Tens of thousands of Christians attended a three-day revival event in Australia this past weekend and were commissioned to share the most powerful message on earth — Jesus.
Organized by Ben Fitzgerald, leader of Awakening Europe and who was previously on staff at Bethel Church in California, Awakening Australia saw thousands of people go out on the streets over several days and engage in conversations in hopes of bringing others to Christ. What many were surprised by was the positive reception of the Gospel.
"I’m not sure if there’s any devils left," said Daniel Hagen co-director of Awakening Australia, on Sunday, the final day of the event. "I think we’ve run them all out of town."
Hundreds of people signed cards to accept Christ and many more also committed to follow Christ during street evangelism. Organizers have been praying for 100,000 souls to be saved this year in Australia.
Fitzgerald argued that people are hungry for more of God.
“I sense the Lord wanting to raise up people who want to become missionaries to their own nation. For Australia, we want Australians to become missionaries to Australia. Our heart is not to have another meeting, another big conference,” he said at Marvel Stadium.
“But this is grassroots, where people take over and run with this. We want people to run back across the country, set on fire to see thousands of people in Australia turn back to God.”
Bill Johnson, senior pastor of Bethel Church in California, emphasized to attendees that God's will for them is to do what Jesus instructed His disciples to do: "heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out devils, cleanse lepers."
"'I don’t know if I should be a school teacher or missionary.' Well, pick one. Then heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out devils, cleanse lepers," Johnson said.
"I have no right to change my assignment … what I was born to do ... The fact that I try and fail at prophesying, praying for the sick, raising the dead, whatever, it ... gives me no right to change the assignment. He was very clear: heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out devils, cleanse lepers."
For Nick Vujicic, an influential evangelist who was born without arms and legs, he thought God could never use someone like him as people had labeled him "disabled."
"We convince ourselves by only what we can see," he noted at the stadium event.
But today, he has shared the Gospel with 8 million people in person, met with world leaders, and traveled the world with his testimony.
“God can use a man without arms and legs to be His hands and feet," he said.
Organizers are hoping to hold another Awakening Australia in 2020. In the meantime, Fitzgerald, who proudly calls himself a "Jesus freak," believes "a mix between the Billy Graham days and the Jesus people movement has begun in Australia."
Hagen, a pastor at Fire Church Ministries in Melbourne, said the mission of the initiative is to see "every believer be a laborer for the Gospel."
“We’re sitting in a football stadium right now, but I believe that God isn’t looking for spectators — he’s looking for players," he commented.
Matt Prater, senior pastor at New Hope Church in Brisbane, hailed what he called “an amazing display of church unity and worship.”
“This weekend has been history in the making. Something new has been birthed. We are in exciting times in our nation,” he said.
“With a big Stadium Prayer event in Sydney on the first weekend of December, and the Franklin Graham Tour in February, I have no doubt there will be more great events coming up that will impact our nation,” Prater added, referring to other planned evangelistic outreach campaigns coming in the next few months.