I am convinced that most Christian leaders do not really want revival because of its costs. Here is the great fear of most pastors and evangelists—speaking against someone’s sacrosanct error. Speak the truth, lose church membership or fail to grow attendance numerically. Expose the apostasy; expose a tithe-payer’s revered heretic. Identify a heresy; trample on a number of member’s beloved error. It is considered a quick path to being an ex-pastor or an uninvited evangelist. The only way to get and keep a crowd is to rail against neutral or benign errors. Of course, the old targets, alcohol, drugs, and adultery, are safe targets. However, those sins are not the causes of the apostasy.
What pastors will not do is expose the New Apostolic Reformation and other heretical entities. Very few of them will expose Hillsong Music as the epitome of apostasy. They will not identify Charisma Magazine as the nasty mixture of truth and error more corruptible than the serpent’s deceptive remarks to Eve in the Garden of Eden. They will not even expose individuals, such as Dr. Michael Brown, the chief apologist for the NAR and other deadly errors. Instead, they continue to lament and wail for revival while coddling the very factors that prevent it from arriving.
Furthermore, they attempt to make revival occur by holding conferences to restore some characteristic(s) of revival past. What they refuse to do is to understand that the goals of revival Christians were not to found a Denomination or be identified as a Pentecostal, a Methodist, or Wesleyan, et cetera, but to have as much as possible of what God offered them no matter what the costs.
Revival does not occur by trying to protect or restore some historical physical reaction to genuine revival, or a man-made system of beliefs and rules that became a mantra to preserve certain distinctive characteristics. For example, whooping up the emotion in a church or conference meeting to mimic early Pentecostalism absolutely will not bring revival. It is purely a corporate exercise in frivolous and fruit-empty emotionalism.
Revival is bringing back to life that which is dead. Standing over the body of someone who has stopped breathing, or whose heart has stopped beating, and crying out for revival is fruitless. Playing some spunky religious music will not help the individual. Shouting at them to wake up, to stop smoking, or to come to church next Sunday, will not help. Neither will professing Christians gone cold in their love be revived with frivolous methods and means. Just as medical life-saving resuscitation techniques can revive someone, spiritual resuscitation must include preaching and teaching that identifies deadly spiritual wickedness and the life-saving truth that can revive and restore individuals to spiritual life.
Please do not be deceived. Revival comes as it always has, accepting God’s truth, His condemnation of sinfulness, applying it to our lives by humbleness, prayer, seeking Him, turning from wickedness, which adds up to whole-hearted surrender to God.
When that has genuinely occurred, we will not see timid men in pulpits that refuse to tread on the Devil’s handiwork for fear of offending someone. We will witness firebrands ignited by the passion to obey God fully no matter what the costs. Until those individuals are manifested, nothing will stop the progress of apostasy and its deadly effects on every nerve and vessel of the body of Christianity.