Entire city pauses for prayer at the high tide of business as the soul rises above sordid thoughts: remarkable outbursts of gospel sentiment provoked by revival. Evangelist Chapman and his associates cause a hush to spread over the populace While the noonday meetings draw congregations unprecedented in numbers.The opening paragraphs of the lead article describe the situation in the city:
For two hours at midday, all Denver was held in a spell. The marts of trade were deserted between noon and two o’clock this afternoon and all worldly affairs were forgotten and the entire city was given over to meditation of higher things. The Spirit of Almighty pervaded every nook. Going to and coming from the great meetings, the thousands of men and women radiated this spirit which filled them, and the clear Colorado sunshine was made brighter by the reflected glow of the light of God shining from happy faces. Seldom has such a remarkable sight been witnessed: an entire city in the middle of a busy week bowing before the throne of heaven and asking and receiving the blessing of the King of the universe.That actually happened in our country in 1905 in the city of Denver, Colorado. There was a true biblical revival in Denver that year. Though it was not on the same scale as the revival that occurred in Nineveh under Jonah’s preaching, it was every bit as genuine. When true revival comes, it impacts everything and everyone. I have been in the ministry for 30 years and I have never witnessed a revival. To be sure, I have been in church events called “Revival Meetings,” but never in a true revival. Revival doesn’t come because we schedule two weeks for it. Revival comes when certain things happen in the hearts of people.
I don’t want to wait until everything is clearer on my deathbed; I would like my deathbed clarity now, when it can still do some good. I expect that one of the things I will regret on that day “when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men are bent, and the grinders cease because they are few,” is the movies and TV shows I allow myself to see.Convicting… but I need to be convicted of holiness more often.
In truth, this allowance has been more drift than philosophy, but to the extent that you can dignify half-conscious notions with the status of convictions, mine have been the following: (1) I am no legalist, and (2) one must be informed about the culture.
The interesting thing about these self-justifications, as I view them at the moment, is that they are nowhere to be found in the Bible. Oh, some crafty person can wrest them out of the Word “by good and necessary consequences,” as they say. I can imagine the texts rustled to the rescue: Galatians will be a rich vein. And Colossians 2:21, where Paul excoriates teachers of “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch,” who put rule keeping for true piety.
What is unequivocal in the Bible is the command to love God with all your heart. What has no ambiguity is the call to pure eyes that alone will see God. What is not fudgeable is that we are to put God’s word above the word of man.
Evan Thomas went around Wales during the great Revival of 1906 telling folks to “put away everything doubtful in your life.” I like that. You have to think about that one. I sometimes get deathbed inklings. I feel quite sure that when the death dew lies on my brow, I will not think it had been necessary to see a raunchy movie in order to be better informed about the culture.