A National Youth Revival is coming.

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There is a fresh openness to the Gospel about to break on America.  It will not come through the usual channels.  The case for this prediction is strong so please take a moment to read this, not just to be encouraged, but to be prepared.

During my entire ministry, I have studied the Word of God.  Even though I believe in prophetic words it has been my habit to absorb as much as I possibly could directly from the Bible.

It is from this body of evidence that I will make give you my considered opinion that the last great revival on earth will be a youth revival.  That is correct, the fuse for global awakening is the young.

The last two verse of the Old Testament is teeming with meaning: Malachi 4:  5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. 6 And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”

There are three quotes in that verse that have great meaning to you right now.

1. “I will send”:  It will come from God Himself. This means that nothing can prevent its arrival. Times of refreshing from the throne of God make their way to Earth without regard to human planning and often at the most unexpected time and in a most unexpected way.

John 1:6 says, “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.”  John the Baptist baffled experts.  He was a phenomenon that violated every religious opinion of his time.  So is it today that God will give the order and the raging of men will not alter the course of this event.

2. “He will turn the hearts”:   1 Kings 18: 37 Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.”

3. Lest:  Even though this is a threat it is the most powerful part of the promise.  It reminds us that it is wrong to assume judgment or as Jonah did, secretly desire judgment. Joel 2:13 tells us, “So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm. 14 Who knows if He will turn and relent, And leave a blessing behind Him—A grain offering and a drink offering For the Lord your God?

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Now here are my reasons for believing we are at the brink of a youth harvest in America:

1. I believe that God provoked Satan to overplay his hand thereby getting youth sick of excess.  Immoral activist, aging baby boomers are beginning to look disgusting and tedious to youth.  Ambivalence toward Abortion, socialism, Europe and atheism and even feminism is driving them investigate Christ.

2. It is such a bad time that it is a good time. Since revival is sent to avert disaster it means that it will occur just before disaster.  The times that seem to make revival look impossible are very the times in which they appear.

Why do I think that disaster will be averted?  Lost in all of the dizzying changes to marriage, drugs, healthcare, is the fact that the majority of Americans still believe in Christ.  Even though there is widespread lukewarm faith, there is a living taproot.  Radical voices have hijacked the microphone but they do not represent reality.  America is way more spiritually flammable that experts know and the fire of heaven will spread fast.

Three things we need to do right now:

1.  Men become fathers!  Spiritual fathers will usher in the next revival.  Hitler sensed a vacuum in the youth of Germany devastated by the First World War.  He knew that a father figure could own the heart of the youth.  If you open your heart you will also open your schedule and your home to an orphaned generation.

2. Make your prayer for revival sincere and knowledgeable.   Much of our prayer is bouncing off the walls because it is not coming from a heart that is convinced or aware of what they are asking for. When true prayer appears it is not only effective it is contagious.

8.  We must build barns.  Proverbs 10:5 “He who gathers in summer is a wise son; He who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame.”

John 4:35 “Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.”

Luke 10:2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

No longer can church be a monument to a bygone era or a marketing center for mass superficiality.  Our buildings must be retooled, they must become youth oriented upper rooms where God turns the wreckage of young lives into trophies of His power and Grace!

These verses serve as a loving warning.  Churches must start now to make room for interruptions. Youth will arrive.  We will be ordered to go out and get them.  Don’t say it is not possible or that youth are not ready.  The stage is set, the fuse is lit I pray you are ready!

Why am I standing next to this empty wheelchair?

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Ironically, not long ago I preached a sermon about how we should all hate to see an empty chair in a church.  Here is the one great exception to that: An empty wheelchair!

At some point back about 11 months ago it became known as the Santa Rosa Fire; a family of God breathing believers  with a from several churches with a simple passion for more of Jesus.  Nobody can credit the continuing ignition of this revival in Santa Rosa to any one man or congregation.

When I agreed to return last night for the one year anniversary of this FIRE I was concerned about nostalgia.  I did not want to try to recreate something Jesus did before.  I told them that I did not want to Twist Again Like We Did Last Summer.”

One thing we did revisit was the miracle of the man paralyzed 38 years who waited by the pool of Bethesda in John 5.  A simple but mighty truth overcame us all.  By healing the man without an angel stirring the water and by doing it on the Sabbath day Jesus destroyed two religious abuses in one fell swoop.

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Satan yearns to attach a superstition to any simple truth and fog it with side issues.  When form and ritual overwhelm the original goal we see silly things.  The Pharisees sought loopholes and hilariously ended up working hard at resting on the Sabbath.

We can all see the modern versions of this.  We all believe in angels, gold dust, feathers, soaking and even shaking under the power but it is so easy to forget Jesus Himself.  When any of these acts become an end in themselves or a means to the end we lose something priceless.   Jesus is the means and the end!

Miracles do the most immediate and widespread damage to Satan.  This is why he labors more in this arena than any other.  His constant aim is to pervert the simplicity of healing:  By adding emotionalism and superstition, he able to discredit the glorious weapon of healing.

I have no illusions about the limits of my preaching.  What happened next in the meeting could never be credited to oratory:  Jesus came and began to heal people in the audience.  It happened effortlessly and freely.  Jesus prevailed over every method and approach to healing and simply removed disease.

I walked to the back of the hall and the lady in the wheelchair caught my eye.  I could see the epic struggle in her heart.  She strained to see all of the other healings and wanted desperately for it to be her turn. 

The next time that I walked by her the struggle had subsided; she now had the look of someone simply waiting on Jesus.   That faith, the miracle which only Jesus can impart began to emanate in her soul.

Back in the pulpit, I turned to survey the audience and we were all startled to see her up out of the wheelchair.  Stutter steps turned into a forceful stride.  After one lap she was not content with power walking so she began to run!   Bedlam!

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Here is the message of this miracle to you:  Jesus has not changed!  When we let Him dominate our crisis miracles overtake us.  Every last drop of trouble you face can be surrendered to His care.

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