Kenny's Corner- Could This Be It?

by Kenny Rader

Have you heard about Asbury?

Asbury University is a private Christian university in Wilmore, Kentucky. This past February 8, the school held a regularly scheduled campus chapel service, but the students stayed and kept worshipping long after the service was to have ended. The chapel service has continued nonstop for over two weeks and has spread to other college campuses. The Asbury revival has attracted students, preachers, and curious Christians from across the nation. Some attendees are seeking out of curiosity, while others are going to worship.

What does this mean?

Revivals like the Asbury revival are rare, especially in this age of extreme criticism of God, Jesus Christ, and the Church. Skeptics are throwing their fiery darts at the revival, calling it fake or unchristian. Some are taking validity away because Asbury University is associated with a denomination, and some refuse to believe such a revival could occur among our youngest generation. But let’s ask a couple of questions of significant weight and importance. Can such an event be of God today? Would God start a revival of such magnitude with our youth?

First, is God still working today?

Whoever doubts that He is, does not understand the God of the Bible. It appears God goes silent at times in history, or at least He seems to have stepped out of view sometimes when looking at the big picture of life, but that doesn’t mean God is not present. Revivals have come and gone throughout history, but the Holy Spirit is always working in the Church. 

Many have grown skeptical of God because our culture has turned its back on Him. Maybe God is allowing us to have our way. Perhaps His silence is because we have pushed Him out: no school prayer, no Christian teaching in schools, high criticism of the Church, the silencing of Christians in politics, plus many other areas of mild persecution of Christian values. God is still present, but our country, and the world, are suppressing expression and the teaching of God. 

Second, would God start a revival with the youngest?

That's not the question. The question is, why would God not start with the youth? Older generations rarely have much influence over the youth. But if God begins with the youth as the grassroots of the revival, the impact can rise to so much more. It makes perfect sense that God would start in the colleges and let the movement flow from there.  This revival can parallel Jesus' teaching of the mustard seed growing into such a great plant. The seedling of young college people can grow to immense proportions if we let the Holy Spirit direct it. 

Is it truly of God?

In the book of Acts chapter 5, the Jewish high court, the Sanhedrin, had the apostles arrested and brought before them. The Sanhedrin told the apostles not to preach in the name of Jesus, but the apostles refused to stop. The Sanhedrin was furious and wanted to put them to death, but a wise Pharisee by the name of Gamaliel, who was on the council and respected by all the people, gave wise counsel. Let's read a portion of Gamaliel's speech to the Sanhedrin.

38b Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. 39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”

- Acts 5:38b-39 (NIV)

If the Asbury revival is of God, let's not try to criticize it or stop it. Let's not denounce it because we aren't experiencing it. Let's not condemn it because it is happening in a denomination rather than our churches.  Critics are always ready to tear things apart but don't believe the critics without careful investigation. Research what you read or hear.  If this revival is of God, no one can stop it, and trying to criticize or denounce it will mean fighting against God.  

Some of our highest regarded ministers have gone to Asbury University to investigate, and none I know of have criticized it. Some of the grandchildren and relatives of our highest-regarded ministers have experienced it, and they say it is genuinely of the Holy Spirit. The revival does appear to indeed be of God.  

Can the Asbury revival be the start?

The western world has experienced four Great Awakenings. A Great Awakening is a period of history when Christian enthusiasm spreads through revivals across countries. Past Great Awakenings have changed national culture and direction as church attendance and influence increased to widespread movements. Is it possible that we are witnessing another Great Awakening in its birthing stage? 

We can all agree that our country is in great need of a revival. Sadly, 911 in 2001 did not impact our citizens to turn to God. For a few weeks, churches filled, but they quickly emptied. How large of a catastrophe will it take to bring our country back to God? Maybe it won't take a disaster at all. Perhaps, God is birthing a fifth Great Awakening at Asbury University. Is it possible we are going to see America return to God?   Could this be it?  Let's pray for the Asbury revival to spread across our country and worldwide.


Love you,