Is revival breaking out? Not a small number of people have found faith as they see the world in chaos and started asking questions. Questions that they might not have been asking before, and questions that have answers which lead directly to God and the Bible. Here are a few encouraging signs from around the world…
Plagues and pestilence caused many to “look up”
Just as Paul being locked up on home arrest actually accelerated the spread of the Gospel through his writings, so we’re seeing a mushrooming of people finding Jesus online with the lockdowns having acted as a catalyst. Dr. Paul Dixon, who has been researching the impact on churches, reflects: “It’s almost as if God has needed to lock the Church up in order to get us to move into the third millennium… As the Church has been imprisoned, as Paul was, we have had to develop the tools that Paul did, and broadcast. So it’s very exciting what’s happening, and it’s permanent.”
“I heard this morning of a church in Sweden, that normally has a congregation of 50, but last Sunday, they had a congregation of 1,000.” – Dr. Paul Dixon
Dr. Dixon also reported that while some 3.5 million (5%) of Brits were attending church before the pandemic, by August 2020, 19 million were tuning in to online services once a month, almost a third of the population! Half of of all 18-35 year olds regularly took part in some form of online faith activities and many have continued, both online and actually entering the doors of a building.1
Global events are increasingly feeling apocalyptic and people are starting to wonder if it might be the end of the world. The news is full of political scandals, cover-ups, and corruption sending many on a hunt to find out what’s really going on. Starting their search for answers on the internet, huge numbers have encountered Truth Himself as they come across media like ours which helps people meet the Messiah.
Asbury Revival as a beacon of hope
“Americans seem open to a different antidote to help make sense of life in these chaotic times. In an October 2022 Barna survey of 2,000 U.S. adults, three out of four (74%) say they want to grow spiritually. Additionally, the same proportion (77%) say they believe in a higher power. Nearly half (44%) say they are more open to God today than before the pandemic.” (David Kinnaman, CEO of Barna)
The whole planet has been able to peer into the sanctuary at Asbury University, which had “Holiness Unto the Lord” emblazoned over the stage, and people came from many states and nations to see and experience what was happening for themselves. Social media has been buzzing with first hand accounts of the two-week long worship service and outpouring of fresh devotion to God in a little seminary in Kentucky.
Police had to close the roads due to the sheer numbers of people gathering to pray and meet with God. How many times have we been able to make a statement like that lately?
It’s certainly been heartwarming and encouraging to see. And it’s been spreading to other campuses like Cedarville, a private Baptist university in Ohio:
“Tonight a large number of students gathered again for prayer, Scripture reading, testimonies and to worship Jesus for about two hours! We had 2 more students saved tonight. Tomorrow night we are sending our students out to other Universities to share the Gospel. Keep praying for wisdom and a genuine movement of the Lord!” – Dr. Thomas White2
But what even is a revival? Here’s how the Miriam Webster dictionary defines it as an act or instance of reviving : the state of being revived, such as a renewed attention to or interest in something, a new presentation or publication of something old. a period of renewed religious interest, an often highly emotional evangelistic meeting or series of meetings, or a restoration of force, validity, or effect. Yep, the non-stop worship and earnest repentance certainly fits the criteria. Although not the first time such a revival has happened at Asbury, this movement of God came at a time when a great hunger for God had been stirred up. And it’s been spreading like wildfire. Why? The despair and darkness of our times has turned a once prosperous nation-at-ease into a cauldron of chaos and confusion. Satan might have overplayed his hand however. He has battered Generation Z in particular with pernicious lies about life, God, right and wrong, so now there’s a whole generation who no longer know who—or even what—they are. Anxiety and depression are common, and suicide on the rise. It’s a tinderbox situation. The news of a good, holy God offering freedom and forgiveness is a breath of fresh air. No wonder people are flocking to take it in. And not just in America either…3
Movements in the Middle East
Many Middle Eastern countries have been ravaged by war, increasing earthquakes and disasters. Those living under brutal Islamic regimes have seen many Muslims losing their appetite for Islam altogether. Desperate and hungry for the truth, people are coming to faith in Jesus in unprecedented numbers. The Gospel is impacting the region in a new way and the “Man in White” has been visiting thousands upon thousands in dreams and visions. After the severe earthquake in Turkey and Syria, Turkish media published the story of a six-year-old girl who had been miraculously kept alive, saying that she was fed by a man in white clothes and beard for days while she was trapped under rubble! According to our friend, Joel C. Rosenberg, “More Muslims converted to faith in Jesus Christ over the past decade than at any other time in human history. A spiritual revolution is underway throughout North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia.”
Here at ONE FOR ISRAEL, 2020 broke all our records. As people were locked down and facing deep fears, many turned to the internet for answers. Our Arabic Outreach ministry saw spikes of up to 500% increase in viewership! We had 6.4 million views on our Hebrew language YouTube channel in that year alone. The quantum leap was staggering. Israelis were binge-watching the gospel as they found all our videos online:
“I watched video after video and started to do my own research.”
“Since I found myself watching video after video without stopping I decided that I wanted to go deeper and sit with someone who can explain things to me because I still have a lot of questions.”
This person then asked us to help them find a congregation, having come to the conclusion that it was very important to them. We were receiving messages like this all the time.
A recent survey has discovered that a million people of Jewish descent are following Jesus today.4
That is an extraordinary number. There are only approximately 15 million Jewish people on the whole planet! There are some caveats to this, of course, but still—this statistic should be a clarion call to the church across the world. God is moving among his Chosen People. Revival is underway.
A Watershed moment
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5)
God is at work. Disasters and trials only accelerate what He is doing. As earthquakes, plagues and wars increase, God is shaking out the wheat from the chaff. While some who call themselves Christian become lukewarm and deceived, following the pressures and pleasures of this age, God is separating out His remnant and bringing revival. It’s time for us all to choose whether to follow Jesus wholeheartedly or to drift along with this wayward world. And there are more sheep to gather! Jesus said He would not return until the Gospel message had been preached throughout the whole earth, and all Israel is ready to welcome Him back to Jerusalem.
Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago. (Acts 3:19-21)
Photo by Niranjan _ Photographs on Unsplash
- Dr. Patrick Dixon, Coronavirus Will Change Your Church Forever
- All Israel News, Studies reveal there are now 1 million followers of Jesus worldwide of Jewish descent