From the Cross to Pentecost |DR. R. CLIFFORD JONES
“A revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of our needs. To seek this should be our first work” (Review and Herald, March 23, 1887).
After a winter in which we learned what a polar vortex is and feels like, the longer days and moderate temperatures we’re currently experiencing could not be more welcome. If you’re like me, you’re happy that spring, the season of rebirth and renewal, has officially arrived. Some trees are already budding, as life returns to warm our bodies and encourage our spirits.
Spring is the season of rebirth. In a few days, Christians worldwide will commemorate and celebrate the most significant event in Christianity—the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The event shapes and drives all that we say, do, and are. The apostle Paul reminds us that if Christ had not risen from the grave, our preaching would be in vain and our faith would be futile (1 Cor. 15:12-19).
Restoration and revival are two concepts that go together, and it is not coincidental that the resurrection of Jesus Christ occurred in the spring. This spring, the Lake Region Conference is launching a revival/renewal initiative called “From the Cross to Pentecost” that will conclude with a Fall Harvest. During the month of April, and more particularly the week of April 7-13, churches have been challenged to engage in the kind of intense prayer and supplication that the believers did prior to their experience at Pentecost (Acts 1:12-14). We’re told that “as the disciples waited for the fulfillment of the promise, they humbled their hearts in true repentance and confessed their unbelief” (Acts of the Apostles, p. 35). The path to Pentecost must be paved with prayer and supplication.
Were the churches of the Lake Region Conference to seek revival and reformation in unity, I believe that the Spirit that fell upon the disciples in the Upper Room will descend upon us. Such seeking will include the prayerful study of God’s word and a commitment to use the experience of the Latter Rain in Christ-centered evangelism that will add to the church daily “such as should be saved” (Acts 2:47; 3:1-10).
“From the Cross to Pentecost” is intended to bind us together and to usher in an era of Spirit-led and Spirit-empowered innovative evangelism. It is designed to bring purpose and energy to our efforts to grow God’s church with disciples who passionately share Jesus with others. This initiative has been embraced and endorsed by our pastors, who are excited that God is about to do a new thing in our churches.
My favorite Christian writer predicts, “Before the final visitation of God’s judgments upon the earth there will be among the people of the Lord such a revival of primitive godliness as has not been witnessed since apostolic times. The Spirit and the power of God will be poured out upon His children” (The Great Controversy, p. 464). The promise awaits fulfillment, and our attitude and actions will determine how soon and in what measure it is fulfilled. Thank you for joining us in our journey “From the Cross to Pentecost.”
R. Clifford Jones