“The church has many critiques but no revivals.” This anonymous quote was an opening of careful reflection for me.
I thought about “no revivals” and why the person framed the contents in that manner. At first reading, my impression was that there are many who criticize the church and there is a need for more revivals. The words “the church” are the truth that captured me. The church and its mission framed my conclusion. I consider revival to mean that something has been lost. The revival of church implies that something is dying, which compels action to sustain or continue its life.
Revival of the church is a time to put life back into that which you want to continue.
From the beginning of the Bible, you find multiple revivals or restorations. The first man, Adam, was corrupted by sin and brought death to the human race. God wanted man to continue to live, so God revived man from death by atonement.
Sin continued in all the families of the Earth. Judgment was sent on Earth, destroying the families by the flood. Only one man found grace in the eyes of God, so God revived his plan through Noah and his family.
God’s plan moves forward to a nation of people chosen because Abraham’s faith in God was counted as righteousness. Sin destroyed that relationship, and the world again was in moral decay. God looked beyond man to himself for the revival he so lovingly desired. God didn’t send us a man made from dust of the earth this time, but a son. This Son, the only begotten of God, was the reconciliation and the propitiation that brought man back to God’s plan.
The church is the extension of Christ. His work was to bring eternal life to all who believe in him. He has completed the revival of man by his death once and for all. Through God’s grace, all who believe receive the salvation of Christ. God’s plan is at work in those who keep the teachings of God by faith.
My firm belief is the church is not dying, but the world still is in moral decline. The church offers revival from sin; the world needs revival from the power of sin. The world needs an infusion of faith in God’s plan of salvation. Only those who make a conscientious choice, to believe and practice God’s plan of revival for man, will come to know that eternal life begins now.
God’s plan already has succeeded through the perfect work in his Son. My conclusion, therefore, is acceptance of the revival that already has come through Christ and continues through the church. The critics will be around to sound the alarm. However, the church is secure in revival.
Ayala is pastor of Christ Tabernacle of Faith Church in Hinesville.