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by Ravi Zacharias
In America now it seems fashionable to mock evangelicalism and try to silence the gospel message. But Jesus is growing His Church across the globe, and historic movements are taking place from China and Korea to the Middle East.
Years ago I read a powerful essay by my favorite essayist, F.W. Boreham, called “The Candle and The Bird.” With his brilliant sweep of knowledge of God’s working in history, Boreham traces how revivals have spread from continent to continent, how when the brilliant flame of God’s moving in the hearts of people seemed to be dying out in one place there would be a fresh spark igniting a God-breathed revival elsewhere.
From Germany through Zinzendorf to England through Wesley and Whitfield to Wales and Scotland, and then to the Evangelical Awakening in America, it is fascinating to see how God has done His work through times and seasons and locations. Boreham distinguishes between extinguishing a candle and chasing away a bird: when you extinguish a candle, the light goes out; when you chase away a bird, it sings its song from another bough. Hence, his title “The Candle and The Bird”—a beautiful metaphor.
In America now it is fashionable to mock the bird of evangelicalism and try to silence it. But the song is being sung on other boughs and historic movements are taking place. In China, Korea, and the Middle East, places where once the gospel’s saving message seemed to be extinguished, churches are packed with hungry hearts, the youth listening to the gospel message with rapt attention. In countries where there was once hostility, crowds fill the auditoriums. In Romania, where to believe in God was once to put one’s life at risk, ten thousand filled the auditorium in which I spoke. From senators and other political leaders there we heard of the dark days of the past and of the shining hope of the future. We prayed in chambers once inhabited by a tyrant and were told this was probably the first time a prayer had been publicly uttered. They have witnessed what Christ-less lives can birth, shattering their countries and their hopes. They can now see that the only possible hope for transforming a heart is Jesus Christ.
But mistakes were made across history and we still have not learned…
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