-Revival Reports: 5 Churches

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Here are reports of five very different American churches where revival is ongoing or has recently happened. From Charisma News:

“5 Revivals Breaking Out Across America in This Hour

We have already posted on most of these but it gives us hope to see them all on the same page. Now if more churches around America can get on the same page with the Holy Spirit maybe we will see this list expanded before the year is over. I would like to see it spread like popcorn popping.

Notice that all of these are scattered around in different places. Not only that but across different denominational streams and affiliations.                *Top

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-The American Church Needs to be Resurrected

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Yesterday we celebrated the Resurrection of  our Lord Jesus Christ. Today I submit that the entire American church needs to be resurrected.

Some church leaders are looking for a new awakening and others are calling for a new reformation—that too. But the  American Church that was so popular a ‘Palm’ generation ago is now being assailed in this culture and some are demanding its submission and ‘crucifixion’ while others are saying that it is already over for the church as we to knew it.

Meanwhile, many mainline church leaders are caving in and turning in the ‘unpopular’ parts of their Bibles to maintain ‘cultural relevance’ and respectability. Other conservative Christian voices are claiming that this culture is only going to get worse and the only thing left for the church is to be  ‘raptured.’

I believe that ‘a New Day’ is about to dawn upon the America church. Some will call it revival, others a new reformation, but the new move of God will resurrect the American Church and it will rise up and fulfill its calling and destiny while there is yet day.

I posted the following last year at the beginning of the new Biblical  (Jewish) year. I believe that it is still poignant and for today:

(Posted on September 30, 2017)

It is a new day and a new Biblical year and we are still looking forward to revival. But sometimes there is stuff that must come first or may come along with it that we would rather avoid. But the word ‘Revival’ only brings to our minds the ‘good stuff’ and all of the ‘not so good’ that came along with former moves of God is usually forgotten or disregarded. 

500 years ago on October 31, 1517 Martin Luther tacked 95 theses to a door in Wittenberg, Germany. Luther wanted to bring revival and reform to the church but schism came instead and a few years later he was excommunicated and then the wars followed for several hundred years. But the church was reformed and change came to all of the church regardless. One wonders if he would have proceeded differently if he had known all the stuff that was going to follow.

One thing for sure, the Reformation was a Move of God. More than anything else the most important result was access to the Bible and real knowledge of the written Word of God- the Logos. Before 1517 The Word was only available to the Priests, Monks, and scholars and very little of it was allowed to ever trickle on down to the regular folks. Not only that but ‘worship’ services were in Latin which only the educated could understand.

Coming out of the Reformation, services started being conducted in the vernacular and an exposition and teaching of the Scriptures became an important part of worship. Later the Bible was translated into the languages of the people and with the invention of the printing press it became available for regular folks. The church was changed by the Logos of God.

Most of us in Charismatic and Pentecostal churches look back on Azusa Street in 1906 as the beginning of another Move of God that changed the church. This time it was the Rhema Word of God that was restored along with all of the Spiritual gifts. A good historical case can be made that the ‘gifts’ never really departed entirely from the church but few regular folks in the church had the opportunity to experience them.

Now we are at a new crossroad where a significant part of the church is questioning whether the Bible is still even relevant and whether certain plain teachings in the Word should be disregarded or ignored. Ironically it is the old ‘Reformation’ mainline churches that are in the midst of rejecting their own foundations which were rooted in ’solo scriptura.’

The point is, major change and a new move of God including some kind of new ‘reformation’ is ahead for the church and we can expect that the revival we are hoping for may be far different than our romanticized expectations. Fact is, the church is always ‘looking forward’ to the past revivals and is never fully prepared to receive the new one.

To demonstrate what I am talking about let’s take a look at Acts. Before all of the good stuff in Acts 2 we find in chapter 1 that all the church devoted themselves to prayer. Since Pentecost came 50 days after the Passover they could have been praying solid for at least a month or so. Not only that, but for only this one time in history the entire church and everyone in it was actually prepared to receive a move from God.

Now for the scary part that may be relevant for us now or in the very least for the church some time in the future. We all like the ‘good stuff’ in Peter’s quote of Joel 2:

17 “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,and your young men shall see visions,and your old men shall dream dreams;

18 even on my male servants and female servants
in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. …

21 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

Here’s the part of Acts 2 / Joel 2 we would rather ignore. The verses between 18 and 21 (19 & 20):

19 And I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;

20 the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.

In light of all of the major disasters lately, these verses might be far more relevant to a coming revival than we want to admit. Also, a falling away and major persecution might well come along with it.

It is time for the church to pray. It is always time for us to pray but especially now.               *Top

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-Happy Resurrection Day 2018

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He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

May You and your family have a wonderful Easter. May we all remember and reflect upon what is really important after all the cultural fun of Easter bunnies, colored eggs, and special ham dinners and family get togethers. May we remember what the day is really all about—the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Happy Resurrection Day!

When the women went to the tomb on Easter morning the rock was rolled away and the tomb was empty. Not only that but an angel met them there and said:

“Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come see the place where he lay.”

