The Los Banos Baptism
By Mario Murillo
2 Chronicles 29: 36 Then Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced that God had prepared the people, since the events took place so suddenly.
As 50 plus people make their way forward to surrender to Jesus a towering roar rises to heaven. I cannot remember a crowd this explosive to celebrate souls saved.
I knew this was going to happen. The worship team had tilled the soil in the souls of the unchurched. The hunger for Christ was unmistakable; there was no time to lose.
I immediately start a clear and simple appeal. The Holy Spirit’s call to come to Jesus overpowers the people. This is just the beginning of the night!
Want to know if it’s real revival? Make a sudden announcement. No one knew there would be a meeting tonight until the final moments of last night. Nevertheless, the theater is full again.
Ask any Californian what it is like to change your job schedule or your children’s schedule with this little warning. I don’t want to even know what kind of radical changes people endured to be back tonight.
Now I am facing my greatest test. These people are expecting a miracle service but I am supposed to preach revival. This is the second great test of true revival: are the people there for God’s agenda or their own?
Then the word of the Lord came forth. Satan meant to turn Los Banos into a dumping ground for drugs, violence and a habitation of broken dreams. God sought a core that would bring living proof of the power of God to this city. The burning question is can you become one and discard your plan in exchange for God’s plan for Los Banos?
Never, and I mean never have I seen an audience embrace the word so whole-heartedly. They did not merely absorb the word, they consumed it. By unanimous acclamation the crowd declares war on Satan and vows to follow the Captain of our Salvation into battle.
I stand dazed as the dream of a lifetime is coming true right before my eyes. I feel hope, not only for Los Banos but for America. But this was not the crescendo of this night….that came next.
Because of drought Los Banos is surrounded by fields of dry grass. Yet, if you were to soak that grass in gasoline and toss a match, the ignition would not compare to the roaring flames of revival the rose from these people at yet another sudden announcement: The words tumbled out of my mouth…”we are going on next week!”
P.S. When we had completely forgotten about the healing service, God showed up and began to heal all over the theater!