For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; that their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. ~ Colossians 2: 1-8

Last night was the last night of the Asbury revival services, and it was the only night that I watched any of the services. I only saw a portion of the service, but what I saw was simply beautiful. I heard Christ preached, Christ called on, and Christ worshiped. Watching those precious college students crying out with pure hearts for Jesus was lovely, and it took me back down memory lane as I thought of the sweet times of fellowship I had with the Lord as a young man. I didn’t know the Bible like I know it now, but I was hungry and I wanted Jesus.

Over the past 3 – 4 years, I have become more and more increasingly discouraged by what I see within American Christianity. It seems more and more Christians are political, judgmental, and puffed up with pride.

What I find particularly disturbing is those who found fault with the Asbury revival because it didn’t fit into their theological box, missed the most important theological truth there is: Jesus, himself.

They’d rather sit in judgment with their philosophy about the importance of theology rather than seeing young people yearning for the Living God, but I’m with the students of Asbury. I’d rather have Jesus.

In Paul’s letter to the Colossians, he warns them to not allow anyone to spoil them through philosophy and vain deceit after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Many who boast in their theology tend to condemn others who don’t think like them, yet they have nothing more than a lifeless philosophy about God. There is no room for the real, living Christ in their theology. Yet, the living Christ ought to be the central theme of all our theology.

Those who boast in their theology, often get puffed up about the knowledge they think they have, and if you don’t serve God according to their knowledge and understanding, then you’re false. Yet, Paul tells the Colossians that all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Christ!

If you have Christ, you have the key to all the truth about God!

I really don’t care if 18, 19, and 20 year old students have their theology together or not. If their hearts are crying out for God, so much so that they don’t want to leave his presence, and they just want more of Jesus, I really couldn’t care less about how theological together they are. Jesus is the Savior, not theology! Jesus is Lord, not theology! Jesus is the Son of God, not theology! Go after Christ with all your heart, and good theology will find you.

Jesus who died, and rose again, now lives forever in the presence of the Father to bring us near to God. If you make Jesus your whole heart’s desire, the Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth.

When I look back on my late teens and early 20’s there were a lot of things I had wrong in my theology, but my heart was hungry for God and I wanted Jesus. And this is what every person who sits in judgment of the Asbury revival has missed. Those young people just want Jesus, and Jesus is the biggest threat to the judgmental, puffed up Christian.

In 1 Corinthians 8, Paul instructs us not to use our knowledge to injure other believers. Paul warns that knowledge without love will puff you up in pride. When we see others who are passionate, and hungry for God, we have a responsibility to encourage their growth in the Lord, and not disparage it.

When Apollos (Acts 18) was unlearned about Christ, but passionate for the things of God, Aquila and Priscilla took the time to nurture him and show him the way of God more perfectly. That’s what those who are seasoned in the faith are called to do. Let’s rejoice in what God has done in the hearts of the students of Asbury as wells as others elsewhere who were touched by God through Asbury.

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