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Is the Asbury Revival a True Move of God’s Spirit?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
February 16, 2023 4:38 pm

Is the Asbury Revival a True Move of God’s Spirit?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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February 16, 2023 4:38 pm

Episode 1165 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

 

Questions in this Episode

 

1. Is God’s Spirit really at work in the Asbury revival?

2. Is it ok for churches to practice open communion?

3. Was Adam’s offspring made in his image or God’s?

4. Is it inappropriate to chant “hell yeah!” in celebration?

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Is the Asbury Revival a true move of God's Spirit?

That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, hi, this is Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. You can call us right now with your question. Here's the phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833- 833-843-2673. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites. And of course, you can always email us at questionsatcorechristianity.com. And Adriel, for our listeners who haven't seen the news coverage of this, there has been an interesting development at Asbury University in Kentucky. Videos of students singing and weeping and praying have been posted all over social media. And as the news of this revival, as they're calling it, has been drawing people from actually all over the world. People are coming internationally to the university to take part in this ongoing worship service, and students have been in this auditorium now around the clock for over a hundred hours.

And that really brings up the question, how do we know when something like this is a genuine move of God's Spirit? Yeah, well, you know, Bill, I've seen some of the videos online of young men and women worshiping there in the chapel. Of course, I went to a small Christian college. We had chapel three times a week, and so it just sort of brings back memories of the school that I went to.

But this is different. I mean, as you said, for days and days, people gathered and singing and, you know, weeping. I've heard stories of people, you know, confessing sin, and just a real sense of God's Spirit is really at work here. And so the question is, and, you know, there are some people are saying, this is awesome, this is wonderful. There are other people who are saying, oh, we should be a little cautious here, you know, is it just emotionalism or whatnot, or is this really rooted in the work of God? Here's my stance.

Obviously, we can't look into an individual's heart and see what's going on there. I think we should always long for people to connect with Christ, and I hope that these young men and women are truly just experiencing the Lord, worshiping the Lord. And, you know, insofar as that's happening, I think that's a wonderful thing. Now, true revival, you asked the question, how can we know if something really is a work of God's Spirit?

I will say this. True revival in the Christian life is rooted in God's Word, in understanding God's Word, in the proclamation of God's Word. And you see this throughout the Bible in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. One text of scripture that I was thinking about is 2 Kings chapter 22. You have King Josiah, a righteous king.

Of course, there aren't a lot of righteous kings in 1 and 2 Kings, and Josiah is one of them. And he sends someone to the temple of the Lord, and this individual discovers the law of God there in the temple of the Lord. 2 Kings 22 verse 8, Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it. And Shaphan, the secretary, came to the king and reported to the king, your servants have emptied out the money that was found in the house of the Lord and delivered it into the hand of the workmen who have the oversight of the house of the Lord. Then Shaphan, the secretary, told the king, Hilkiah the priest has given me a book, and he read it before the king.

And when the king heard the words of the book of the law, he tore his clothes. In other words, repentance, the work of God's Spirit in our lives, is rooted in receiving the law of the Lord, the word of God, the truth, ultimately, of the gospel. And so, you know, I've heard some people say, well, I see a lot of singing, but I don't see a lot of preaching.

I'm not watching these videos 24-7. I don't know what exactly is going on, but I will say that quote-unquote revival that's separated from God's Word, that creates questions in my mind. I would be concerned about that, but stuff that's rooted in the truth of Christ and who He is and people really understanding that, well, yeah, God's Spirit works with His Word to bring about revival. Now, it doesn't always look like, I don't think we should expect it ordinarily to look like, you know, a bunch of people gathered together in an auditorium and singing for, you know, seven days straight or whatnot.

I don't think we have to say, well, it can't look like that. But ordinarily in the Christian life, it's just not that exciting, frankly. It looks like coming before the feet of Jesus every day, reading the scriptures, it looks like being committed to a local church where you're under the ministry of the Word week in and week out. It looks like receiving the Lord's Supper on Sunday and by faith, embracing all of those promises that God has for you in Jesus. And so if you look at these things and you just think, oh man, I'm a miserable Christian, I don't experience that kind of quote-unquote revival, I think that would be a problem. I think that we really need to get back to understanding the Christian life as this steady trek forward in the Word of God and in the grace of Christ.

