More than 10,000 in London heard Franklin Graham preach the Good News on Saturday (8/26/23). Christian artists—Ce Ce Winans, Newsboys, and Michael W. Smith provided the worship music during the service.
BGEA partnered with close to 1,000 area churches providing buses to the event. Also, over 85,000 watched it on-line and via livestream.
In the end more than a 1,000 came to Christ including those at the service and even more on-line that cannot be counted. A remarkable number and percentage that is an obvious Move of God.
This comes after LGBTQ activist groups were able to get several events and venues cancelled last year in the UK; including a scheduled event in Scotland due to Graham’s Biblical beliefs and positions on marriage and homosexuality. Franklin Graham’s organization was subsequently successful in their legal action against last years cancellations leading to this years successful events. Read more about it in the Christian Post article and on the BGEA website.
Here’s an encouraging testimony from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. Most American Charismatics and Pentecostals do not normally think of English Anglican Bishops as being daily participants in speaking in tongues or as willing recipients of words of knowledge and prophecy. From Christian Today:
He said: ‘In my own prayer life and as part of my daily discipline I pray in tongues every day – not as an occasional thing, but as part of daily prayer.’
He said he had been encouraged by words of knowledge and prophecy: ‘I expect to hear from God through other people with words of knowledge or prophecies – some of which I am unsure about, others I can sense there being something of the Spirit of God.’
Better yet, Archbishop Welby is supporting a special prayer initiative for World evangelism:
The archbishop was speaking in connection with the launch of Thy Kingdom Come, now in its fourth year, the prayer initiative that has united more than a million Christians from more than 65 different denominations and traditions in more than 114 countries to pray for evangelisation. It takes place between Ascension to Pentecost, May 30-June 9. …
He added: ‘It’s very unusual for something like Thy Kingdom Come to gather churches together on such a global basis. I don’t think it’s unique, I think it’s biblical. It started by looking at what the disciples did between the Ascension and Pentecost. …
Last week the whole world turned towards Jerusalem. Some in praise and hope, others in condemnation. The opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem along with the 70 year celebration of the modern founding of Israel had ‘end-time’ prophecy buffs in overload. It also left Muslim leaders perplexed and angry.
The conclusion of the article was particularly poignant:
These events represent a tectonic-plate shift in the spiritual realm. I believe we are crossing into a new period of prophetic fulfillment, whereby Jerusalem becomes both the center of international conflict (Zechariah 12:3), and at the same time there is the beginning of a new outpouring of the spirit of grace and supplication (Zechariah 12:10).
As all these events take place, let’s make sure we repent and turn our hearts anew to the Lord; so that on an individual level, we ourselves will be submitted to God’s perfect will and aligned to His righteous order.
South Korea has been the host and the exporter the 2018 Winter Olympics for the last two weeks. What many American and Western Christians do not realize, besides electronics and automobiles, South Korea is also one of the largest exporters of the Gospel with 27,436 Korean Christian missionaries serving in 170 countries. Some in places where Americans cannot legally go.
Also, at least 25% of the population in this Asian nation are Christians and even a greater percentage in the capital city of Seoul. From CBN News:
Today, Seoul, the capital of South Korea, has more megachurches than any other city in the world. In fact, six of the ten largest churches in the world are in South Korea.
In 2012, official government statistics put the number of Protestant churches at 77,000, more than three times the number of convenience stores in the country at that time.
The 1907 revival also gave birth to a powerful prayer and repentance movement that is still being felt to this day in the country.
Christianity received its biggest initial boost in Korea from one of the greatest revivals ever in 1907 in the city of Pyongyang which is now the capitol of North Korea. A prayer and repentance movement started with the revival still continues today with thousands of South Koreans going to church for early morning worship and prayer before going to work.
Unfortunately in Pyongyang today and in all of North Korea Christianity is outlawed. Nevertheless, The church continues underground in the North and missionaries from the Chinese Christian community and from South Korea continue to sneak their way into the North through China.
In contrast with all of the pageantry and the celebration of the media over the North Korean athletes joining with those from the South is the reality of Christians being killed, jailed, and tortured for their faith nearly every day in the North. In fact, North Korea heads nearly everyone’s list as the worst abuser of civil rights and religious freedom. Regardless, unification continues to be in the hearts. dreams, and hopes of all Koreans in both the South and among their literal relatives in the North.
