Revival Fires in America – Where Will They Light?

The movie “Jesus Camp” was produced largely by democratic and liberal film makers. It was used in part to show how kids are indoctrinated into what is called a subculture offshoot from the conservative movement. The film betrayed its makers in that some of the exuberance and genuineness of the kids is undeniably exciting and creates a picture of kids realizing a potential far beyond the path that pop culture and media now beckons youth to tread. It may frighten some people to see what youth can look like if they were to willfully reject the barrage of media garbage in films, games and music they now endure daily. ekszer-elek

The film first shown at the “SilverDocs” festival and released in 2006 is directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady. Critics have tried to place the picture in a category that depicts only a segment of America’s evangelical subculture. It has wiggled far out of that slot because many Americans are quite tired of the worn out cycle of church apathy and forced revivals and are now looking for a genuine move of God’s Holy Spirit in our time…why not youth? gudu

In the late fifties and early sixties churches in America were in the deepest lull since before World War Two. With the boys back home again and the new materialism emerging attention was drawn away from the American church like a magnet to the iron. The church seemed to be going the way of all flesh along with the general public. During the late fifties church attendance careened down to an all time low and participation in cake sales and bizarres were the only detectable life signs left to the whimpering body of believers. It became a joke among the preachers to say “on Sunday morning the church gave up her dead.” Except for the emergence of powerful ministers like Oral Roberts and Billy Graham the church was all but stalled. Enter the Jesus People. hobbijaim

The Jesus movement or as some say the Jesus revolution of the sixties crossed all cultural lines. Hippies, durggers, poor, black, white and a thousand other classes were taking part in a return to the simple preaching and living of the gospel. It was proof that God is always calling people and not simply running a wake up service. A few churches like the Calvary Chapel in California decided to open their doors to the new breed of believer regardless of how they were dressed, how they talked or their background. Those churches were blessed and expanded rapidly. Other churches were started by the newcomers in store fronts and new church plants and they witnessed phenomenal growth and showed a flux of power unseen in America in several decades. receptek

Following the Jesus movement of the sixties was the charismatic renewal of the seventies and early eighties. Names like Kenneth Hagin, Don Basham, Judson Cornwall, Derek Prince and Bob Mumford became well known to millions of Americans who became more open to the work of the third person of the trinity, the Holy Spirit. Like all widely accepted movements the charismatic movement lost most of its momentum to its own success. The Catholic charismatic movement bogged down in heavy Mariology, liturgies, ceremonialism and restrictions from the Vatican. The protestant side had the life squeezed out of it by growing formularism and traditionalism. God it seems won’t be painted into a corner. No one can erect a building, sing all the right songs and lay hands on the whole congregation and thus expect the Holy Spirit to jump in and do what he always does. Thousands began thinking that if they offered God the “sacrifice of praise” they didn’t need to offer much more except to show up in church. What follows is like the metals used in U.S. coinage it keeps going down in intrinsic value. Forget gold coins; forget silver coins, hey, try to find ordinary copper as in a penny…can’t be done. olcsobbszerviz

Along comes the cultural church of the nineties and the present. Many books have now been written on how to build a flourishing cultural church. The idea is to go to a neighborhood where the median income is pretty high and plant a church that will draw the race, income level and general demeanor of that area into your church where only success can be expected, taught and amplified in all speech, appearance and endeavor. Unknown to many who are part of this new movement is the fact that even while they are succeeding they may be miserably failing if held up to God’s definition of success. The cultural church of today should take a warning from the most well known cultural church of yesterday. In the book of Revelation Jesus addresses that church with a scathing rebuke…Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: Revelation 3:17 KJV

So what’s next? I share the belief with many today that what is next will shake the very foundations of the church as we have always known it. It is not a hidden or obscure idea but it is a promise made by God and it will come on the strength of his purpose and nothing more. It is found and outlined in the following verses of scripture.

And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call. Joel 2: 28-32 KJV

Men women and children will begin to speak and preach with more authority and power than any mere evangelist. Children and young people will willingly reject the media onslaught that is leveled at them daily and will share their faith with others in a way that will make the movie “Jesus Camp” look contrived. Older people will begin seeing visions and sights that heretofore were only thought to happen among the “saints” of the past and powerful biblical characters. It is God’s last thrust so it will be his best.

By now some reading this article will view this as a very extreme view and an altogether unlikely prognostication at best. Hold on there’s more. After the Antichrist appears and begins his rule over the entire earth there is yet to come two more prophet evangelists who break every mold ever found or imagined. They will not only speak and give prophetic utterance all over the world but they will possess power to remove by force anyone who may come against them. See Revelation 11:1f. The final frosting on the cake comes when before the entire world they are slain and their bodies are bemused and ridiculed for days until every person on earth will see them resurrected again and then ascend upward.

This will create no small stir and millions will be converted by these events. Those who still scoff at the resurrection of Christ will have one more chance to change their minds about the God who has complete authority over life and death. The next heated revival in the church will be its final and greatest fire not just another guy from out of town with a briefcase trying to waken a sleeping congregation.


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