And having said that, I just want to recommend one book that I think is really helpful, written by a friend of mine. We're oftentimes offering core Christianity on the broadcast, but Dr. Michael Horton also wrote the book Ordinary, which I have right here in my hands. I really want to encourage you to check out this book, Sustainable Faith in a Radical Restless World.

I think that's really what we need to recover. We don't need more and more revivals that are just, you know, these extraordinary... these extraordinary... what we need, really what the church needs today, is sustainable faith in a restless world. And that looks like being committed to Christ day in and day out, not for a couple of weeks, but every day, taking up our cross and following Jesus and receiving his grace.

And so if you're, you know, if you've been watching this stuff about the the Asbury revival and you want to follow up with me, feel free to give us a call and Bill will give you the number right now. But yeah, pray that the Lord really is at work there and using his word to transform people's lives. Well, that's really well said. And, you know, in this day and age when we have so much media bombarding us every day and so much sensationalism, whether it's in TV or film and, you know, all over the place, it's hard sometimes to see the Christian life for what it's supposed to be. And as, you know, Dr. Horton says, the ordinary Christian life, the day in, day out, you know, aspects of our faith, that's what we should be reveling in, celebrating in, not looking for necessarily an emotional high.

But again, that's kind of countercultural, isn't it? Yeah, and the Word of God is not opposed to emotions, right? I mean, when we're really, you know, grasping the love of God for us in Christ, there often are emotions associated with that. You know, we're full of joy.

We're awestruck at the mercy of God toward us. And so there's nothing wrong with emotions at all in the Christian part of who we are. And so I think that that's important, but I like what you said, Bill, and I think it is important for us to see that as well, that we're not trying to chase an experience as Christians, a sort of mountaintop experience. There are a lot of people that are looking for that, that they just feel like, man, my Christian life is really not that good.

I'm not having the, quote unquote, Asbury revival in my own life. Like, well, that's not how God intended the Christian life to be day in and day out. It really does look like that ordinary faithfulness, praying to the Lord every day and seeking to follow Him and to walk in the Spirit as we meditate upon God's Word, together with the community of faith in the local church. Thanks for that explanation, Adriel.

Very good stuff. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, our phone lines are open right now. 833-THE-CORE is the number.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Dorinda calling in from Kansas. Dorinda, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, I have the question as far as your feelings for open communion in some churches. I was raised... I'm sorry, Dorinda, go ahead. You were raised...

Okay, I'll get off my speaker. I was raised as a Missouri Synod Lutheran, and I am now attending a more, I'm going to say, a liberal type of Christian church. That's the Lutheran. I'm going to say closed communion, but it wasn't really closed per se. You needed to speak with the pastor as a visitor before taking communion. Other churches just have open communion. If you walk up to the communion railing, they will do that. Now there's a question being as a non-Christian that is just going to a church and kind of just following suit, because this is what you're supposed to do. That is my concern.

Yeah, that's also a concern of mine. I've seen churches, Dorinda, just do it where they sort of will put, in some evangelical churches, where they'll just put the bread and the wine out there on a big table in front of everyone, or the bread and the grape juice, whatever they do, and while the worship team is playing music and people are having this worshipful experience, they just invite people to come and take their own little cup of bread and wine and maybe partake there or take it back to their seat. But it's very individualistic, and there's no sort of guard rails on, well, who's taking the Lord?

I mean, are these people people who are baptized believers in Jesus Christ, or is this just somebody who came in off the street and doesn't actually profess faith in Christ at all, but is looking to have some kind of a spiritual experience as they're coming up? And that concerns me, because we're talking about a holy sacrament of the church, and so we need to treat it, I think, according to scripture and be mindful of the fact. I mean, Paul, the apostle, gave a serious warning to the Corinthian church about how they were taking communion, and he says, actually, the way you guys are taking communion in your church is inviting the judgment of God upon you.

Now, we need to stop and think about that for a moment. We oftentimes think, well, it doesn't matter how you worship God, so long as you're sincere. In the Old Testament, God cared about how he was worshiped.

That's why he struck down Nadab and Abihu in Leviticus 10, when they offered strange fire to him. But now, in the New Testament, it's just spirited in truth, so long as you're sincere. But God doesn't just want us to be. We are called to be sincere, and worship is not just with the lips, but with our hearts. But God also cares about how he's worshiped.

