Bootleg Revival :: By Edwin Tan

Despite the spiritual darkness that is ongoing and seemingly ceaseless, there are certain voices calling out for a revival across the globe. Great! But is there any understanding of what qualifies as a revival in the context of walking with Christ?

“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. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place” (2 Chronicles 7:14- 15).

The hallmark of any revival is repentance, turning away from wicked ways and seeking the cleansing of all unrighteousness from the Lord. Not a tall order for a heart that is sincere and yearning for a transformation that brings about a Godly makeover.

Our Heavenly Father always keeps to His Word. He will accept every act of repentance wholeheartedly. The mess in this planet could be wiped away in the blink of an eye. What we see now that is dreadful and life-threatening could vanish into thin air. All it takes is this – getting it right with God and staying that way!

Problem is, there are very few people choosing this option as 2022 draws to a close. They love themselves and not the One who made them. Everything is about me, myself, and I. Atheism is like a tumbleweed infestation. At the end of the day, it is all about the creation – nothing said about the Creator!

There are certainly voices out there praying and calling for a thorough mending of ways. It might have a modest but significant impact, not just the odd person from a disbelieving neighborhood that comes to Christ –  what about the soaring numbers of new believers in the underground churches of places like Iran and China?

But there are folks that lament openly when it comes to the situation in many of their backyards. They moan about things getting from bad to worse by the day. Some even pose a question to the Lord, “If You are loving and full of mercy, why Do you let this evil continue?”

These individuals are probably screaming for a revival to grace their respective homelands. But they fail to see the big picture. They belong to a minuscule minority pitted against a burgeoning majority that turns away from God.

Churches are the centerpiece of this worldwide problem. It might have been unthinkable thirty years ago, but the current reality that unsettles many of the faithful is mind-boggling. Churches have become godless entities; Christ has become a byword as other things having zero connections with the Gospel become important.

So what if there are impressive figures from specific mega-churches that speak of a semblance of revival? Do these folks really come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ? Is the free gift of salvation presented to them from the pulpit?

In all truth and honesty, the crowd just shows up because they feel good. The me, myself, and I’s get all the attention in the pews courtesy of a feel-good sermon. These people could be fed the wrong stuff, not just demonic doctrines but abominable practices. Do not be surprised when somebody at the pulpit presents a discourse on the workings of the Kundalini spirit versus the enabling and empowerment of the Holy Spirit!

Nothing but the seeds of rebellion end up in the hearts and minds of these gullible folks. Nothing about knowing God and growing from His Word. Herein sits a distorted and misaligned variant of Christianity before many eyes. These people could be in a blur when presented with the genuine Gospel of Jesus Christ. Their minds would probably be fixated on the prosperity gospel. Some who are fervent believers of this lie could even defend it zealously, proving to be a turn-off!

There may be fond memories of past revivals in the minds of the long-suffering believer. It could be that moment when the decision to follow Christ was made. But then, there were God-fearing men and women who took their work for the Lord seriously. They preached the unadulterated Good News and even mentored numerous babes in the Lord. Trouble is, those days are history!

“For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many” (Matthew 24:5).

This was the advice our Lord Jesus gave to his disciples in the Olivet Discourse about the latter days. The latter days are right before our very eyes. The so-called revivals touted by certain personalities amount to nothing but a spiritual scam. There is no Christ in them, and any reference to Scripture is purely a form of convenience.

All is really not lost. Those who bemoan the rise of lawlessness and unrighteousness should find comfort in the prophetic truth. Provided they cling on to the truth with all due diligence, the evil times could disappear in a microsecond!

“Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28).

For us who believe in the Living Word and take it to heart, is there a need for a revival like the ones encountered in earlier days? This planet as it is cannot be our home. Replace the word revival with rapture.

“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18).



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