The Middle Ages (A.D. 500-1400) was the convergence of three powerful forces.
The barbarians of the north were forming powerful armies to overthrow the Roman Empire. Islam was born in Mecca and Medina, conquering the Middle East as far as India and spreading across northern Africa and into Spain. Christianity was in the middle region.
It was a dangerous time because the light of the gospel had become very dim.
Extremes were weakening the spirit of the church. Desire for political power and moral corruption filled church leadership; out-of-balance teaching for holy living led to monasticism; literacy and the Holy Word was taken out of the hands of the general populace, leaving them illiterate and void the truth and spiritual life.
Into this twilight God sent the Waldensians of Lyon, Italy.
John Wycliffe of Oxford University continued the work. John Huss in Prague spread the light further. These were the morning stars that turned up the light in these years of darkness.
The light became even brighter through Savonarola in Florence, Martin Luther in Germany, Huguenots in France and John Calvin in Geneva. The light of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ was again burning bright and dispelling the dark forces of the convergence.
Western Europe and North America are experiencing a similar convergence. Idolatry and false deities from other cultures combined with atheistic and agnostic educators and politicians are seeking to silence the Christian voice in public arenas.
Islam with its Muslim religion is pressing hard to replace the influence of the Christianity.
All the while, the Christian church has been weakened by her great desire to be relevant, show tolerance and to comply with political correctness.
Driven from the public arena she has become monastic in the great edifices of megachurches. The light has grown very dim in Western Europe and North America. While the church claims to be growing, the dirty little secret is no Christian movement in Western Europe or North America is having significant growth; indeed most are stagnant or declining. Further, the church has corrupted herself by softening her stance on holiness. The results have been moral failures among her leaders; a shocking rate of divorce in her families; "live-in" relationships; and the embracing of same-sex relationships.
The good news is, the church has never been defeated. Jesus said, "Upon this rock I will build my church." While there have been times the light has grown dim, since the resurrection of Jesus Christ, there has never been an era when the light of the gospel has gone out. It will not go out now!
How Can We Turn Up the Light in This Generation?
1. Preach the uncompromised Word of God. Teach the whole Bible: Old and New Testament. This generation must have a full revelation of Almighty God. Stay balanced in the preaching and teaching.
2. Pray until the convicting power of the Holy Spirit comes on the preaching, leading the hearers to true repentance and conversion.
3. Renounce the deception of being closed to the Spirit! Passionately seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit upon all meetings. Give room in your public services and in the small groups for the full expression of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Pentecost is what birthed the church and empowered ordinary men and women to turn the Roman world upside down.
The life-giving power of the Holy Spirit-filled men and women in church of the Middle Ages and they turned back the darkness and the Reformation was born.
It is the power of the Holy Spirit and the manifestation of God's glory upon His church that are desperately needed today.
That power is what will bring miraculous conversions and life transformation.
That is what will turn great motivational speeches into life-giving sermons.
That is what will cause the hardest heart to desperately want the Lord Jesus Christ.
That is what will awaken Western Europe and the North America from this post-Christian, anti-Christian spirit.
Dr. F. Dean Hackett has served in full-time Christian ministry since October 1971. He has ministered throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, serving as pastor, conference speaker and mentor. He has planted four churches, assisted in planting 15 others, and currently serves as lead pastor of Living Faith Church in Hermiston, Oregon. Dr. Hackett founded Spirit Life Ministries International in 2001 to facilitate ministries in Croatia and Bosnia Herzegovina and to open a training center for workers in those nations. You can find him at F. Dean Hackett - Foundational, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
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