Yes, the trend of the time in which we live is toward a Christian experience that is light and flippant and fed on entertainment. Some time ago, I listened to a young man give his testimony. He made a decision quite recently, and in giving his testimony this is what he said: “I have discovered that the Christian way of life can best be described, not as a battle, but as a song mingled with the sound of happy laughter.” Far be it from me to move the song or happy laughter from religion, but I want to protest that that young man’s conception was entirely wrong, and not in keeping with true New Testament Christianity. “Oh, but,” say the advocates of this way of thinking, “how are we to get the people if we do not provide some sort of entertainment?” To that I ask the question, how did they get the people at Pentecost? How did the early Church get the people? By publicity projects, by bills, by posters, by parades, by pictures? No! The people were arrested and drawn together and brought into vital relationship with God, not by sounds from men, but by sounds from heaven. We are in need of more sounds from heaven today.

The Apostles Were Ordinary Men

The Apostles were not men of influence–not many mighty, not many noble. The Master Himself did not choose to be a man of influence. “He made Himself of no reputation,” which is to say that God chose power rather than influence. I sometimes think of Paul and Silas in Philippi. They had not enough influence to keep them out of prison, but possessed the power of God in such a manner that their prayers in prison shook the whole prison to its very foundations. Not influence, but power.

I would to God that a wave of real godly fear gripped our land. This is what our age needs, not an easy-moving message, the sort of thing that makes the hearer feel all nice inside, but a message profoundly disturbing. We have been far too afraid of disturbing people, but the Holy Spirit will have nothing to do with a message or with a minister who is afraid of disturbing. Calvary was anything but nice to look at, blood-soaked beams of wood, a bruised and bleeding body, not nice to look upon. But then Jesus was not dealing with a nice thing. He was dealing with the sin of the world, and that is what we are called upon to deal with today.


The early Church believed in the supernatural

Someone has said that at Pentecost, God set the Church at Jerusalem on fire and the whole city came out to see it burn. I tell you if that happened in any church today, within hours the whole of the town would be out to see the burning, and they would be caught in the flames.

Revival is not going to come merely by attending conferences. When “Zion travailed she brought forth children.” Oh, may God bring us there, may God lead us through to the place of absolute surrender. Is it not true that our very best moments of yielding and consecration are mingled with the destructive element of self-preservation? A full and complete surrender is the price of blessing; it is the price of revival.

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