…And behold Jesus met them and said, “Greetings! Do not be afraid…” –Matt.28:5-10

Another good scripture to remember–this is what Jesus told Martha before he raised her brother Lazarus from the grave:

“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?  –John 11:25-26

The good question for each one of us today—Do you believe this?

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-“It’s Friday but Sunday’s Coming”

Here’s my favorite message for Good Friday. It has become a tradition to post it every year on this day:

It’s Friday but Sunday’s Coming” by Dr. Tony Campolo.

Here’s a link to where the famous tape can be downloaded.

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The whole tape is great but the best part is toward the end when Tony Campolo recalls one Sunday when he had a little preaching competition with the head pastor at the church where he was attending.

Dr. Campolo tells how he preached the perfect sermon in every way and had taken the congregation to ‘the heights of glory’. As he sat down beside his pastor, Dr. Tony patted him on the knee and simply said, “Top that.” The older black pastor looked at him and said, “Boy, watch the master.” Then Dr. Campolo recalls for us the very brilliant message which followed.

The following is just a taste of what the climax is like in the 45 minute tape/sermon.  it doesn’t really do justice to the original but this printed abbreviated version is inspirational none the less:

It’s Friday But Sunday’s Coming—

It was a simple sermon, starting softly, building in volume and intensity until the entire congregation was completely involved, repeating the phrases in unison. The sermon went something like this:

It’s Friday. Jesus is arrested in the garden where He was praying. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. The disciples are hiding and Peter’s denying that he knows the Lord. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is standing before the high priest of Israel, silent as a lamb before the slaughter. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is beaten, mocked, and spit upon. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Those Roman soldiers are flogging our Lord with a leather scourge that has bits of bones and glass and metal, tearing at his flesh. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. The Son of man stands firm as they press the crown of thorns down into his brow. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. See Him walking to Calvary, the blood dripping from His body. See the cross crashing down on His back as He stumbles beneath the load. It’s Friday; but Sunday’s a coming.

It’s Friday. See those Roman soldiers driving the nails into the feet and hands of my Lord. Hear my Jesus cry, “Father, forgive them.” It’s Friday; but Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is hanging on the cross, bloody and dying. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. The sky grows dark, the earth begins to tremble, and He who knew no sin became sin for us. Holy God who will not abide with sin pours out His wrath on that perfect sacrificial lamb who cries out, “My God, My God. Why hast thou forsaken me?” What a horrible cry. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. And at the moment of Jesus’ death, the veil of the Temple that separates sinful man from Holy God was torn from the top to the bottom because Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is hanging on the cross, heaven is weeping and hell is partying. But that’s because it’s Friday, and they don’t know it, but Sunday’s a coming.

And on that horrible day 2000 years ago, Jesus the Christ, the Lord of glory, the only begotten Son of God, the only perfect man died on the cross of Calvary. Satan thought that he had won the victory. Surely he had destroyed the Son of God. Finally he had disproved the prophecy God had uttered in the Garden and the one who was to crush his head had been destroyed. But that was Friday.

Now it’s Sunday. And just about dawn on that first day of the week, there was a great earthquake. But that wasn’t the only thing that was shaking because now it’s Sunday. And the angel of the Lord is coming down out of heaven and rolling the stone away from the door of the tomb.

Yes, it’s Sunday, and the angel of the Lord is sitting on that stone and the guards posted at the tomb to keep the body from disappearing were shaking in their boots because it’s Sunday, and the lamb that was silent before the slaughter is now the resurrected lion from the tribe of Judah, for He is not here, the angel says. He is risen indeed.

It’s Sunday, and the crucified and resurrected Christ has defeated death, hell, sin and the grave.

It’s Sunday. And now everything has changed. It’s the age of grace, God’s grace poured out on all who would look to that crucified lamb of Calvary. Grace freely given to all who would believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross of Calvary was buried and rose again. All because it’s Sunday.

At the end of the message the pastor shouts out:

It’s Friiidaaaay!

And the whole congregation responds:

But Sunday’s Coming!

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-So We Killed Him

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“…so we killed him.”

All of a sudden I was undone and tears were flowing down my cheeks. Yes, I was responsible for his death. All of a sudden I could see that in a way I never understood it before.

I had begun the morning in my easy chair with a tall cup of strong coffee enjoying my latest sci-fi read when unexpectedly there was a reference to Jesus and how humanity had killed him because he didn’t meet our ‘religious expectations’-

“…so we killed him.”

Intellectually I knew it was true. After all, I passed my seminary exams in theology. But this was different and personal, the Holy Spirit had just knocked me down and I was on my knees. I was just as responsible for the death of Jesus as the ones who nailed him to the cross or the crowd who shouted- “Crucify him!” What a surprise and I couldn’t stop crying.

Fact is, everyone who has ever sinned is ultimately responsible for his death but I always self-righteously held special contempt for those religious leaders who planned it. But he did personally die for my sins and now I could no longer deny the implication. In a moment I could see my own part in his death.

But the story doesn’t end there does it! Jesus rose from the dead and everyone who believes on his name will also.

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live…John 11:25-26  ESV

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(Reposted from October 19, 2013)

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