some churches of nowadays. Whatever those churches got then is applicable to us now.
I. THE FAULTLESS ONE MUST CONTINUE (Revelation 2:8-11; 3:7-13)
To be faultless is to be without error or rebuke. It signifies something good, according to specification, okay and alright. You are faultless when you follow the pattern rightly without slight deviation. In the context of the church, is it possible to have a church in that category? The Owner of the Church identified some churches in Revelation as commendable churches who are on the right tract. They must continue doing good.
A. THE PERSECUTED CHURCH (2:8-11)
Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life (v. 10).
i. vv. 8,9: The church in Smyrna was one of the 2 churches that was commended among the seven Asian churches. There is no doubt that there are commendable churches today, who are doing well for Christ. Is your church one of them?
ii. v. 9: I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich). The Church, though physically poor, was adjudged by God as rich: but you are rich (cf
2 Cor. 8:9).
iii. The church seemed to have nothing, not out of laziness, anyway, but persecution had stripped her of so many earthly benefits. This is the true picture of the end-time Church (Matt. 24:9). Lots of churches in different places globally are undergoing serious persecutions.
iv. v.10: Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer, Jesus’ commendation didn’t exclude the church from more persecutions, which the end-time church is characterised with. Rather, the church encouraged to endure till the end (Matt. 24:13; 1 Pet. 1:3-4; 2 Pet. 2:9).
v. v.9b:… the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not. The Jews in Smyrna professed to be followers of God but are a synagogue of Satan. The end-time church is struggling under the nefarious activities of false prophets and teachers (Matt. 24:11; 2 Pet. 2:1-11,1 Jn. 4:1-3). True revival of sound doctrine is the antidote.
vi. v.10c, 11: The end-time church is encouraged by our Lord Jesus to endure to the end, to receive the crown of life, so as not to be hurt by the second death (cf. 2 Tim. 3:11-12; Jas. 1:12).
vii. We prove that our faith is genuine by saying faithful to God whenever we go through difficult times, for the sake of the gospel. Endure persecution as true soldier of Christ. This is the way for the end-time church.
B. THE LIVING CHURCH (3:7-13)
You also, as living stories, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ (1 1 Pet. 2:5).
i. vv. 7-8: The church in Philadelphia, one of the two churches that received Jesus’ commendation, is a true picture of some of the end-time churches-those on the right track.
ii. While one of the seven churches was judged dead by the Lord (3:1c), the church in Philadelphia was revealed as one of the examples of churches that was alive and true to God’s Word–the Living Church. The church must be persistent and consistent with, and in the Lord.
iii. Philadelphia means the “city of brotherly love.” The name of the church gives believers a constant reminder that loving ones another is the gateway to fulfilling their missionary calling.
iv. The believers at Philadelphia loved and pleased Jesus; He was not ashamed to call them brothers (cf. Heb. 2:11). Indeed, the Church was alive and faithful, showing exactly what Christ wants a church to be. Is your church a replica of this?
v. v.8: …you have a little strength probably means that the church was small in numerical strength and resources. Yet, she made a great exploit that warranted an open door that no one can shut… (cf. Lk. 19:10; Jn. 20:21).
vi. …have kept My word, and have not denied my name (cf. v.10) means that the church studied God’s Word, lived and proclaimed it. This is characteristics of the living church anywhere (2 Tim. 2:15; 1 Jn. 2:3).
vii. Obedience to God’s Word which is a proof that we love God is one of the marks of a living church, even in this end time that people can no longer endure sound doctrine or hard teaching (2 Tim. 4:3). We must obey God and His undying word to show we are alive.
1. We are a commendable church, if we proclaim and stand for Christ in the face of all deprivations for sake of the Gospel, following His path in word, thought and act.
2. The prospect of the rewards of remaining faithful till the end (Rev. 2:10,11; 3:12,13) should make us keep fueling the fire of revival wherever we are.
WORK TO DO
Describe an end-time church that is doing well, and draw out lesson for your church.
SUGGESTED ANSWER TO WORK TO DO
1. An example of the end time church that is doing well was the Church in Smyrna, which was commended for her long-suffering and endurance in persecution, which is one of the things that are peculiar to the end-time Church.
ii. This was confirmed by Paul… yes and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution (2 Tim. 3:12).
iii. The end-time Church cannot do without persecution: then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you… (Matt. 24:9).
iv. It is a church that cannot boast of earthly riches, is divinely adjudged rich/wealthy in God (Rev. 2:9)
v. This church will have to struggle under the blasphemy and activities of false prophets and teachers, including scorers (1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Tim. 3:13; 2 Pet. 2:18-22; 3:3).
i. We should be ready and prepared for the persecution and tribulation we are about to face as end-time church. Tribulation is not limitation!
ii. There is no excuse for being lukewarm or unfaithful, the church must work commendably.
iii. Tares and wheat have been permitted to grow together (Matt. 13:29-30). The church is to be more deeply rooted in God and His Word.
iv. The church of God must understand that the enemy has not relented in testing God’s children. Thus, we must stay revived always.