We're told to worship him with reverence and awe, Hebrews chapter 12 says. And so, 1 Corinthians chapter 11, Paul says in verse 27, whoever therefore eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup, for anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.

That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we are judged, but if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world. In other words, how a church administers the Lord's Supper, how we take communion as individuals, that can, if we're not coming to the Lord as we should, bring about, invite the judgment of God. And so, you're right, Dorinda, for being concerned about this. I think the Lord's table should be open for all baptized believers in Jesus Christ, those who've made a profession of faith and are Christians, and can do what the Apostle Paul says here in 1 Corinthians 11, discern the Lord's body, examine themselves of their ability to eat and drink by faith.

And so I think that we need to be mindful of that. And of course, even there, there's a spectrum. There are some churches that say, unless you're a part of our particular denomination, you can't take communion with us. There are others who say, hey, so long as you're a baptized believer in Jesus, you can take communion. And there are those, as I mentioned already, who just, they just open up the floodgates, and they don't even give a warning. They just say, hey, if you want to have this sort of spiritual experience, go ahead and take this bread and wine or whatnot.

And I think that's really problematic. And so in everything we do as a church, and I would say especially with the Lord's Supper, we want to do it with reverence and awe and with faith, laying hold of the great gifts that God has given to us. And if we're not doing that, we're inviting the judgment of God.

Dorinda, thank you for your question. May the Lord bless you, and thank you for reaching out to us. That is so well said in a day when so much of worship tends to be somewhat individualistic, right? We have people who are, it's all about my experience, it's all about what I'm getting out of the worship today, all about what the church is, you know, bringing to me. It's very consumeristic, and it does fly in the face of that reverence and awe that you're talking about. Yeah, I really think that that's something, the reverence and the awe, a real sense of what is happening in worship and what God is giving to us when we gather together as his people, I really think that needs to be recovered. And part of the issue is that individualism that just rampant everywhere, where we focus a lot on, you know, my personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and it is important, we do each have personal relationships with Jesus, but we almost use that, the personal relationship with Jesus, as an excuse not to be a part of the local church, a body of believers.

And I just want to speak to the person who's listening right now, maybe that's you. You know, you believe in Jesus, you've been baptized, you really, you have a personal relationship with Christ. You read the Bible, you pray, but you don't have a church. Maybe you've been told, hey, you are the church. You don't go to church, you are the church. I would just want to say to you, you need, Jesus calls us to be a part of his body. The local community of believers under the ministry of the word cared for by the church is something that you need in your Christian life, and it's something we encourage on this broadcast repeatedly, because we know it's so important, more important than really everything else, you know, the stuff you listen to online or via the radio.

You need a pastor and elders and a community of believers around you in your life who can encourage you and with whom you can grow together in the faith. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, we would love to hear from you.

In fact, we're going to be recording a second episode of Core Christianity today. So after our live program ends here in just a few minutes, we'll continue to take calls and answer your questions. So if you weren't able to get in, you still have another 40 minutes or so to call us.

So make a note of that. Here's the phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. And I also want to mention an opportunity we have for our listeners, and that's to join a group we call our Inner Core. Yeah, just this month we've received a number of new Inner Core members. I just want to say thank you to those of you who joined the Inner Core this month. What a blessing it is for us to get to do this broadcast. We're thankful to get to answer your questions every day. I'm thankful every day, answering your questions about the Christian faith. If you've been encouraged by the work that we do, would you consider joining the Inner Core? It's a monthly donation of $25 or more.

It's really not much. You could give more than $25 if you wanted, but it helps us. It helps us to continue to produce this content, to get the word out, to share the truth of God's Word. And so partner with us to that end, and as a thank you, we'll send you a copy of the book, Core Christianity, written by Dr. Michael Horton. Okay, well we want to get you involved in that as, you know, right now you can go to our website and find out more by going to corechristianity.com forward slash inner core. That's corechristianity.com forward slash inner core.

Love to have you join that very special group of people. Let's go back to the phones. David's on the line from Memphis, Tennessee. David, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, my question is, in Genesis, God said he created man, his image. And then when Adam started offspring, his offspring was said to be in his image. So does the image of Adam include or not include the sinfulness that was made by Adam by disobeying God?

