A Conference on Christian Repentance

In 1962, Leonard Ravenhill wrote:

“This present day is like an arena whose terraces are filled with the militant godless, the brilliant and belligerent skeptics, plus the blank face heathen millions, all looking into the empty ring to see what the Church of the living God can do. How I burn at this point! What are we Christians doing? To use a very tattered phrase, are we just “playing church”? With all our revival campaigns, are we getting folk into Biblical regeneration? Is it really a comfort to know that the recent converts will become just like us? What if they are lazy and self-excusing in the matter of personal devotion to Jesus and active engagement in soul-winning as the rest of our listed church members? Is that a thrilling thought? Or is it a spine chilling one? If “like produces like,” does this prospect of the new additions to the church furrow our brows or flood our hearts with joy? Surely we need some new injection into the Church of the living God immediately. Since that Church is composed of mortal men and women, it means that we need some new dynamic.

“The path to this new individual and collective power would be as follows: first, renunciation of all known sin; secondly, sorrowful confession that we have failed so much and have been satisfied so long with the status quo; thirdly, a seeking of God’s face in earnest prayer; and finally, Bible study, in order to uncover the promises of God directed to this desperate age and our needy churches.”
Revival Praying, p29-30

Ravenhill follows a biblical pattern, as we’re reminded of the oft-quoted but still relevant verse on revival:

II Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Conferences are a good thing. They ar inspiring, refreshing, convicting, and edifying. Bringing Christians together for one purpose always encourages us to know we have a common goal. I think the common goal we all have for this hour is that our churches experience revival.

Typically when a revival meeting is about to come upon a church, a pastor will exhort his people to be in a repentant spirit weeks before. Prayer is emphasized more than any other time. This, of course, is a good thing, and we have seen local churches blessed for it. But I think it’s time we do it on a national level: a national call to Christian repentance.

How about instead of Together For the Gospel we have Together to Cry Out to God to Forgive our Shortcomings and Sins so that our Churches May Experience Your Majesty Once Again in this Wicked Age?

Don’t get me wrong, conferences on the gospel, evangelism, ministry, and theology are all good and very needed. But we need a national repentance, don’t we? It’s good that local churches do it, but I wonder if any leading Christian figure would get together a conference on Christian repentance?

I could see it now: messages on repentance, fasting, contrition, and prayer brought to you by John Piper, John MacArthur, Al Mohler, and the like. Hour long sessions in which nothing is done but prayer. A schedule for those who didn’t come to pray at the same time all around the country. Regional conferences doing the same thing. This could be powerful, I think. Oh, and one more thing: no refreshments served.


1 comment so far

  1. Travis James on

    Wow! what a powerful quote. And, I’d say it’s more relavent today than in 1962.
    There is very little that can inspire personal repentance more than corporate repentance. I can’t help but think that repentance on a national would do the same for the corporate level.
    Sign me up for the first annual TTCOTGTFOSASSTOCMEYMOAITWA Conference (but for the sake of the acrostic you might want to get a shorter name)

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