Eventually, the fire of love in the early church faded. Ever since those embers died, there has been an ache in God’s heart for the magnitude of that love to be fully restored to His Church. This is how Frank Bartleman, an eye-witness historian of Azusa Street, explains how this happening was a central part of that Revival:
“God’s love was wonderfully manifest in the meetings. The leaders would not even allow an unkind word said against those who opposed them. The message was the love of God. It was like the first love of the early church had returned. We knew the moment we had grieved the Spirit by an unkind thought or word.”
My husband, Barry, shares another compelling perspective:
“Jesus healed. He fed the multitudes. He set many free from demons. Yet, these same people deserted Him. So, although He had a miraculous ministry, He was very aware that the miraculous alone would not be enough for the Gospel to spread. That could only happen when a united group of believers understood what it meant to love one another, and to worship and pray with a unity that was based on that love. Sure, the miracles, signs and wonders after Pentecost had an impact on the unsaved. But, what ignited in the Book of Acts Revival was a raging blaze of unprecedented love that changed the world. Then in approximately ten years, this Revival Fire was seen throughout the Roman Empire. It became the most spectacular one in history.” Barry Johnson
Now is an urgent time for this “unprecedented love” to catch fire again. Without it being restored, Christianity becomes empty to the saved, and meaningless to the world.
That is why Jesus said:
My command is for you to live this life of love.”
2 John, I John 3:10, 4:8 NCV