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Robinson urges ‘extraordinary prayer, saturation evangelism’ fo

MILL VALLEY, Calif. (BP)–With the year 2000 approaching, the church should pray increasingly for spiritual awakening and act more intentionally in saturation evangelism, an evangelism leader said at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary.
Darrell Robinson, special assistant for evangelism at the North American Mission Board and author of “People Sharing Jesus,” told students, faculty and staff at the Mill Valley, Calif., campus that the year 2000 can offer some of the greatest opportunities in Christian witness.
“There is so much darkness at this hour,” he said in a chapel message. “There are multitudes of disgruntled church members, discouraged and defeated pastors, issues of politics in religion and enough depravity across America to cause what happened recently in Colorado.”
The light of the glory of God nevertheless shines brightest in the midst of the deepest darkness, Robinson said, and God can break through in revival and spiritual awakening if the church does three things:
“There should be extraordinary prayer, unity of the people of God and obedience to Jesus and his mission.” Throughout Scripture and Christian history, he said, these three things are always present before spiritual awakenings.
Robinson said he has seen bits and pieces of spiritual awakening all over the nation and world. Currently, he serves as national facilitator for personal witness for Mission America, a coalition of more than 300 denominations, para-church ministries and ministerial networks. With this position, he has established a “Celebrate Jesus 2000” emphasis that aims to share the gospel with everyone in North America by the end of the year 2000.
“God is up to something, and what we’re yearning for is a sweeping revival across the nation,” he said. “It isn’t happening yet, but it’s touching down like tornadoes in various places where some are willing to come together and seek God. The power doesn’t come when God’s people are at one another’s throats. It comes when we lift Jesus up and there’s unity.”
Robinson said 1 Timothy 2:1-4 states two things God wants: his followers to pray for godliness, holiness and a quiet life, and all the world to be saved and be knowledgeable of the truth.
“Jesus’ strategy aims for a worldwide evangelistic saturation, but it began in Jerusalem in Acts 1,” Robinson said. “If we were the only Christians in the world like they were, he’d start with us in this room and say to take the gospel to your Jerusalem and saturate your community.”
It will take every Christian to do it, Robinson declared. “Preachers can’t do it alone. Leaders and seminary professors can’t do it alone. If leaders don’t do it, though, the people won’t do it. Nevertheless, God has the army to accomplish his will, but most choose to stay in the tents while the generals go out and do battle.”
Citing the example of the Apostle Paul, Robinson said, “I have to discipline myself and keep myself accountable that I’m seeing every person like God sees them and share the good news of Jesus with them.
“Evangelism has to be intentional because it does not just happen,” he said. “We tend to move away from rather than toward evangelism.”
The early Christians in Acts 4, after the first big wave of persecution, gathered together to pray for boldness, Robinson recounted. “Satan is always on the campaign to intimidate us into silence,” he said. Christians need to have a bold witness, but one that “isn’t brashness or browbeating. …We need to pray that God will help us be who we are where we are with whoever we are and not to disguise ourselves.”
Robinson told of a man who at age 65 felt God calling him to be available as a soul-winner, so Robinson gave him weekly assignments of people to talk to. “Every week, he brought someone down the aisle,” Robinson said. “He began to go all over the nation and the world to train people to share effectively. At his funeral 24 years later, his son said that he began to live when he was 65.”
Churches need to identify spheres of influence in their surrounding areas and take the gospel in many different ways to as many people as they can, Robinson said. “Eventually, every person in the community is one day going to think they need God. When that happens, it shouldn’t have been long for someone from a church to tell them about Jesus.”
Robinson said in his experience he never meets anyone who doesn’t want to talk about Jesus. “And every Christian deep down inside wants to share Christ. We’re not in this by ourselves. God wants spiritual awakening to happen more than we do. It’s every Christian’s job to share Jesus where he or she is.”
Robinson visited the seminary campus April 21-22.

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