Will revival come in a compromised Church?
Many Christians dream, hope and pray for revival in their countries. But how will revival come—if ever? The types of revivals I’m referring to are the ones that most of us have heard about taking place at some time in the church’s history (Acts chapter 2, for example). That is where we have heard about tens of thousands of people spontaneously repenting, being saved en masse, often accompanied by miraculous events, etc. In a sense, we all hope and pray for this type of revival that would demonstrate a marvelous move of God across multitudes of people. But is the church actually ready? Could it cope with such events?
Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones, one of the greatest preachers of the twentieth century, said:
“The concealing, and the neglect of certain truths, and certain aspects of Christian truth, has always been the chief characteristic of every period of declension [decline] in the long history of the Church. If you read the history of the Church, and look at these periods of declension, when the Church was moribund and did not seem to count at all, you will find that without a single exception the thing that has most characterized the life of the Church at such a time has been either a denial, or else a concealing, or else a neglect of certain vital truths which are essential to the whole Christian position.”
He exclaimed, “No revival has ever been known in the history of the churches which deny or ignore certain essential truths.” (Emphases mine).
Dr Lloyd-Jones identified periods of decline in which the church “did not seem to count at all.”’ Put another way, times (like our own in particular) in which the church has lost its relevance to society. CMI’s message to the church is one of ‘relevance.’ We fondly call our speakers’ standard one-off talks in church services ‘relevance messages’, as we attempt to show that the reason society views Christianity as ‘just another religion’ is the perceived loss of the authority of God’s Word. If there is no Creator, or if the Bible’s history is not true as stated in Genesis, then there is no reason for following the Bible’s morality and ultimately no need for a Saviour. This renders Christianity, which is based upon God’s Word, as logically unimportant or ‘irrelevant’ to many. The symptoms are the issues we see in society today—increasing lawlessness, promiscuity, abortion and so on….
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