Friday, March 18, 2011

Tim Keller: 3 Marks of Revival

In a previous post I shared Tim Keller's definition of revival as an "intensification of the ordinary operations of the work of the Spirit." More than (but not minimizing) supernatural manifestations (healings, gifts, miracles) the intensification is mostly characterized by an increase in conversions, conviction, personal assurance and awareness of God and can happen for a varied length of time.

Keller said that 3 things happen when you see this intensification or "revival." Regardless of time period or geography you will typically see...

1. Sleepy Christians wake up. Believers suddenly become aware of God's presence and power in a new way--new waters of faith spring from already regenerate hearts.

2. Nominal Christians get converted. Keller said you almost always hear of someone who "thought" they were a Christian suddenly realize they were not. This usually spills over into an even greater outpouring of God's Spirit. He said it's usually not the clergy or spiritual leaders that serve as catalysts for revival--but the stories of a few nominal Christians that come to life for the first time and give witness to it.

3. Unconverted get attracted. In revival the unconverted are attracted to what they see happening. They see past their objections to the church because of the undeniable life manifested in the body of Christ. They are attracted to the new and fresh witness of the church.