Author: Bruce Cook
Recently we finished what I call a mini revival, lasting from Sunday through Wednesday. I can’t help but reflect back and wonder what has happened to revivals as I used to know them. They would sometimes last for days. New people attended and were brought to the Lord and at times backsliders (people who once knew the Lord but strayed away) returned to ask forgiveness and old saints were refreshed anew.
I looked around the church and saw just a few of the old Free Methodists that are left and I wondered, do they think about the same things that I do? Do they remember what it was like at old revival meetings? Why don’t people attend and if they do, why don’t they respond to Gods call? Why don’t they want to hear about Hell and eternal suffering? I don’t like to think about it either but we must know what the alternative is if we don’t repent and come to God.
It seems to me that we want an evangelist who is funny, witty and a good story teller. We want to be entertained by the music and preaching as long as the preaching isn’t to negative. We want to feel good, not sorry or guilty. Evangelists and preachers realize this and try to accommodate if they are to get anyone to listen. I realize this, and I’m not condemning them for it. This is what they must do to get people to listen but it causes us to have watered down revivals. Even the evangelist said that he was at a place once where, when hell was mentioned some of them walked out or they threw up their arms indicating that they didn’t want to hear it.
People don’t want to hear hell, fire and brimstone preaching. They don’t want to think about it or don’t believe it. But I ask you this, how can you only believe the parts of the Bible that you want to? I get scared or fearful too when I hear about it, but it also makes me aware of where I want my life and relationship with the Lord to be.
We are all like children; we need to be warned, chastised, corrected and hear the truth about God’s judgment and the ministering of punishment by His law and order angels at the judgment. As Christians we need to be reminded of this at times. I agree that this isn’t all that we should hear. I thank God that our pastor isn’t one of these preachers.
I have read and heard Billy Graham say that to get people to respond you must preach about the cross and Jesus dying for us and where we will spend eternity.
I remember as a young person attending country churches where revivals were being held. The people came to fill the church and stood outside of the open windows to hear the message. These people had a thirst and hunger for the word. A lot of them had to travel by different means and travel a long distances to get there in a time when travel wasn’t easy. I ask you, why can’t we have that kind of desire and passion today to hear God’s word?
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