Just one year ago a movement took place at Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky. A chapel service continued for two weeks and thousands came from all over the world to see for themselves and be blessed. This worldwide response reveals hunger in hearts for revival.
Recently, I read an article which claimed that the Asbury Revival had no lasting impact, and therefore, implied it was a fake revival. The author said he had recently contacted area churches and asked if there were significant additions to their membership and major changes in their people. But the revival occurred at a college, not a church. I was saddened at the claim and the conclusion. Several thoughts come to mind.
First, in the physical realm when you’ve gotten dirty and get cleaned up, it does not imply you will never need to get cleaned up again. There are parallels spiritually. Revival does not make anyone perfect. Nor does revival automatically make you spiritually mature. But revival does restore the maturing process.
Second, what took place at Asbury was more of a reviving of the saints than an awakening of the lost. There are different levels of extent in revival from personal revival to great awakenings that affect the globe with many varying levels in between. That a given revival does not reach a given level of extent does not imply it was not real to the extent that it did impact.
Third, the inspired tests of the Spirit are provided in I John 4: Does the movement point people to Jesus? Does the movement point people to the Word away from man’s philosophies? Is the love of God evidently flowing? All of this occurred at Asbury. The biblical tests supersede man-made tests.
Fourth, you could easily argue that there was and is lasting impact. Movements took place in other places that were ignited by Asbury. I personally know of several churches that were touched with revival and have been impacted in an ongoing way to this day. The year 2023 was an amazing year of salvation decisions among Gen Z. Blessed reports came in from Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, California, Georgia, and more.
For me, I did not get to go to Asbury. But I was ignited to seek God in a more focused way in my own walk and ministry. This has not ceased, even though a year has passed.
John Van Gelderen