Appealing For An Army Of Young Itinerant Revivalists
By Richard Owen Roberts
A number of years ago, a dear British brother was speaking in our area of Illinois to a group of pastors, and he said that Martin Luther was used by the Holy Spirit as an instrument in the conversion of the entire theological faculty at Wittenberg University in Germany. These men as a unit, he said, trained somewhere between 5,000 and 7,000 young men in the great principles of reformation and revival, and this vast group of young men was unleashed upon the cities and the villages of Europe in a relatively short span of time.
At approximately the same period, he further stated, John Calvin in Geneva, Switzerland, was also training men in theology and the principles of reformation and revival. He trained somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 men, which were also unleashed upon the churches of Europe. Now I cannot vouch for these statistics, but I am assuming the speaker is correct. He is certainly a scholarly and a godly man.
No student of revival could fail to include the Reformation as one of the truly great works of God that wonderfully fits the pattern of revival. One of the greatest needs in our day, as I perceive it, is young men trained in theology and the principles of reformation and revival and then unleashed upon the Church – men who are not pastors in many instances, but men with a call from God to the nation to return to God. Every little hamlet, every town, every county, every city needs urgent, Spirit-filled men pleading with the nation to turn to Christ.
Many of us have agreed together that the whole mission framework of the American Church is going to decline if we do not see something happen here in America. I think we can say, "Save America to save the world!" I don’t mean that exclusively. Obviously, God is at liberty to use anybody and any nation He pleases, but God has so incredibly blessed America and there is a generosity under the grace of God in the American Christian heart. The potential of reaching the world for Christ through wonderfully revived converts is indeed a precious thing just to think about.
I wonder if there is a pastor who has determined to include in the budget at the church, the support of an itinerant man calling America to repentance. I think there is something foolish in trying to send missionaries around the world and doing nothing to save America. There may be some layman who would do well to get before the Lord and ask, "Lord, isn’t there something You want me to do to support an itinerant ministry in America, one which is pleading with the nation to return to God?"
I long to see an army of young men whose hearts burn for the nation and who give themselves entirely to the ministry and who do not have to cheapen the Gospel to keep the crowds coming. We need men who don’t have to compromise in order to get enough money to pay the bills, but men whose lives are given completely to the service of Christ in this life and who are supported by churches and individuals who see the good sense of doing what is right to save the nation. Will you take it to heart?