Acts 8:18-20

And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.

Read all of Acts Chapter 8 here

I did not originally plan this particular devotional, but a couple of comments by regular commenters really caught my eye and should be addressed, I think. What we see above is just part of Acts Chapter 8, specifically dealing with a man call Simon. The Apostles had been traveling and preaching in the area and laying hands on people. Upon the laying on of hands these people would then receive the Holy Spirit; at least that was what Simon thought. Simon offered the disciples money to provide him with that same ability. It is from this passage we get the term :”simony,” or the buying and selling of ecclesiastical privileges

Point one was made by by blogging friend Melissa.

This reminds me of the scene in Acts 8 with Simon the Sorcerer. “Revival” has become a marketing ploy for churches rather than another name for the gift of the holy spirit, a spiritual “replenishment” if you will. That and “volunteer weekend”, I thought we served the Lord everyday? lol

The second comment was from my blogging friend Roughseasinthemed

What do you think to Elmer Gantry (Sinclar Lewis) regarding revivalism?

Both Gantry and Falconer were fake, yet, many people believed in them. Gantry was a salesman, just turned to selling religion. And using Falconer, selling revivalism.

Given the film was a triple Oscar winner (yeah, before our time), do you think it had any effect on people’s view of religion, and revivalism?

Is that what revival has become for us? Is it nothing but a marketing ploy to bring in crowds and bolster our numbers?

Does the non believing world see our efforts at revival like the ones in the Movie Elmer Gantry?

Wow, if those questions and those comments do not make you think, nothing will.

We talked about this earlier. Revival is not evangelism, or reaching out to the lost. It is not primarily an emotional event, to get us temporarily “fired up” for the Lord. It is not just an event, or some thing we do once a year out of a sense of duty. If revival is only those things, then we may be guilty of just what these commenters asked about.

What should it be then?  Perhaps this will help? “a gift of the holy spirit, a spiritual ‘replenishment.'”

Coming up: Is Revival Biblical? Why do we need it?