This transcript is taken from a Stand in the Gap Today program originally aired on 3/22/22. To listen to the program, please click HERE.
Dave Kistler: Well, ladies and gentlemen, in the pages, the sacred pages of New Testament scripture, we have recorded what some have called the single greatest revival in the history of the Christian Church. In fact, Acts chapter number two records the scene, and I’m going to read from that passage. The Bible says, “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing, mighty wind, and it filled the house where they were sitting.” Well, friends, the scripture goes on to say this, “And they were all amazed and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. But Peter, standing up with the 11 lifted up his voice and said unto them, Ye men of Judah and all ye that dwell in Jerusalem, be this known unto you and hearken to my words for these are not drunken as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel.”
And I’ll end my reading right there. Well, friends, this unparalleled account of God’s supernatural working has been seen, though definitely not to the same degree of course, throughout the history of the Christian Church. And as said the greatest preacher of the first Great Awakening, Jonathan Edwards, he said, quote, “Revival is a glorious and wonderful working of God, when the spirit of God is poured out in a far greater and more glorious measure.” Well, folks, there’s been times too many numerous to mention where people have attempted to define revival. The word “revive” means to come to life again from a state of apparent deadness. And perhaps the best definition I’ve personally heard is this. Revival is the fresh infusion of life into a body that is threatening to become a corpse.
Here’s what the scripture has to say about revival in Psalm 85 verses four through six, it says, “Turn us, oh God, of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease. Wilt thou be angry with us forever? Wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations? Wilt thou not revive us again, that thy people may rejoice in thee?” While attempting to define revival is fine, I think the best thing with respect to revival is to actually see or experience one. And with that in mind, I want to welcome you to Stand in the Gap today. I’m Dave Kistler, joined today by co-host Dr. Gary Dull. We’re going to be talking about the topic of revival.
So I’ve chosen to title our program today this. Revival, when it happens, you will know it. And here to help us with our discussion is Pastor Steve Pope. He’s the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Union Grove, North Carolina. He’s a man that I’ve known since he was a teenager and I was in my early 20s. And we’re having him on the program today because the church he pastors, Calvary Baptist Church has been in the middle of a genuine revival for the last almost now 10 days. I’ll just say this, and then we’re going to talk to Steve about it. Services have been packed. People have been saved in large numbers. The spirit of God has been evidently present. And the only way to describe all of this is revival, a coming to life of God’s church. Well, Steve, I want to welcome you to Stand in the Gap today, my friend. Thank you for being aboard.
Steve Pope: Thank you, Brother Dave. It’s an honor and a privilege to be with you today.
Dave Kistler: Well, it’s a delight to have you on the program. And Steve, I want to go here. Revival has been associated in your situation with no special revival emphasis. In other words, what I mean is there’s been no planned meeting. You did not invite in a special speaker, though obviously there’s nothing wrong with that. You’ve had really no outside promotion, though of course there’s nothing wrong with promoting a revival or announcing a planned week of revival meetings either. But just simply Sunday a week ago, God showed up in power, in what some would say is in the normal of your typical weekly church life. Share a little bit, if you would, Brother Steve, about what happened Sunday a week ago, and just a little bit about what’s been going on since.
Steve Pope: Well, thank you, Brother Dave. Yes, it was just another plain day. Now we always hope for a big day. Every Sunday’s a big day at Calvary because we get to lift up our savior. But just as far as we thought, just another day of ministry and we were excited. I mean, we were excited about Sunday and hoping for a great crowd. And it seems like we’re starting to really gain a lot of our momentum back from COVID. And a lot of folks are coming back. A lot of visitors are starting to come. But just, now I had a message that was a very serious message. I preached a message called A Reality of Eternity, where I was talking about those who have heard the truth and heard the truth and heard the truth, and yet they’ve rejected the truth are going to suffer some of the worst torment in eternity.
But honestly, Brother Dave, this is the truth. I was more excited about the message I was going to bring on Sunday night than the message I was going to bring on Sunday morning. And we just preached and we gave the invitation. And honestly, from that point on, it was like God took over. And we had a number of people saved in the Sunday morning service, but that spirit never stopped. My wife and I, we didn’t leave. We didn’t leave the property until almost three o’clock in the afternoon, just constantly there dealing with people, leading folks to Christ. And we left and went home, got a bite to eat. We came back about five o’clock. When we got back at five o’clock, there were people waiting on us. And we had several more people saved before the service began.
