The Evangelical Church has always emphasized revival. “Revivals” are apparently programed periodically to gather in the “backsliders.” These are the ones who were saved once but are not acting like they are “saved.” Some may even question the initial salvation experience of these backsliders, especially if they believe the doctrine: “once saved always saved.”
What is difficult to comprehend is a revival without the action of the Holy Spirit. The Church began when the Holy Spirit fell on the disciples. If we are disciples then we need the Holy Spirit to fall on us, do we not? We remember what happened in Acts 2. But what about Acts 4?
And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.
The falling of the Holy Spirit was not a one time occurrence. It did not happen one time and stop. It was not just for a certain age. In fact, the Holy Spirit was given to be a comforter and guide. The Spirit is meant to strengthen us and help sustain. Of course there are going to be backsliders if they have to live the Christian life with the Holy Spirit placed on the back burner.
Jesus promised His disciples that they would have the Holy Spirit and that the Spirit would lead them into all truth. Was not one of the reasons for the giving of the Holy Spirit was to help us understand scripture? Imagine trying to understand scripture while simultaneously limiting the work of the Holy Spirit! Imagine a Protestant mainline church where doctrine trumps revelation! How can a church be a “Bible” church when a portion of the New Testament is just not believed?
What about not taking the Holy Communion very often? Well, what would be the point of taking it if Jesus were not truly in the Communion? But consider this passage:
Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?”
So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.
“He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. “For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. “As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. “This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.” John 6:52-58
Imagine trying to live the Christian life without the sustaining power of the Holy Communion. Of course there are going to be backsliders. Jesus said that we have no life in ourselves. Why would we not want to take on His life if we believe in Him and the power of His resurrection?
Evangelicals, you have done well to hold on to the truth that Jesus is the only way to the Father. You have done well to emphasize the born again experience. But it is time to stop protesting and start believing more. Repentance is required for revival. Sometine we have to repent from unbelief.