Hey, David, great question. The passage you're referring to is Genesis chapter 5, beginning in verse 1. This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God, male and female.

He created them, and he blessed them and named them man when they were created. When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered his son in his own likeness after his image and named him Seth. I think the emphasis there is on the fact that you have this reproduction, Adam as the creature, this man that God has created, now making it in his own image and likeness, which is not to say that Adam's offspring were not made in the image and likeness of God. We all are made in the image of God. Now, what we've inherited from Adam, you asked about sin nature. What we have inherited from Adam is original sin. When Adam sinned, all of his posterity, all of his offspring, sinned in him and fell with him. And so we inherit the guilt of Adam's first sin, that lack, that want of original righteousness, the corruption of our nature. It's not to say that that's what it means to be in the image of God, that now being made in the image of God means being made in, you know, the image of evil or of Satan or of sin or something like that. No, we're still made in the image of God, but our nature is fallen. The image of God has been marred, if you will, and it is restored in Jesus Christ.

This is one of the great things that you often find in the Church Fathers. Men like Athanasius, who wrote on the incarnation, they talked about how the image of God is of God had been tainted, if you will. Think of a painting, think of a portrait, for example, of an individual, of a man that has been damaged or destroyed in some sense.

Maybe somebody painted over it. Well, in order to fix the image, if you will, you need the same guy who you painted originally, you know, man there to repaint the image. And then Athanasius, he makes this argument in his book on the incarnation. He says, that's why the Son of God came as true man, assuming humanity, our nature, so that he might restore the image of God, so that he might bring grace and salvation to us. And so all humanity is made in the image of God, whether you're a Christian or not a Christian, a believer in Jesus or not, but that image is fallen, tainted.

What we need is the restoration of that image and knowledge, righteousness and holiness through Jesus Christ, and that's what we get in his life, in his death, and in his resurrection. Thanks for your question, David. Amen. Let's go back to the phones. Jane is on the line from Kansas. Jane, what's your question for Adriel?

Okay, yesterday they had a Super Bowl parade in Kansas City, half of Maine, people there, and Kelsey was getting up and having people chant with him to an answer with H-E-L-L, yes, several times, and I thought there were children there, and I thought the referral to H-E-L-L was kind of offensive. I would rather have Christ glorified instead of the enemy. Jane, well, yeah, here's what I'll say about this. I just recently preached on hell, specifically, not too long. I mean, I'm preaching through the book of Revelation, so we're talking about the judgment of God, and certainly, I would say both within the church and outside of the church, we can minimize the reality and the horror, the terror of God's judgment. We can water down hell, if you will, and the way we talk about it in such a flippant way, or make jokes about it. I think that's one of the ways that we see this in culture, but again, I've even seen this in the church, and so I think, if anything, it should just cause us to take a step back. I mean, it really is sobering, and to say, no, this is not stuff that we joke about.

This is serious. We're talking about the judgment of God. It should drive us to prayer. It should drive us to repentance.

It should drive us to humility, and so I didn't see that parade. I know when people are celebrating their favorite sport team winning or something like that, sometimes things can get pretty wild, but as I said, all I'll say about that is, a lot of times when it comes to the doctrine of hell, sadly, we just have this approach that is really beneath what the Bible teaches and the way we should approach it, especially as Christians. I don't expect non-believers, people outside of the church, to have the same view, but I think for us as Christians, we really need to be cautious and wise about how we talk about these things.

Thanks for giving us a call. Adriel, there are some pastors and theologians that have really diminished the role of hell and, in fact, said that hell doesn't exist, and how do we then grapple with what Jesus said about hell? Well, what people will do, what these pastors and even some theologians, as you said, will do is they'll look at those texts and they'll say, well, they don't mean everlasting conscious judgment, being tormented by fire or whatnot.

It just refers to being destroyed, annihilated, if you will, ceasing to exist. That's not the position of the universal church throughout history, and it doesn't seem to me that that's the position of the Scriptures as well, and so I think what we should do is go back to the Word and teach it rightly and faithfully. God bless you all, and thanks for listening. Thanks for listening to CORE Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at corechristianity.com and click on offers in the menu bar, or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833-The-CORE. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program, and be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's Word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-20 13:06:20 / 2023-02-20 13:16:20 / 10

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