Churches and Truth

What to Expect? Churches and truth should be what we expect! Yet, when churches present the truth they tend to be criticized because their ministers upset people when they preach about the sinfulness of man and the inflexible standards of the Bible. Once I had a long conversation with a fellow counselor about the value of “deeper life” conferences, in which the details of the ideal Christian life are discussed. He felt very strongly against this type of conference. He believed it did irreparable damage because after such a conference a wave of very upset people came to him. That they could not attain perfection greatly disturbed them. People have often turned to me as a counselor because their pastor has upset them. Having listened to him preach about sin, they feel guilty and … [Read more...]

Solid Foundations for Difficult Times

A Standard for Life We need solid foundations if we are to survive difficult times. If you are to construct a safe building, you must make sure you have the right materials and the right tools to have a solid foundation. There has never been a time in life in which the people of God needed a more focused attention given to the Word of God so that they have a sound foundation. If you don't have the right message, a misappropriation of truth can be offered from a range of sincere individuals to outright deceivers--without detection! But, thankfully, there is a standard that helps us hold fast to the Truth. Paul wrote to Timothy about the need for sound doctrine. Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy … [Read more...]

Significance for Christ

Significance for Christ is what believers live for. But what difference can your life really make? Does your life really count? It certainly does! God never wastes anything! God created you for His purposes and your life really can and does make a difference. Many however, do not seem to have an accurate view of whom God works in and through to bring revival and renewal to their family, friends, and culture. Revival leaders through the years began as unknown, unidentified, unnamed, unacknowledged, unattested, unavowed, unclaimed, uncredited, undesignated, and unsigned. Just who were these people before God invaded their lives and caused them to lead out in significant works for Him? Were they bankers, pastors, musicians, lawyers, farmers, or teachers? Were they popular, well-respected, … [Read more...]

The Joy of Repentance!

Confession of sin seems to be common in our day, but repentance of sin is rare. In many ways, the Body of Christ has forsaken the biblical mandate to repent, defining the process as negative and burdensome. The words sin and repentance have almost disappeared from our vocabulary. But in reality, sin produces a yoke of bondage and consequence, while repentance provides a roadway of reconciliation. Healing for individuals, families, churches, communities, and nations require a returning to God. Renewal and revival is brought to the heart of believers through the work of repentance. Repentance is always present in true revival. Many, though, do not understand the positive work of repentance causing them to avoid discussion of and application of repentance to their lives. Negative attitudes … [Read more...]

Enjoying the Spirit of Life in Christ

Adapted from Breaking Free from the Bondage of Sin, Brandt & Skinner Romans 8:2 states an incredible truth about the freedom we as believers can enjoy in Christ: For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2). The law of sin pulls us downward. It causes us to miss the mark that we set for ourselves. The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, however, pulls us upward. The Bible describes the fruit of the Spirit as, ...love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23). You cannot pass a law that forces me to love you or to have a heart filled with joy. You cannot order me to be a peaceful man. You can force me to act … [Read more...]

God’s Amazing Work!

An amazing testimony is found in a book titled, Measure Your Life by Wesley Duewel. Duewel tells the story of a man named Stephen Grellat who walked very closely with God and obeyed the Lord even when he did not understand all of the details or circumstances surrounding God’s direction. One day God’s Spirit urged Grellat to go preach in a heavily forested area of America. When he arrived at the location where God had instructed him to go, all the little shanties were empty for all of the loggers had left. Can you imagine what must have been going through this man’s mind? What would you have done? Duewel shares that, “He was so sure that he was sent by God that he went into an empty shanty and preached to the bare walls the sermon that God had placed upon his heart. He then returned to his … [Read more...]

Victory!

Are you slow to anger? Are you quick to respond in defiance? Is there any Godly discretion in your life? Are you looking for recognition? Are you looking for approval or are you satisfied to walk in service to your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be approved by Him? During this season, let the following be a challenge to personal renewal. The following was printed and handed out during Boston’s Awakening of 1909 under guidance of Dr. J. Wilbur Chapman: original–source unknown. Given to me by Devin Bell during our doctoral residency at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. When you are forgotten, or neglected, or purposely set at naught, and you smile inwardly, glorying in the insult or the oversight–That is Victory!  (John 13:26-30; 2 Timothy 4:16-18) When your good is evil spoken … [Read more...]

Revival! A People Saturated with God

Edwin Orr, one of our greatest authorities on the subject of revival, reported having seen two churches in a town in America both advertising revival meetings. One displayed a board saying, “Revival here every Monday night,” while the other promised: “Revival here every night except Monday!” If nothing else, that reminds us how loosely the word has been used. In America it has often been used in place of the word mission or campaign. It is something a church arranges, men organize, and God may or may not bless it. Revival swallows up all other words as the shark swallows the shrimp. So, historically, what does the word revival refer to? The church historian James Buchanan defined revival as “the imparting of life to those who are dead, and the imparting of health to those who are … [Read more...]

A Decade of Revival—1900-1910

Author: J. Edwin Orr Summary: Kerry L. Skinner The Timing of the Movement Why did it occur when it occured? Within ten years, the awful slaughter of World War I had started, and a gentler way of life passed into the twilight of history. Arnold Toynbee, reminiscing, recalled the trauma of the time, when half his classmates died in battle. Chapman’s biographer stated in review: “God in gracious providence was reaping a spiritual harvest before He permitted the outburst of revolutionary forces…The harvest is gathered before the field is doomed to death.” it did not begin with the Welsh Revival of 1904–05. Beginnings in Prayer The first manifestation of phenomenal revival occurred simultaneously among Boer … [Read more...]

J. Edwin Orr, Notes on the Beginnings of the Mid-Twentieth Century Awakening

(London: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1952), pp. 160-211 Reviewed by: Kerry L. Skinner The Movement Among Ministers Two hundred years ago, the labors of the Irish evangelists William and Gilbert Tennent gave rise to a great revival in American Presbyterianism, out of which issued Princeton. Gesswein brought in Dr. J. Edwin Orr as the principal speaker, though Dr. Harold Ockenga of Boston played an important part in the ministry too. Matthew Henry once said: “When God intends great mercy for His people, He first of all sets them a-praying.” The Movement Among Students At the March 1949 Pacific Palisades Conference, the Editor’s two friends, Bill Dunlap and Jack Franck, received a rather vague … [Read more...]

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