How to distinguish a true revival

You will find another blog a little later on that talks about this same thing, but this expresses it well. Well, what would one expect when the major quotes are from Jonathan Edwards? This was read on Pastor JS Greear’s Blog:

Jonathan Edwards, the key figure in our country’s greatest gospel awakening, said,

In all companies, on other days, on whatever occasions persons met together, Christ was to be heard of, and seen in the midst of them. Our young people, when they met, were wont to spend the time in talking of the excellency and dying love of JESUS CHRIST, the glory of the way of salvation, the wonderful, free, and sovereign grace of God, his glorious work in the conversion of a soul, the truth and certainty of the great things of God’s word, the sweetness of the views of his perfections, &c.”
– Jonathan Edwards, A Narrative of Surprising Conversions

The Spirit is often called the “shy” Person of the Trinity because He is content—strike that, zealous—to turn the attention entirely onto Jesus. One question dominates the minds of leaders in a true revival: Is Jesus exalted? A false revival is built around the exaltation of a particular figure. Christ is named, of course, and often presented as the “answer,” but the greater focus is on the leader, the worship, or even the worship experience itself. Emotions may run high in such an encounter, but sadly this is not the work of the Spirit of God, but the spirit of antichrist. His goal is to redirect attention, slightly at first, away from Christ and onto another.

Imagine that you had asked your best friend to serve as the best man at your wedding. This honored position is given to a trusted friend who will selflessly serve you on that great day, and make sure your wedding is everything it could be. But imagine that at the moment the doors at the back of the church open, and your bride appears for you and begins to walk down the aisle, you notice that your friend is making eyes at her, flirting with her, and trying to redirect her attention from you to himself. This is the pastor or worship leader who is more concerned with what people are thinking about him than they are what the people are thinking about Jesus. The church is His bride, not yours. Hands off. If you think the bride, for whatever reason, might be starting to focus on you, do everything you can to get her attention back on the groom.

Edwards writes elsewhere:

When the operation is such as to raise their esteem of that Jesus who was born of the Virgin, and was crucified without the gates of Jerusalem; and seems more to confirm and establish their minds in the truth of what the gospel declares to us of his being the Son of God, and the Saviour of men; is a sure sign that it is from the Spirit of God.

(Inspired by blog by Jared Wilson at

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