Been thinking about revival lately. I’m slowly reading through A God-Sized Vision: Revival Stories That Stretch and Stir by Collin Hansen and John Woodbridge and I sense a stirring. I’m not exactly sure what is stirring up, but I’m pretty sure it’s the Lord working through this book. The stories are amazing.
It seems like most of the people whom I have known over the years have seen Pentecost as the definite example of what true “revival” is. Space does not allow for me to comment on how many times I’ve been told that the Church needs a revival like Pentecost. Yet I’m not sure this really does justice to the actual event that we call “Pentecost” because there was a unique fulfillment taking place in Acts 2. Never the less, a Christian cannot read Acts 2 without having some sense of yearning for an experience like that, even if they won’t admit it (how’s that for candor?). I like what is written in A God-Sized Vision about this:
“There is much we can and must learn about revival from Pentecost. It may not be a perfect paradigm, but we can still identify a pattern consistent with the rest of the biblical record. The Holy Spirit equipped Peter to brush aside the critics (Acts 2:14-15) and interpret the movement of God on the basis of Scripture. He mounted a biblical case for Jesus as Christ and Lord. The crowds were convicted of their sin, “cut to the heart” according to Luke (Acts 2:37), and sought salvation. That day alone, about 3,000 were baptized as Spirit-filled believers in Jesus Christ (Acts 2:41). The joyous scene must have rivaled the Passover celebration led by Hezekiah.” (p. 27)
So the biblical “pattern” that is fleshed out in this quote is:
- Critics are unable to slow the progress of true revival as the Holy Spirit empowers His people to move forward.
- Scripture is a foundational authority through revival.
- Jesus is seen as Christ and Lord.
- People are convicted of sin and seek for salvation (through Christ!).
- People are baptized (as believers!).
Fascinating stuff to consider when you’ve been told much of your life that revival is only experienced with “weird manifestations.” Hmm.