A revival broke out at Asbury University in Wilmore, Ky.! The regular Wednesday chapel service on Feb. 8 spilled into the next class period and then into the afternoon and then… it went on for two weeks and is still not over! The lights in Hughes Auditorium burned 24/7 for two full weeks as students and visitors sang and worshipped day and night until the building was needed for a previously scheduled conference. The revival is currently still going on across the street at the Asbury Seminary Chapel, the Methodist Church, a gymnasium and several other buildings! Even Rupp Arena at the University of KY! Not to mention that it has spread to other Christian Colleges- Wheaton, Circleville, Azuza Pacific, Indiana Wesleyan… A volunteer usher at Hughes Auditorium wrote to a friend of mine: “I personally met people from Brazil, Columbia, Canada, India, China, Germany, Ukraine… people from at least 30 different states… and at least five other Christian Universities and 20 different state Universities.
On day six of the outpouring (Feb. 13), Lydia and I stopped at Asbury U on our way to Fla. and went to Hughes Auditorium. A policeman at the door said that no one could enter until someone leaves. We soon entered and sat in the back row and simply absorbed the atmosphere as the overflow crowd sang, testified and worshipped. It was low key and unspectacular, and yet the presence of God was so real it brought tears to my eyes. People are hungry for God and for reality!
“Revive” means “to live again.” The words, “awakening” and “outpouring” are also used to describe what God is doing at Asbury and has done various times in America and other places.
In Ireland several years ago, I sang in several churches that the locals called “Revival Churches.” A revival swept through Ireland in 1840. So many people were saved that new churches were built to accommodate them. They were built in the rural areas so that the new believers would not have to walk all the way to town to worship. In the Belfast Shipyard, a huge warehouse had to be built because the many workers who came to Christ began to return the tools they had stolen over the years. There wasn’t room for them in the existing buildings!
In Wales, the coal mines were shut down for several weeks during their revival because the mules could not understand the cleaned up language of saved coal miners. Saloons went broke and many Welch Policemen formed quartets and sang at churches because crime was so low that there was nothing for them to do.
Revival is a supernatural outpouring of the Holy Spirit that results in deep conviction, true cleansing of our hearts and joy in the finished work of the Cross of Christ. It is not necessarily being born again; it is more like an awakening.
There were Great Awakenings in the United States in the 1700’s and in the 1800’s, but there was none in the 20th Century. There were pockets of revival- The Charismatic Movement; the Jesus Movement… but not a nationwide, culture changing revival. We are due. Our nation and our culture are in decline.
We need a touch from the Divine. Could this Asbury Awakening be the event that will sweep across our nation and give us life again?!
I pray that it is. Pray that it is.
P.S. The Revival of 1970 was part of the reason I went to Asbury. Pastor Jerry Durham took me there as a prospective student in 1972. I only went to be polite. No way was I going to go college. But at the campus I could “feel” the Spirit that had invaded the campus two years prior. That was not enough to convince me, however. It took the recession of 1974 and being laid off by my own dad that finally got my attention. I started classes there in the middle of the year, Jan. 3, 1975. At least five times while I was there, a chapel speaker would say something like: “…we were missionaries in Africa… we read our daughter’s letter about the revival at Asbury… revival broke out there around the camp fire…”
It was (is) real!
μαραναθα! Maranatha! (O Lord, Come!)