With the exception of the Pensacola revival led by the Turkish Born, American Evangelist Stephen Hill in which over a hundred thousand were saved after responding to hearing the gospel, anyone under 21 has not seen a genuine, world-wide move of God’s Spirit.
Yes, that’s about evangelists, but let me disturb your comfort. In the 1990’s prophets emerged, some of which have gone on to their reward with the Lord, and others have made their way through the thick darkness of cynicism, cessationist and liberal theology and also, the demeaning and cruel accusation of ‘strange fire’ i.
The fact is that God has not left us alone to our own devices. The Word of God is infallible and inerrant, ii and not only that, He applies the truth of the Scriptures in prophecy that brings overwhelming courage, hope and promise to the heart of the believer.
Paul the Apostle was insistent, all of the church, not a mere isolated individual, are encouraged to eagerly desire the gifts of the Holy Spirit (God’s much needed gifts to the Church), especially the gift of prophecy. The problem is, the only example many have of prophetic ministry is a tarnished one.
This is a day when some so-called prophetic ministries are no longer a part of a local church, are not responsible, accountable and committed to a local church and its leadership. Some of these are using their ‘gifting’ to make money too – asking for donations or small costs for interpreting dreams, visions and now the greatest travesty of all, tattoo interpretation.
So the question is, do our youngsters under the age of 20 want to follow some of the outrageous things they have seen?
The answer is, we need to set an example of godly, scripture-honouring, Christ-exalting and God-glorifying ministry reflected by our pursuit of righteousness and personal holiness and our commitment not only to the Bible, but to prayer, accountability to Leaders who don’t always let us have our way, and to the local Church.
Christ died for the Church, not para-church ministries – well, that’s what the Bible says!
We want our young people to take the seat that is placed before them, to walk in intimacy and loving relationship with God, honouring the Word of God above all things, not worried by the accusation of others that they are Bible worshipers, people also giving themselves to prayer and the teaching of the apostles, and never neglecting the fellowship of the saints – our family, and those who we willingly serve.
It’s a big challenge – but a radical one.
There is room in the church today for fresh faces, fresh ideas and new challenges that cause not only us, but thousands of others to come running to God with all our hearts as the wonderful Saviour that He is.
And to also come back to the word of God.
Encourage the youngsters by leading them yourself. Stir up the gift that God has given you, and don’t dare to call God a liar by saying you don’t have any gift. And please, don’t be pathetic – be massively ambitious for God’s exceedingly great glory, taking huge, huge steps of faith for your God.
- which to some people means having the arrogance to believe that God still speaks in this sin-tarnished, Christ-rejecting world (back)
- despite the claims of very foolish theologians that do not know God has much as they think they do, and face the severity of discouraging the Church from believing, trusting and obeying what they see in the Scriptures (back)