Thursday, June 08, 2006

A Vision of Paradise

I am reading "Listen to Me, Satan!" by the Argentinian evangelist Carlos Annacondia (Charisma House, 1998). Despite the title, this book is more about God's work than Satan's. In fact C. Peter Wagner writes that it "may well be regarded in the future as one of the most important, if not the most important, revival books of the decade."

Here is an extract, from p.26:
Once God gave me a vision of a big oasis with exotic plants, all kinds of fruit trees, streams of crystal clear waters, flowers, dark green grass, birds, and a large crowd drinking refreshing drinks, eating fruit, singing, laughing, and playing. I thought, This place must be paradise. But as I came closer to the fence around its borders, I saw a desert on the other side. There were no trees, no water, no flowers, and no shade; the hot sun was splitting the rocks in two, and I saw an agonizing crowd staring at us. Many had parched, broken skin; their tongues were swollen, and they had to help each other to stand. Their hands were extended toward those of us in paradise, begging for help.

This vision helped me to reflect the church of Jesus. The walls in our buildings are tired of listening to us. Every single brick could become a doctor in theology. Let's take the message of the pulpit to the streets, to the town squares, to the parks. Let's go door to door talking about Christ. The cries of those who suffer resonate in our ears. Let's wake up; the news on radio and television, the daily newspapers, and the weekly magazines are singing praise to the destroyer. Let's preach about Jesus Christ!
Of course the precise methods we use have to be suitable for the culture we are evangelising, under the Holy Spirit's guidance, and not simply copied from Argentina. But we certainly need to accept this call in principle!

And then from p.29:
I want to close this chapter with some words that God spoke to me: Love for the lost produces revival. When love ceases, revival does too. He who has a passion for souls lives in an ongoing revival.

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