The Only Guy Who Doesn’t Want a Revival (Me), or Desiring the Wrong Thing

Recently I’ve churned out a series of posts on leadership and being the guy who is right. Hopefully from those you’ve gleamed I’m not posturing myself as that type in any way. Today I want to try to make that all the more clear, because especially with this post I’m throwing out an idea, not an answer or an authoritative sounding message. I want to hear if you think I missed the mark here. It’s always a possibility.

Young collegiates these days talk revolution, and similarly Christians just change a few letters so we can talk REVIVAL! Especially sixty years ago, but still to this day Christians everywhere are praying for one of these. Sixty years ago it may not have been as “needed” as today, but now with Christianity being pretty un-hip and experiencing some de-converts, or people misinterpreting REM’s break up song and Losing Their Religion.

I quoted the word needed in the previous sentence because I’d like to call into question this huge desire and emphasis on a Christian revival. I know it sounds like an odd thing to question, because how can a resurgence of Christianity be something bad? Why would I not want that? Am I that far gone?

(To be clear this is not another person critiquing the altar call/sinner’s prayer/preaching on the streets sort of thing).

When we understand the Christian faith’s goal is to make disciples of all people and in essence convert all people to faith, well then revival sounds like the answer to our prayers. And I can see how people would believe our goal is to spread the religion. The more of our religion the better, right?

However I don’t think that ultimately our goal is make Christianity a worldwide religion. Oddly enough, this was not Jesus’ goal for his collective church to achieve. The point of Christianity is not, well, religion – it’s the kingdom of God spreading. Some may not understand the difference, thinking the Kingdom of God to simply be heaven, the place Christians go upon earthly death, however I’ve come to see it in much more ambiguous yet far reaching terms. It’s as earthly as it is heavenly. Even Jesus was elusive about defining it, preferring allegories to best sum it up.

From my understanding, the Christian isn’t nearly as concerned with convincing others to join his religion than he is with simply loving the people and creating peace around him. We plant kindness, healing, hope and service.

The kingdom of God spreading, like yeast through bread, doesn’t happen via sermons and preachers and revival messages. Love, peace, mercy and reconciliation are much more infectious than that, and they permeate far more deeply than any lecture could.

So we can long for revival, but how many have there been? Why do we keep needing more? Revival can still be temporary, whereas the kingdom is much more thorough and complete. Its roots run deep and hold strong. It is raw, it is viral. The kingdom isn’t as emotional and tingly like the high a revival gives, but ultimately with each inch the kingdom gains over the land the more and more God has a welcoming home here.

So, here’s your chance to fire away. Have I gone wrong? What is the mission of Jesus’ church body? Do you long for revival? What terms would you put on the kingdom?

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3 Responses to The Only Guy Who Doesn’t Want a Revival (Me), or Desiring the Wrong Thing

  1. David says:

    First, revival is about the spreading the Kingdom of God. You are correct. It is not about being all nice and lovey dovey. It is about experiencing the Spirit if God as it is in Heaven! With it comes an intesnity many have haven’t seen. What if folks that lied about their giving were struck dead like Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 4)? What if God showed up and said He didin’t like Harry Potter and Twilight. What if He said Westboro Baptist church is wrong and so is Ann Rice? Our pet little ideas will be tested with fire.

    The attributes of the Kingdom are numerous. I believe that ones that the church in American needs to get a hold of are the following. (That’s what revival is about.)

    – Repentance: few really want to change, especially if there is something they like doing that is sin and seems common in culture.
    – Holiness: During the Welsh Revival, the mine horses were confused when the miners stopped swearing and curing, they stood there waiting for commands. The Kingdom of God is Holy. If we had even a glimpse of what sin is really like, we’d be on our knees right now crying out for forgiveness. (Read the God Chasers by Tommy Tenny)
    – Sin: We tend to make up the rules as we go along. We make cases for watching R movies and reading novels based on witchcraft, and we fail to see the influence it has on us. Please note the statistics for divorce, drug/alcohol addiction, pornography addiction and the use of anti-depressants in the church. It’s a sign that we are missing it – sin is not OK with God.

    I am not sure where Christians get the idea that the Kingdom of God is like a “nice, friendly earth.” When we go to heaven we are getting new bodies that can stand in the presence of God’s Holiness. Had Moses seen God’s Glory (not the back side) He would have been incinerated. The Kingdom of God suffers violence too (Matt 11:12).

    Revival, yeah, I’d like to see it. But for those that want to go along hoping for an easy life, doing what they are doing, it’s going to be tough.

    Here is a list of the things that God is. None of them are sinful.

    http://fireandgrace.blogspot.com/2008/11/who-is-jesus.html

    Thanks for asking. :o)

  2. I do think that the kingdom of God will be fully realized on earth, a restored earth perfectly suited for restored bodies.

    I’d add Love as #1 attribute to the kingdom – to me love is wildfire.

  3. David says:

    I think love is one of the many attributes of the Kingdom – it seems less overlooked than the others.

    And no, I don’t think that Heaven is going to be here in the next few weeks. My point was holiness, for which the church cares little about. It is either rules, or grace to do whatever you want.

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