38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. [Acts 2:38-41 ESV]

How was Peter able to preach the gospel in such an effective and impactful way that thousands converted in a single day?

What was his secret?

What is the secret to bring about revival? Do any denominations teach the principles to become revivalist Christians, so that the Christian may be an effective soul winner in a world where naturalism and skepticism are so rampant?

1 Answer 1


[1] How was Peter able to preach the gospel in such an effective and impactful way that thousands converted in a single day? Peter bore witness to Christ Jesus and the gospel of salvation without apology or excuse (Acts 10:23-48). He used the word of God to good effect:

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account (Hebrews 4:12-13).

[2] What was his secret? No secret:

“While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message” (Acts 10:44).

[3] What is the secret to bring about revival? A genuine passion to see people repent and turn to God while there is still time; Prayer, which is heartfelt, sincere and persistent; A willingness to be the answer to those prayers by being open to do God’s will, to go where the Spirit directs and by living a life that points others to Christ as the only solution.

[4] Do any denominations teach the principles to become revivalist Christians? I confess I don’t know if such a thing is taught, although the ‘great commission’ given by Christ Jesus, to get out there and share the good news of the gospel, is in the Bible for all Christians to obey (Matthew 28:19).

However, not all are called to be preachers or teachers, or to stand up in public to convert a crowd of non-believers:

We have different gifts, according to the grace given us (Romans 12:6).

The following verses mention serving others, teaching, encouraging, contributing to the needs of other, leadership and mercy.

As for revival, I can only point to examples in England, Scotland and Wales that I know about. Ministers like Charles Spurgeon (Baptist) were instrumental in bringing revival through powerful preaching. Spurgeon said: “A true revival is to be looked for in the church of God” and “It has been said that a revival must begin with God's people” and that revival “must result from the proclamation and the receiving of living truth.” But here is the essence of revival:

The Holy Ghost must come into the living heart through living truth, and so bring nutriment and stimulant to the pining spirit, for so only can it be revived. This, then, leads us to the conclusion that if we are to obtain a revival we must go directly to the Holy Ghost for it, and not resort to the machinery of the professional revival-maker. The true vital spark of heavenly flame comes from the Holy Ghost, and the priests of the Lord must beware of strange fire. There is no spiritual vitality in anything except as the Holy Spirit is all in all in the work; and if our vitality has fallen near to zero, we can only have it renewed by him who first kindled it in us. We must go to the cross and look up to the dying Savior, and expect that the Holy Spirit will renew our faith and quicken all our graces. We must feed anew by faith upon the flesh and blood of the Lord Jesus, and so the Holy Ghost will recruit our strength and give us a revival. When men in India sicken in the plains, they climb the hills and breathe the more bracing air of the upper regions; we need to get nearer to God, and to bathe ourselves in heaven, and revived piety will be the sure result... Longing, loving prayer for sinners, is one of the marks of a revival in the renewed heart. https://archive.spurgeon.org/s_and_t/wir1866.php

Other revivals have happened after a small number of Christians prayed passionately for God to bring revival to their towns and villages. However, I have found that a distinction is made between Christian revivalism and revival:

Christian revivalism is increased spiritual interest or renewal in the life of a church congregation or society, with a local, national or global effect. This should be distinguished from the use of the term "revival" to refer to an evangelistic meeting or series of meetings (see Revival meeting). Proponents view revivals as the restoration of the church itself to a vital and fervent relationship with God after a period of moral decline. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_revival

You will find lots of examples of Christian revival in that link. As for any denominations that teach the principles of revival and how to become a “soul winner” Charles Spurgeon had plenty to say about it (he was not renowned for brevity): http://www.thesoulwinner.org/ebooks/The%20Soul%20Winner%20-%20Spurgeon.pdf

This article is more succinct and to the point, although it says nothing about any denomination: https://goexplorethebible.com/blog/adults/4-essential-qualities-of-a-soul-winner-session-4-1-cor-919-27-1031-33-111/

I may have failed to specifically answer your question (although not for the lack of trying) but it has been an interesting and edifying way to spend a few hours and I hope it may have given you some useful information. Bottom line is that revival is the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of Christians who earnestly seek to do God’s will and point others to Christ. God keeps things simple – it’s us who make it complicated!

You must log in to answer this question.