Yes, revival will come but what do we mean when we say revival. Revival is reviving someone back to life. It is a rescue that comes to one who is dead, or almost dead. It involves the process of resuscitation, a sudden jolt to restart one’s vital signs. Revival comes when a breath of life is breathed in, or when a sudden strike of electricity restarts a silent heart. It is the rescue of a person from a sinking ship where souls are drowning. Spiritually speaking, revival can mean multitudes coming to the Lord and crowds of people getting saved. It can also mean a passionate rededication of a family or community to the call and purpose of God. It can mean that a church that is dead or dying is suddenly filled with excited people who are on fire for God. It can mean a powerful fresh move of the Holy Spirit where signs and wonders and supernatural visitations result in an abundance of miraculous testimonies. All of the Christians that I know would be thrilled with anyone of these scenarios. Some might say that not all of these dynamics meet the historical definition of revival, but in each case the hand of God would be miraculously extended and an explosion of spiritual life would result. That would be revival.
The Book of Acts
The full name for the book of Acts is, The Acts of the Apostles. I have often thought it should be called The Acts of the Holy Spirit, but ultimately I am glad it is called The Acts of the Apostles, because it is the acts of people that make the difference. God is always ready to pour His power and love upon people, so it is the acts of church leaders that will precipitate revival. People are too worldly, sinful, unappreciative, proud or they resist the Holy Spirit. Christians may say good things, but not hunger after the Lord and that is why there is such a disconnect and a lack of revival in the land. The Lord tells us that the onus lies with us.
He says, “If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2Chr. 7:14
The scripture does not say “if God,” will only do something then revival will come, it says that people must do something, and God tells them exactly what to do.
Revival in the Bible
As we look through The Acts of the Apostles, we discover revival after revival. In Acts 2 we see the disciples waiting on the Lord in Jerusalem. They were in unity and they were praying in the upper room. They were expecting the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, because the angels had told them they would receive this promise from the Father.
Suddenly, there was a violent wind in the house. Supernatural fire was seen over each person and everyone began to speak in a language they had not previously known. Then, they went out on the street where huge crowds had gathered for the Jewish Feast of Pentecost. They began witnessing to the people in their own languages about the Lord Jesus Christ. Peter preached a powerful message and three thousand Jews responded and accepted Jesus as their Messiah. They repented of their sins and were baptized in the many mikvahs that were in front of the temple gates.
On Going Revival
The revival continued, not because the Apostles had seen another angel who told them to wait in the upper room again. It continued because they continued to meet God’s requirements for revival and the people followed their lead and pressed into God. Everyday people were praising God, praying for each other and studying God’s word. It happened in large meetings but also in homes. The new church was passionate about the Lord and the fire continued to fall. It was because people were actively engaged in the love and power of God that the revival continued.
Acts, chapters three and four reveal a flow of healing miracles and more anointed preaching. Within days the church grew (See Acts 4:4) because five thousand Jews had now repented of their sins and received Jesus as Messiah.
Peter and John were imprisoned for their faith but released. They met with the church and proclaimed their steadfast commitment to Christ. They prayed a powerful prophetic prayer and suddenly, the place where they were began to shake supernaturally and everyone was filled with the Holy Spirit. The bold preaching and witnessing of the people rose to a new level (See Acts 4:31).
Caring for the Poor Revival
As revival continued, the unity among the people was amazing and folks began to give financially so that the poor were taken care of. Nobody was in need of food or necessities. Powerful preaching continued to focus on the resurrection of Jesus and the life that was found in Him and the grace and favor of God fell upon everyone.
When a few people like Ananias and Sapphira, corrupted the move of God it did not cause the revival to end. God brought judgment on the few and because the church as a whole remained passionate and faithful revival continued. Great holy fear fell on the whole church and the healing miracles and deliverance from demons increased. Then more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their numbers. Then there was an explosion of supernatural signs and wonders. (See Acts 5; 13-16).
Regardless of the corruption or the persecution that the Apostles faced, they continued to preach the good news that Jesus is the Messiah, day after day, from house to house and in the temple courts.
As many as twenty thousand people had come to Christ in Jerusalem. The care of so many needed attention and deacons were commissioned to organize the feeding of widows. Apostles, prophets, teachers and evangelists needed the ministry of pastors and soon leaders were appointed over this administration. Elders and deacons in the early church were never board members, they were active ministers of love and grace to the members of the church. They were the hands of instruction and mercy to those who had received salvation.
Revival Beyond Jerusalem
A few years passed and persecution against the new believers led to death and imprisonment. The church was scattered but not less passionate. Leaders who left Jerusalem went everywhere bringing the Gospel to other parts of Israel and to the Gentile nations as well.
Philip went to Samaria and proclaimed Christ. He prayed and miracles of healing and deliverance followed. There was great joy and revival in the city. It was so extensive that the Apostles in Jerusalem were told that Samaria, the city, had accepted the word of God (See Acts 8: 14).
Philip, Peter, Paul, Barnabas and many others took the fire of revival to the nations. Peter saw a revival among the Roman soldiers and the Italian people. (See Acts 10)
Some went and preached to the Greeks in Antioch and a multitudes came to the Lord in that city (See Acts 11:20-21)
Paul and Barnabas were sent fro Antioch to the nations,. They saw great numbers come to Christ in Pisidian, Iconium, and from their to Asia Minor, Macedonia and eventually Rome.
Throughout history men and women have met God’s conditions and experienced powerful revivals. The word of God tells us that their will be great revivals at the end of the age, in fact the harvest is the end of the age (See Mt. 13:39). Men and women of God, the time is right for revival. Let us rise up in passion and prayer and turn the world upside down for Christ.