Nearly every week we read reports from Europe about the problems and outright terrorism being perpetrated by the thousands of Muslim refugees. It is not too difficult for discerning believers to see our enemy’s hand in all this. Even worse, the demographers claim that if the current trend continue, Europe will eventually be dominated by Muslims. Some even talk about the Vatican being surrounded by mosques in a generation.
Yet in the midst of it all we receive reports of Muslims coming to Christ This recent account from the Christian Post should be encouraging. A former Iranian Muslim convert has led over 1,500 Muslims to Christ in Sweden:
An Iranian convert to Christianity who is now an ordained minister in the Church of Sweden says she has helped bring nearly 1,500 Muslims to Christ over the past five years.
Annahita Parsan told Fox News in a report on Wednesday that her life, which has undergone huge tribulations, is “completely different since coming to Jesus.”
Read her story in the article, it will give you hope. The fact is, in the midst of all of the bad news about Islam and the radical terrorists, more Muslims have actually converted to Christianity in the last ten years than ever before since the founding of Islam. The enemy has his plans but our God is more powerful and every knee shall eventually bow at the name of Jesus.
Here’s an incredible story from Open Doors ministry. A Iranian interrogator came to Christ through the witness of a Christian woman prisoner. Here’s the story from the Gospel Herald (Link NLA):
Noushin, a house church leader in the predominantly Muslim country, was arrested for her faith and forced into solitary confinement for three days.
“I wasn’t ready to go to prison,” she told Open Doors. “I knew it was a dirty place, a place where people are tortured and locked up in solitary confinement. I was afraid that I would be so fearful that I would give up all the names of the members of house church. I even feared that I would deny my faith if they tortured me.”
However, after three days of being locked in solitary confinement, Noushin began tentatively sharing the Gospel with her interrogator.
“We talked about Jesus for hours until finally the interrogator gave his heart to Jesus. We prayed together,” she recalled.
“It’s an honor for me to talk about Jesus,” Noushin told the guard. “You also need Jesus in your life. I cannot be indifferent toward you. I want you to experience the joy and blessing of salvation. I can’t keep silent about this.”
Response: Open Doors reports that the revival in Iran continues in spite of the recent crackdown and arrest of Christian leaders by the government authorities.
Please remember to pray for our brothers and sisters in that land. As many as half a million are said to have come to Christ in the last 10 years. There is no way to get accurate stats out of there but most have come to Christ through rather miraculous means and are meeting in secret house churches.
So many American Christians are involved in the on-going ‘culture wars’ and the hopes for revival in our own country that sometimes we miss what God is doing in this generation all around the world. Nothing demonstrates this more than what happened last Sunday- Pentecost in Jerusalem.
The whole event was sponsored by Empowered21 and lead by American and Western Pentecostal and Charismatic church leaders including Billy Wilson, president of Oral Roberts University, and Dr. George Wood, General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God. Other notables attending included- Reinhard Bonnke, Morris Cerullo, Jack Hayford, Marilyn Hickey, David Mainse and Vinson Synan who were honored for their past service along with many others.
Christians came to the event from more than 70 different countries but among the largest groups in attendance were those from China along with a group from Indonesia. It really does demonstrate that a ‘World Harvest’ has been going on for quite a while and now new evangelists and world church leaders are being called forth from those nations.
Look for young missionaries and evangelists to begin to come forth from Asian countries like China, South Korea, Indonesia and from the well established churches in Africa. Do not be surprised if they start showing up in Europe and America to re-sow the ground that was once fertile and produced the missionaries that originally brought the Gospel to their own nations.
A small earthquake shook Southern California 24 years ago and a new move of God surrounding the gift of prophesy and the ministry of the prophetic came forth.
I remember it well since I was at that conference in Anaheim when it all started and I have the tapes and the t-shirt to show for it so to speak. John Wimber was scheduled to speak the first night and he referred to the earthquake as introducing and confirming the new speaker. Then he proceeded to introduce Paul Cain to the 5,000 or so folks attending the conference that was supposed to be about ‘Spiritual Warfare’ but ended up being about the gift of prophecy, the ministry of prophets, and the modern church instead. A shaking followed in the Vineyard Movement.
