It’s Too Good to Be True

  • 12 million converted every year?
  • 100,000 saved in a few months?
  • 50,000 new converts in New York—in just 5 months?
  • 6,100 new believers added to the Methodist churches in Philadelphia in one year?
  • 3,000 converted with one sermon?
  • 600 new believers after preaching one sermon?

*Above statistics from the book Revival Fireby Geoff Waugh

Fairy Tales
While the above conversion data may sound like fairy tales, they are actual reports documented in history. And it wasn’t only Christian propagandists that were doing the reporting. The secular newspapers at the time also covered the news with front page headline articles, like: “Revival Hits Buffalo, NY.”

Boot Camp in Orlando, FL Chet Swearingen Front Row Far Left     July 1978

Boot Camp in Orlando, FL
Chet Swearingen Front Row Far Left
July 1978

If you were to make a reference to these historical events and then attempt to promote a revival of similar proportions today, you can expect to receive the “scoffer’s look,” or be labeled with terms such as “extremist,” “radical,” or an “idealist” that needs to get their head out of the clouds and their feet back on the ground. And these are just the responses you would get from people within the Church, let alone those from without who do not know the Lord!

We have such a fear of being labeled or thought of as an extremist that we will often cave in, compromise, and allow the burning desire for a genuine spiritual revival to be extinguished.

There are a large number of people in our churches today who feel very uncomfortable being around people who are attempting to promote a revival, or want to institute positive changes that would address the lukewarm, dry, and lifeless conditions existing in many churches.

Some pastors feel embarrassed that the church God has given them to oversee has slid into such a state. In an attempt to cover their embarrassment, rather than take steps to bring about change, these pastors have been known to remove or silence people desiring to take corrective steps to deal with the lukewarmness (Rev. 3:14-21). It isn’t only pastors of churches who engage in this behavior, there are leaders of whole denominations who have also felt conviction from people within their organization who would like to see steps taken to bring about a much needed revival. What these denominational leaders have done with these people is refuse them any opportunity to preach in their conferences—silence them.

It’s sad to see people who are merely seeking to have their church return to a more normal Christian life get labeled as an “extremist,” “radical,” “idealist,” or “holier-than-thou” by other Christians. If you are seeking a genuine God-sent revival but don’t have the support of your local church leadership, seek for a personal revival, and pray that God’s presence would be made abundantly real through your own life—so real that others would see it and begin to crave the same thing. It’s quite possible that the personal revival you experience and enjoy will transfer to others and ultimately infect your entire church and community. Remember, it only takes 1 spark to start a fire. Could God use you to be that one spark?

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