Pentecost, the Christian “Day of Descent of the Holy Spirit”, also marks the birth of the early church. It is one of the most important holidays of Christianity, marking the importance of the Holy Spirit in believers' lives, giving them incredible talents and gifts, and inspiring public witness to the Gospel. It fulfills the promise of Christ's “Comforter” to help Christians sanctify their lives and better walk the path of sanctification after Jesus' ascension to heaven.
Recently, Pastor Y from a church in eastern China preached on the topic of "Revival," sharing how Christians should prepare for Pentecost.
A spiritual revival happened as the disciples, facing persecution, had to gather together, according to Acts 4:23-31.
The pastor said, "Though they were a group of ordinary civilians who had no religious leaders, nor social status, knowledge or authority, they overcame difficulties in a remarkable way, that is, they all came to God firmly together to seek Him. What they prayed for was not for God to change the circumstances they faced, but for God to work in them and encourage them to be gospel witnesses. This was God reviving them through His Spirit."
Pastor Y also cited several famous spiritual revivals in history, including the two great spiritual revivals in North America and the great spiritual revival in Korea. These revivals of the Holy Spirit all began with a group of people who were facing a crisis in their churches and families, and whose faith was lukewarm and had lost its vitality. However, they refused to stay in this state, so they rose up and gathered in one place, just as the disciples did at that time. This small group of people devoted themselves to seeking the Lord, the one true God. From the prayers of such a small group of people, revival continued to spread to the churches, and even to the unbelievers. They prayed and sought the presence of God, spoke the word of God, testified to the gospel and glory of God, and finally ushered in revival.
"We all long for revival, but what is it? Revival is not that I feel good and that God has solved one of my problems, but that with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, Christians have come to truly know God and have faith. The Holy Spirit woke up Christians who were sleeping, and their lives came to life and began to be on fire for the gospel and Christian glory, making them desire to hold on to Christ alone, willing to give themselves up for Christ, and witnessing to the glorious gospel of Christ," he added.
The pastor claimed that since revival is a work of God, not a human act, Christians should do some preparatory work because God needs some “firewood” to light the fire.
He suggested believers ask themselves if they were aware that there was a spiritual crisis in them, in their families, and in their churches.
"Nowadays, many people are caught by modern high-tech facilities such as the Internet and mobile phones, some by sins such as judgment, envy, rivalry, and wrath. Have we become accustomed to these, and do we desire to be renewed and changed by God? We need to have a sense of crisis," he stressed.
The pastor urged believers to always gather together to pray, communicate and seek God.
"Although it is impossible to gather together amid the epidemic, we still have the opportunity to share with each other. We need to find some ways to access the gospel and to be found by our Lord, longing for revival from the depths of our hearts," he said.
The third step was to pray as no revival comes without prayer.
"We need to pray often and make prayer our daily routine. Hold on to God and keep praying and pleading for His revival."
Finally, he exhorted the congregation to light the fire of the altar, and to welcome the revival of the Holy Spirit.
- Translated by Wylie Sun