“A burning heart will soon find for itself a flaming tongue.” Charles Spurgeon
I have been fascinated by the subject of “revival” for as long as I have been a Christian: approximately 30 years.
I describe “revival” as an unusual outpouring of God’s Spirit on a particular church, town or city that brings His awesome presence to such a degree on the people that they are gripped by His holiness.
Lives are permanently changed. Hardened sinners who were haters of God now become devoted followers of the Lord Jesus. The great subjects of sin, judgment, holiness, sanctification, heaven, hell, etc., all become the dominating subjects of discussion.
A true revival changes not only the people in the town, but the town itself. Crime is dramatically decreased. Bars and places of prostitution close. Drunks become respected members of society and now attend church. As unbelievable as this sounds, this happened frequently in early America.
America is in desperate need of revival.
One way in which the fires of revival are kindled and the flames spread are through the bold preaching of God’s Word. This is why evangelism is critical to the health of America. The lack of evangelism is one main reason why America is in the serious situation she finds herself in today.
It says in the book of Hebrews that “…the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (4:12 NIV)
God’s Word is alive. Most never think of it in this manner. Though none of us can plumb the depths of what this means, the rest of this verse tells us what the results are when this living Word is unleashed into the world: it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart, penetrating deep into the souls of men and women and bringing conviction to their consciences.
To achieve its maximum effectiveness, such a living and life-changing entity must be “set free” from the cages where it has been long imprisoned within the four walls of the churches. Certainly this living Word will works its miraculous effect on those inside the church walls who come to drink from its life giving fountain, but to revive society, it must be unleashed into the streets, lanes and other public gatherings of the common people.
Open-air preaching is one of the main methods that this transforming Word is introduced into society.
The Lord Jesus Christ was an open-air preacher.
Since this is true, why then are not hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of His followers not emulating their Master’s primary method of spreading His message in this way?
I will explore this in another post.