And then Sunday night, we started the service, and you could feel that God was doing something unique in the service. And then Sunday night, I don’t know how to explain to you, Brother Dave, but other than it was like the spirit of God just sat down in the service. People began to respond. We didn’t coerce it. We weren’t urging people to come. It was nothing like that. It was people began to come. People began to get on the altars and weep. And I just called and asked our personal workers to come to the front. And we started dealing with people. People were getting saved. Well, that went over past the service that night. Folks were getting saved end of the night. We didn’t get home till probably midnight. Early that morning, Monday morning, my phone was ringing and folks were saying, “Preacher, could you call me?”
And by the way, these were not folks that were necessarily associated with Calvary. Folks were watching the livestream. And so we started leading folk, folks came to our home, we started leading folks to Christ here. And then folks reached out and said, “Pastors, is there any way you can meet me at the church?” And so we, my wife and I went to the church that morning. Folks were getting saved at the church. And so this, it wasn’t until two o’clock in the afternoon, Brother Dave, I sent out a call to the church and I said, “Church, I know this wasn’t scheduled,” but I said, “We’re going to have church tonight. We’re going to meet tonight at seven o’clock on Monday. And anyway from there on-
Dave Kistler: Steve, hold your thought right there, my friend, if you would. I hate to do this. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re going to come back after this brief time out. We’re going to share a lot more with you about the topic of revival, but specifically what has been going on at Calvary Baptist Church in Union Grove, North Carolina. Our topic is this. Revival, when it happens, you’ll know it. And you’re going to find out about how you can know that, coming up after this brief timeout.
Dave Kistler: Well, ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to Stand in the Gap today. I’m Dave Kistler, joined today by co-host Gary Dull and by our special guest, Pastor Steve Pope. He is the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Union Grove, North Carolina, where a genuine revival has been occurring over the last, just under 10 days now. And we’re going to be talking with him more about that in this segment. Friends, I confess to you, I’ve been intrigued by and have been the student of and actually have been privileged to actually see a number of genuine revivals during my 38 years of evangelistic ministry.
I’ve also read numerous books. In fact, I think I’ve read almost every book on the topic that’s ever been written. And I’ve visited the locations of some of the great revivals that have occurred in the United States as well as across the globe. I think I’ve been though most intrigued by the revival that occurred between the years of 1904 and 1906 in the country of Wales. Obviously books have been written about that phenomenal move of God that lasted for almost 18 months. Well, in 1990, I made the first of almost 20 trips to the country of England. And on that first visit, I met a gentleman by the name of Daniel, who was a little boy when the Welsh Revival of 1904 began. And while I was preaching there in England, this 93-year-old man loaned me a book, which I realized very quickly, there was no copyright on the book. I’ve never seen the book since.
But it was an absolute day-by-day accounting of the revival in Wales as it was progressing. And because the book was not copyrighted and was certainly out of print, I photocopied as much of that book as I possibly could while I was there in England for my own personal study and prayer. And that incredible work described the move of God in Wales this way, and I want you to listen to this quote. The author of the book said, quote, “If you could have hovered over the principality of Wales during those amazing days of revival, you would’ve seen spontaneous prairie fires of revival springing up seemingly unrelated to each other all across the country.” Well, so intrigued was I when I read that book that I actually visited the town of Loughor, Wales, which is where the Welsh Revival actually began.
And though there’s much more I could say about that revival and about my visit to the place where it began, for now, I want to say just simply this. What began as a small meeting morphed into a move of God that touched not only Wales but literally the world at that time. Well, here again to assist us with this discussion of revival is Pastor Steve Pope, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Union Grove, whose church, again, has been experiencing a very unusual move of God over the last almost 10 days. Steve, I want to ask you this. I know we don’t want to get down into the weeds and try to examine, dissect the move of God here, even as it’s ongoing. But I’m just wondering what preceded, if anything, what you’re witnessing right now at Calvary? It’s been said that every revival can be traced to at least one praying figure. Is there anything that you can look back on, point to that maybe in some way precipitated what you’re witnessing currently?
