“Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, ‘Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad’” (Acts chapter 26 verse 24).
The Apostle Paul was probably one of the most educated men of his day. He received his education at the school of Gamaliel, one of the most noted rabbis in history. This zealous Jewish man became probably the most passionate disciple of Christ in the Bible. When he stood before Festus, Festus had only one explanation for Paul’s faith – madness!
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me’” (Mathew chapter 16 verse 24).
There is something about the cross that drives men mad. Mad at the insanity of a man dying to save others or mad in the eyes of the world. It is no wonder that many who claim to be wise in their eyes have rejected the message of the cross. It doesn’t exalt the ego of man but it attacks it. The cross tells men, ‘you are sinners and need the mercy and grace of God to be saved.’ Only a man who accepts his infirmities can accept such a message. In ancient times, dying on a cross was a very shameful way to die. I think God orchestrated this great mystery to show his great love towards us and to remind us the extent to which Love can sacrifice. So, Jesus instructed his disciples to carry their cross and follow him. Carrying your cross implies that you will also be hated and despised by the world but we have an example of Christ who is love personified, hanging naked on a cross. Just as Christ was spat at and mocked as he carried his own cross, we must expect nothing less as we walk through this earth. The life we have been called to live is a life of the cross.
“But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed” (Galatians chapter 1 verse 8).
In Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he spoke of another gospel. This implies that there is a possibility of preaching another gospel. When I think of how much ground the church has lost, I wonder if we have been preaching another gospel. The early church preached the simple gospel of Christ crucified and they turned the world upside down. Maybe, we need to return back to the cross because herein lies the power of God. I think of the revivals that shook the world: The Hebrides Revival, The Azusa Street Revival, The Cane Ridge Revival, The Welsh Revival etc. These folks did not have all the vocabularies, wealth or education we have today but they had something – the Gospel! They had had the power of God. Men like General William Booth, John Wesley, John Knox, D.L. Moodey and Charles Finney set the world ablaze. Today we are concerned about trivial things. Could the God who used John Wesley to shake England not raise another? Of course, he can! But we must return back to the old rugged cross, we must preach the gospel without our own selfish agendas. The only hope for a lost and dying world is Jesus! Not the institutions we have set up, not our denominations, not any government of the day. The only hope for a lost and dying world is Jesus!
“Easy-going preachers produce easy-going believers. We have more star preachers that scarred preachers.” Leonard Ravenhill
Revival is coming
“Without question, the greatest need of this hour is that the church shall meet her ascended Lord again, and get an enduement that would usher in the revival of revivals just before the night of nights settles over this age of incomparable corruption” Leonard Ravenhill
I strongly believe that the only hope for the church is revival. I don’t believe Jesus is coming to rapture a weak church. He is coming for a glorious church. It’s time to arise and shine. Look all around you, the enemy runs unhindered. Where are the intercessors that will weep for their nations? If we will pray, will he not heal our land? A revival is coming and it will sweep the nations. Once again, men will be seen weeping at the altar. I believe the time is now!
Prayer: Lord, set my heart on fire for you. Touch me that I may touch my generation with your fire.
Rume Kpadamrophe is an evangelist, writer, teacher and researcher based in Lagos, Nigeria. Rume speaks French and English and loves to travel. His desire is to see revival ignited and sustained in the nations of the world. Rume’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Rume’s previous articles may be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/rume-padsmrophe.html