Europe & the fire of the gospel
It's time for the fire of the gospel in Europe.
In recent days, Elisabeth and I had the opportunity to visit Capernaum, Israel. It's one of three preeminent places mentioned in the Scriptures where Jesus performed most of His mighty works. Isn't it interesting that Jesus chose to work so many signs and wonders in these three places? Of all the regions Christ visited, it was in these three that He chose to openly display His power over evil most intensely. The same is needed in the cities of Europe through His servants today.
I believe that Europe desperately needs the power/fire of the gospel. When I speak of fire, I mean that tangible force of the gospel that is undeniably seen and defies earthly norms and limitations. For too long there has been a form of godliness but denying its power. The world isn't looking for a cozy club med. Europeans want to see God be God. They want answers to desperate situations. They want solutions to the problems of sickness, emotional turmoil, mental grief, poverty, economic chaos; so on and so forth.
In Matthew 11 it's stated that Jesus worked most of His mighty works in three particular locations, and it goes on to say that if the same works were done in Tyre and Sidon they would have repented long ago. This is quite remarkable. It's remarkable because this tells us that cities can be led into mass repentance and be won for Jesus through miracles, signs, and wonders in the streets. There is something about the open display of God's power and glory that demands that people make a decision either for or against the Lord. Based on this portion of Scripture, I believe that we can safely conclude that a city cannot be won to Christ without the demonstration of the power of the gospel.
In Matthew 22:29, Jesus faults the Sadducees for not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. The Sadducees failed to grasp the resurrection power of God. Knowledge of the Scriptures does not equate to living in the power of the Spirit. There is a power in knowing the truth of God's word, however, it is not the same as someone carrying the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit upon them and possessing the boldness to demonstrate it in Jesus' name.
Acts 6:8 says of Stephen that he was "...full of faith and power" and "...did great wonders and signs among the people." The outcome of Stephen's love and devotion to God was that he was full of faith and power. The result of Stephen being full of faith and power was that he did great wonders and signs among the people. The wonders and signs were not only done amongst the brethren, but they were also done amongst the people outside of synagogues and homes. To accurately and properly testify of the Son of God, we must also operate in such a manner.
In November last year, I was privileged to lead a team to a largely unreached area of Uganda. Over the four days we spent in the region- four crusade nights and some village outreach, we estimate that there were approximately 450-500 people who found saving knowledge in Christ. Wow! One witchdoctor even came to Christ. We saw Muslims confess Jesus as Lord, including one woman in the meeting who was wearing an Islamic headscarf. Jesus also did extraordinary miracles in people's bodies. We had, I think, 9 people healed of blindness/eye-pain on the platform in front of the crowd in a matter of minutes!
One man was even healed of both severe partial-blindness and partial-deafness. One man's tumor disappeared from his body. One young lady had severe stomach pain and couldn't talk due to a severe sickness, and having seen 3 doctors that day, came to the night meeting and was healed with no more pain and began to talk again. Many people had been dedicated to witchcraft by their parents since childhood, and after years of torment were delivered of demons in a matter of minutes. Without a doubt, there was a lasting and very impacting breakthrough on the region. It brought an unseen unity to the few pastors in the region, after many months of division.
The God of the impossible demands that His servants accurately represent their Lord. As Christians we are seeking to replicate the character of our Lord Jesus; well what about the works of Jesus? I would like to suggest that we ought to be replicating the Lord in both His inward state and His outward demonstration. Europe needs to see the power and glory of Christ displayed. It's time to preach the Word with signs, wonders, and miracles. It's time for the fire of the gospel in Europe.