I have experienced frustration with pastors, churches, and ministry pursuits in the past 10 years. And I still have an optimism and a hope within me, a faith within me that it is possible to have a real Biblical ministry that does not compromise with the Bible. I know, I know some of you purists out there think it’s still impossible but I might be the unquenchable optimist and put into the same category as Michael J Fox in that he maintains there is a cure for Parkinson’s disease, and in like manner so I believe that there is a cure for the modern evangelical church.
That cure is and always has been revival, precipitated by the presence of God moving on one particular preacher, who becomes very popular and goes under the category of an evangelist and a revivalist. Let’s see, it started with Richard Baxter, then it moved on to John Wesley, and then it moved on to Charles Finney, and then it moved on to Evan Roberts, and then it moved on to William J. Seymour, and then it moved on to Smith Wigglesworth, and then it moved on to Leonard Ravenhill, and then it moved on to David Wilkerson, and then it moved on to Steve Hill, and then it moved on to Mike Bickle and it will continue to move on to some other men of God.
I pray for the full release of evangelical revival in some man’s ministry: that he would be protected and preserved by the Word of God, and that people like Paul Washer who have a strong Baptist heritage, and preach strong, would not waver to the right nor to the left, nor get trapped in the dry waters of cessationism and false security. It is my prayer and my heart’s desire for genuine evangelical friendships to develop out of genuine evangelical revival under genuine evangelical preaching under genuine evangelical ministers.
But it has to come through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, it can’t be planned: this is where Jonathan Edwards and Charles Finney differ, but maybe both of them are right. Maybe that its a combination of the planning and ingenuity of men to bring about revivals in the presence of God. One thing I know is that my confidence is in the God of history and that the God of revivals is still the God today and Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
And so since God has always done periodic outpourings of the Holy Spirit to keep the church going, it is likely that there will be another revival, and there will be another revival after that, and another revival after that until Jesus comes back. In these revivals miraculous gifts will appear, holiness will increase, and the Gospel will be more thoroughly understood as a message of repentance from sin and faith in the blood of Jesus rather than just a simple message of God’s love. This spark of faith is within me, even though I fight against sin, even though sometimes I’m dragged down by depression, even though I have no real friends nearby me, even though I feel like the whole world is against me, somehow someway I still feel like it is possible to experience a ministry like this: if you want it hard enough. Do you want it bad enough to wait for years and years? I do.