Steve Pope: Well, I definitely think, Brother Dave, we’ve been trying as a church to do a little better job concerning our prayer life. And before our services, before all of our services, our men and women are meeting in different rooms, and we’re praying for the services. And I’ve started inviting all of our men into my actual study, and what a blessing it is to, before the service, just to see that study just packed with men, just calling out on God and asking God to work. And I think that’s one of the things that’s helped.
One of the things, and I’ll say this quickly, one of the things that really, I think, that precipitated this was Sunday morning when all this started, we had a young man in our church who was a preacher’s kid for many, many years. And he walked the aisle. I didn’t even know what was going on. I had no idea what was going on. And this young man just fell into the altar getting broken and was born again. And it was like at that very moment, it was like God began to do something very, very special in our church. And here’s the thing. Nobody really knew what was going on over there, including myself. But it was like God knew. And from that, it was like the revival fires began to burn.
Gary Dull: It’s amazing, Steve, to see how the Lord begins revivals. Of course you were talking about prayer, and I’ve often said that the prayer of God’s people always precedes a good, solid, biblically based revival. And thank the Lord for that. And then sometimes it just takes one particular situation to get that thing to grow and develop. And maybe that’s what happened that morning when that fellow came to Christ. But revivals have often been accompanied by great emotional upheaval. I guess that’s for lack of a better term to describe it because we’ve seen that many times in revivals. And that is the case because revival involves the confession of sin and a dramatic return to God. So how else could you have anything but a good, genuine, emotional upheaval? And I’m just wondering if you’ve been able to see any of that take place in your church there and in the revival that you’re experiencing there at North Carolina?
Steve Pope: Absolutely. The goal we have, and we’ve shared this numerous times with our church over the last nine days, of course the greatest thing that’s happened in this move has been the souls that have been saved. As of last night, 84 people have come to Christ just in the last few days. But one of the other great things, I mean, one of the great things that’s happened is we have saw so many people come back to Christ. And I’m talking about Christians, I’m talking about folks that were already saved. God had already confirmed that in their spirit that they were born again.
But we have seen so many people get right with God. It is amazing. We’ve saw people in the church get right with one another. We’ve saw families, literally, we’re seeing families changed. Honestly Sunday before last, we looked across the altar in our church, and there were little pieces of Kleenex just littered across the front of the altar. I’ve never seen that in 30 years, where people were just weeping and just getting things right with the Lord. And it, as a pastor that’s been in the church for 30 years, man, it is something exciting to see.
Dave Kistler: Brother Steve, years ago I heard a great evangelist, if I called his name, you would know who I’m talking about, but he was in a meeting in another town outside North Carolina. And one of my pastor friends attended the meeting. And it was one of those times that literally the Lord just breathed on the place, and a genuine revival took place. And preceding all of the move of God, there was some tremendous excitement and enthusiasm. And the pastor that shared this with me said that he said to this evangelist, he said, “This is revival, this joy, this enthusiasm.” And the evangelist looked at him, and he said, “No.” He said, “I would disagree with you. It’s not revival yet.” He said, “You know revival has come when the altar and when the meeting place sounds like a labor room, like women getting ready to give birth to babies.” He said, “It’s called sorrow over sin.”
And that’s what you’re describing with these pieces of Kleenex that line the altar. It’s people weeping over their own sin, weeping ultimately tears of joy because they’re now right with God, right with others in their family, right with others in the body of Christ. And it’s an amazing thing to witness. Steve, I want to go here, and we got just a couple of minutes to do it. But in Acts chapter two, there were those who attempted to attribute God’s work at Pentecost to public drunkenness. In other words, the enemy, the devil wanted to discredit what God was doing. The Welsh Revival was certainly no different. There were many detractors and distractors from that event or those that wanted to discredit what God was doing. Now, I know you don’t want to major on this and neither do I, but I know anytime God moves, there are always people that have something negative to say. Have you experienced any of that? And if so, how have you chosen to handle it?
