NOBTS President, Chuck Kelley, Sees Confession of Sin by Christians as a Missing Key to Spiritual Awakening

Chuck Kelley
Chuck Kelley

Let us be clear on this indisputable fact: The Lord is God.

There is no glory greater than His glory. What He desires to do, He is able to do. We can look back in the story of our nation and see the Lord is able to pour out His Spirit with such power and effect that the whole nation is deeply stirred. We have names for such times: the Great Awakening, the Second Great Awakening and, more recently, the Jesus Movement.

Not that long ago …

I was there in the Jesus Movement and saw my college campus profoundly changed. The playlist of the nation’s pop radio stations included songs about Jesus at the top of the list, not the bottom. There were record-setting numbers of conversions in churches of all sorts. Jesus was Time Magazine’s Man of the Year. The Gospels inspired two hit Broadway musicals that are still touring today. My wife and I saw one of them (“Jesus Christ Superstar”) again just a few months ago. Profound changes in worship were set in motion and are still creating ripples in today’s churches.

The chaos and upheaval of the ’60s ended with a mighty movement of God in the’70s, making Jesus an unavoidable part of the national cultural and religious conversation.

But not now …

Let us also be clear on this indisputable fact: That kind of movement of God is not sweeping America today. Why?

Is there no need for such an outpouring of God today? I can’t imagine anyone arguing that position. Is God less able to stir the nation today than He was in years past? This cannot be the case. Is God less interested in igniting the fires of revival and awakening today than He was in our past? Given His love for sinners revealed in Scripture and demonstrated in His suffering on the cross, such antipathy toward us could not exist.

Where is the mighty movement of God stirring our nation? Forget the nation as a whole. Where is the stirring of God in a mighty way even within our churches?

I suggest one factor in the lack of an outpouring of God’s Spirit in our churches and nation today is the widespread absence of a particular kind of prayer. It is not an uncommon prayer in Scripture: David prayed it; Isaiah prayed it; Nehemiah prayed it; Paul prayed it. While not an uncommon prayer in the Bible, it does appear to be an uncommon prayer today, perhaps because it is embarrassing.


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SOURCE: Baptist Press
Chuck Kelley