What’s going on at Asbury? It’s being called revival. Asbury is a Christian university, and as such they have regular on-campus services. At their Wednesday chapel service on Feb 8, which was described as ‘usual’, and even ‘unremarkable’, a rather routine sermon was spoken, and then a song service followed, which has been going on ever since. People are calling it revival.
Regardless of what one thinks or opines, what is happening there is laudable and good. Young believers gathering to worship the Savior, why would anyone scoff at that? Young people flocking not to see any one person, but to worship the God of Heaven, why would anyone mock it? Yet, it is mocked, and by ‘believers’ too. I laud these young adults, because they could easily have been at the Grammys worshiping the adversary with that fool dressed as Satan, or at the Super Bowl basking in the tomfoolery of “Rihanna” and her subliminal messages that most people still cannot see. But they are in a house of worship, singing to the Messiah. Good for them! And I do hope it ‘catches’.
Is it ‘revival’? Perhaps. Is it what this country needs? It’s certainly closer to what we need than anything else I’ve seen on the news of late.
But, the concept of ‘revival’ as most people know it is not in scripture, per se. And, even if it were, then what the scriptures would offer as prerequisite to a ‘re-invigoration of faith’ would have to be present.
Many people who tout the idea of revival would reference a scripture that would indeed be a prerequisite to a Biblical notion of restoring a group of people to faithfulness to God: 2 Chron 7:14 “If My people, upon whom My Name is called, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and repent from their evil ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” If there is any verse in scripture that can fit the modern definition of ‘revival’, then this one would be it.
Perhaps that is what is going on at Asbury? I know this, I’ve been calling for this, and declaring it, for years! Some of the words that were spoken there before this ‘revival’ started, which I just heard today to find out what was going on there, I spoke very similarly just this last Shabbat: SERVE GOD and EACH OTHER. It truly is a simple message!
The 2nd Chronicles passage calls for several things before God HEARS, FORGIVES, and HEALS. And, this is a promise given to Israel BEFORE Israel went into sin! It was given at a time of peace, as the ‘cure’ for when Israel would eventually go astray. It calls for the people who BEAR HIS NAME to HUMBLE themselves.
I do not know the students at Asbury, but, they at least appear humble, many of them down on their knees and praying.
It calls for people to PRAY. Certainly, Asbury students are seen doing that.
It calls for the people to SEEK HIS FACE. It would seem that is what many of those students are doing, though I cannot personally attest to it. I have no reason to doubt it, however.
And last, it calls for the people to REPENT from THEIR evil ways; if all of these things are done, God will hear, forgive, and heal. At least the students at Asbury.
I cannot speak to whether those students and all their visitors are repenting or not. I would hope so. What I can say, is that if this is genuinely the Ru’akh HaKodesh, the Holy Breath of God, moving among His people, then they must be. Repenting.
To ‘repent’ is to TURN AROUND from walking in the direction of the rest of the world, and begin walking in Yeshua’s direction, behind Him: doing what He did, behaving as He behaved, declaring what He declared. I think it remains to be seen from those Asbury students, but I hope it truly is. And if THAT is going on, then we can certainly call this a revival, whether the term is biblical or not. It would lead to a reinvigoration of faith.
I still await, to make a call about it. I see good things, but I’m looking for the long term. Even IF Yeshua is truly there, and He may well be, this could end up being a temporary thing, and not having any impact; and that may depend on the rest of the country’s response to it, which, right now, doesn’t look promising.
Think about it. If anyone ever before brought ‘revival’ to a land, it was Yokhanan HaMatbil [John the immerser], and Yeshua. Yokhanan started with the message of repentance, warning Israel that the Kingdom of Heaven was near. Yeshua picked up the mantle after His ministry began, saying the exact same thing, drawing huge crowds, and having to meet on the mountainsides to accommodate the overflow. Once, a synagogue’s roof was torn open to get a sick man to Him.
Israel was abuzz with news of Yeshua for three and a half years; He did miracles. He blessed children. He challenged the spiritual leadership of the day; He declared the truth of Salvation, and of coming judgment. And many THOUSANDS of people were completely enamored with Him. But, after He died on the tree, most of them fled. Only eleven of the twelve, and a few hundred others, were there after the emotions died. Roughly five hundred saw Him ascend, and received the Ru’akh HaKodesh in POWER on Shavu’ot. And out of the roughly 60,000+ men in Jerusalem that day, only 3,000 were saved.
Yes, 3,000 is a large number. But, Jerusalem was JAMMED PACK that day with WORSHIPPERS; many of whom had already heard of Yeshua! Many of whom had likely heard Him preach His own messages, and many likely had been healed by Him! That makes the 3,000 a mite disappointing, concerning the ‘revival’ of Israel.
It did lead probably to the level of 40-50,000 Jews who ended up believing in Yeshua, but after about a thirty year period. We don’t have a number. What we do know is this: “many thousands there are in Judea who are believers, and they are all zealous for the Torah,” [Acts 21:20]. But, that still wasn’t enough to cause ALL of Israel to repent! Just 100 years later, in fact, Israel would be DESTROYED AGAIN, to cause the land to stand without very many Jews in it for nearly 2,000 years. And what caused that destruction was the final Jewish ‘institutionalized’ denial of Yeshua as the Messiah.
Simon Bar Kokhbah had emerged, claiming to be the Messiah. The Messianic Jews who did trust in Yeshua, of whom there were still ‘many thousands,’ did NOT follow him, but remained faithful to Yeshua. The Rabbis put them out of the synagogues, [as predicted by Yeshua], and wrote the “12th Benediction” into the “18 Benedictions” as a curse on the Messianic Jews, hiding it in the middle, so as not to look as an appendix, but as an original benediction. And shortly thereafter, Israel was destroyed by Rome.
The proof as to whether this Asbury ‘movement’ will last, is whether it does anything to the hearts of the country in regard to sin. “Repent” is a byword today. It carries religious baggage. People scoff at the notion. Most people do not know what it means. It takes true repentance, however, to make someone faithful enough to stay with Yeshua at the tree: SELF EXECUTION. DYING TO ONE’s OWN sin. It is whether they come up on the other side of that still singing praises to Him that will determine if we have what many call ‘revival’, or whether God will hear, forgive, and heal.
I pray that is exactly what happens; and if what is going on at Asbury is heading in that direction, Hallelu Yah! It is certainly refreshing to see something in the news that points at righteousness, that’s sure. In a world so rife with vileness, vulgarity, foulness, self-indulgence, seeing these young people worshipping is a nice refresher, at worst.
Congregations need to stand ready to make Talmidim out of anyone who comes away from there, meeting Yeshua for the first time. Otherwise, we lose them to the troubles of the world, the vices of the world, or sheer apathy and laziness of faith. That is where most believers are already. So, if this is indeed a ‘revival’, I support it, and I pray it does spread. Whatever it is, I bless Yeshua for it, who rarely gets any positive public attention in our country!