Steve Pope: We have had that, Brother Dave. We’ve already had folks that are beginning to criticize. And that’s all right. And we knew that that was going to happen. I think the way that I would address that, and the way I have addressed it to the church is that, and to our critics is that this wasn’t something that was planned. We never had this on the church calendar. This was something that just, this was something that God did. God orchestrated this, God put this together. And so to our detractors, I’ve just said, “Come and see. I mean, come and see.” It’s one thing to hear about what’s happening. It’s another thing just to come and see the lives that are literally being changed and people’s countenance completely transformed. It’s not about a man or a congregation or even a certain church. It’s just something that God saw fit to do.
Dave Kistler: Well, ladies and gentlemen, we’re talking with Pastor Steve Pope. He’s the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Union Grove, North Carolina. Over the last just under 10 days, God has breathed on that part, not only of Union Grove, but he’s breathed on that part of Western North Carolina. And people are coming from all over that area of the western part of the state in which I live, and they’re coming to see, just to see what God is doing there at Calvary Baptist. It’s something unique and it’s something special. And folks, I want to say this. I think Brother Steve said it as well as it could be said, and he said it with the kind of spirit with which it needs to be said. He said, “I just say to the detractors, Come and see, just come and see for yourself, and then decide whether or not this is a genuine work of God.”
In 1904, when the Welsh revival broke out, there were plenty of detractors there. And one well known British pastor said, “I’m going to go and see it for myself.” And he did exactly that. And he said from the time he arrived in the auditorium where the meeting was being held, he said, “I could sense the presence and power of God.” And he said to those that were the detractors, he said, “Come and see for yourself what I saw was God’s genuine work of revival being accomplished there in the principality of Wales.” Well, friends, when we come back, we’re going to continue our discussion with Pastor Steve. Our topic is this. Revival, when it happens, you’ll know it. Well, we’ve got a lot more to talk about. Don’t you miss a bit of it, coming up right after this very brief time out.
In the summer of 1806 in a grove of trees in Williamstown, Massachusetts five college students met to discuss the theology of missionary service. Well, their meeting was suddenly interrupted by a thunderstorm, and the students, Samuel Mills, James Richards, Francis Robbins, Harvey Loomis, and Byram Green took shelter under a haystack until the sky cleared. Well, the brevity of the shower and the strangeness of the place of refuge and the peculiarity of their topic of prayer and conference all took hold of their imaginations and their memories. And that small prayer meeting ultimately became the catalyst for the modern day missionary movement.
In 1808, the Haystack Prayer group and other Williams students began a group called, quote, “The Brethren.” Now that’s not The Brethren denomination. It was just called The Brethren. And this group was organized to effect in the persons of its members a mission to those who were not Christians. And in 1812, the ABCFM sent its first missionaries to the Indian subcontinent. Samuel Mills became the person with the greatest influence on the modern missions movement, and he played a role in founding the American Bible Society. Well, in 1867, a monument was erected in Williamstown, Massachusetts to honor the five men who gathered under that haystack and had that prayer meeting.
And then in 1906, a gathering took place in Williams College in Massachusetts to remember the prayer meeting of over 100 years before. And then in the summer of 2006, 200 years after the prayer meeting, those committed missions did celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Haystack Prayer Revival. And I share that with you, ladies and gentlemen, because I want you to understand something. So many times, revival can begin in a small, seemingly insignificant way. And the scripture actually addresses that in Zechariah four verse 10, where the Bible says that we should not, quote, “Despise the day of small things.” That which can begin small, can erupt into something beyond significant that can literally impact the nation and literally impact the globe.
And so we’re talking today again with Pastor Steve Pope, Calvary Baptist Church, Union Grove, North Carolina about what’s been going on for the last nine days plus there at his church. Over 80 people in just the last nine days have come to know Jesus Christ as savior. Families have been restored, relationships restored. People that have been following God at a distance, to call it that would be probably a generous way to say it, but knew the Lord as savior have been drawn back to the Lord. Their commitment to him has reached a fevered pitch. And the only way to describe all of this is to call it what the Bible calls it, and that’s a revival.
Steve, I want to go here. I heard it said by a seasoned and really well respected preacher years ago, and here’s what he said. He said, “God does not revive in the midst of apostasy.” Well, I think we’d all agree that we’re in a time of great apostasy right now. But the very word “revive,” vive, life, re, again, to come to life again, I think the word itself presupposes very serious decline. So I’m curious, Brother Steve, after what you’ve experienced over the last nine days, what would you say to those who would want to suggest that America is too far gone to experience any form of revival?
