Revival precedes evangelism. The church must first repent. This is the blind spot in our eye today. It is our Lord’s last word to the church and the last thing most churches will do. Conviction of sin and confession of sin – these are lost notes in our preaching to the church today. We politely dodge it for fear of creating a disturbance. Some years ago you could hear Sam Jones in St. Louis: “Until the church members of this city make restitution, confess their slanders, forgive one another, forsaking worldliness and social drinking, gambling and cardplaying, with other sins that may be in their lives, they are not ready to lead sinners to Christ. Let us clean up ourselves and sinners will be converted.” It has been a long time since we heard preaching like that, but are we any better than the church members of that day?
In a factory, a sign over the machines read, “When the Threads Get Tangled, Send for the Foreman.” One day the threads got tangled on one machine and the operator tried desperately to untangle them. Just then the foreman came along and asked, “Don’t you see the sign?” “Yes,” was the reply, “but I’m doing my best to take care of it myself.” “Doing the best you can,” came the answer, “always means sending for the foreman.” Doing our best with life’s tangled skeins means calling on the Great Overseer.