Notes On Revival

Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen (James 5:7, NLT).

The Asbury Revival of 2023 has focused our attention on what happens when the Spirit of God falls on a given location.

God has, throughout the history of the church, focused His attention on certain parts of the world and poured out His Spirit in a specific place, and out of that place, obedient followers are sent to other parts of the world.  

This shouldn’t be a surprise as Jesus is about sending. He did give the Great Command, “Go and make disciples!”

God uses revival to kickstart a lethargic church to repentance and obedience.

I have studied and been a part of three major revivals and a few lesser ones. Below are a few notes of my observations on revival.

  1. There are “renewal” and “salvation” revivals.

The most influential revivals are a combination of both. 

I participated for years in the Conference on Spiritual Renewal meetings, where thousands came for renewal, but not a lot were saved.  

The Jesus Movement was renewal but also had millions who received salvation. Most reports that I’ve heard about Asbury are about renewal, some about salvation, but mostly experiencing the presence of God.

  1. There is a “wheat and weeds” factor in revival.

In the Parable of Wheat and Weeds in Matthew 13, Jesus says, “The crop began to grow and produce grain; the weeds also grew.”

The Cane Ridge Revival (Interruption #868) produced new denominations and cults. The Jesus Movement Revival (Interruption #867) resulted in new church movements and cults.

Listening to reports of the Asbury Revival – from both the left and the right – those proclaiming both Christian nationalism and Bible progressive theology were focusing attention on this revival to further their agendas.

  1. New Christian leaders arise!

I could list dozens of Christian leaders influenced by the Cane Ridge revival – Christian Church, Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian. In the 1980s and 1990s, it was hard to find an influential church anywhere in America that didn’t contain a pastoral staff impacted by the Jesus Movement.

We do need a harvest of new leaders now. Revivals have an impact on turning youth toward a Kingdom path.

I recently read a book on the 1970 revival in Asbury. The author described a major result of the 1970 revival that began when colleges and other organizations requested students from Asbury to come to talk about their experiences in revival.

Within a few months of the 1970 Asbury Revival, over 130 colleges and seminaries had been impacted.

I do believe that the Bible teaches there will be a great end-time revival, that millions will be both renewed and saved. Where it will begin – no one knows.

I think Asbury College is as good a place as any.

I’m praying that revival comes to my community. We should all pray for our communities.

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