It doesn’t seem possible but 24 years have come and gone with some incredible highs along with lows and lessons learned the hard way. It was the beginning of what some call ‘The Prophetic Movement’ but no one involved calls it that. It was introduced out here following a small quake but how it has shaken the American Church since then has been anything but small.
Now a major earthquake- ‘The Big One’ is long over due in Southern California and many Christians in the last five years or so have had dreams and visions of it. Most believe that it is just a matter of time -God’s timing. But remember, sometimes what God is doing in the natural reflects something that going on in the spiritual realm just like the small quake did 24 years ago.
Along with the dreams of doom many Christians out here and elsewhere have also seen visions of a new revival or ‘Jesus Movement’ that will shake Southern California once again. This time for the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. A major Kingdom event that could end up shaking the whole church.
So what kind of quake is is going to be? Natural or Spiritual or maybe both?
Actually at VCC Laguna Niguel we are preparing for both. Across the street from our church is the huge federal building parking lot which is designated as a site for emergency services and medical care in the event of a major catastrophe in South Orange County, California. Meanwhile, we have a 24,000 square-foot warehouse filled with food and clothing and 2 years ago we were able to send a cargo container with 100,000 bottles of water and other emergency supplies to Japan when the big one along with the tsunami that followed hit there.
But more indicative of what I am really talking about is the mini revival that seems to be going on in that same warehouse. Hundreds have come to Christ in the last year and major miracles and healings continue to happen nearly every time the place is open to the public offering food and clothing to those in need. The expectation is that it is merely a foretaste of what God wants to do Spiritually all across Orange County and Southern California.
I started thinking about this and decided to share some of my thoughts after I read an account in Charisma of a dream that James Goll had where he saw Southern California represented as ‘a womb’ that would bring forth a major revival once more. A birth that is imminent and overdue just like the ‘big one’ in the natural.
According to Jonathan Shibley, president of Global Advance:
“We really felt like it was a sovereign time for the Lord to pull together people during an economic crisis, because that’s where our faith comes out and shines.”
“Three years ago, we were challenged at Global Advance to begin to look at Europe much like we would other developing countries: as an underserved region of the world, and almost an unreached region of the world to some extent.”
“People are hungry spiritually, but they don’t know what they’re hungry for. So the gospel’s got to be demonstrated in a fresh way. So many people associate religion with empty cathedrals. They haven’t made the connect with their faith and the relevance to their personal lives. Somehow the church has got to become relevant again.”
In talking about the recent conference Shibley concluded
“It was just a wonderful time to bring a wide variety of people from different denominations, different backgrounds, and also different industries together under one common cause—and that’s to see Christ lifted up through the workplace in Europe.”
Response: I believe that marketplace ministry is also part of God’s heart for transforming America and particularly the American church. For too long American Christians have lived separate lives dividing the sacred from the secular and profane.
Most of us Christians spend a majority of our lives in the marketplace, in schools, jobs, or in businesses. Yet we mostly keep the most important things of our lives separate from that experience, our families and our faith. For too long, American Christians have separated their working lives from their faith, viewing work as a necessary evil to pay the bills. Not really the ‘spiritual’ part of our lives but the secular.
You can see where this has gotten us when well known church-going evangelical business leaders end up in jail over corrupt business practices. One famous energy company in Texas comes to mind as an example. The CEO was a deacon in his church and now he’s in prison.
It wasn’t always that way in America nor was it that way in Europe. The protestant work ethic transformed the West. All thing were done as unto Christ. But it was in America that religion and business would go hand in hand to build up a new nation that would lead the world for an entire century. However, somewhere in the last 50 years or so, Christianity became something that primarily happened just in a church for one hour on Sunday or two if your Pentecostal or Charismatic.
Again, it wasn’t always that way. One of the greatest revivals in America happened in businesses in New York City in the 19th century just before the civil war. Over 50,000 businessmen were converted to Christ and they transformed the entire American economy for the next 50 years until America became a leading world economic power.
It is time once more for American Christians to put it all together and live our entire lives under the banner of Christ including the marketplaces where we spend most of our time and efforts. I believe that the marketplace is the key to the next major revival that will transform the American church and change it into a relevant and dynamic witness to a secular American culture which has abandoned God and the very foundation it was originally built upon.