I have grown up in the Baptist denomination my entire life, and have experienced my fair share of 'revival' services. I have been to tent revivals, church revivals, and revivals held in stadiums or auditoriums at schools. The message is generally the same, repent and turn to Jesus, and if not you are going to burn in hell. It's not that I disagree with this message, because I don't. I love to see people turn from a life of sin and turn to God. What bothers me is when we call these types of meetings 'revivals', when in reality they should be called crusades.
Revivals or being revived, by definition, is a regeneration or an awakening of something that has lost it's drive or life. So by definition, a revival is not for the lost, because when you don't have the spirit in you, it is impossible for that spirit to be revived. Again, I love to see people come to Christ, but the reason this is so bothersome for me, is because our church, the followers of Christ, in America needs to revived from its nostalgic, apathetic state. This is why if we are going to have a revival service, there needs to be an atmosphere of change and messages that encourage the reviving of the spirit that you claim resides in your soul.
We should however call these meetings what they are, crusades. Billy Graham is the first to come to mind when I hear this word. He held meetings, not with the intent that Christians would be revived, which many did, but that nonbelievers could come to know Jesus. His messages were convicting, speaking of hell verses heaven, salvation, and about Jesus. He didn't mix words, he let people know that he was there to invite them to know his Savior. So when you look at these 'crusades', they look very much like our modern day 'revivals'.
I just feel like there is a need for an awakening of the Spirit in the Church today. There is definitely a need for revival meetings, but not with the motivation to see people saved, but to see God's people turn back to Him and start living the life of a disciple of Jesus. Please don't miss my point, which is, revivals are for Christians and crusades are for non-Christians, not by my opinion, but simply by definition.
Our Church just wrapped up a four day revival, and we saw several come to know Christ. I praise God for those conversions, and I would love to see many more come to Him. What bothers me the most is, that in four days of a 'revival', there was not one believer that publicly confessed, or testified to any type of renewal of their spirit. So my question is, 'Did we experience a true revival?' The speaker of the revival was great, very dynamic and funny and he spoke the truth, but his message seemed to be focused on nonbelievers, more than it was focused on the reviving of the church.
Just some thoughts, not complaints. Just trying to flesh out exactly what this all means.