Creating Conversation: Three signs of a coming revival

David Koop is Senior Pastor of Coastal Church.

Creating Conversation is a weekly editorial, curated by the Centre for Missional Leadership (CML), which gives opportunity for people to speak about issues they believe are vital for the church in Vancouver.

One of the goals of this weekly article is to spark dialogue – and action. We invite you to join the dialogue here on the Church for Vancouver website.

We also invite you to use the article as a discussion starter with your small group, church staff, friends and your neighbours. Thanks for participating in the conversation!

The pendulum is swinging back! At our January 2023 Coastal Church leadership summit night I shared that there is shift starting to take place in Canada. Contrary to what the media will tell you, there is an increasing hunger for God in the hearts of people. Canadians are becoming weary of the darkness that is in the land.

In our post-Christian nation, there are signs of a revival or an awakening to the things of God that is on the horizon.

Three signs I see are:

1. A pushback to the darkness in the land

Matthew 4:16 reads, “The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death, light has dawned.”

Throughout history there have been times when the darkness seems to engulf society. But God always has a remnant of believers who shine His light in the darkness.

As someone once said, “It has to get dark for the stars to come out.” These glimmers of light are enough to spark change. People are reaching the point where they have had enough of the corruption, the evil that is drowning their values, and they are looking to be rescued. Despite not being religious, with their God-given conscience they realize that the evil agenda that is pushing on them is egregious.

For example, parents are standing up to a school system that is pushing ideologies that should be left for parents and their kids to discuss. They are pushing back when their kindergarten child is being asked to choose their preferred personal pronoun. The world has become tired of being told who they are and what they are to think. People are starting to speak up and search for answers to calm their fears.

The more broken the world becomes the more desperate for healing it becomes. As a fear of the future sets in, people realize that unless mankind makes some changes our society and planet are at risk. When you start to see this happen, revival is on the horizon. And it is happening – people who are not church-goers have become tired of an agenda that constantly undermines the pillars of our society.

2. Revolution in technology

I have a theory that when there is a massive revolution taking place in technology a revival will soon follow.

God is the one who has granted humanity the knowledge and ability to discover the breakthroughs in science to make our world a better place. But God also knows that with each advancement there is the potential for mankind to drift from honouring Him and begin to worship the creation instead of the Creator. From the tower of Babel to today, things haven’t changed.

It wasn’t long after the invention of the Gutenberg press in 1440 that a surge in faith happened. It was in 1518 that Martin Luther printed his 95 theses. In the late 1700s steam power ushered in mechanization. In 1824 Charles Finney began a career that would eventually convert 500,000 to Christ. An unparalleled 100,000 were converted in Rochester, New York, in 1831 alone. In the late 1800s electrical energy and the assembly line brought in another revolution. What followed was preachers like D.L. Moody, Billy Sunday, and revival in Wales and Azusa Street.

Later in the 20th century, in 1969, the first programmable logic controller was put into place and electronics began to shape our world. These technology breakthroughs seem to parallel a clash of spiritual darkness with God’s light. The 1960s were certainly no different. A sexual revolution was also happening with a push for ‘free sex’ and disregard for biblical values.

But God! But God was at work through His people and during this time the Charismatic Renewal and Jesus Movement happened. Revival broke out in Asbury College – which interestingly today is experiencing a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit – and Holy Hubert Lindsey was radically preaching the Gospel at the University of California Berkeley campus. Preachers like Chuck Smith and musicians like Larry Norman were fanning the flames of revival.

It was Norman who captured the zeitgeist of the era. After doing a concert with Janis Joplin he wrote the song ‘Why Don’t You Look into Jesus’. In his concerts, after each song, he discouraged applause. As the audience started clapping, he would stand silently and raise his right index finger. The message? Only Jesus deserved praise. Crowds caught on, and the gesture came to be known as the ‘One Way’ sign.

Today we are in another technology revolution that will impact our world as much as the internet or introduction of the smart phone did – the AI revolution. So be alert, God is on the move, revival is on the horizon. We must be of sober spirit, on the alert, ready to sense the move the Holy Spirit and embrace it.

3. An awakening in the church

One of the first signs of a true revival, one that makes a divine impact upon society, is when that church begins to awaken from its slumber after being lulled to sleep by the distractions of the world.

First, we are awakened to the majesty and the holiness of God. We take ourselves off the throne of our lives and surrender fully to God. We honour God as God, understanding that He has the right to say ‘no’ to our desired behaviours, that His ways are higher than our ways. We are awakened to the beauty and love of Jesus. We see how Jesus is the Word made flesh and He came to show us what God the Father is truly like.

Secondly, we discover that Jesus did not only come to show us God, He came to show us, us. We are awakened to the fact that we are a new creation, born again by the Spirit of God. That our real home is heaven, that we are pilgrims on a journey to a Celestial City. That we are His ambassadors and His light to a broken world. That in Him, we live and have our being.

Thirdly, we are disturbed by the darkness and awakened to intercession for those who don’t know Christ. A true sign of revival is when the believer is no longer calloused toward the wickedness in the world but has a compassion for the chains that hold people in bondage. This drives Christians to prayer; rather than criticizing and scolding they become tender-hearted and begin to pray with strong crying in tears.

When we awake our focus on God becomes stronger and there is a desire to live holy lives. You find the worship songs become very simple and egos are laid aside. The burden for the lost causes the church to gather for prayer. Believers are hungry to gather and talk about the Bible in an unfiltered way. There is a boldness to tell others without fear about Christ and a renewed interest to serve in the house of the Lord.

Isaiah 59:19 says, “When the enemy comes in like a flood spirit of the Lord lifts up a standard against him.”

God is about to do a new thing, the signs are there, He is lifting a standard. Let’s be ready, lets lean in, let’s serve Christ with all our heart, let’s lay down our lives and look forward to the day we will stand before Him.

This comment was posted by David Koop in Coastal Church’s March newsletter.

Coastal Church was founded by Senior Pastors Dave Koop and his wife Cheryl. The first campus, planted downtown in 1994, now meets at 1160 West Georgia Street. Services also take place at five other campuses (Commercial Drive, Yaletown, North Vancouver, Richmond, Pitt Meadows), and at two ‘Microsites’: (Burnaby and Squamish).

Dave completed his Doctorate in Ministry from Bakke Graduate University in 2010. Dave and Cheryl met while attending Bible college and are the proud parents of four grown children, three in-laws and six beautiful grandchildren.

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1 comment for “Creating Conversation: Three signs of a coming revival

  1. Well said Pastor David! Your perspective is encouraging and gives hope that 2023 will see a profound move of God in the Church and that all the congregations would experience their own ‘Jesus Revolution.’ Come, Lord Jesus.

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