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9 MAY 2022 - What is Revival?

As we prepare to celebrate Pentecost 2022 on 5th June 2022, may I recommend all of us read through the Book of Acts. You will discover that in the very first three chapters you will notice some signs of revival.

What is revival? Revival is a great outpouring of the Spirit that can be seen and heard by believers and pre-believers alike. Dynamics differ from one revival to another. But the substance remains the same. It is essential, therefore, to distinguish between the signs of revival and the substance of revival – not to mention the substitutes.

What are some signs of revival? Like already mentioned, the book of Acts 1-3 mentions several: The appearance of angels. The sound of wind. Flaming tongues. Speaking in tongues. Visions. Dreams. Prophecy. Cosmic disturbances. Miracles of healing. It would be foolish to discount the value of such signs, just as it would be unwise to ignore road signs that guide drivers to their destination. But it would be even more ridiculous to park your car at a road sign, mistaking it for your destination.

Signs and wonders are not ends in themselves. Like good road signs, they point people to Jesus and the kingdom of God. Throughout the Bible, and especially in the Gospels and Acts, miracles, message, and mission go together. It is a fundamental error to pursue miracles and manifestations in isolation from the message and mission of Jesus. Many today have fallen prey to this trap. And this perhaps the main reason why revival tarries. Have you been mistaking the signs of revival for the substance of revival?

What is the substance of revival? In Acts 1-3, the substance of revival includes the following: The outpouring of the Spirit. Power to witness. Devotion to prayer. Anointed preaching. Exaltation of Jesus. Deep conviction of sin. Repentance. Salvation to everyone who calls on the name of Jesus. The creation of community (koinonia). The is the substance of revival. Pentecost is the template.

In revival, therefore, God accelerates and intensifies his saving work in and through his people. Peter’s first sermon, for example, swept 3,000 souls into the kingdom. And his second sermon, 5,000 men. During the Holiness Movement in America in the 19th century, nearly one million people were added to the Church. The Wales Revival drew 100,000 to Christ in about 18 months and produced dramatic social reform. In revival, God accomplishes in a few months or years what normally takes generations to achieve.

That’s why we pray for revival.

Let us earnestly pray for revival for COR, the Diocese and our nation as well. Perhaps we will see the answers to our prayers as we see signs and substance of revival beginning this Pentecost.

It has been 50 years since the last dramatic outpouring of the Spirit in Singapore. It marked what is known as the Charismatic Renewal. It swept through the Anglican and Methodist Churches and seven years of the outpouring COR was birthed. Those of us who were there at the beginning years of COR will remember the tangible presence of the Spirit each time we gathered for worship. We also witnessed hundreds come to Christ and many more “dead” Christians come alive and set on fire with the power of the Spirit.

Let us believe this Pentecost will be a very special one for us. Let’s pray there will be a powerful outpouring of the Spirit in our midst.

I believe we are on the verge of another and even greater outpouring of the Spirit that will empower the church to boldly arise as witnesses throughout our nation and beyond. This will result in a great ingathering of souls into the kingdom.

This hymn rings in my heart as I prepare for Pentecost 2022.

Lord, pour out Your Spirit On all the peoples of the earth Let Your sons and daughters Speak Your words of prophesy Send us dreams and visions Reveal the secret of Your heart Lord our faith is rising Let all heaven sound the coming of Your day

There's gonna be a great awakening There's gonna be a great revival in our land There's gonna be a great awakening And everyone who calls on Jesus They will be saved

Lord, pour out Your Spirit On all the nations of the world Let them see Your glory Let them fall in reverent awe Show Your mighty power Shake the heavens and the earth Lord, the world is waiting Let creation see the coming of Your day

There's gonna be a great awakening There's gonna be a great revival in our land There