Ruin or Revival

Bible Book: Genesis  11 : 1-9
Subject: Revival; Pride; Sin, Danger of

Introduction

Introduce Nimrod and the arrogance he revealed in building of the Tower of Babel. Pride was the central problem in Nimrod's heart and in the lives of those who followed him. God dealt with their pride. He confused their language and caused them to be scattered over the earth. God hates pride. He will keep no proud person near Him. Let's think about pride today, because it is a serious business!

I. Pride’s Delusion 

Pride blinds us to reality. Pride causes us to think of ourselves as better or more important that we really are. Pride deludes the human mind and a deluded person is a dangerous person.

A. I Do Not Have A Need

Revelation 3 – Laodecian Church

The late pastor Julian Dye, at Lily Baptist Church, Shelby, North Carolina, asked everyone who was seeking to live for God to come forward one Sunday and just stand at the front. Everyone responded and crowded around the front of the sanctuary, except for one man. This man was known to be sinful, so he stood at his seat several rows from the front of the church. Then Pastor Dye walked back, put his arm around that man and said, “Now, there are only two people in the church telling the truth – this gentleman and me. None of us are doing what we really could do for Jesus.” It was a convicting moment for all those standing at the front of the church. It was an invitation that was not forgotten!

B. I Can Meet My Own Need

Jesus told a parable of two men praying at God's House. A self-righteous man prayed, "I thank you I am not like other men." The humble man stood back and prayed, "Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner!" Jesus stated that the humble man went home justified. Pride is dangerous because God always keeps His distance from the proud!

Man is always thinking that he can solve life’s problems on his own. Don’t get me wrong, God wants us to use our skills and abilities to work on our problems and responsibilities; after all, God told Adam to subdue the earth. I am not advocating that we take a laissez-faire attitude toward life or life’s pursuits. I would remind you, however, that there is a phrase in business that is true in all of life: “Today’s solutions are tomorrow’s problems.” Just think about some solutions that man has devised and how those solutions, though helpful, created new and bigger problems.

The automobile was mean to be a solution to personal transport. It created faster, easier and more personal transportation. But, the automobile has brought about a shortage of oil, taken many lives through accidents, polluted the atmosphere and caused many other problems. The automobile is a wonderful invention, and it is hard for many of us to imagine living without one; however, the problems it solved also created some problems we have today. Everything man does is like that. Yes, we can do great things, and we should, but we must never be proud and think that we are truly solving problems completely. Today's solution will create tomorrow's problems. Only God will eventually provide a life beyond this fallen world where problems will cease to exist. In essence, we cannot meet our own need - only Jesus was able to provide for the greatest problem of mankind - the sin problem. He died, rose, ascended and is coming again one day. He is the true problem solver!

II. Pride’s Display

Spurgeon said, “Do not be proud of race, face, place or grace!”

There was a child in a worship service who heard the preacher bring a message on evangelism. The pastor said that everyone Christian could and should witness to others. The young boy could not wait to get out of church and speak to someone about Christ. As the lad left the worship service that morning he saw a man who appeared to be sad and downcast, and likely in need of knowing Christ. So the boy went up to the man and said "Sir, wouldn't you like to become a Christian?" The man looked down at the boy and said in a condescending manner, "I'll have you know, young man, that I am a deacon." The little boy didn't know what a deacon was, so he proceeded to say, "Mister it don't matter what you have done, Jesus will still save you!" God has a way of knocking the pride out of us from time to time!

A poet wrote a poem about pride some years ago that just might identify us or some people we know:

“When I grow up I’ll carry a stick,

And look very dignified,

I’ll have a watch that will really tick,

And house that is made out of brick

And no one will guess that it’s just trick,

And I’m really myself inside!”

(Poem by Marchette Chute, 1910-1994)

Alice Roosevelt Longworth was the oldest daughter of Theodore Roosevelt. She said of her father, “He wanted to be the bride at every wedding and the corpse at every funeral.” In other words, he wanted to be the center of attention. The danger in pride is that it causes us to lift ourselves in an arrogant display of selfishness.

III. Pride’s Doom

A. Pride Keeps us far from God – Psalm 138:6

God keeps the proud far from Him. Anyone who wishes to walk close with the Lord must rid himself or herself from pride!

B. Pride Causes us to be on God’s bad side – Proverbs 8:13

God becomes angry with pride. And, we can safely say that God is not someone you wish to be angry with you!

C. Pride Leads to a fall – Proverbs 16:18

Pride leads us to a fall. When we become proud, we are merely laying tripping stones in our own paths - stones that will trip us up and throw us face down in humiliation.

Only God’s Spirit can bring people together. That is what God did at Pentecost. At Babel he confused the languages – at Pentecost he caused people to understand each other from various countries and different languages. Those filled with the Spirit of God will be loving, unselfish and unified. Those who are proud will be hateful, selfish and divided.

Conclusion

Psalm 51:17 states that the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Isaiah 57:15 states that humility and confession lead to revival!

I don't think many Christians would deny that we need revival today. We desperately need revival in our hearts, our churches and our land. It will never occur as long as we are stiff-necked and proud. Humility is the beginning attitude needed for revival to be possible. Humility causes us to be open to confession and repentance. Humility prepares us to make things right between ourselves and others. Humility causes us to seek God's forgiveness, help and love. Today can be a great day for each of us and all of us - if we will humble ourselves and seeks His face. Let that happen right now - right here - it is the right thing to do! Read 2 Chronicles 7:14. "If my people will humble themselves..." That is where revival begins. In pride there is ruin. In humility before God there is revival. The choice is ours!