Revival Is When God Is Honored As God

© Luis Quintero,, Used With Permission

The first time Jesus spoke about the church He declared that He Himself would build His church and that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Matt. 16:18). The church is a supernatural body. The Lord Jesus Christ, Who has all authority in Heaven and Earth, is the builder. Before Jesus ascended to heaven He told His followers, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

Thus Jesus gave His church authority to crash the gates of hell, and all the dynamic power of the Holy Spirit to bear witness that Christ who died and rose again to save us has conquered sin, death, Satan and all the forces of evil.

He came “to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD” (Luke. 4:18). Paul was sent throughout the Roman world to lost mankind. His mission was “to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me [Christ].” (Acts 26:18)

The Gospel is “the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (Rom. 1:16). It takes power and divine authority to rescue both the folks who are in bondage to drugs, alcohol and sex, and also those so-called “nice religious people.” Pride and selfishness hold everyone in bondage, regardless of their aesthetic, until they are set free by the power of God through the preaching of the cross.

When Paul preached the cross, many new believers confessed their evil deeds and burned occult books worth a fortune. So many citizens of Ephesus got rid of their idols that the idol makers rioted because they feared the powerful message of the cross would shut down their business (Acts 19:18-41). The preaching of the cross made such a powerful impact on Thessalonica that a mob set the whole city in an uproar and some Christians were dragged into court with their accusers crying out, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here, too (Acts 17:5-6).” The new believers “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from Heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” (I Thess.1:9-10)

The preaching of the cross brings us face to face with the enormity of the guilt of every human being. Many nice people come to our churches thinking they are not very sinful. A man once came to me seeking church membership. I thought I would find out if he knew his need of salvation. So I said, “Do you realize your sin was so bad that Jesus had to die a criminal’s death between two thieves to save you from hell?” He was shocked! He said, “Awwwww!” Then without another word he got up and walked out. He just couldn’t believe he was sinful enough to need a Savior who died a criminal’s death to save him.

To those who hunger and thirst for righteousness the preaching of the cross is attractive and mightily transforms those who believe. Sammy Tippit, an international evangelist, has seen thousands come to Christ in his prayer-backed meetings where he proclaims the power of the cross.

God worked so powerfully through Paul’s preaching of the cross in Thessalonica the news of the believers’ transformation spread throughout the whole region (I Thess. 1:5-10). The church was established and believers attended faithfully “having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit” (I Thess. 1:6). That kind of joyful commitment is rare in our land today.

The Christian community in America has lost the kind of influence on the world that we have noted in the book of Acts. Instead the world is having a profound influence on the Christians.

A 2017 study by Barna Group and Summit Ministries found that, among practicing Christians:

  • 61% agree with ideas rooted in New Spirituality.
  • 54% resonate with postmodernist views.
  • 38% are sympathetic to some Muslim teachings
  • 36% accept ideas associated with Marxism.
  • 29% believe ideas based on secularism.

(Source: Competing Worldviews Influence Today’s Christians, May 9, 2017)

A Gallup poll in 1992 concluded that “While religion is highly popular in America, it is to a large extent superficial; it does not change people’s lives to the degree that one would expect from their level of professed faith. In ethical behavior, there is very little difference between the churched and the un-churched.” Gallup concluded, “From our surveys, we have found that only about ten percent of the population have what we call “transforming faith.”

Think that’s merely the secularism of a generation ago? Think again. According to the same Barna study, “When it comes to views of morality: Almost one-quarter of  racticing Christians (23%) strongly agree that ‘what is morally right or wrong depends on what an individual believes.’”

Why is this happening? Many are not proclaiming the lost condition of mankind and the cross as man’s only hope. Some are offering services that are basically entertainment, not Christ-exalting worship.

Criticism was rife in November 2022 among both Christians and the more secular online crowds responding to a TikTok video of Prestonwood Baptist Church (Plano, TX) flying drummers across their auditorium in preparation for their extravagant, Hollywood-ized, million-dollar Christmas pageant. One popular comment quipped, “I simply love in the gospel when drummer boys fly around the manger. It adds a certain dignity to the birth of Christ.”

Let’s get back to our foundations in seeking God. Prayer meeting attendance is often a tiny fraction of the Sunday morning crowd. Prayers are limited to a few requests for the sick, those who need a job or those who need protection while they travel. The cry for spiritual transformation is rarely heard. Consequently the awesome sense of God’s presence is missing. Prayerless congregations drift toward a low vision of who God really is.

A. W. Tozer wrote:

“Always the most revealing thing about the church is her idea of God, just as her most significant message is what she says about Him or leaves unsaid, for her silence is often more eloquent than her speech. She can never escape the self-disclosure of her witness concerning God…

“So necessary to the Church is a lofty concept of God that when that concept in any measure declines, the Church with her worship and her moral standards declines along with it. The first step down for any church is taken when it surrenders its high opinion of God:

“The heaviest obligation lying upon the Christian Church today is to purify and elevate her concept of God until it is once more worthy Of Him – and of her” (The Tozer Topical Reader, Volume One, Compiled by Ron Eggeit, 1998, Christian Publications, Can]p Hill, PA).

For revival we must unite in prayer in our churches and homes claiming our Lord’s promise to be present among us when we gather together in His name (Matt.18:19-20). Gathering in His name means placing ourselves under His authority and seeking to completely agree with His will so that we truly represent Him. Pray that God will revive awesome reverence for Him in our homes and churches.

© Oliver W. Price, Joia Noel Lucht, Bible Prayer Fellowship, All rights reserved.

You may copy for free distribution this issue of Revival Insights without making any changes. To order The Power Of praying Together; Experiencing Christ Actively in Charge by Oliver W. Price or request a free subscription to Revival Insights email For more studies on prayer visit our web site


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