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“There is a mighty lot of difference between saying prayers and praying.”
A revival does two things. First, it returns the Church from her backsliding and second, it causes the conversion of men and women; and it always includes the conviction of sin on the part of the Church. What a spell the devil seems to cast over the Church today!
“I must take care above all that I cultivate communion with Christ, for though that can never be the basis of my peace–mark that–yet it will be a channel of it”
E.M. Bounds has the answer…
“Private place and plenty of time are the life of prayer”
Since finishing Iain Murray’s superb biography of Martyn Lloyd-Jones last week, I’ve been pondering the topic of revival. The life and ministry of the Welsh pastor leaves me no option. As Murray, who also authored Revival and Revivalism, observes: “True zeal for revival is nothing other than zeal for the glory of God in the conversion of many.” Or, as Tim Keller explained at TGC13, revivals are “seasons in which the ordinary operations of the Holy Spirit are intensified.” (For more on gospel revival, see chapters 4 and 6 in Center Church or A God-Sized Vision: Revival Stories That Stretch and Stir by Collin Hansen and John Woodbridge.)
While such statements may sound harmless enough, are they true? Some evangelicals today are certainly uneasy with revival talk. Revival is God’s concern, they insist, not ours. Are they wrong?
TGC Council members Kevin DeYoung, Bryan Chapell, and Richard Phillips recently sat down to tackle this knotty topic. “In a true revival, you’re not adding human manipulative techniques to a biblical ministry,” Phillips explains. Rather, you’re “doing biblical ministry, fortified by prayer, and the Holy Spirit is giving you a great harvest.”
Moreover, Chapell points out, “True revival is often very disruptive to the traditional church.” As a result, many churches “want revival until it comes.” On the other hand, DeYoung adds, some don’t desire to see revival unless it occurs in their church.
To be sure, the history of revivalism is shot through with examples of well-meaning people seeking to engineer what only God can do. As Lloyd-Jones warned:
Pray for revival? Yes, go on, but do not try to create it, do not attempt to produce it; it is only given by Christ himself. The last church to be visited by a revival is the church trying to make it
We readily acknowledge, that God alone is to be the rule and measure of our prayers, that in them we are to look wholly unto Him, and act wholly for Him, that we are only to pray in such a manner, for such things, and such ends, as are suitable to His glory.
~ William Law (1686-1761)
by JOE CARTER
The Story: Last week at the Texas Capitol, pro-abortion protesters shouted, “Hail Satan!” in an attempt to drown out pro-lifers’ rendition of “Amazing Grace.” But on Twitter the United Kingdom’s Church of Satan said it was “Unfortunate to see Satan’s name used in such a diabolical manner.”
The Background: Texas blogger Adam Cahm, who recorded the video below, says, “For the record: They’ve been doing this all day, this is just the first time we caught it on video.”
After the story broke, the UK Church of Satan tweeted
Unfortunate to see Satan’s name used in such a diabolical manner. Another example of what ‘Satanism’ doesn’t represent. #HailSatan
— UK Church of Satan (@UKChurchofSatan) July 3, 2013
They later added:
Why wouldn’t Satanism be pro-life? What else is there? We are all free to make choices. Agreeable or not. Everyone is entitled to choice.
What It Means: It’s doubtful either the abortion supporters chanting “Hail Satan!” or the Satanists denouncing them believe in the reality of the Evil One. They think the abortion issues is about them, and their choices. But they’re wrong: abortion is about God.
As John Piper has explained, the ultimate evil of abortion is not that it kills children or that it damages women—which it does. “The ultimate evil,” he said, “is that it assaults and demeans God.” But that, he says, “is what the gospel of Jesus Christ is about. How God planned and brought about a plan to forgive people who have committed the ultimate outrage of discounting his glory and treating it as less valuable than their own private preferences.”
Piper continues by stating that leaving God out of the picture trivializes abortion.