Guest / Limited Access /

While preaching at Rockharbor, my home church in Costa Mesa, California, where thousands of students and young adults attend, I quoted the old Puritan John Owen on the need for personal holiness—not exactly the hottest topic today: "There is not a duty we perform for God that sin does not oppose. And the more spirituality or holiness there is in what we do, the greater enmity to it. Sin never wavers, yields, or gives up … no area of one's life indeed is secured without a struggle."

Then I issued a call to confession. Suddenly the biggest guy in the auditorium charged the platform and dropped to his knees before me. He was sobbing so hard that people in the front row began to cry along with him.

Over the last three years, I have witnessed thousands of such confessions at churches and at more than 30 campuses, both secular and Christian. I've discovered that this generation of young men and women is crying out for revival.

I acknowledge that the statistics related to, for example, the sexual practices of today's generation are extremely alarming to their baby boomer elders, who thought they had broken all the taboos. According to Mark D. Regnerus's book Forbidden Fruit: Sex and Religion in the Lives of American Teenagers (Oxford, 2007), "[E]vangelical teenagers don't display just average sexual activity patterns, but rather above-average ones." But I've been learning that this depiction is far from the whole story.

When the Bottom Falls Out

My education in revival began in fall 2004. I had just delivered a speech to thousands of students at Azusa Pacific University. As someone who had struggled with sexual impurity and alcoholism before my conversion over three decades ago, I felt compelled to ask them to confess personal ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedA Thread Called Grace
A Thread Called Grace
How I came to stop hiding and face the biggest secret of my early life.
TrendingFive Errors to Drop From Your Easter Sermon
Five Errors to Drop From Your Easter Sermon
If you want to help people see Holy Week with fresh eyes, start by dropping these familiar fallacies.
Editor's PickHow God Became Jesus—and How I Came to Faith in Him
How God Became Jesus—and How I Came to Faith in Him
Bart Ehrman’s narrative suggests the more educated you are, the less likely you are to believe. My life proves otherwise.
Leave a Comment

Use your Christianity Today login to leave a comment on this article. Not part of the community? Subscribe now, or register for a free account.

hide thisDecember December

In the Magazine

December 2007

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.