Building Confidence For Revival
In 1 Peter 3:15 we are told to be ready at all times to give an answer to those who demand reasons for the hope that is in us. Often, however, Christian leaders struggle to maintain confidence about the hope of revival, and thus to lead their people into the same vision. This happens for a number of reasons.
Thankfully, there are multiple reasons to embrace and foster the hope of corporate revival with confidence. For leaders who are growing in their desire to see revival, the following seven-fold apologetic is offered. It is not intended to take the place of the hundreds of biblical promises for revival. This apologetic is supplementalóa unique way to organize the rationale for our hope....
The Scriptures promise repeatedly that God intends for His Son to be decisively at the center of everything, both at the end of history and every step along the way. In revival, God dramatically intervenes to restore a vision for, and increased responses to, Christís rightful role as redeemer King among His people; and to more fully advance His Kingdom, right now, among the nations.
Therefore, because of Godís ultimate commitment to His Son "to bring everything out at His feet for disposal" (E. Stanley Jones), we can pray and prepare for corporate revival with confidence that our hope is not in vain.
God is faithful and consistent in all His ways. He has been pleased to grant seasons of significant revival both in biblical times and in church history. As Scripture teaches, He is no respecter of persons. What He has done before, in other times and places, He is able and willing to do for our generation. The specifics may vary, but the patterns have been documented. And the promises in both Old and New Testaments are pervasive.
Therefore, because of Godís commitment to His own time-honored procedures for glorifying His Son, we can pray and prepare for corporate revival with confidence that God will not disappoint us.
God loves the world and longs to see His Son exalted among all earthís peoples. But He knows the world is currently facing extraordinary crises and challenges beyond its own resources. Furthermore, nearly three billion of earthís peoples are still outside the reach of the Gospel. Revival in the church can uniquely transform the church and make her equal to the desperate needs of our times. It is a supreme hope, held out to us throughout Scripture, for a greater harvest in the world He loves.
Therefore, because of His commitment to the mission of His Son on behalf of the nations, we must pray and prepare for corporate revival.
God knows that the desperate condition of the world today is due, in large measure, to the state of the church. He sees our struggles with powerlessness, brokenness, dullness, carnality, and sin. Yet, the Bible clearly teaches that God intends to bring glory to Himself through the church, not apart from it. The church, however, cannot heal her own impotency and paralysis. The shining hope for this to happen today is for God to restore us powerfully as a people, by His grace. This healing of an invalid church is called revival.
Therefore, because of Godís commitment to the Body of Christ, we can pray and prepare for revival with confidence that He will not forsake His many promises to grant it.
The tools God has provided and the doors He has opened for fulfilling the Great Commission today form nothing less than the prelude to corporate revival. God is obviously setting the stage worldwide for a whole new advance of Christís Kingdom among millions of unbelievers. Since these multiplied preparations of resources and laborers and renewal movements are His sovereign design, He will not fail to fulfill what He has begun.
Therefore, because of Godís commitment to bring to completion every good work raised up in and for His Son (Philippians 1:6), we can seek revival according to Godís promises.
The Distinctive Praying
In unprecedented fashion, God is stirring up His people everywhere to pray biblically, specifically, increasingly, and persistently for local, national, and even worldwide revival. Beyond question, God never calls His people to pray in vain. His Word promises that He will hear, and answer fully, prayers instigated by His Spirit.
Therefore, because of His commitment to respond proactively toward all prayers made according to His willóprayers that come from, through and for His Sonówe should prepare eagerly and confidently for the answer: corporate revival.
God is galvanizing a host of people across our nation (and worldwide), convinced by the undeniable promises of His Word that revival is a dynamic hope for the church and for Christís Kingdom to advance among the nations. In addition, they are willing to pay any price to prepare the way for God to grant it. Not only are they a chief sign of the "impendingness" of an awakening to Christ, they are actually the first phase of it. They are the Spiritís gift to the church for this strategic hour.
Therefore, because of Godís commitment to vindicate ultimately the servants of His Son who pray and prepare for corporate revival, we can rest in confident hope.
This seven-fold apologetic relates not only to a sweeping massive revival, which may be in the offing, it also encourages us to live expectantly about revival right where we liveóin our own lives, and churches, and regions.
[Editorís Note: The preceding excerpt is from AN URGENT APPEAL to Christian Leaders in America for Consensus and Collaboration on the Biblical Nature and Hope of Corporate Revival. This document urges Christian leaders to be of general agreement in recognizing our national need for repentance and divine intervention, and in seeking the face of God through prayer and fasting for revival in the Church and spiritual awakening in our nation, and in finding ways to work together to meet these challenges.
If you are a Christian leader, please feel welcome to write to us for copies of AN URGENT APPEAL for yourself and for other leaders whom you want to invite to work through the material with you. If you are not a Christian leader, you may want to request a copy to share with your pastor or other Christian leader.]