Theme: Outreach in times of revival
‘Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.’ Acts 2:46-47
I have often wondered how the Lord added daily to the church in Jerusalem in those first months of its existence. There is no mention of any further mass meetings of the type that occurred on the day of Pentecost. I have assumed that the additions must have been by way of personal one-on-one witnessing. I still think this, yet my appreciation of other possibilities has been broadened by reading the accounts of historic revivals.
In the Great Awakening thousands came to the mass prayer meetings because God seemed to call them there. In the Hebrides revivals, hundred walked from one town to another to attend church services, drawn by some invisible power. Duncan Campbell recounts how he observed people literally lying in the streets crying out to God in repentance. Sure, in times of revival those whom God ignites carry the fire to others, but the Holy Spirit also works directly in a powerful way.
Recently many stories have come out of Islamic nations of people who have had encounters with angels, and some even with a manifestation of the Lord Himself. These are times of revival and so we should not be surprised or sceptical when we hear these stirring accounts. God is on the move and He is doing some wonderful things in our day!
“Lord, I have heard of your fame;
I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord.
Renew them in our day,
in our time make them known”
We are called to witness at all times, and the Lord continues to add to the church those who are being saved by one-on-one evangelism, but in times of revival evangelism takes on a new urgency and potency. Our personal witness is fired by a passionate experience of the presence of God and, in addition, God Himself goes on the evangelistic offensive. What a wonder – I can’t wait to see God’s present day answer to Habakkuk’s prayer!