Revivals that swept across America in the 18th and 19th centuries were almost always accompanied by a conviction of sin, a repentance from sin, and a turning back to God.
The news of Kanye West and his ‘Sunday Service’ travelling show is in the news just about everywhere at the moment. The biggest currently is the claim that over 1,000 people got saved in Baton Rouge on Friday night, in the altar call at the end of the event. So the question we have before us now is this things a legit moving of the Holy Spirit, or is it part of the end times deception? As Bible believers, we are call to ‘try the spirits’ before signing off on something, and in this very timely article, that is what we will endeavor to do.
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” 1 John 4:1-3 (KJV)
America has not seen real Holy Spirit revival in quite some time now. Over the past 20 years or so we have seen highly questionable and outright false revivals like the Brownsville Revival back in 1999, the Lakeland Outpouring in 2008, and the Toronto Blessing in 2014. All three of these ‘revivals’ were works of the flesh and not a work of the Holy Spirit if the Bible is to be our guide. Why do I say that? Because biblical revival brings a conviction of sin, a forsaking of sin behaviour, and is evidenced by biblical repentance. It doesn’t bring “Bam!, Bam!, Bam!“. Biblical revival is not centered around your feelings, emotions, praise music, or ‘asking Jesus into your heart’. When the Holy Spirit brings revival, He also brings change, and lots of it.
Revivals that swept across America in the 18th and 19th centuries were almost always accompanied by a conviction of sin, a repentance from sin, and a turning back to God. When evangelist Billy Sunday preached his fiery sermons in the late 1800’s, liquor stores and bar would not only close, in many cases, the owners of those establishments were under such great conviction that they went out of business and found other lines of work. That’s what you can expect to see when the Holy Spirit brings a revival. So let’s take a look at some of the things the Bible says goes hand in hand with true Holy Spirit revival by looking at examples of people getting right with God.
- HOLY SPIRIT REVIVAL SHOWS YOU YOUR LOST CONDITION: In Acts 16, we have the amazing story of how Holy Spirit revival came to not only the Philippian jailer but to his entire house as well. You will note that it started with the jailer understanding that he was lost and headed for Hell, prompting him to cry out and ask how he could get saved. Holy Spirit revival will always, always, always convict you of your lost and unsaved condition. “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.” Acts 16:25-33 (KJV)
- HOLY SPIRIT REVIVAL CALLS YOU TO REPENTANCE: When there is a true movement of the Holy Spirit, you will see repentance. Holy Spirit revival, like I previously said, has almost nothing to do with ‘inviting Jesus into your heart’, ‘feeling the spirit’ or any other such like thing. When the Holy Spirit is moving, He will convict people of thier lost condition without Christ, He will convict saved people of their backslidden condition, and He will provide the spiritual remedy from scripture. This is the entire function of the Holy Spirit. So don’t judge revival by the size of the crowds or by their outpouring of emotion, neither of those two things have anything to do with real revival. Real revival convicts. “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.” John 16:7-11 (KJV)
- HOLY SPIRIT REVIVAL CHANGES YOU: When I got saved back in 1991, I was alone in my room and on my knees with a King James Bible. No crowds, no music, no cheering, no fanfare of any kind. I read one verse of scripture, John 3:16 (KJV), and after a year and a half of ‘looking for God’ He let me find Him, and I have never been the same since. Yes, I struggle with sin, I struggle with faith, I have lots of struggles like any other Christian, but that day I got saved I became a new creature in Jesus Christ, and though I have not done it perfectly or anything close to it, I wake up every day and communicate with my Creator, and try my best to do His will and submit to His authority. I am not the person I was before I got saved, getting saved changed me from the inside out. (read my personal testimony here). In any revival of the Holy Spirit, after it has swept through, it will leave changed people in its wake. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:17-19 (KJV)
Now let’s return to the revival in Baton Rouge on Friday night where over 1,000 people came forward and “gave their lives to Christ“. As you can see in the video below, there was no preaching of the gospel of any kind. None. What there was was lots and lots of music that tossed around words like “I ain’t afraid”, “Jesus is the Name I love”, and so on. But there is no music recorded in the Bible, only words. The gospel that saves your soul and convicts you of sin and leads you to repentance is not open for interpretation. This is the gospel:
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 (KJV)
Holy Spirit conviction doesn’t lead you to jump and holler, or shout and sing, Holy Spirit conviction drops you to your knees and causes you to cry out to the God you’ve been sinning against, asking for His mercy and accepting Jesus payment for your sin on the cross. The night I got saved, my sins and failures flooded before my face, I had nothing to offer God, and all I could do was ask Him to save me from the fiery Hell I so richly deserved. That’s Holy Spirit revival, that’s Holy Spirit conviction. And in nearly 30 years since I got saved, I have heard thousands of stories of all the different ways that people got saved, but one thing has remained constant in every account. Never once have I ever heard of someone getting saved who didn’t first come under conviction of their own personal sin(s) against God, ask for mercy, and accept Jesus’ payment on the cross as applied to their personal sin debt.
I do not and cannot, if we are using the Bible as the standard, accept any so-called revival that does not also contain the preaching of the gospel of the grace of God for the conviction of sin in the ears of the listeners. I have yet to see a video clip in any of these Sunday Service revivals of the gospel being preached and sinners coming to repentance. So far all I see is a concert. Don’t get me wrong, a concert centered around Jesus is never a bad thing. But if that concert is leading people to believe they’ve gotten saved when there has been no preaching of the gospel, no conviction of sin, and no repentance, then it’s not a concert, it’s tragic. All a concert like that will do is produce false converts.
Kanye West and His ‘Jesus Is King Sunday Service Revivals
The Truth About Heaven And Hell
Let me ask you the most important question you will every be asked in your entire life. If you were to die tonight, where would you go?
“But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.” Luke 12:5 (KJV)
Do you know for sure that you would be in Heaven with the Lord Jesus Christ, or is there a nagging doubt that tells you perhaps you are headed in the other direction? God has made salvation so simple a 6 year old child can grasp it. God did it all for you on Calvary, all you have to do is accept it or reject it. Do you know what Jesus was doing on the cross? He was making a payment on your sin debt, paid in full. And if you’re lost, that payment is just sitting there at the foot of Calvary’s cross waiting for you to come and claim it.
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