Steve Pope: Well, we’ve never believed that, Brother Dave. Yes, America is declining. That’s true. But we all know you cannot put God in a box, and we’ve always believed that at Calvary. I think I would just, again, I would say to them, it is just amazing to see what God is doing, and that what we’ve saw God do in just the last few days. There’s no explanation for it. It has spilled out, way outside of our church. It’s not just happening at Calvary. Our Calvary family is bringing people.
Our livestream, Brother Dave, is it’s unbelievable what’s happening on our livestream. There’s no explanation for it. We had people watch before, but now it’s, we have people watch. We had a man last night, Brother Dave, 73 years old that found the livestream, has watched the livestream the last few days. Called his niece and said, “I need you to come pick me up.” He lives over 30 minutes away from the church, says, “I need you to take me to church tonight.” And she said, “Okay” and took her feeble 73-year-old uncle to our church last night. He walked the aisle and was born again last night, and said he would never step foot in a church. That’s the kind of things we’re seeing happen. And there is no explanation for that outside of what God can do.
Gary Dull: And I think that’s a point to take into consideration, Brother Steve. And that is that when God works, yes, we are able to see him do that which is exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, but there’s no human explanation. To see God work is amazing. He works in his own way, his own time, through his own people, in the people that he wants to work in. And you look at it and you say, “Well, we couldn’t have planned that. We could never plan it again. But it’s just what God is doing.” So it’s amazing to hear this testimony of what’s taking place there in your church.
They say that during the Hebrides Revival back in 1949 on the island of Lewis that’s off the coast of Scotland, they say that the meetings over there in those days lasted for hours. And of course as well, even as you have indicated there in your revival, people came seeking God all hours of the day and night because God continued to work. Now, when you go through something like that, it is spiritually invigorating, but it is also physically tiring. And I can almost sense a bit of tiredness in your voice, even as we’re talking today. But how have you approached that in the last two days, keeping up with everything that God is doing and being physically fit and strong enough to be able to carry out the ministry God’s given you?
Steve Pope: Amen. I appreciate that, Brother Gary. Yes. It is true. And yes, I am tired and our people are extremely tired. I told some of our folks last night, I said, “I know you’re tired.” And I said, “But God knows that. God knows that as well.” But I’m going to tell you something that’s so exciting. And Brother Dave, you referenced this a while ago, talking about a delivery room. We’ve been seeing people saved during the service, but we have very much been seeing people saved after the service. And what’s really amazing is to see people who are already tired, they will not leave the church property until they see what happens. And it’s almost like a spiritual delivery room. They are waiting, although they’re wore out, and they’ve got to get up and go to work tomorrow. We have people that are staying around the church until 11 o’clock at night because they just can’t wait to see what decision is being made next. And so I think, Brother Gary, the answer to that is yes, there is, it’s physically taxing. But boy, spiritually speaking, God just gives you a supernatural energy to keep going.
Dave Kistler: Gentlemen, I was just thinking, Steve, as you were talking and as Gary posed that really important question, it’s a question that’s been on my mind and heart. And I’ll be honest with you, Steve, I’ve been praying for you because I know you’ve been at the tip of the spear. And I know God’s given you everything you’ve needed, and he’s given your people everything you’ve needed. But I know you because I’ve known you since you were a teenager. I know you give everything you’ve got to the calling to which God has led you. So I know you’ve got to be exhausted. So I’ve been praying, “Oh, God, strengthen him. Give him that which he needs. Keep him, Lord, strong and at the forefront of all of this.”
But there’s a passage in the book of Acts chapter number three. Of course, a lot happens in the early part of that chapter. But a lame man is healed, and it’s such a dramatic story that everybody in proximity hears about it. They all rush into the temple. And Peter stands up and he says this, “Repent.” He preaches this message, “And be converted that your sins may be blotted out.” Listen to this next phrase. “When the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” And Steve, I can also hear this in your voice. You have gone through, and your church has gone through and is still going through a time of spiritual refreshing, the likes of which you have really never experienced. Steve, you can’t put a price tag on that. How many people live the majority of their life and never see anything remotely close to what you are privileged to witness that is coming directly from God’s hand? I’d love for you, in just the couple of minutes we have left, to comment on that.
