The sermon from the book of Romans that sparked the Asbury revival

An exposition on Romans 12:9-21 on February 8th 2023 by Rev. Zach Meerkreebs is what marked the beginning of the Asbury revival. Rev. Zach is the Envision Leadership Coordinator, Christian and Missionary Alliance at Asbury University.

“How do you guys love one another?” he asked the students. “And how do you love those who persecute your (Christian) community, the people that make fun of you and think your faith is a farce. People who comment on your posts and say your faith is stupid. What about those who are literally anti-you. How do you love them?”

He explained that enemy love is something that’s unique to the Christian faith and the students should grow and walk in it.

In the middle of the sermon Rev. Zach prayed, “Jesus, if there’s people in this room who feel the weight of that perverted thing people call love, would you alleviate that right now. Holy Spirit, move through these rows and love on these people… Heal them Jesus, show them your true self.”

“I pray that they would be bold and courageous to ask for further healing and further prayer.”

He ended by praying that people would forget his passion and intensity as he spoke to them but experience more of God’s love and become love in action. He asked the Lord to produce fruit in the hearts, minds and souls of the students.

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“Do a new thing in our midst, revive us by your love!” And with that he walked off the podium as the worship team sang to close the service.

By the account of one student, this is what happened after the service;

After the praise team sang a few songs, they left for lunch. While they were gone, a small group of students were hanging around & praying for one another. One guy started sharing his testimony (with just the remaining few students) of how he attempted suicide a few years earlier. But the Lord spared him and he was repentant and so grateful for God saving him from dying. That is when the atmosphere shifted & the outpouring of the Spirit happened and fell in the place. A lady who had remained behind contributed to the young man’s sharing his testimony in humility and repentance. The praise/gospel team came back to the Chapel from lunch and began singing again, as the students were still there. And the rest is history.

It went on and on and became a massive worship service that went on for two straight weeks. What began on February 8th when students stayed after a mandatory chapel service had sparked a spiritual movement that brought in tens of thousands to the small town. There was continuous worship, prayer, repentance, testimonies, Bible reading and, hopefully, transformed lives.

A professor from Asbury University describes the beginning of the revival as ordinary yet touching and powerful. He was starting a class after the chapel service when some students charged in and said something amazing was happening at the auditorium, that there was a move of the spirit and the students were worshiping with such gusto, humility, grace and love. The conviction was very touching and so the professor dismissed class. Students ran from the class to the auditorium.

“They worshipped in the most unplugged and whole way,” he said in a video interview. “Students were crying out to the Lord. Seeing a generation rise gives me so much hope a Christianity that’s full of the old classics; love, humility, grace and mercy.”

There were many students there who would typically not be in the services.

People from the US and around the world stood in line outside the college main chapel for an opportunity to take part in the worship and sermons. The event was described by the university president as a beautiful historic moment of spiritual renewal.

“If it’s for 20 minutes, an hour or a week, we can’t lose anything, we can gain everything,” said Alison, the student body president.

The university decided to conclude the public service because of parking and sitting space that exceeded all capacity. They will now host evening services for those 25 years and under and the general public is invited to worship at another location in central Kentucky.

During the services, the media were asked the media to stay back and keep the cameras away if they wanted to be part of it.


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