Just recently I read a book about five evangelists God used in revival: George Whitefield, John Wesley, Asahel Nettleton, Duncan Matheson, and Howell Harris. Of course there have been many others God has used in bringing revival - but reading about these five caused me to ask a question: What will it take to again reach the nations of the UK with the Gospel?
Each of the five above mentioned evangelists, and many others like them who have been used by God in revival and reaching nations with the gospel have one thing in common: they each were unashamed preachers of the gospel. I don't know about you but in terms of the age and culture in which we live, an age which sees the preaching of the gospel as old fashioned and irrelevant, and a culture in which attempts to 'encourage people to 'make their peace with God' through various methods that can seem to compromise at least some gospel truth, I believe more than ever that we need to regain our confidence and conviction in the preaching of the gospel.
The gospel does not change, God's standards do not change, the hearts of men and women have not changed, and neither has I believe the main biblical method of evangelism - that of preaching the Gospel. Indeed the state of the Church and of evangelism should lead us to ask the same question a well known evangelist posed recently: Where is the raw, declaration of the Gospel message: Sin and Salvation - Heaven and Hell - Repentance and Faith?
In past times the preaching of the Gospel bore great fruit, as it does in many other nations today - may our prayer be that in this hour God will raise up evangelists, as I believe he is doing, to faithfully proclaim the Gospel, and that Churches and Church leaders will work with these evangelists in reaching the nations with the Gospel.
I would like to suggest five things I believe it will take, both for individuals who are called to minister the Gospel, and individual Christians across the land, to reach these nations of the UK:
1) PRAYER - there has been no real, authentic move of God without there first being a move of prayer. We have seen in recent years an increase in prayers initiatives across the UK - however, I believe it is time to pray for the evangelists, pray for doors to be open for them, pray for opportunities for the Gospel, pray for their protection, pray for their relationships with Churches, pray for souls to be saved - PRAY!
2) BOLDNESS - In Acts 4 the scriptures tell us that the religious leaders saw the 'boldness' of Peter and John, and later we read they prayed for 'boldness' to speak the word (Acts 4:30) If we are to be serious in reaching out then we will need boldness. Boldness to stand up for truth, boldness to proclaim the gospel, boldness to stand against adversity, boldness to share our faith.
3) LOVE - We can claim to have all the spiritual gifts we like but if we don't have love the scriptures tell us we are no more than a clanging bell! Could it be that there are too many clanging bells around? Jesus said that the world would know that we were His disciples if we 'had LOVE one for another' (John 13:35) Not only are we to love one another but we are also to love those who have not yet made a decision to follow Christ.
4) TRUTH - The truth of the Gospel is powerful. It is life changing. We must not alter, change or depart from this truth. We must stand for it, hold on to it, proclaim it! In a world in which people are searching for answers we need to be carriers of the truth, and declarers of the truth. We dare not meddle with the truth when eternal destinies depend on it!
5) PERSEVERANCE - or tenacity. This means we will have to be persistent, determined, firm, resolute, relentless and single minded. The Bible says he who wins souls is wise (Proverbs 11:30) We have to have a resolve that nothing will shake us from the path God has called to. However hard it gets, whatever we face ( remember Paul faced shipwrecks, whipping etc and he kept going!) we must keep going, we must keep our faces towards Jesus the author and finisher of our faith (Heb 12:2) We must keep praying, we must keep proclaiming, and we must keep going!
We need a mighty move of God and a wave of salvation to wash over the UK - lets pray and work to that end... NOW IS THE TIME!
Steve Mullins ( @drybonestrust )