Wednesday, 24 August 2011
Europe to rise from the dead?
“Europe does not need any brilliant preachers or any more teachers of the Word. There is an abundance of these people available. What Europe needs is that there will be people who will stand at the gap on behalf of the nations and pray in tears and repent on behalf of the land. That’s why I believe that Europe is going to be raised from spiritual death.”
These were the words of Brother Yun, the persecuted Chinese pastor at the heart of autobiography “The Heavenly Man”, to a packed conference room at the Christian Resources Exhibition on Wednesday.
“When I stepped from my airplane and landed in this country my prayer was immediately, ‘God may Your Kingdom come again upon this nation and may Your will be done in this nation and in the lives of the believers of this nation as it is in heaven,’” he told the audience.
The Heavenly Man documents Brother Yun’s miraculous escape from the Zhengzhou maximum security prison in 1997, when the Lord told him to walk out of the prison, and upon obeying, he discovered each door open for him, including the main prison gate. He is believed to be the only inmate to have ever escaped from the prison.
He shared his experience: “Jesus walked into my solitary cell and He said, ‘Brother Yun stand up and walk out…I was so frightened and I said, ‘Jesus this is a top security prison, I have a lot of experience about prisons!’ But when Jesus takes action it is faster than your own thoughts. Immediately Jesus said to me, ‘Your prison is real but I am alive and I am the truth.’”
Brother Yun’s second book, “Living Water” is a collection of the messages he has preached around the world in church meetings, conferences, and during radio and television appearances.
“It brings a challenge to Western Christianity to return to discipleship and truly be disciples of Jesus. To be a believer of Jesus is the world’s simplest thing. Just believe in Jesus and you will receive eternal life. But if you want to follow Jesus as His disciple you have to get ready to pay a high price for that obedience,” he said.
“[You will] receive a lot of opposition, pressure, misunderstandings, complaints and pain into your life. Still, how many of you want to follow Jesus and carry your cross? That is the opportunity for transformation for our nation. It comes from here.”
In 2001, after years of persecution, arrests and numerous spates in prison for his faith, Brother Yun took asylum in Germany, where he continues his ministry. He likened his early years to being in a different kind of prison.
“When I came to this prison it was really hard for me to survive. I don’t know where I got the idea that God’s most powerful church is in the West, because they are the ones who sent the missionaries and the Word of God to my nation.”
Choking back tears, he continued, “When I went to the big cathedrals in Germany on Sunday morning I was surprised, such huge big buildings and only four, five, maximum ten people on Sunday morning worshipping God.
“I didn’t understand a word they were saying at the church but I understood the need. I said, ‘God have mercy upon this nation, Lord do something in this nation.’
He told of how he went to the main railway station and started to shout aloud, calling God’s mercy upon Germany.
“Sometimes I was on my knees in tears shouting, ‘God have mercy and compassion upon this nation, Lord give once again your glory upon this nation, send the presence of Your Kingdom upon this nation.’ I was in tears, so many tears on behalf of Europe and the nation of Germany…The Western world is filled with different kinds of prisoners.”
He exhorted European Christians to go beyond lukewarm Christianity and become streams of living water.
“We visited [Europe’s] empty churches and the churches were having an internal meeting together but the river was not flowing out of the church and I became really worried and concerned in my spirit,” he told.
“And I was speaking in conferences and meetings with tens of thousands of people that were so crowded but there was not even a word that challenged about missions and going out and bringing the world to salvation.
“So once again the Lord started to challenge me and said you have to preach out the message about how to bring the church out from the lukewarm Christianity to become true disciples of Christ.”
He said, however, that European church leaders have lost hope in revival.
“Europe is going to be raised from the dead but many of these leaders can’t believe that. They are shaking their heads.”
He continued: “There is a great need of one thing at the church in Europe. Everything except the presence of the living water and the possibility for the living water to run out of the church – that is the only thing missing from the church.”
“Your church may be the wealthiest church but when God is looking at that church God is saying you are poor, you are naked, you are sick. And I think God is going to call smaller groups of people who start to repent in tears and pray and ask God to have mercy upon our nation and mercy upon our city and they will bring the Kingdom presence back upon that society.”
Brother Yun challenged Europe’s Christians not to remain lying at the pool of Bethesda like the paralysed man for 38 years.
“Jesus is the source of living water. You are still lying there,” he told the audience.
“You have to receive the same faith as the blind man at the Gate of Jericho who cried out, ‘Son of David have mercy on me,’ or the woman who came behind Jesus and touched His cloak and her life was totally changed.
“Your need is to get hold of Jesus, not to get hold of any famous pastor or anybody else. You need Jesus.
“And if a new generation of believers rise in this nation who say we only want to get hold of Jesus, we need Jesus, that is the beginning of resurrection for this country.”
He concluded with the assurance that Europe was on the cusp of revival.
“I see very clearly Europe is going to be raised from the dead and is going to break out a revival. As I have been travelling around Europe and visiting the different denominations and churches I have understood that there is a time right now when the compassion of the Lord is coming upon Europe.
“We need this stream of living water to come into our midst and bring change. Do you have this desire and prayer in your life: ‘May I become one of those who are flooding out the river of god, make my church to be the one where the stream of living water is flooding to the needs of the world.
“Jesus is unchanged. He still says if somebody is thirsty come to Me and drink and anyone who believes in Me as Scriptures say, streams of living water will flow from within them.”