A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE
The greatest verse in the Bible on the subject of revival is found 2 Chronicles 7:14. This truth, delivered to Israel centuries ago, is preeminently applicable for believers in the twentieth century. The text states, If my people which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
The first thing a believer can do to bring the blessing of God back upon his experience is to seek humility. Pride fills the arena of Christendom today. Christian services, including evangelistic crusades, are filled with performers seeking praise. Carnal performers seek the exaltation of self. Christ isthe only one worthy of praise. Temperamental artists, charging exorbitant sums, want glory. These prima donnas must have worshippers or they will not perform. God deliver us from egotistical, haughty performers, and give us more old-fashioned, Holy Spirit filled soloists who want Christ to be uplifted. How embarrassed this crowd will be at the Judgment Seat of Christ when motives are investigated.
First Corinthians 4:5 states, Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels [or motives-Greek] of the hearts.
When God tests motives in that day, many will have nothing but an incinerated pile of ashes to throw at Christ's feet in place of crowns (see 1 Corinthians 3:11-15).
Let's see what God has to say about pride. In Proverbs 16:18 He states, Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Sir, lady-high and mighty-a destructive fall is predicted for your life and ministry. Fall on your knees and repent of this hindering sin in your life. Oh, how we need to be like Jesus who said in Matthew 11:29, Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
We need the humility of John the Baptist who cried out in John 3:30, He must increase, but I must decrease. He must be exalted and I abased. When one genuinely practices this truth, God will exalt the sincere soul. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up (James 4:10). God says that the way up is down to self.
Glory seekers will never have the blessing and power of God upon them because God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble (James 4:6). Let's ask God to forgive us for the sin of thinking that we are latter day gifts to the Church. Instead, Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time (1 Peter 5:6). The glory is coming at the Judgment Seat when rewards are distributed to the faithful. Do what you can for Christ and the souls of men now, and crowns to lay at Christ's feet will be yours at that great Coronation Day.
Child of God, be faithful-even when no one seems to care-For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:11). Remember, Whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted (Matthew 23:12).
Modern Christians know little about this most effectual ministry. Jesus did. He said in Luke 18:1, Men ought always to pray and not to faint. Christ rose up early in the morning to pray (see Mark 1:35). He continued all night in prayer to God (Luke 6:12). Multitudes will rise up early to fish, ski, and golf, while others will sit up until the small hours of the morning watching vampires, witches, and bloodsuckers on "Shock Theatre." How different these Christians are from Christ, after whom Christianity is named. These so-called followers need a heaven-shaking revival of body and soul.
Paul, who said in 1 Corinthians 11:1, Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ, practiced what he preached. He said, Continuing instant in prayer (Romans 12:12); Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:18); Continue in prayer (Colossians 4:2); and Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
In other periods of American history, entire cities and counties were deluged with revival as thousands per week-up to one million total-were converted. The secret was prayer. Finney describes the times of agonizing prayer that transpired in his day in his book Revival Lectures. He states: "Men prayed until their clothing was soaked through with perspiration. Some bled like Christ did in Luke 22:44. Two prayed themselves to death before the age of 40. To many it appeared as foolishness, but cities were turned upside down for Christ."
Would to God that we had prayer warriors like this in every major city where the Jack Van Impe Crusades are conducted. Oh, to see a revival where sin is put out of business; where movie houses, brothels, massage parlors, and pornography dens are barricaded because the power of God, through prayer, has padlocked Satan's establishments. Christian, pray without ceasing!
A Spirit-filled Christian is known by the love he has for others. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance (Galatians 5:22, 23).
You may say, "I have experienced the second work of grace." Do you have love for other believers who may not agree with your interpretation?
You may say, "I have spoken the heavenly language, yea the vocabulary of angels." But are you filled with love? First Corinthians 13:1 declares, Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity [love], I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. The Holy Spirit says that heavenly languages, when boasted about without the evidence of love, become nothing but manifestations of the flesh.
The real evidence of the Spirit is found in verses 4-8: Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not [is not jealous]; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up [hey, look at my gifts], doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked [made mad], thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth.
This is the love the crucified Savior manifested at Calvary. After they battered nails into His hands and feet, jammed a crown of thorns into the flesh of His head, ripped His beard from the facial area, scourged His back and chest into mutilated shreds of flesh, then-after all their brutality was unleashed upon Him-He lovingly cried, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34).
Some carnal mind is already excusing self for the bitterness he holds by saying, "This was Christ, and He was God. Because of His Deity He could love in the midst of hate. Our humanity limits us in loving the unlovely." Let me immediately answer you with the example of Stephen in Acts 7:51-60.
This mere mortal man, filled with the Holy Spirit, manifested the same loving kindness that his Savior did upon Calvary's tree. The Scriptures picture Stephen preaching a strong, sin-denouncing sermon. The enraged crowd can't take the truth and so verse 57 says, Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, and cast him out of the city, and stoned him; and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. Now please get verse 60: And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
Think of it ...as they stoned him to death crushed his head with rocks-he asked his Lord not to hold them accountable for what they had done. Verse 55 tells us why his heart was so filled with love-he was filled with the Holy Spirit. There is the evidence.
A man can talk about every experience in the book and still be a trouble-making church-wrecker, but when the Spirit is truly in control, he won't have to prove it. Instead, the love that flows from his heart to the saved and lost will indicate that the blessed Spirit of God is at the helm of his life. When the world sees this love in the Christian, a genuine moving of God will take place.
Jack Van Impe