This August, we're looking at the truth behind some of Hollywood's biggest hits - and today, we're learning from Jesus's Revolution. This movie is a true story of a Spiritual Revival that took place in Southern California in the 1960s! The Hippies weren't just getting high on LSD, but they discovered the radical love of Christ and became Jesus' Freaks! No one in the culture saw it coming, especially those in the Traditional Church!
The 1960s was a time of turmoil in America with much social upheaval. While NASA put a man on the moon, leaders who promised peace were assassinated, and the youth was disillusioned with riots, racial tension, and civil rights struggles. Out of this turmoil, the Hippie Movement emerged on the west coast, rejecting traditional values and seeking a new way of living. They turned to drugs and free love, thinking they could find meaning and freedom through these actions.
EMBRACE GEN Z
In the movie, we meet Pastor Chuck Smith during this counterculture movement, who led a small Calvary Chapel church. His encounter with a hippie named Lonnie Frisbee began a powerful spiritual revival. After experiencing the radical forgiveness and freedom offered by Jesus, Lonnie felt called to share the Gospel with his generation. He realized they were searching for love in all the wrong places.
Every generation is searching for something; the same applies to GEN Z today. Lonnie observed that this generation is like sheep without a shepherd, seeking connection but unable to find it. So, they turn to social media and other online platforms but feel more isolated than ever. Lonnie's compassion for his generation challenges us to see this generation with the eyes of Jesus and open our hearts and doors to welcome them. Jesus says in Revelation 3:20, "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me."
BREAK TRADITIONS, EMBRACE CHANGE!
Welcoming the next generation can be challenging, especially when it requires breaking away from traditions and embracing new methods. Here's what we can be clear on, Culture changes, but the Gospel never does! We aim to pour the truth of God's Word into Millennials and Gen Z so they can understand and connect where they are. Pastor Chuck faced criticism when he opened the doors of his church to the hippies, but he understood that revival requires humility, a willingness to change, and a focus on Jesus above all else.
Revival comes when we keep pointing people to the Gospel of grace and acceptance! Jesus loved and welcomed everyone except the Pharisees, who were a group of people who loved to follow the traditions of their Father but not the heart of Jesus! He referred to them as Hypocrites in Matthew 23:13-15. They played a religious role to gain power and keep others out. Hypocrisy is deadly to an authentic relationship because it separates us from God and others. Hypocrisy is the enemy of true revival.
REVIVAL, HUMILITY, AND THE NEXT GENERATION
The Jesus Revolution led to thousands of people being baptized, marking a significant spiritual awakening in America. One of the individuals baptized was Greg Laurie, who later became a global evangelist, leading thousands to Christ. As a church, we must embrace the Next Generation, believing in their potential and calling to make a difference. We must continue to open our doors and hearts to the Next Generation; you never know, you may be sitting next to the next great revivalist! Let us continue to encourage them with Jesus's words in 1 Timothy 4:12, "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.
At the heart of Revival is Humility. We must be humble enough to turn away from our sins and come before God, asking for His mercy. We do not receive salvation based on our merits or good efforts. It doesn't matter if you have perfect church attendance, are a faithful giver, or love worshiping and serving in the church. These are all wonderful spiritual disciplines, but none of these things qualify you for Heaven. It's not about what you do, but solely what Jesus did for you on the Cross that counts.
Let's keep the focus on Jesus as we invest in the next generation of believers!
For more encouragement, support, and tools to equip you, we encourage you to check out these additional resources:
- MESSAGE: To watch Liquid Church's entire message on "Jesus Revolution” from Part One of our Series, “At The Movies” click here.
- ARTICLE: Every student is a caring adult away from unlocking their God-given potential. Many adults aim to shield the next generation from dangers in this complex time. However, we must recognize that GEN Z holds explosive power and potential to impact our world for Christ's glory. They need to be unleashed upon the world, not shielded. To learn How Gen Z changed the world, click here.
- MESSAGE: Did you know that God has a specific purpose for each generation? And our heart beats with a passion to see a generational transfer where the baton of faith is successfully passed from one generation to the next. The onus is on us to transfer faith to the next generation! To watch “Raise Up The Next Generation,” click here.