by Impact Discipleship Ministries
What comes to your mind when you hear the word “revival”? For a lot of people you probably think of a series of church meetings held a certain week of the year. It might even conjure up thoughts of a big tent, a special speaker, or a special musical group for the “revival” meetings. Depending on your background the word “revival” could mean any number of things.
The Bible doesn’t use the word revival, but it sure does paint a picture of it. In Acts 2:41-47 revival was occurring in the Church in Jerusalem. Thousands of people were coming to faith in Christ. Thousands were being baptized and becoming part of the church. Thousands were growing in their faith. Thousands were serving and caring for each other. Thousands were giving of their resources to help others in need. Thousands met in small home groups and in the temple court for worship. Thousands of people were sharing their faith and thousands of disciples were being made. If that is not a picture of revival, nothing is!
In a city of approximately 250.000 people, seeing several thousand people responding to the message of Jesus is a clear sign that revival is occurring. The Jerusalem revival was not on the calendar. It was not cleverly planned or marketed. It did not have an order of service or planned special speakers and singers.
The revival in Jerusalem was a result of the people of God being moved by the Spirit of God to obey the plans of God. When that happens, you have revival. You don’t plan this kind of revival. You don’t stop this kind of revival and you don’t control this kind of revival. You simply experience it.
We typically think of revival as something that happens corporately but it only happens corporately because it first happens individually. Revival happens when thousands of people are taking steps to be obedient to God’s plan because the Holy Spirit is leading them. Corporate revival is really just a compilation of many individuals experiencing personal revival.
Keep in mind that before the Day of Pentecost the Church was on life support. The disciples were hiding in an upper room and Christianity was almost dead. There were no people getting baptized. No one was worshipping in the temple court or meeting in homes. No one was devoted to the Apostles’ teaching, fellowship, breaking bread or praying together. No one was selling their possessions and giving to those in need. They were not sharing their faith and no one was making more disciples.
On the Day of Pentecost the Lord sent the Holy Spirit to empower the Church and a fire was lit. The Holy Spirit moved people to live like Jesus lived. The Holy Spirit led God’s people to follow Jesus’ example and thereby accomplish God’s plan for being the church. The Holy Spirit moved, people responded, and the plan of God was fulfilled.
I firmly believe that this same type of revival can happen today in the same way it did over two thousand years ago. We have the same power the early Church had. We have the same plan the early Church had. We need the same level of obedience that the early Church had.