Steve Pope: Yes, sir, Brother Dave. It really has. It’s been spiritually invigorating. And our folks are tired, but I’m telling you, God is doing so many miraculous things. And I’ll just give you a for instance. I referenced the livestream a while ago. We’ve had this happen over the last nine days, we’ve had this happen numerous times where our service had already started. People were too tuning in to the livestream, and the spirit of God was working so strongly that they got in their car and drove physically to our property, walked the aisle at the property and got saved. We had a man the other day that drove from your area the other day and was watching from Morganton, North Carolina. The service had already started. Got in his car and probably drove a little too fast, but came to Union Grove, walked the aisle there at Calvary Baptist Church and was led to Christ. And it is just, it is so exciting. And when you see God doing those kind of things, man, it makes you want to go another day. That’s for sure.
Dave Kistler: Well, Steve, let me do this. Gary, I want to go to you. I’m going to ask you this question. I know in my 38 years of evangelistic ministry, there have been wonderful meetings. There’s been multitudes and multitudes, thousands of people that have come to know Christ as savior. But at the same time, there’s been high points. And I hear the music, and I’m not going to be able to ask the question, so I’ll just make the comment. Ladies and gentlemen, there’s been highlight moments where God just literally descended and met with you in a powerful way, in what can only be described as a genuine revival. Well, in the final segment, segment four coming up, we’re going to talk about what we can do. Now we know revival is God’s work. It’s God’s sovereign work. But are things that we can do to facilitate what God wants to do. And we’re going to be talking about that with Pastor Steve Pope coming up right after this movement.
Dave Kistler: Well, ladies and gentlemen, again, welcome back to Stand in the Gap today. I’m Dave Kistler, joined today by Dr. Gary Dull and our special guest, Pastor Steve Pope of the Calvary Baptist Church in Union Grove, North Carolina. And segment four is typically our what we call solution segment. And we don’t want today to be an exception to that. So we’re going to talk about a specific thing in this segment. And to do so, I want to introduce it this way. My wife and I are preparing for a really unique trip coming up here in a few months, and it’s a sailing expedition that has been a dream of both hers and mine for a long time. And folks, I’ll tell you right up front, I am not a veteran sailor at all, but I do know this. If you’re going to catch the wind of a sailing ship, you have to have your sail up.
Now with respect to revival, we know this. No man can produce revival. No one can manufacture revival. But there are some things that we can and should be doing to, and I’m going to use this analogy, set our sails for the wind of God when it blows. In other words, God can move, God’s breath can blow in revival, but if your sail’s down, your ship is not going to move anywhere. But if your sail’s up, when the wind blows, then the sail’s going to catch that wind, and God’s going to be able to move you where he wants you to go. He’s going to be able to do with both individuals, a church, a pastor that which he wants to do, if we have our sail up. And so that’s where I want to go in this segment. Steve, we’re talking about today an incredibly precious thing, the work of God in revival. And Evan Roberts, the great revivalist that God used so powerfully in the Welsh Revival of 1904 said this with respect to the Welsh Revival.
And that’s why I’m trying to be very guarded today. I know you are as well. But Evan Roberts said this. He said the revival in Wales, quote, “lost its luster when human hands played with it.” In other words, like damaging the beautiful petals of a rose when you touch them with your human hands, revival must remain out of our hands and in God’s hands. In other words, we can’t try to usurp and take credit for authority over that which God is doing because revival is his work. Yet having said that, there are some things that I believe we should be doing and not doing, so as to not interfere with what God is doing. And I wonder, Steve, I know you’ve thought about this because you want this to continue as long as God wants it to continue. So are there some things that you’re encouraging your people to do or to not do, so that in no way, the work of God in revival that’s been going on so gloriously for the last nine days is not in any way inhibited?
