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'Old-time' Christianity: A condition necessary for revival in today's church

Focusing on Evangelism

I long to see Christianity come back to the old ways when believers were identified by their lifestyles. Believers were first called Christians in Antioch because the people saw their behaviors and knew that they were with Christ. In the late '70s and early '80s, Christians in my country were viewed very favorably. I remember a local cult that confessed that whenever they went on rampages and attacked people, they were always careful not to touch the “the born again” people.

I long for a return of those days when smokers threw away their cigarettes because a born-again child of God was passing their way. When we were growing up in the '90s, you never dared to approach a Christian girl for casual sexual relationships. There was such respect for Christian girls that even the roughest and the toughest of the boys feared them. The spiritual fruits in their lives separated them from the world, and no one doubted their identities.

I do not know if other Western countries experienced a similar phenomenon, but in Nigeria Christians were feared and respected. Thieves were afraid to steal from Christians and churches were sacred places that even unbelievers revered. When Christians testified in court, everyone believed because it was generally known that Christians do not lie. There was a clear distinction between the Church and the world. Christians were not materialistic but heavenly minded.

Where have we missed it? The sudden degradation calls for sober reflection. We cannot continue to pretend that all is well when we know that things have fallen apart and that there are lots of deviations from biblical Christianity. The world is now intimidating the church and Christians are now afraid of unbelievers. This is an error which must be corrected.

A return to biblical old-time Christianity is the only antidote to the moral degradation in the body of Christ worldwide. Let us return to a time when Christians who had God's calling tarried for the Holy Spirit to give them power before stepping into the field. There should be a redefinition of the purpose of the Church to prioritize the mandate of the Great Commission (Acts 1:8). Church abuse became inevitable as a result of ignorance of the purpose of the Church. We need to go back to the time when believers were not afraid to die for the sake of the Gospel. Let’s not forget that the disciples celebrated because they were counted worthy to suffer disgrace for the sake of Christ (Acts 5:41).

There was a time when ministers of God were not interested in riches, and when the message of the Church was Christ and Him crucified. Emulating the moral characters of the Biblical apostles will do us a lot of good and provoke revival and restoration.

As the Psalmist says: “Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?” (Psalm 85:6). This is the question in so many Christians' minds. A lot of believers crave to see changes in their lives and churches. Repentance is the gateway to revival: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicle7:14). Today's Christians need to stage a walk-back to old-time Christianity, repent from manmade theologies and principles, embrace the Holy Spirit for supernatural empowerment and ask God to revive His church and restore the Church.

There was a time when the prayers of Christians shook the foundations of buildings; when believers instead of running away from persecutions and attacks prayed for the boldness to preach the Gospel to the lost (Acts 4:29). I am convinced that a retrospective step back to old-time Christianity will inevitably bring back the charismatic and raw power of God, as it happened in the past.

Oscar Amaechina is the president of Afri-Mission and Evangelism Network, Abuja, Nigeria. His calling is to take the gospel to where no one has neither preached nor heard about Jesus. He is the author of the book Mystery Of The Cross Revealed.  

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