Sunday, 12 June 2011

Apostasy and Pseudo Revivalism

Since the 1990s I have heard a number of high profile preachers and church leaders make predictions about a mighty coming revival.  There was talk and prophecies about revival being imminent and "just around the corner", or coming in the next decade.  I have known some Christians, now deceased, who were absolutely convinced that they would not see death but would be "raptured".  These Christians were convinced that God had told them personally about end time events, but they were clearly mistaken.  They believed in their own private and personal "revelations from God".  I have even heard the term "downloads from God" used about these private and personal messages from God.

Now I believe in revival, but not the pseudo revival of Todd Bentley and his ilk.  Revival, in fact, is not a word found in the Bible, and certainly not in the New Testament.  But certain events described in the life of the early church in the Acts of the Apostles, to my way of thinking, would constitute a revival, a mightly move of the Holy Spirit bringing new life, power and miraculous works among the Christian community and beyond.

Today Christian leaders, in some fellowships, are predicting and prophesying mighty revivals, especially in the next few years.  They are claiming special revelations and messages from God.

I do not agree with these revival mongers.  I contend that the reverse is nearer the truth.  We are living in days of apostasy and spiritual declension.  I maintain this position based on the following facts and observations:

For hundreds of years criminals would not rob from churches, having some respect for the Church and Christians who often helped them.  Now wall safes are removed, lead is commonly taken from roofs, altar items, furniture and artifacts are stolen for the antique market. Collection boxes are taken to pay for drugs and alcohol. 

There is increased activity by sex offenders and criminals using the Internet, social networks, improved communication and travel links.  The mystery of lawlessness is now at work.

Our prisons are full to capacity and seem to be bursting at the seams.

Adultery and fornication (including many forms of sexual immorality) are being promoted as normal, healthy and acceptable ways of life.

Some housing estates have very few male role models living stable and responsible lifestyles.  Many fathers have simply gone AWOL from time to time; they have failed to provide and promote a good environment for their children.  Many teenagers have had to grow up without the support, security and sustenance of a stable two parent family.

We have many broken homes, dysfunctional families and domestic disasters. Thank God for the work of the NSPCC, Spurgeon's and Barnardo's children's charities.

There is a famine in the land: a famine of the Word of God.  Ignorance abounds. Bible knowledge, that was once taken for granted, is foreign to many schoolchildren.

The media often now sneers at and cynically ridicules Christian morality and beliefs.

So there has been a falling away, and that's apostasy!


Anonymous said...

I disagree with your post, but what I would say is the Church should be crying out to God to have mercy on us and our nation, not simply waiting for God, while we sit on our blessed assurance. Revival, true revival, is one that affects the whole community. It is not about growing churches, and putting bums on seats. It's about God's presence manifesting in such a way that people are persuaded by good musicianship, song lyrics or passionate preaching. They're persuaded by the reality of their situation - that without surrendering themselves wholeheartedly to God they will go to hell. I would suggest that you do some research into recent revivals - particularly that of 1904 and the Hebridean revivals, where there was none of the hype that we're accustomed to, but the reality of His Kingdom come. I've experienced the revival in Lakeland, and although I wouldn't label it a revival as such, the presence of God was so real there that it was definitely an outpouring.

As for the state of society, that's what happens when we as the Church goes lukewarm. God is orchestrating things to get us to cry out, and if we don't, I fear things are going to get an awful lot worse. I suggest you read and study Haggai to understand what the Lord is doing in the Middle East right now.

Should we expect revival? As long as we are praying fervently, and dying to our selfish lives, then yes. If you don't expect revival, then maybe it's time you did.

Pre 1904 the Church was in a similar mess. It took a handful of people to get God's attention, and 150,000 in Wales alone were saved in just five months. Don't limit God with unbelief, because He can do anything.

Johli Baptist said...

I believe in 2 Timothy 3: 1-5. Terrible times are ahead, are they not?


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