Can Revival Happen Again? Greg Laurie Interview on ‘Jesus Revolution’ Movie

Photo from Jesus Revolution Movie’s Instagram

Can Revival Happen Again? Greg Laurie Interview on ‘Jesus Revolution’ Movie

By Alex Murashko

Can revival happen again in America as it did decades ago in what is known as the Jesus Movement?

Anticipation for the Jesus Revolution movie (opening February 24, 2023) has sparked discussion of just such a question, especially among those familiar with the true story from the late 1960s and early 1970s depicted in the film.

In the book, ‘Jesus Revolution – How God Transformed an Unlikely Generation and How He Can Do It Again Today,’ written by Pastor Greg Laurie and author Ellen Vaughn, it’s stated that the Jesus Movement “was the largest movement of the Holy Spirit in the United States since the celebrated revivals of the nineteenth century.”

Laurie, who became a Christ follower during the movement and later a well-known evangelist whose church and ministry hold large-scale evangelistic events called Harvest Crusades, told Think Eternity that the film’s release comes at “the exact right moment.”

Despite postponements in the making of the movie during the last three years, “we can look back now and feel like this has been the Lord’s timing,” Laurie said. He also said that the Jesus Revolution comes during a time of desperation.

“It seems there’s a direct parallel between the late 60s, early 70s, and today in so many ways,” Laurie said. “You do have a young generation that really seems to be searching like I’ve not seen since my generation during my (our) youth.

“More young people today are taking their lives than in any other time in American history. Drug use is up. Ironically, more kids today smoke marijuana than smoke cigarettes. LSD has made a comeback.”

Despite more sophisticated technology and the power of social media to connect us all there’s the truth that people too frequently use today’s tools to escape reality, Laurie said.

“People can endlessly scroll through endless information being thrown at you and your eyes glaze over and it dulls your mind,” Laurie said.

“There’s desperation in the air. It’s time for another spiritual awakening.”

He also points to racial tensions and political divisions that are at an all-time high. “The only time, that I can think of, that parallels this time is during the late 60s,” he said.

Is part of the solution found in the past?

“People were praying back then, and we need to pray now,” he said. “We’re praying that Jesus Revolution is more than just an entertaining film, and it is that for sure, but we’re praying that it’s a spark that shows what it was like back then with the hope that it can happen again.”

Laurie, who is played by Joel Courtney in the movie, pointed to a time when church and Bible studies were “immersive.”

“When we walked into church, there was this sense that something was happening” he said. “There’s nothing we can do to create that. But I think because God’s Spirit was at work, there was a sense of anticipation, as in ‘what is God going to do tonight?’ People came early and left late. It was hard to find a seat. When they opened the Bible, people leaned in. There was a real spiritual hunger.”

He added that the worship music that came during the Jesus Movement was different from what was considered the norm at the time. “We saw the birth of what we call ‘Contemporary Christian Worship’ and ‘Contemporary Christian Music.’ This was all new. This had never been done before. Prior to this time, you didn’t see drum kits in church. Most churches had an organ, and a piano, and maybe the occasional acoustic guitar.”

What is the key to revival today?

Laurie said he believes that “we don’t have to wait around for a spiritual awakening.”

“If you want to see a revival, do revival-like things. It’s the same advice I would give to a couple. Let’s say a couple is having marital problems, and they’re even contemplating divorce, and they wonder where the romance went. I would ask them, ‘What did you used to do when you were in the first bloom of your relationship?’ The man might say, ‘I would look the best I could, and I would take her out, and pull out the chair for her…tell her I love her.’ And of course, the same kind of thing from the girl. I would advise them: ‘Why don’t you just go back and do those things again and see what happens. Don’t wait for the feeling of romance. Do romantic things.’”

He continued, “In the same way with Jesus. If we want to see spiritual revival, do revival-like things, which means you open up every day with the Word of God in prayer and be actively involved in your local church. Serve in your local church and share the Gospel.”

Laurie said that another distinction about the movement was that “we would talk about Jesus wherever we went. We’d go out into the streets and talk about Jesus. You don’t see that as much today.”

While the Jesus Revolution movie opens nationwide on February 24, there are early access seats being sold prior to the opening for February 22. Laurie encourages Christ followers to get tickets for the early access screenings because those showings also include a special gospel presentation and invitation from Laurie for people to come to Christ.

“Bring someone with you that does not know the Lord and I would pray that whoever you bring would make a commitment to follow Christ,” he said.

Editor’s note: Article originally published on thinke.org. Reprinted with permission.




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