By: Dawn Hill, The Lovesick Scribe
On February 8, 2023, a mandatory chapel service at Asbury college in Kentucky commenced and did not end, as students continued to linger and to return to the sanctuary in worship and prayer. As of now, the gathering is still going as students and many outside the college and the state of Kentucky travel to be a part of what some are saying is the manifest presence of God. Revival is said to have broken out on this campus, and other colleges, such as Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee, are claiming the same, as students gather in prayer meetings and in worship.
Many of us have heard the word revival, and this word can spark a mixture of A TALE OF REVIVAL AND SUPER BOWL PROPHECY
emotions. We have heard and read of revivals, and many of us have personally attended large gatherings where revival was attested or claimed. While there are people who desire to go where the revival is said to be, others are skeptical yet hopeful. Even with hesitancy and concern, there is a desire to see people truly transformed by the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ and to use Biblical discernment, as instructed in Scripture.
I have seen many posts online pertaining to this revival. There are numerous clips of people worshiping and singing. There are photos of individuals kneeling at the altar. There are video testimonials full of zeal, and if you search for it, you can watch the sermon that initiated these extended gatherings. Asbury has a history of these types of occurrences, as noted on their website, and many are taking note of the current revival.
In addition to the news of these gatherings, there is chatter online concerning a prophecy said to be from the late Bob Jones, a minister once affiliated with the Kansas City prophets. It is said that he told numerous people throughout the years that when the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl, the billion-soul harvest was coming through the emergence of apostolic chiefs. Though this same prophecy was mentioned in 2020 after the Chiefs won the Super Bowl, it is being called into remembrance once again, given the current state of affairs.
What does it all mean? How are we to navigate claims of revival, and are we to hang our hope of revival on a football prophecy? Must we travel to a specific location to meet with God? Is this truly revival? There are many questions individuals are asking during this time, and they are valid questions to consider. (Here is a helpful article about the characteristics of true and false revival.)
Revival Food for Thought
A friend and sister in Christ, Emily Massey, shared this on her social media, “Don’t believe the lie that because you don’t travel to a college campus where hundreds are flocking to worship God that His presence is not with you in the kitchen while you wash the dishes.” The mentality that we must be in a specific location in order to experience God negates His omnipresence. One could even say that it “puts God in a box”, a common phrase stated when those on the other side of the aisle dare to question or to raise concerns about spiritual matters. You and I are able draw closer to the Lord and to be refreshed in the reading of Scripture, in prayer, and in the local church gathering. You are also not a Pharisee for asking such questions or for testing all spirits. In fact, you are obeying Scripture (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22, 1 John 4:1).
A good Berean tests and goes back to the Word of God for truth out of love for God and love for others, and this should encourage us in our faith. When we see areas of revival taking place in Scripture, we find a consistent pattern of God’s people being taken back to His written instructions, reminding them of His ways and His commandments. We see the typology of the gospel in the Old Testament, and we see the fulfillment of the gospel in the New Testament through Jesus Christ. We remember His promises, His love, and His holiness, and we are compelled by His Spirit to walk in those ways and to obey His instructions. Regeneration comes in the proclamation of the gospel, where dead men are raised to life in Christ Jesus.
Like others who have expressed caution, I pray that revival and regeneration does come to people. Lasting fruit of God’s true work in the lives of people will be the evidence of true revival, not hype, emotion, or sensationalism. Lasting fruit is not in the length of public gatherings or lines of people outside of buildings. Fruit is cultivated in the repentant and obedient before God.
Let’s remember that as believers, we are to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is part of the lasting fruit in the life of a believer. People are unable to be regenerated and to understand the love of God apart from Christ’s atonement on the cross for our sin. The Lord is daily adding people to His Kingdom through the preaching of the gospel, the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Hearts of stone are transformed by God into hearts of flesh, and His Word is being written on those hearts. People who have never graced the walls of Asbury and other locations marked as revival spots, have been brought to repentance and saving faith in Christ in the privacy of their homes and in local church gatherings, apart from any well-known gathering.
Let’s also consider the power of music and that worship is not in song alone. I love music, and I love to worship the Lord in music. I along with many of you can understand how influential music can be, especially as a former “worship leader”. A believer revived by God will worship the Lord in every area of life, even when the tune fades, and what we do in word and deed is to be worship unto the Lord, even when washing the dishes.
I want to see revival in the hearts of God’s people and to see others come to saving faith in Christ. I want to see brothers and sisters in Christ increase in their passion for the Lord. I pray it is not temporal or fleeting based on emotion and location. I say yes and amen to God’s work in the hearts and lives of people while testing claims of revival and knowing that enduring fruit testifying of Christ and the truth of His Word is where this is to be grounded.
Listen to this episode discussing the Asbury revival and Bob Jones’ revival prophecy: The Lovesick Scribe Podcast: A Tale of Revival and Super Bowl Prophecy on Apple Podcasts