By Rich Carmicheal
The Heart-Cry for Revival Conference held in April in Asheville, North Carolina provided much encouragement regarding the expectation for revival in the U.S. and beyond. One session was devoted to accounts of stirrings that may well be precursors to coming revival. One such stirring is Revive Indiana which has been going on since January in northern Indiana and is beginning to spread to other places in Indiana. The main leader is Kyle Martin with the ministry Time To Revive (more about him in a moment).
Another stirring is taking place through OneCry. The OneCry movement is "a nationwide call for spiritual awakening, a cry to the Lord to manifest His glory and work with extraordinary power, and a call to the church to pray, to seek God’s face, and to turn away from sin, compromise and complacency." One young lady at the conference gave a passionate testimony of how the Lord worked through the OneCry movement to bring revival in her life. Fires are being lit!
Nick Hall, with the PULSE movement, shared with us about some powerful stirrings going on with young people in our nation. Another speaker told us about how pastors in his denomination are coming together to pray for revival in ways he has not seen before.
Reasons Why Revival Is Coming
In 2013 after the previous Heart-Cry Conference, I wrote in a Herald article about my belief that revival is coming. After this recent conference, my expectation is greater than it has ever been. This is partly because of encouraging signs such as those mentioned above, but even more as my own understanding grows of who the Lord is and what He has promised to do.
As I have shared previously in the Herald, there is no doubt that the Lord wants the church to come to life and for many lost people to yet be saved before Christ returns. He does not want "any to perish but for all to come to repentance" (2 Pet. 3:9); He desires that "all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim. 2:4). He has sent revivals in the past that have impacted nations, and He has on His heart to do it again in our day, not because anyone deserves it (we deserve the opposite), but because of His great compassion and concern for the eternal well-being of all people. Our hope for revival is based on the character and heart of the Lord.
We also base our hope for revival on the power of the Lord. No matter how dire conditions are in our nation and in the world, our God is able to bring spiritual awakening! Nothing is too difficult for Him (Jer. 32:17), and He is, in fact, "able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think…" (Eph. 3:20). He specializes in bringing revival in the most desperate of times.
We also have the expectation for revival because we know that Christ is coming back for a holy and radiant Bride. The Lord is not only issuing the call to get ready for His return, but in His great mercy He will also awaken the church for that glorious Day! Related to this are His promises of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the last days, fulfilled in part at Pentecost, but yet awaiting the end-time measure.
Another clear indication that revival is coming is how the Lord is stirring up His people to recognize the need for revival, to yearn for revival, and to pray for revival! As the well-known quote by Matthew Henry puts it, "When God intends great mercy for His people, He first sets them a-praying." Although there may only be a remnant, there is indeed a strong remnant of believers seeking the Lord wholeheartedly for revival in our day. The levels of desperation and intensity are growing, and certainly this is being stirred up by the Spirit of God in response to the heart of God. More and more of God’s people are hearing His call, "If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land" (2 Chr. 7:14).
God’s Heart for Israel
But one of the greatest reasons we have to anticipate revival is connected with the Lord’s promises in Romans chapters nine through eleven regarding the Jewish people. The Apostle Paul emphasizes clearly in this passage that God "has not rejected His people whom He foreknew" (Rom. 11:2) and that "…salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make [Israel] jealous" (11:11). Paul goes on to declare that "…a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in; and thus all Israel will be saved…" (11:25-26). As Brother Richard Owen Roberts shares in the lead message in this issue of the Herald, revival will be the instrument the Lord uses to fulfill His Word in Romans 11. God has it very much on His heart to save the people He first chose, and He will use an awakened church to provoke the Jewish people to jealousy and to salvation in Jesus the Messiah.
With this in mind, I recall a significant matter that Kyle Martin (mentioned above) shared at the 2013 Heart-Cry Conference. Eleven years previous he had a "burning bush" experience with the Lord that profoundly impacted, and continues to impact, his life and ministry. Central to that experience was revelation concerning God’s promises to provoke the Jewish people to jealousy through a revived church. I have witnessed this young man’s heart and passion for the Lord, and there is no doubt the Lord has set his heart on fire for revival.
I share this to say that the Lord may well be stirring up hearts as He prepares to fulfill the promises of Romans 11. He has obviously already been doing profound things, not the least of which are the rebirth of the nation of Israel, the re-gathering of millions of Jewish people to the land, and His protection over them. He has also put it upon the hearts of many believers for years to be interceding for the nation of Israel and the Jewish people.
At the same time, we should not be at all surprised by the increasing hostility in the world toward the Jewish people. There has always been opposition to God’s purposes and plans, and in light of the significance of the end-time promises regarding Israel, growing anti-Semitism in the world is to be expected. It is tragic, however, that there are many in the church who are antagonistic toward the Jewish people.
For our part, let us pray and work toward all that is on God’s heart. He has shown us such great mercy, and it is time to allow that mercy to flow fully toward others, including the Jewish people. "For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience, so these also now have been disobedient, in order that because of the mercy shown to you they also may now be shown mercy. For God has shut up all in disobedience that He might show mercy to all" (Rom. 11:30-32). His plan for the closing hour of this age is so remarkable that it seems the Apostle Paul could not help but break out into doxology: "Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen" (Rom. 11:33-36).
About This Issue
We hope the messages in this issue stir you up in regard to the Lord’s heart and grand purposes for spiritual awakening in the church and among the Jewish people, and also in regard to any revival that is needed in your own personal life. We praise the Lord not only for the very significant message by Richard Owen Roberts, but for the other messages as well that provide great teaching and encouragement regarding revival. We pray for the Lord to work powerfully in and through your life as you take these messages to heart. May He in His great mercy and for His glory pour out through His Holy Spirit the revival that is so desperately needed in our lives and in the church throughout the world! "To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen" (Eph. 3:21).