CONTAGIOUS CONVERSION CULTURE
“And God added to their number daily those who were being saved.” – Acts 2:47
Over the past several days, we’ve mentioned many marks of revival and renewal, including theological depth, anointed worship, compelling community life, prayer, power, signs, wanders, and compassionate social concern. The final element Luke mentions in Acts 2, and which we want to explore today is a culture of bold witness and conversion to Jesus.
We live in a moment in time when people are turning away from Christianity in droves. Affiliation with the Christian faith and Christian church declined faster in the past decade than during any other point in American history. But what if it was the opposite? What if the gospel and the experience of new life in Christ were like the coronavirus? What if whole-life conversion to Jesus was a contagious reality that spread like an internet meme or a viral corn video on social media?
In revival, this is what happens. It is no longer merely the “evangelists” among us who lead others to faith. Revival is not just about more Billy Grahams appearing on the scene – but in revival normal Christians are activated as Jesus’ witnesses. This is because two things happen: first, the Holy Spirit makes Jesus real to our hearts. And because Jesus is so good and so real, we cannot help but tell others about him. As Philip told Nathanael about Jesus or as the woman at the well (John 4) told her village about Jesus, in revival every day Christians become bold witnesses to their villages because Jesus is real to them.
Secondly, everyday Christians become bold witnesses because God invades their hearts with His own burning love for lost people. Even though we would not like to admit it, there are so often things that matter to us more than our lost friends or family or coworkers. We think about dinner, or football, or weekend plans, or our careers, or how we look or what we wear, or that glass of wine at the end of the day. But God’s heart is consumed with a relentless, passionate love for the people he created. He longs to be in relationship with them, to heal them, to rescue them from sin, to save them, and to be in union with them. In revival, men and women simply allow the “overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God” for lost people to invade our hearts.
The reality of God and the power of God’s love for lost people begins to move us to take risks and to initiate with others to share about Jesus with them. To invite them to church. To invite them to Alpha. And as in the book of Acts – the Lord added daily to their number those who were being saved. Conversion becomes normal in our culture. And conversion to Jesus becomes a viral movement. And as new people come to faith, they tell their friends and invite them to know Jesus also.
- Who has God placed in your life? Who are your family, friends, neighbors and colleagues who do not know Jesus?
- What matters to you more than these people knowing coming to know Jesus and spending an eternity in heaven with Him, and with you!?
- Can you ask God to rearrange your priorities? Ask him to invade your heart with his burning love for lost people? So that the eternal destinies of others matter more to you than whatever else you happen to be doing today?
- Consider Jesus in John 4, who said, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and finish his work. Open your eyes and look at the fields, they are ready for harvest.” How might God want to feed and satisfy your soul by helping others meet Jesus this year.
- Is there someone you need to invite to Alpha or to Church this year? What would hold you back from doing that? What help or encouragement do you need to make that happen?
- For Alpha. That Sanctuary and other participating churches would be overwhelmed with love for lost people and invite them to Alpha.
- That God would use Sunday worship, community groups, and Alpha to lead people to faith and baptism this year.
- That new believers would invite their friends, coworkers, family members to church.
- For every believer this year to have the chance to share about Jesus with someone in their life.