What Does True Revival Look Like?

Revival is THE THING that everybody’s talking about right now in the church. In the Portland-Vancouver metro area, where I live, expectations are very high. Many of us have already experienced revival on a personal level and it’s not hard to believe that God is up to something on a much bigger scale.

So what does Revival look like? How do you know when it’s the real thing?

Real revival is always marked by repentance and holiness.


There has never been, nor will there ever be, a true revival that does not have holiness at it’s center.


Look at every true Revival in the history of the church and you will find that every one of them is marked by deep repentance and holiness. You will never find a single exception!

One of the easiest ways to weed out the true from the false when it comes to Revival is whether there has been a deep life change in those who claim to be affected by it. Have you truly turned from your sin and turned back to God? If not, you have not experienced true Revival.

Although Revival is often accompanied by signs, wonders, miracles and healings the ultimate proof that God has visited and brought Revival is a changed life marked by holiness.

A new awareness of God’s holiness and a surrendered life are the hallmark signs of Revival.

It’s interesting to note that the message of repentance and holiness is also the thing that separates a true prophet from a false prophet.

“I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied.
But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds.” -Jeremiah 23:21-22

The message of repentance and holiness did not change at the appearing of Jesus. Not only did Jesus preach repentance, but throughout the Book of Acts the main message of the Apostles was that the people should turn from their sins, and turn to God.

“First I preached to the people in Damascus, and then I went to Jerusalem and all over Judea. Finally, I went to the Gentiles and said, “Stop sinning and turn to God! Then prove what you have done by the way you live.” -Acts 26:20

If you look at the church right now this message is largely absent even though it was the core message of the Apostles. Compare what is being preached today with what was being taught in the book of Acts- the difference is startling!


Revival restores the Apostolic truth that repentance and holiness are not optional, but central to our life in Jesus.


In some of my blog posts I talk extensively about the supernatural power of God. I’m excited about the signs wonders and miracles that God’s doing in my life. Without holiness and repentance, however, these things end up being hollow. I know that God has visited my life when His Presence causes me to fall on my face before Him and I repent of my sin and return to God in complete surrender.