I said in a previous post “that I do believe that some people will spend eternity apart from Christ even though a ‘revival’ at some church gave them confidence that just the opposite would happen.”
An unhealthy emphasis on spiritual awakening among unsaved people and a failure to define terms has no doubt led some people to believe that they had a relationship with Jesus Christ because they attended a church service, walked an aisle during an invitation, and prayed a prayer asking Jesus to come into their heart and be their Lord.
As a result, people trust in a prayer, and the fact that it took place during a “revival” legitimizes their actions. But this is not saving faith, and this is not revival.
This is salvation based on works and hype and emotions. This is not true saving faith, and it leads directly to hell.
The Bible teaches that salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior (John 3:16, Acts 4:10-12, Acts 16:31).
When a person puts their faith in Jesus, they are forgiven of their sins and receive eternal life with God. However, salvation is not just a one-time event, but an ongoing process of sanctification and growth in becoming like Christ (Philippians 2:12-13).
It is possible for someone to have an emotional experience or feel confident in their salvation after a revival or other spiritual event, but that does not necessarily mean that they are truly saved. Salvation is a choice, not a feeling.
The Bible warns against false teachers and false prophets who can lead people astray from the truth of the gospel (Matthew 7:15-23, Galatians 1:6-9). Indeed, history is full of examples of “revivals” that were led by men and women who we now know to be frauds.
Additionally, salvation is not based on our own works or merit, but solely on the grace of God through faith in Jesus (Ephesians 2:8-9). If someone claims to have put their faith in Jesus but their life does not reflect a genuine transformation or a desire to follow Christ, then it is possible that their faith is not genuine (James 2:14-26).
Ultimately, the decision to spend eternity apart from Christ is a choice that each individual makes based on their own free will. God desires for all people to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:3-4), but He also respects our freedom to reject Him. Those who reject God and refuse to place their faith in Jesus will face the consequences of their choice (John 3:36, Revelation 20:11-15).
But even though each person is responsible for his eternal relationship status with God, do we also want to bear the responsibility of having contributed to a person’s misunderstanding of salvation? I certainly do not.
It is true that sometimes large groups of people come to faith in Christ at the same time. The Bible records several instances of mass conversions, such as the day of Pentecost when three thousand people were added to the church (Acts 2:41) and the conversion of the Samaritan city of Sychar after Jesus spoke to a woman at the well (John 4:39-42).
There are also reports of mass conversions happening today in countries where Christians are persecuted. These mass conversions can be a powerful testimony to the transforming power of the gospel and can bring about significant spiritual and social change in communities.
However, it is important to remember that true conversion is a personal decision and that each individual must choose to put their faith in Jesus for themselves.
If we are not careful, our attempts to manufacture revival events can place more emphasis on events than on a relationship with God and lead to false professions of faith and empty hope.