Scripture: Hebrews 4:14
In the fall of 1971, Billy Graham released a book titled The Jesus Generation. Graham had become America’s best-known religious leader, a role he had held, and would hold, for decades. He hoped that readers who hadn’t yet joined the revolution would come to faith in Christ and join in.
Of course it had not been a perfect revolution. But, said Graham, the early church in the book of Acts had such weaknesses as well. In his analysis, the new Jesus
Movement also had some intriguing strengths.
• It was spontaneous, without a human figurehead or leader. It was centered around Jesus himself.
• It was Bible based. The majority of the Jesus People dug into well-worn Bibles for their understanding of Christ, His teaching, and His death and resurrection.
• It was about an experience with Jesus Christ, not head knowledge. The Jesus People emphasized that people must be born again, experiencing the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.
• It emphasized the Holy Spirit.
• It transformed lives. Young people who came to Christ in this time period were finding a cure from drugs, other addictions, and ingrained patterns of sin.
• It emphasized Christian discipleship. The Jesus People understood, because of their focus on the Bible and the Holy Spirit, that salvation was in fact followed by a lifetime of sanctification, or becoming more like Jesus over the long run.
• It was interracial and multiethnic. The Jesus People had come of age in a society reeling from segregation and social partitions. They saw in their Bibles that in Jesus, there were no racial divisions. They believed it.
• It showed a great zeal for evangelism. Graham noted that Jesus Christ’s last words on earth were, “Go forth to every part of the world and proclaim the Good News,” and that’s exactly what the “original Jesus people, most of them young,” went out and did in the first century.
• It emphasized the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Because of Graham’s huge influence on conservative Christians, his focus on the Jesus Movement served as an important wake-up call for older believers who might have otherwise ignored what was going on in youth culture. If the Jesus Movement started as a spontaneous movement among hippies, Graham helped to shape its second wave as traditionally conservative Christians got on board.
Draw from Dr. Graham’s list of observations about the Jesus Movement to write specific prayers for revival in faith community.