Revival is a topic that has been on the minds of many Christians recently, particularly those who have been following the events at Asbury University. While some may be hesitant to jump on the bandwagon of excitement, it is important to have a working theology of revival.
We at Calvary Chapel have long been fascinated by the concept of revival, and we know that many in our community share this interest. Recently, we came across Gavin Ortland’s video titled “Revival at Asbury? A Theological Reflection,” and we found his approach to be both insightful and extremely helpful.
In this article, we have summarized some of the key principles that Gavin discusses in his video. We hope that this summary will encourage you to watch the full video and engage in your own theological reflection on the topic.
We believe that Gavin’s hopeful, measured approach to this topic is particularly relevant to those who are currently observing the events at Asbury University and wondering what to make of them.
Here’s a summary of what Gavin Talks about in the Video:
What is Revival?
Revival can be defined as a renewal of spiritual life in a church or community, often accompanied by a heightened sense of God’s presence and power. Revivals have been known to bring about an increase in evangelistic efforts, a deeper sense of unity among believers, and a greater commitment to holiness. While there is no one-size-fits-all formula for revival, there are certain principles that we can look for in evaluating whether a revival is truly of God.
The Principles of Revival
One of the most important principles of revival is the recognition of sin and the need for repentance. In order for revival to take place, there must be a deep sense of conviction about personal and corporate sin. This often leads to a period of confession and seeking forgiveness. Another principle of revival is the emphasis on prayer and seeking God’s will. Prayer is often at the center of revival, as individuals and groups cry out to God for His mercy and power.
Another principle of revival is the recognition of the importance of the Word of God. Revivals often involve a renewed interest in Scripture, with individuals and groups spending time in Bible study and meditation. This leads to a greater understanding of God’s character and His will for our lives. Finally, revival is marked by a renewed commitment to evangelism and mission. As individuals experience the transforming power of God in their lives, they are often driven to share that message with others and to reach out to those who are lost.
The History of Revival
Throughout history, there have been many notable revivals, each with its own unique characteristics and impact. Some examples include:
The Great Awakening of the 18th century, for example, was marked by the preaching of Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield and brought about a renewed interest in the gospel message.
The Welsh Revival of 1904 was characterized by a powerful sense of God’s presence, leading to mass conversions and a renewed commitment to holiness.
The Azusa Street Revival of 1906, which took place in Los Angeles, California, is often credited with starting the Pentecostal movement and brought about a renewed emphasis on the power of the Holy Spirit.
And, as our readers will well know, in the 1960s and 70s, a spiritual movement known as the Jesus People swept across the United States, characterized by a unique blend of Christian faith and countercultural values.
This movement had a profound impact on American Christianity, leading to the rise of new forms of worship and evangelism, as well as a renewed emphasis on community and discipleship. Our Calvary Chapel family was born out of this spiritual revival.
There have been more, and we pray, there will be many more.
The Danger of Cynicism
While it is important to be discerning when it comes to evaluating revivals, it is also important to avoid cynicism and over-analysis. It is easy to become overly critical of something that we do not fully understand or that seems out of the ordinary. However, we must be careful not to quench the Spirit or to miss out on the work that God may be doing in our midst. As Christians, we should be quick to pray and seek God’s will in all things, including revival.
In conclusion, revival is a powerful and often transformative experience that can bring about a renewed sense of spiritual life and purpose. While there are certain principles that we can look for in evaluating whether a revival is truly of God, it is important to approach this topic with humility and a willingness to learn. We must avoid the danger of cynicism and instead be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit, always seeking God’s will in all things.
We invite you to join us in prayer for the young people at Asbury and for all those who are seeking a deeper experience of revival in their lives. Let us pray that God would continue to move in their hearts and protect them from negative outside influences. May He lead us all to repentance and inspire beautiful worship that brings glory and honor to His name. As we continue to seek Him in prayer and worship, may our hearts be open to the transformative power of the Holy Spirit, and may we be encouraged to pursue revival in our own lives and communities.