Steve Pope: Well, I think, Brother Dave, the answer to that is we’ve just tried to remind our people that revival is not based on a preacher. It’s not based necessarily on a sermon, a certain sermon or even a church. This thing, I really don’t think that this thing is about Calvary Baptist Church. In fact, we’ve watched as God, as I said a moment ago, God has caused this thing to spill out onto other families outside of our church, and even other churches. We’re already hearing reports of other churches are feeling the ripple effect of what’s going on at Calvary. I would tell you this, brother, that we’ve just tried to stand back and let God do his perfect work. I know two Sunday nights ago, March the 13th, when God began to move, and you know, Brother Dave, you’ve been to our church and we have a structured service, very structured service.
We tell our people that we have an order of service, but it is subject to change if God decides to do something. But two Sunday nights ago in the Sunday night service, when God began to work, and the altar began to become flooded, and I began to deal with people, and I thought, “Lord, what am I going to do?” I mean, I need to lead the service, but there are people in the altar that I need to be talking to. And it was really, Brother Dave, it was like the spirit of God said to me, he didn’t say it audibly of course, but it was like the spirit of God said, “You just move back, and you let me have this service.” And I literally, I did. I just, I stepped back. And from that point on, I said, “I’m not going to worry about the order of service tonight. We’re just going to try to let go and see what God does.” And we began to deal with people in the altar, and God, sure enough, God began to do what God wanted to do.
I think another thing I would say quickly is that the last nine days, as we’ve called the church back to have service, we haven’t even added things to the service that we normally would do to make the service flow, if I could use that word. We’ve just came together, fellowship, we’ve sang some, and then we’ve given the word, and then we’ve given an invitation. And it’s like every single night. We’ve not tried to wow people with a service, but God is continuing to move.
And I don’t know how much time I’ve got, but I’ll just tell you this too, Brother Dave, that right in the midst of all of this, we had already planned to have some major construction there in the front of our church. I told the construction company, I said, “Just come on.” And we had a mess on our hands. We had stuff in the auditorium that we had brought in from the grand atrium. And I guess what I’m trying to say, it was not an opportune time for us to have revival, but it was a time when God saw fit to send revival. And so I would just say we move out of the way and let go, and let God have his way.
Gary Dull: Stand back and watch God work, I think is what you’re saying. And Brother Steve, this has been a blessed time to have you on the program today. And we are rapidly running out of time. And I’m going to ask you a question that you may not even be able to answer. And if you can’t, that’s fine because what you’re seeing there is God doing the work. But we have pastors listening to us all across the nation, even this very moment. And there are pastors in churches, praying for revival and asking God to work. And so far, maybe they’ve not seen too much. So what would you say to that pastor right now that’s listening to us, saying, “I really wish that what’s taking place there in Brother Steve’s church in Mount Hope would take place in my church”? Can you give him a word of wisdom? Maybe not. Maybe just let God work, but speak to that pastor, if you would, please.
Steve Pope: Well, I think, Brother Gary, I would just say to that pastor, longevity. Just stay. And stay in love with Jesus, and stay in love with your people, and just keep preaching. And God does what God wants to do when God wants to do it. And as you see things happen, as you see a soul get saved, boy, you rejoice over that. As you see a family get right with God, man, you rejoice over those decisions, while you’re waiting on God to do maybe even greater things. And so I would just say to my brothers out there, just stay faithful, just keep preaching the word of God, and trust God that he can do it in his own time. God is a sovereign God.
Dave Kistler: Steve, I’m going to go back to that book that I read about the Welsh Revival many, many years ago on my first trip to England. The author of that book said this, “A revival occurred in Wales in 1859. And it was so moving that people began to pray for God to do it again. So from 1859 to 1904,” the author of the book said, “imagine how many sermons were preached, how many prayers were prayed, how many acts of kindness, of service to the Lord were done with seemingly no immediate response or no immediate outcome.”
He said, “You need to think of it this way. Every sermon preached in the power of the Holy Spirit for the glory of God, every act of service done in the power of the Holy Spirit for the glory of God, every prayer prayed for the glory of God goes into a reservoir.” And he said, “The reservoir from 1859 to 1904 filled up. And in 1904, God, in his sovereign plan chose to pull the plug out of the bottom of the reservoir and dump all of that out on the country of Wales in revival blessing.” The scripture says it this way in Isaiah 64:1, “Oh, Lord, wilt thou not rend the heavens? Oh, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy mighty presence.” Folk, let’s pray for revival. Let’s anticipate it. And let’s wait to see God do it.