Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord (Acts 3:19).
The Jesus Movement …
In 1970, John and Minnie accepted Jesus in a Jesus Movement meeting held at Calvary Chapel in Southern California. Within a few weeks of deciding to follow Jesus, John and Minnie believed that the Lord had spoken to them to start a Jesus ministry in Daytona Beach, Florida.
They packed their family and belongings into a VW microbus and drove across the country to start a Jesus House in Daytona. John and Minnie’s ministry had street witnessing, healing miracles, baptisms in the ocean, and many ex-hippies living with them in their small, rented Jesus House!
On December 31, 1971, I was hitchhiking around Florida and ended up at this Jesus House in Daytona. I entered the house, and immediately a group of ex-hippies (who now called themselves Jesus Freaks) sat me down and explained that Jesus loved me and wanted to forgive my sins.
They said all I needed to do was pray to receive Jesus. After I prayed, they prayed for me to be filled with the Spirit.
Later in the evening, we ate dinner together and then went witnessing along the beach. That night at midnight (New Year’s Eve 1971/1972), those who had received Jesus during the day were baptized in the Atlantic Ocean.
I was one of those baptized. The first thing that I did after baptism was shared Jesus with another hippy who was walking along the beach.
A few days later, I traveled back to my hometown of Springfield, Ohio, where in the middle of January 1972, I prayed with 16 of my friends to accept Jesus. A ministry was started, and 100 professed Jesus in three months and 500 in three years.
In the four to five years of the Jesus Movement, 10 to 12 million youth became followers of Jesus across the U.S.A.
This week I had a conversation with a pastor. He told me that a college professor with a Ph.D. in Theology had taken his son to Asbury University in Kentucky, where a revival had broken out. His son suffered from problems with his feet that made it difficult for him to walk.
While they were worshipping together in the Asbury chapel, his son said, “Dad, something is happening with my feet.” He was healed and can now walk confidently without limping.
Asbury University has experienced several past revivals, including one in the 1970s.
The current revival started after a chapel service on Wednesday, February 8th, when the Spirit fell, and students didn’t leave the chapel.
The news of this revival spread instantaneously through social media, and those students were joined by thousands from around the country and even other countries.
One pastor wrote that as he drove into Wilmore, Kentucky (home of Asbury University), he could sense God’s presence at the city limit and that he had a difficult time finding a parking spot.
Reports describe entering the chapel where all ages are worshipping, praying, repenting, praying for one another, standing, sitting in small huddle groups, and weeping.
All in the presence of God.
When a staff member of Asbury was asked who was in charge, his response was, “No one!”
Last night, after 12 days, the continuous revival was ended by the University.
The President of the University said …
I humbly recognize we are experiencing a historic moment on our campus. Never in my life have I witnessed such manifest spiritual hunger – from our students to the nations – to humble ourselves and seek the Lord’s face … When I walk into Hughes Auditorium, I have a firsthand picture of the fruit of the Spirit … While I remain profoundly grateful that staff, faculty, and students get to be a part of God’s unique and powerful work on our campus, I want to be mindful of my mandate as a fiduciary of Asbury’s resources and student-centric mission.
But the Asbury Revival of the past few days wasn’t the first revival in that area of Kentucky. There was another one in 1801.
We will continue the discussion on revival tomorrow.