When revival happens, a huge number of people enter the kingdom of God. Everyone is suddenly excited about God and the possibilities of what life in Jesus can mean for their future. Church memberships swell, and huge numbers of Bibles and Christians books and pamphlets are sold and distributed. Lives are transformed, and the more lives transformed the more Jesus becomes the talk of the town. He is the answer to everything, and as people turn to Him with their problems and concerns, miracles happen. It is an incredibly powerful thing to be a part of! It is literally heaven on earth.
However, as time moves on, the influence of society and culture moves back in. People get comfortable being Christians but return to their old ways of getting answers to their problems, and suddenly miracles aren’t as common anymore. People stand around at the gates of the kingdom and never venture in. Rather than transforming the culture around them, they allow the culture to conform them back to the way they were before, and within a few years everything starts to look as it did pre-revival.
Some would say we need to live in a constant state of revival. Being a revivalist is deeply relevant to my personal calling, so allow me to make a few comments: Revival occurs when God pours out deep conviction of sin, souls are swept into the kingdom, miracles occur daily, and the power of the Lord saturates the hearts and souls of Christians. We would like to see this happen on a regular basis in our churches. But there are steps that we need to take beyond this that will lead to seeing whole nations changed by the power of the gospel. Once people are swept into the kingdom, we need to disciple them on how to live transformed lives. This involves equipping and teaching.
The third step is integrating changed lives into society that needs to see the transforming power of God. We teach people how to be salt and light in their workplace and other areas of influence. Each believer should be trained on how to become a reformer wherever God has placed them in their everyday lives. This means that a mother will raise her children with a biblical worldview and teach them how to be nation changers. Dads model this to their sons and daughters. Churches raise up generations of children and teenagers with an understanding that they have a mandate to be agents of reformation in society. Believers see their vocations as a vehicle to release God’s principles and kingdom manifestation into each workday, whether they work at the grocery store, in the classroom, or in a political office. The reformation mandate is infused into every part of the nation through the praying, teaching, working “army of the Lord.”
I believe with all my heart that God is going to add a new evangelism thrust to infuse our nations with righteous believers. Then, we will not only save people’s souls, but show that the Word of God really works in our nations. In addition to that, through the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit’s working, we will see people healed of plagues like AIDS as well as raise up scientists who come up with the cure of the disease!
If we are to see nations transformed, we must go beyond a mandate that only see souls saved to seeing Christians grow in the Lord and seeing the kingdom of God invade every sector of society. God wants His kingdom will to be done on earth through us! If a nation is transformed without being reformed, it will soon fall back into its original state of decay.
What do I mean by reformation? I would define reformation as an amendment or repair of what is corrupt, to build the institutions of our governments and society according to their God-ordained order and organization. It means to institutionalize God’s will in how we do our daily business, deal with the poor, administer justice, make our laws, teach our children, and generally live our lives. It is to give people a license to do good and not a license to sin. It means turning our communities into places where God’s blessings flow from person to person just as God sees them flow in heaven.
Editor's Note: This article is excerpted from Cindy Jacobs' book Reformation Manifesto.