Do you think this many people (not counting a Billy Graham crusade or Promise Keeper’s rally) would ever gather in one place today to hear the good news of the Gospel?
They fill professional football stadiums with 100,000 fans on Fall Sundays. Fans spend big bucks to cheer, insult referees, coach for the coach, guzzle beer and gorge on hot dogs. All in hopes they’ll witness a fleeting victory most fans will ignore in a week.
Yet, many Bible-believing churches in America consider it a good Sunday when their worship centers are half-full. Not so a century ago. Thousands of folks and their families flocked to tent revivals lasting a few days or sometimes weeks.
The revival movement started in Kentucky in the Appalachian Mountains in the 19th century. Tent revivals were the major vehicle for church building and expansion in the 1930’s — 1940’s. According to Deborah McCauley, author of Appalachian Mountain Religion, Appalachian religion, “is that of a broken heart, tenderness of heart, a heart not hardened to the Spirit and the Word of God. The heart is to guide the head,” she said, “not the other way around.”
Could you find a broken heart in church next Sunday? You may find lots of plastic hearts or hardened ones, but broken hearts are hiding, pretending they’re, “Fine.” They don’t want to be found because, in many churches today, broken hearts don’t feel safe.
That’s our fault, Church. Many churches conduct their business to convince folks everything’s fine and, despite our decaying-by-the-day culture, things will get better and we should feel good about ourselves.
That is a lie straight from the pit of hell.
Things aren’t getting better, they’re getting worse, as I see it.
But our awesome God is in control. And though followers of Jesus may suffer persecution in the future, Jesus will remain on the throne. And nothing this world can say or do to us can harm us or snatch us from God’s hand.