All of my Christian life, starting in the 70’s, I have heard about revival. From the books of Leonard Ravenhill, J. Edwin Orr and Martin Lloyd Jones, I cut my teeth on the value and importance of believing God for revival. The charismatic renewal of the period was hailed as the next great awakening or revival in America. As the charismatic movement touched the conservative evangelical church in the 1980’s, it was labeled as the “third wave of the Holy Spirit.” Many believed that the “New Apostolic Order” of the 90’s was the next big revival. The writings of my professor and friend, C. Peter Wagner, were continually punctuated with language of “super apostles” and the “super prophets” of the last days. But, as the 90’s waned into the 3rd millennium, many lost faith in such conjectures, others felt such pronouncements were unbiblical and dangerous.
Whatever one may think of such past movements, there is no doubt that Jesus made the Kingdom of God, not awakening or revival, His central message. All of the Gospels speak of the Kingdom of God, or Heaven, as the core message of Jesus. Matthew, Mark and Luke begin the public ministry of Jesus with, “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven has come.” Jesus spoke of the kingdom over one hundred times. There is no other one theme repeated so often by Jesus. I am amazed how few books are written on the Kingdom of God compared to literature on revival.
As I have grown older, read the Gospels over and over again, I am fascinated with the Kingdom of God. I really like what one great missionary, E. Stanley Jones, said of the Kingdom of God, “The Kingdom is the total answer for man’s total need.” Amen. I love that. Jones went on to write one of the most powerful books on the Kingdom of God, “The Unshakable Kingdom and the Unchanging Person.” I have read that book a half dozen times.
As I reread the Gospels, I am convinced Jesus came to bring a Kingdom Revolution. Jesus was not a reformer or revivalist, but a revolutionary! He formed His revolution with twelve men who, when anointed by the Holy Spirit, changed the world! This revolutionary message hasn’t changed. I want to be a revolutionary of the Kingdom of God. I’m working with a leadership team at The Road @ Chapel Hills that believe we are planting and building a church with this same message. I’ve never been more excited, as I read and study the Gospels, to be discovering once again that this is exactly what our city needs; a Kingdom of God Revolution.
A revolutionary of the Kingdom,
Steve Holt M.A., D.D.
My newest book, Worshipper Warrior, can be found at www.steveholtonline.org