This is it. The time is now.
As Christians, we have talked about and looked forward to the most exciting thing imaginable – a mighty revival flooding the earth. Some of us have had dreams about it; others have seen references in the Bible about the great outpouring which was to come.
And yet we waited…and waited. We may have shared with family members and co-workers, but they didn’t seem too interested. There was too much to do – and too many places to go – to be getting serious about “religion.”
Now times have changed – sort of.
You see, our time reminds me of the time of Jesus. He had huge crowds gather to hear His teaching, and huge crowds assemble to receive His miracle healings. Except in His hometown.
In His own hometown, people had known Him as the carpenter’s son, and they had seen Him grow up as one of them. They didn’t recognize Him as the true Son of God. They thought they knew Him, but really they didn’t.
Today is much the same. The United States and other parts of the Western world have seen Jesus all of their lives, much like His hometown. They have heard about what He did many years ago, and many have received Him as their Savior. Yet they have seen Him in a superficial way.
Perhaps they have known those who professed to be dedicated Christians whose lives which were not much different from sinners. Anger, strife, adultery, drunkenness, lying, and greed were theirs in abundance.
Perhaps they have never seen miracles as in the days of the Bible. Perhaps they have been swayed by the many different doctrines, finding confusion in the process.
For whatever the reason, today – just as in the days when He walked the earth – many know about Jesus, but they don’t know Him.
So what did Jesus do when He walked the earth? He started somewhere else – not in His hometown.
That’s what He is doing today.
Interestingly, Christian news is not reported in the secular headlines. Perhaps it isn’t even known or understood there. Nevertheless, many newsworthy occurrences are happening around the world.
In Africa, right in the midst of grave threats from terrorists, Christian churches are growing and thriving. In Nigeria, there are reports of churches with congregations exceeding a million. In Uganda, tens of thousands gather to worship Jesus. And all across Africa, people are gathering in fields to hear the Gospel and receive Jesus as their Savior.
Across the Mideast, though the numbers are smaller, something similar – and maybe more dramatic is happening. In Turkey, where 20 years ago it would be hard to find 500 Christians, there are conversions in impressive numbers. At least one church now has about 20,000 members – and it’s growing right in the middle of persecution.
In Egypt and Pakistan, pastors are leading congregations of on-fire believers – ministering to children and teaching them the ways of God. In China and Russia, believers are gathering – sometimes secretly – in homes and hideaways, worshiping and sharing the Good News with each other.
Throughout the world, people are receiving dreams from God – drawing them to their Savior. Angelic visitations are being reported in the most unexpected places. People who have never heard the Gospel are being led to those who can share it with them. Miracles are occurring, bringing many to the knowledge of the true Jesus.
All of this is great news, but what about the western world? Will we be left out?
No – absolutely not!
When Jesus walked the earth, His miracles started in other places, but He eventually was able to minister to His family and friends. In Mark 3:21 and in 3:31, Mary and Jesus’ brothers thought He had “lost His senses,” because of the healings and the crowds gathering to hear Him. They went to the place where He was, and called for Him to come home, as families did for their mentally ill in those days.
Yet In Acts 2, these family members were some of those waiting in the Upper Room for the coming of the Holy Spirit to baptize them. In fact, the Savior’s brother, James, was one of the leaders in the early church and wrote the Book of James. Many others also from His hometown eventually came to know Him as Savior.
So let’s hang on. Let’s do what we can to affect those around us. Let’s pray and share and reach out as much as we can. The revival is coming to His hometown soon.
Make no mistake about it, the revival has started, and it will be coming here!