The Church Revitalization Podcast – Episode 178
What does “revival” even mean? Is that what is happening at Asbury University?
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Last week, what would have been a typical chapel service at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky, continued for seven days. People quickly labeled it “revival,” which left many questioning and skeptical. Admittedly, I was in that camp at first. I thought the revival term could only be applied retroactively after seeing the fruit of the movement over time and geography. I’ve changed my mind. Certainly, something of a movement or even another great awakening gets its name retroactively, but what is happening at Asbury, I think certainly is a revival.
I know the Church sometimes applies its own contextual definitions of things, but consider how Webster defines revival as a “renewed attention to or interest in something.” If you’ve seen any videos coming out of Asbury, there is undoubtedly a renewed interest in the Lordship of Jesus Christ taking place. For days and hours, people have been singing his praises, praying, reading His Word, and falling before Him.
Revive is at the root of revival, to “return to consciousness or life.” A life given over to Jesus and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit always results in a return to life. We are all dead in our sins until the moment we place our faith in Jesus as savior, so regardless of the spiritual state of anyone at Asbury over the last week, if even one has come to faith in Christ there, then a revival has happened.
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins.” – Ephesians 2:1
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23
“In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.“ – Luke 15:10
The response of the Church should be one of joy and prayer that the people there at Asbury experience an amazing revival of their own hearts and that it continues to spread to the ends of the earth.
“In him was life, and that life was the light of all people.” – John 1:4
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A.J. Mathieu is the President of the Malphurs Group. He is passionate about helping churches thrive and travels internationally to teach and train pastors to lead healthy disciple-making churches. A.J. lives in the Ft. Worth, Texas area, enjoys the outdoors, and loves spending time with his wife and two sons. Click here to email A.J.