I was recently watching a YouTube video in which a minister promoted alcohol consumption by Christians. This has become a recent debate as people from the holiness and Pentecostal traditions are challenged on how to live in this present age. Much of the change is being promoted by people in the charismatic movement. When the Lord spread out His Spirit “on all flesh” (as was spoken by the prophet Joel), many people from mainline and traditional churches came into the “Spirit-filled” movement. With no real foundation or understanding of the holiness movement, all rules and even righteousness became known as “legalism.” The person in the video even downplayed the power of the second great awakening as a movement where people were more interested in bringing people under bondage than into a relationship with God.
Jesus Has Been Building For Some Time!
How sad that many people in the charismatic movement will talk about the great ministers/ministries from the past leading up to the holiness movement, then act like the holiness movement itself was an aberration in the history of the church. Jesus said, “I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” (Matt. 16) I believe the Word of God is clear that the building of the church has been the project of Christ since His resurrection. We should also remember the prophecy of Isaiah 9:7 which declares, “Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end…” Paul declared to the church of Ephesus that Jesus is coming for “a glorious church not having spots or wrinkles or any such thing.” (Eph. 5:27) We need to be mindful of what He has been doing and also mindful of how it fits into what God is doing today.
In my new book, The New Awakening, I teach about the impact of the great awakenings on American history and the nations of the world. We need another great awakening! We need to be familiar with the impact of these moves and how powerfully they brought us to righteousness and blessing!
Forgetting Those Things That Are Behind and Reaching Forward
Several years ago, I was encouraged to visit a church that was part of the “revival stream” in the charismatic movement. I was told about God doing amazing “new things” and that I should want to be a part of them. When I went to the meetings, I chuckled to myself because the “new thing” would certainly be an “old thing” to someone with a Pentecostal past. Often times, the revivalist wants to keep alive the fire of the past when God has something new for us in this day.
It’s Time To Put Away Childish Things!
I have moved on in the things of God, but I did not move on because I have grown cold towards God. I have moved on because I have wanted to grow and fulfill my Father’s eternal purpose for my life and encourage others to do the same. In my natural life, I have fond memories of my past and sometimes the experiences of your youth can make you long for the past. Unfortunately for those who are nostalgic, we are not called to be “forever young” as the song says, but we are called to go on to maturity. Maturity requires an ability to grow and build on each level of life. We need to be careful not to dismiss our foundation if we want to build a solid house on the Rock. I hope people will heed the call to go forward in God not looking for exciting thrills like the world, but looking for the hope God has for us!
For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. (1 Corinthians 13:9-12)