Summary: I’m ready for Old Time Religion Pentecostal Revival where the hot wind of the Holy Spirit burns away the sin from God’s People.
BRINGING THE GLORY BACK
By Pastor Jim May
I have a number of old movies in my collection. I’m not a big movie buff, but I do like to watch movies that based upon history. The War Between the States, World War I & II, and of course Vietnam to a lesser degree, are my favorite time periods to focus upon. I know it almost sounds like a conflict of interest for a minister to enjoy studying, reading and watching things that are based upon war and conflict, but that’s just the way it is.
One of those movies is a movie by the title of “Sergeant York”. For those of you who don’t know who he was, Sergeant York was a country boy from the hills of Kentucky who was drafted into the army during WWI and went to fight the Germans in Europe. He won the Medal of Honor by single handedly killed or captured 160 Germans.
One think about Sergeant York that has always been special to me is how he gave his life to Christ and lived in the days, and in such a manner that we refer to as “old time religion”. In fact, one of the songs that is presented in the movie says just that.
“Give me that old time religion,
give me that old time religion,
give me that old time religion,
it’s good enough for me.”
I can remember when that “old time religion” was still around. I kind of wonder if the church hasn’t forsaken the ways of that “old time religion” and adopted the new ways, at the expense of losing the presence, power and glory of God in the midst of the church.
I wonder if our air conditioned auditoriums, padded pews and all the modern equipment has taken the place of our trusting in the Lord to give us what He wants us to have.
There was a time when we had one old guitar, with a string or two missing, and the rest out of tune, but when the people began to sing, they didn’t care what the music sounded like as long as it led them to worship Jesus.
Folks were shouting in the aisles, dancing in the pews and crying at the altars and they didn’t care who saw them. They cast aside their pride, gave God glory, and then received much more than they could ever give.
I long for the day when we can see people shouting for joy once again, praising God until the Holy Ghost falls and fills the house with His glory. I’m ready to see some sin-killing, devil chasing, Holy Ghost power moving in the House of God again. We’ve just been too busy trying to be accepted by the world while God rejects us because we won’t let Him have his way in us.
I don’t believe that God is through with the church. In fact, I am convinced that God is getting His church ready to meet him in the air. I cannot see the church going down in flames while the devil fires his fiery darts of doubt and feat. No, I see a church that will rise, washed whiter than snow, made strong in the faith and that is anointed with the power of the Holy Ghost just as much as it was in the days of that “old time religion”.
I believe that the promise that God made to Israel still holds true for us today. What God has begun, He will finish. I’m looking for a mighty move of the Spirit!
Israel had been guilty of playing with the “unclean things” of the world. Caught up in idolatry and failing to put their trust in God. All of their acts of rebellion, distrust, disobedience and sin had brought Israel to the brink of destruction, but God wasn’t through with them yet. He had made a promise and His promises can’t fail.
In Zephaniah 3:1-4, God’s own words tell us what happened to Israel and I believe that most of the church world is in that same shape right now.
"Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city! She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted not in the LORD; she drew not near to her God. Her princes within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves; they gnaw not the bones till the morrow. Her prophets are light and treacherous persons: her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law."
There is very little said about living a sanctified life anymore. The church has become filthy and polluted because hireling preachers, wolves in sheep’s clothing, are afraid to speak the truth because it might cause the offerings to go down, and if the offerings go down, the church will suffer, and if church starts suffering, the church board just might kick the preacher out.