A template for authentic revival – Part 6
In my view, Pentecost settles, once and for all, any arguments that may arise from critics when we use the Old Testament examples as a yardstick for revival.
Without the example of Pentecost, we are likely to classify any acts of the Holy Spirit as a revival.
What are some of the characteristics of Pentecost that are absent in our meetings, which we desire and pray to happen today? First is the awesome presence of God, which is simply described as his Shekinah glory.
There is a way the presence of God was at Pentecost or comes down during revival that is not present in our meetings today.
God’s presence was unique, weighty and special. We need to pray for the unmistakable presence of God in our midst today.
Many a time, we use theatrics and noise as a veneer for our emptiness and the absence of God’s presence.
True revival reveals and magnifies Christ. It is said that “every revival starts from the cross,” and ends up magnifying Christ.
At all times, it is the duty of the Holy Spirit to magnify Christ. He does so prominently during revivals. We must desire to see Christ enthroned in our Churches.
Armstrong wrote: “authentic revivals have always restored powerful preaching.” Bold and fearless preaching of the word of God that does not condone sin is a hallmark of revival.
The Charismatic revival of the 1970s witnessed fiery evangelists like Rev. Dr. Obiorah Ezekiel, Bishop Paul Nwachukwu, Stephen and Ralph Okafor, who proclaimed the word of God fearlessly.
May God restore bold and fearless preaching to our pulpits and not self-seeking, compromising messages we now hear.
There was the conviction of sins and repentance on the day of Pentecost. Peter’s message pierced through the hearts of his audience and the reactions were immediate, “Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts2: 37-38 NKJV).
The weighty presence of God during revival brings such strong conviction of sins that make men to weep uncontrollably and to confess their sins and turn away from wickedness.
I witnessed this exceptional presence of God when the power of God came down on students at the Methodist College, Uzuakoli in 1970.
How disheartening it is to hear preachers today preach that there is no need for repentance since Jesus had forgiven our sins once and for all! They don’t know what the Holy Spirit does during revivals.
It is said that, “Evangelism is man working for God, but revival is God working for Himself.”
During revivals, the tempo and results of evangelism are intense and extraordinary. On Pentecost day, Peter’s preaching brought in a harvest of three thousand souls.
Then we read in Acts 4:33, “And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all” (Acts4: 33 NKJV).
We must pray for the restoration of evangelistic fervour in our churches this season. How sad that the zeal for evangelism has died in many of our congregations! We must pray for revival.
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