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THE OPENING REMARKS OF THE CONVENTION
By Mario Murillo
What if you could meet someone who had been at Azusa Street and ask them what it was like? It is the same thing to ask someone who was in the Jesus Movement that question: Because that was the last national revival that we have seen.
YWAM, Calvary Chapels, Campus Crusade, Our Berkeley Ministry, Charisma Magazine, David Wilkerson, Festivals, rose to change our culture. Billy Graham, Oral Roberts, Kathryn Kuhlman were are catapulted anew by this youth revival.
By the numbers: 40 million were watching preachers on prime time television. 25 million were born again in the U.S. Two Christian schools a day were opening at its height. Every single young person in the United States was approached to be saved. The Political shift put Reagan in the White House.
Today we have outward features of success but we have lost the culture. On our watch we lost marriage and much of our freedom. Violence, division and perversion are all increasing. To many, Christianity and Islam are on the same level.
The painful comparison to the Jesus Movement is clear: They were Bible-based and reproduced themselves.
We are emotionally based, having out of Bible experiences and largely keeping it to ourselves
The question is how can this convention succeed where others have failed? How can this event ignite a true national movement? Three words come to mind: Honesty—Courage—Obedience.
Admit some current revivals have gone extreme. Admit most attempts at revival misfire at ignition—and many alleged awakenings were actually snooze alarms. Admit millions of Christians repose in impotent slumber beneath motivational mush. Admit revival camps won’t unify because of their “we-must-lead-the-revival-or-else attitude. Admit current cultural conditions make revival the impossible dream. In short, I say, admit conditions within and without could not be worse for revival…and I say, “SO WHAT!”
Never mind that I said it—Paul said it! “For what, (so what!) if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar.” -Romans 3: 3, 4.
But we must not settle for false or incomplete revival. But we must never lose faith in the real one.
-It’s a lie to say bad attempts at revival mean we should not try again.
-It’s a lie to believe comatose Christianity cannot be jolted back to life.
-It’s a lie to think revival egos cannot be broken down into vibrant unity.
-It’s a lie to believe that our culture—or any other culture for that matter—is greater than the power of God.
In short, let God be true and every “expert” made a liar.
SO WHAT! So what if we deem this is the worst of times for revival if—in fact—history shows it is the best of times for a revival. Yea, in times like these God demonstrates His power.
Clear away the cobwebs…see the burning question: Does anything going on today overrule the power of taking God at His Word?
SO WHAT IF OTHERS HAVE FAILED. DOES THEIR FAILURE MAKE THE PURSUIT OF REVIVAL ANY LESS NOBLE? DOES IT MEAN GOD WILL NOT REWARD US AS HE PROMISED? THE FAILURE IN REVIVAL IS NOT FALLING DOWN BUT IN STAYING DOWN!