What is Revival?
Acts 2 v 14-21
14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say.
15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
17 ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.
18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. 19 I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke.
20 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. 21 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’
Acts 2 v 36-41
36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” 37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” 40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”
41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
This spectacular growth in numbers would become a phenomenon that would be replicated at various times during the history of the church. This kind of dramatic growth, often referred to as ‘revival’ has occurred at different times and in different places across the world.
There are three main ingredients that usually coincide when this happens. Typically these are:
1. God prepares an individual or a small group of people who demonstrate a particular desire and hunger for God. They want to see lost souls saved.
2. The gospel is preached with truth, passion and conviction.
3. The Holy Spirit descends in power to convict people of sin and lead them to Christ.
Stunning examples of this happened in later years when God the Holy Spirit moved mightily through the lives of George Whitfield, Charles Haddon Spurgeon and the Wesley Brothers.
In more recent years the same phenomenon has occurred through the preaching of the gospel by evangelists like Evan Roberts, Billy Graham and Billy Sunday.
Today, China has the fastest growing church of all time. Millions of Chinese people have been saved in recent decades.
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Read more: The Reformation and Modern Day Church