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The Holy Spirit Never Left the Church

Later in the century, the Baptists were shaken by the voices of William Carey, John Ryland, and others who had come under the power of Moravian preaching. These daring young men initiated the first Baptist mission work to the heathen. In one of their meetings, when senior ministers loudly opposed them, they dropped a Moravian magazine on the table and pleaded for support. In both cases, the Wesleys and Carey, fierce opposition rose against them because the work was new. Even so, Carey finally sailed for India, enduring years of horrendous trials, and successfully planted the Tree of the Gospel in Hindu soil. Today, there are an estimated 25,000,000 Christians in India.

For nearly two centuries, England blossomed under this fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Genuine, New Testament evangelism touched and changed millions of lives. Later, however, things changed. Fervor in the churches cooled, hardening again, congregations becoming much like they had been before. Christians fell back into “religion” as a replacement of spirituality. Historically, the Holy Spirit’s move in the church has been characterized by:

1. Inspiration

2. Evangelization

3. Organization

4. Stagnation.

At the point of stagnation, there has usually been an out-cry for inspiration. Re-birthing consequently follows, and the cycle repeats itself. Historically, and without exception, those Christian bodies who rejected God’s call to evangelize the heathen died in their own stagnation. Though once powerful and strong, they have vanished from the scene of spiritual influence. God will not tolerate self-centeredness and religious greed. Groups who exist for themselves quickly die by themselves. There is no exemption from this rule. My former denomination was one of those and in my lifetime I have seen nearly 3,000 of their churches disappear. We either preach the gospel or we perish.

Today, Wesley would be horrified at the unbelief permitted in parts of his own Methodist Church. So would Martin Luther, John Knox, John Calvin, others. William Carey would have special reason to grieve: In England, Carey’s old stone Church building was bulldozed and a Hindu Temple built in its place. The historic building in which William Carey preached, prayed, and wept, for God to send him to India, came under the wrecking ball. India had come to England. Why did it happen? How could the virtual shrine of the Baptist Foreign Mission Movement come under the ax? The answer is simple: The Baptists were gone. Like hundreds of other Church buildings in England and on the Continent, no one attended the services. More alarming than that however, is the reality that today there are more Moslems in England today than there are Methodists and Baptists combined.

And that has happened in a historic Christian nation.

In 1699 the Islamic invasion of Europe was stopped outside the gates of Vienna after two and one-half centuries of bloody fighting. The victory that saved Europe from death on Moslem swords came only at the cost of thousands of lives and the urgent wailing of Christian prayers. Every congregation in Europe was on its face in frantic prayer for deliverance. Today, the invasion has taken on a different tactic—and without an outcry; Mosques and Hindu Temples are sprouting up in England as far north as the tip of Scotland. More frightening, the conversion rate of new believers in English churches is less than two percent while the Moslem rate of conversion is fifteen percent. In 1699 every church in Europe was praying. Today, with the new invasion, that is not happening. For the most part, churches are strangely silent. Concern, however, is not about Hindus or Moslems in England or America; concern is about the church on both sides of the Atlantic. Radical change and renewal are desperately needed.

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Category: Church History

About the Author: Charles Carrin, D.D., has served the body of Christ for over 65 years. Educated at University of Georgia and Columbia Theological Seminary, he denied, in belief and practice, the contemporary ministry of the Holy Spirit until a personal crisis opened his eyes to what he had been missing. He is the author of Spirit-Empowered Theology (Chosen, 2017), The Edge Of Glory: Receiving the Power of the Holy Spirit (Creation House, 2002), Sunrise of David Sunset of Saul: A Message to the Church in the End-time (1985, 2014), On Whose Authority?: The Removal of Unwanted Scriptures (Burkhart Books, 2014), a revival novel with Dorothy Easley: Island in the Sun (Xulon, 2010), and a contributor to Word Spirit Power: What Happens When You Seek All God Has to Offer (Chosen, 2012) with R.T. Kendall and Jack Taylor. Today his ministry centers upon the visible demonstration of the Spirit and imparting of His gifts. Read his biography at www.charlescarrinministries.com/about-charles.php.

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