When I was a kid, our church had an annual revival meeting. Our pastor would get a professional evangelist or a preacher from another church to come and preach a series of sermons every night for a week. I used to look forward to the revival every year. The church would be a little more full than usual. Some folks from other churches in our community would come, and that brought a different sort of energy to our little country church. Of course, by the middle of the week, I would get tired of going to church every night, but for the first few nights, it was entertaining, even if I don’t remember all that many lives getting changed. But then when I was fifteen, we had a different sort of revival preacher. He was a young man, right out of college. And he was energetic. When he preached, he would tuck his Bible under one arm and gesture with his other hand. I thought it made him look like the Heisman trophy. I was a bit in awe of him. One thing that preacher said that week has stuck with me. He said, “Sometimes you get so full of the Spirit, you’re ready to storm Hell with a water pistol.” What an image! To be so passionate about the truth that sets people free, you’ll face overwhelming odds to tell the saving truth with no thought of your own safety, comfort or social status.
This week, I'm beginning a new series of sermons at WBC. All this year, I'm preaching on the theme, "Representing Christ in a non-Christian culture." People in Scripture who served God well in difficult times had certain things in common, and one of those attributes was boldness. This Sunday I'll talk about what boldness really is. Some Christians exhibit qualities that may seem bold, but in truth, do the cause of Christ more harm that good. I'll contrast those with a picture of stunning boldness we see in a young boy, found in 1 Samuel 3. I'll also tell the rest of the story of how that revival meeting when I was 15 helped change my life forever.