It’s a strange phenomenon, but so long as a preacher regularly emphasizes the importance of ‘repentance’ and our urgent need to ‘turn from sin’, modern evangelicals will swallow most everything else that he says. It matters not if said individual rarely, if ever, brings up the name of Jesus or the all encompassing power of His finished work, as long as he harps on sin and societal ills, he’s taken in and his message accepted.
As long as the messenger is bold in his denunciation of homosexuals, abortionists, democrats and those who don’t attend prayer meetings, he’s spoken of as having a ‘prophetic voice’ that ‘the church needs to hear’. As long as his articles and writings are on the need for churches to knock off the nonsense, hit their knees and cry out for revival, his message will be accepted, eleven times out of ten. No one ever stops to compare the number of times said minister speaks of revival, holiness, repentance and such versus how many times the work of Christ is mentioned. Typically, Jesus merely gets his name dropped during the opening and closing prayers, and then is quickly whisked backstage so that human effort and desperation, the real stars of the show, can be brought out to perform.
What a tragedy.
The modern church does not worship idols of gold or stone, she worships the gods of human effort and will power. Morality has become our Molech and and behavior our Ba’al, while the person and work of Christ is strangely missing from our messages, meetings and media. Never, and I say again, *NEVER* trust the message of a messenger who seems to be filled with facts on revival history, but lacks any understanding of the Gospel of God’s grace. Avoid like the plague movements that emphasize the power of man’s hunger, thirst and repentance to change God from a nation’s judge to it’s benevolent bless-er. If Christ is not the center and substance of all things taught and wrought, then be sure you are dealing with mere flesh and blood; A nearly-out-of-gas, clanking and sputtering bandwagon, which will soon crash, burn and fall to pieces, taking down and deferring the hopes of everyone who happens to have hopped on board.
I’m tired of a powerless ‘revival’ message which places heavy yokes and burdens on the shoulders of God’s people, providing nothing in return but burnout and disillusionment. It’s time to ascend the stairs to the attic of truth and pull out that dusty, old relic which we’ve long forgotten about–The Gospel! The message of Christ incarnate, crucified, resurrected, ascended and seated at the Father’s right hand is the *ONLY* message packing enough punch to bring transformation and ‘revival’. You can’t control or manipulate the masses whilst preaching the real Gospel, and so it’s been shelved due to it’s lack of emphasis on man’s effort. But the time has come for all sons and daughters to find their voice, and to proclaim from every corner of the globe, the glad message of God to men through Christ! It is the Gospel alone which is the power of God unto salvation; the message of Jesus, and Jesus alone!
That’s real revival, friends. A reviving of the one and only message that has the power to destroy darkness, fear, depression and anguish–the message of Christ as man’s substitute and continued incarnate brother. We must shed our blind devotion to the ideas and ideals born out of colonial revivalism and Western conservatism, and we must instead shamelessly embrace that happy message, for which apostles and alleged apostates shed their blood for–the message of God’s ceaseless grace and love towards us in Christ! It’s not the message of ‘revival’ or endless lists of ascetic, formulaic gibberish, which, if followed correctly will guarantee an ‘outpouring’ that brings life! No, friends, the message of Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ alone can bring life!
So accept no substitutes. Pick Jesus, and only Jesus. This is real revival
“If you have died with Christ and have escaped from the world’s rudimentary notions, why, as though your life still belonged to the world, do you submit to such precepts as “Do not handle this;” “Do not taste that;” “Do not touch that other thing” — referring to things which are all intended to be used up and perish—in obedience to mere human injunctions and teachings? These rules have indeed an appearance of wisdom where self-imposed worship exists, and an affectation of humility and an ascetic severity. But not one of them is of any value in combating the indulgence of our lower natures. If however you have risen with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, enthroned at God’s right hand.” (COLOSSIANS 2:20-23; 3:1, Weymouth)