When the Holy Spirit moves and brings revival, people are found turning away from their selves, they are found humbling themselves before a Holy God, there will be much prayers, tears, repentance, confession and forsaking of sins and souls will be saved. Evangelist John Sung, the anointed servant of Jesus Christ, knew from his own experiences that these sovereign works of the Holy Spirit in convicting sinners are clearly evident in the 1931 Nan-Chang revival when the Holy Spirit came mightily to draw men and women to Him and revived the churches in China.
During that revival, he recounted an occasion when one of the teachers brought five students who had already heard about the Gospel to see him. While their hearts were prepared, they had yet to come before God in faith to repent and believe. He wrote, “I asked everyone to kneel and pray, and said: “Lord, you have greatly suffered for us on the Cross, and they have doubts or are still unwilling to accept this unprecedented salvation. Those who are proud or doubtful are but seeking their own demise. Who can enter the Kingdom of God but he who is like a child? As I prayed, I felt that my “self” had died, and it was the Lord who was speaking to them. At that hour, the Holy Spirit descended upon us and Li Yun Ding started to cry bitterly as she felt heavy with sin. All five of them finally turned to the Lord.”
Clearly the message that John Sung was saying to every sinner that is seeking salvation, with a child-like faith you must humble yourself and look to the Lamb of God on the cross and cry out to God for mercy and grace and be born again. Through the preaching of the Gospel, the Holy Spirit calls the sinner, convicts him of his sins and draws him to Calvary. The sinners saw their sins and they saw Jesus Christ, the pure and perfect Lamb of God, offered as their atoning sacrifice and their only hope.
Walking very closely with God, John Sung himself fully immersed with the Word of God and prayers before God. He shared with foreign missionaries and teachers, “I read 11 chapters of the Bible every day. After each chapter, I will ask the Lord to reveal to me my sins. The Bible is His Precious Blood meant to cleanse my sins. I cannot leave the salvation brought about by His Precious Blood for even one minute.” He urged foreign missionaries and teachers to attend a particular meeting to be held in the night and he revealed “as this was the day the Holy Spirit would descend upon us mightily.”
In the afternoon before the meeting, it was already evident that the Holy Spirit was already working amongst attendees, he wrote “Many were tearing amongst the audience even before the service was due to begin that afternoon.” John Sung pointed them to the Savior, the perfect Lamb of God dying on the cross for the transgressions of sinners. He wrote,”I preached from Luke 23:26-46. Before long, the entire congregation and I were in tears and everyone raised their hands. The hall was reverberating with heartfelt prayers.”
In a meeting with the teachers and preachers just prior to start of the meeting, he pleaded with them, “If a preacher could not identify his own sins and empty himself, he would lack the power to penetrate the strong citadels in other people’s hearts. Destroy not what the Holy Spirit has wrought in your heart, lest God be grieved. God loves to work with him who has an obedient heart.” He stated “There is now a spiritual revival amongst the students, and the leaders will be guilty of a great sin if they themselves do not experience a spiritual revival.” Surely, John Sung clearly understood that a preacher of the Gospel must have spent much time before the Lord praying and preparing his heart and dealing with known sins and seeking to rely and call upon God’s power to bring forth the Gospel to illuminate sinners who are spiritual dead and blind. He mentioned, “In my prayers, I lamented the fact that I do not even have a tiny fraction of His Love, and begged for His forgiveness. May He give me His love and save all the prodigal sons who have been led astray”. During the meeting that evening, John Sung recorded the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit: “At that hour, the Holy Spirit came upon us …… broke down and cried as she confessed and gave her heart to the Lord.” Sins were confessed, lives and focus priorities of leaders were aligned.
He believed that The Holy Spirit will sustain the revival already begun but it was important that weekly prayer meetings be held for people who are saved to come together to pray and ask for God’s “cleansing by the Blood of the Lamb”. Weekly prayer meeting were the focal points where people of God come together to seek His face and seek His interventions in their lives and for the work at hand. On 7 March 1931 in another meeting, he delivered a sermon warning about hypocritical attitudes will take over if people who are saved do not come often before God. He wrote, “I asked the audience to pray when I had finished. At this juncture, I heard the sound of the Holy Spirit descending in my left ear. More than 50 people continued to pray incessantly, confessing their sins in a deluge of tears, and were unable to continue with their prayers. All but three girls from the high school accepted salvation on that day.”
When hearts of God’s people are prepared and they earnestly seek His presence, He will come !
The quotes from John Sung are from “The Journal Once Lost” Page 120-121 published by Armour Publishing.