Evangelist, church planter, and founder of Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Dwight L. Moody (1837-1899) had a passion to proclaim the gospel to the masses. Often preaching at the margins of life, Moody stressed the need for repentance and the hope of salvation in Christ Jesus. Ever looking forward to the Second Advent, his life’s desire was to see revival—revival that, he believed, had to begin in the Church of God.
I firmly believe that the Church of God will have to confess her own sins, before there can be any great work of grace. There must be a deeper work among God’s believing people. I sometimes think it is about time to give up preaching to the ungodly, and preach to those who confess to be Christians. If we had a higher standard of life in the Church of God, there would be thousands more flocking into the Kingdom. So it was in the past; when God’s believing children turned away from their sins and their idols, the fear of God fell upon the people round about. Take up the history of Israel, and you will find that when they put away their strange gods, God visited the nation, and there came a mighty work of grace . . . The judgment of God must begin with us.1
If . . . confession of sin is deep among believers, it will be so among the ungodly also. I never knew it to fail. I am now anxious that God should revive His work in the hearts of His children, so that we may see the exceeding sinfulness of sin.2
1 Dwight L. Moody, Prevailing Prayer (Chicago: Moody Press, 1990), 28.
2 Ibid., 32.