What Do You ThinK? Do We Need Revival?
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Wilt Thou not revive us again that thy people may rejoice in Thee? (Psalm 85:6)

Our world is groping its way through a midnight of moral and spiritual darkness! Anti-God, anti-Christ forces are on the march everywhere: atheism, secularism, humanism, materialism, hedonism, spiritism, and satanism are all on the rise! Our situation reminds me of the "days of Noah." The Bible says, "God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth. And that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Gen 6:5). This wickedness prompted God to Say "My Spirit shall not always strive with man," and He sent the judgment of a universal flood upon the world.

There are those who believe we've already passed the "point of no return" in America, that it's inevitable that the righteous wrath of Almighty God will fall upon us. But I believe we have one alternative, but only one: A GENUINE SPIRITUAL REVIVAL, SECURED BY A RETURN TO GOD THROUGH HUMILITY, PRAYER, AND REPENTANCE OF SIN! America has many ills and there's only one cure, God's people hold the "key." He said, "If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14).

God has ordained only one method by which to do radical surgery upon society; only one means by which He invades mankind's problems with a supernatural solution: "If My people will... then will I."

America has been the land of revivals. It was conceived in revival and its foundations were laid by men who came out of the Puritan Revival in England. There have been four great "Revival Cycles" in America's history.

THE FIRST GREAT AWAKENING (1720-1760)

Many believe this was the most notable spiritual awakening America has ever experienced. Nothing like it ever happened before or since. The fires of the Reformation had burned low in the decade before 1735 in Western Europe, England, and colonial America. The church was lacking in fervor, and it has always been true that "As Goes the Church, So Goes the World.

Back in those early days when hardships gave way to prosperity, men drifted away from God. Immorality, debauchery, and self-interest ruled. BUT GOD HAD A FAITHFUL FEW, A "MASTER'S MINORITY" WHO PRAYED! God heard and sent Jonathan Edwards, David Brainerd, and George Whitefield with a message that put the Fear of God" back in the hearts of the people. Spirituality flourished again, churches filled, and there was a gospel preacher for every 2000 of our people. There were some 50,000 converts. Since then, population of the New England Colonies was no more than 340,000, this had the impact 25 ­million converts would make today.

THE SECOND GREAT AWAKENING (1800-1842)

The influence of the First Great Awakening lasted about 40 years, which students of revival agree is about average.

Revivals change only the generation which experiences "A Day Of His Power. " The Bible says, "There arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which He had done.. .And (they) ... did evil in the sight of the Lord" (Judges 2:10-11).

Soon the French and Indian Wars came, followed by the Revolution that brought a spiritual setback. The churches became ritualistic, dry, and dead. History shows that when the church drifts into formality, the world always drifts into infidelity. Bolingbroke poisoned England, Voltaire did the same in France, and Tom Paine spread the deadly virus throughout America until our people were on the verge of deciding there could be a world without a creator God. Wickedness in general became So pervasive that some spiritual leaders were despairing about the future of Christianity. John Marshall, chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, himself a concerned believer wrote: "The church is too far gone to ever be redeemed." The ministers were agreed on one thing; "A revival was desperately needed" They concluded that the only answer was to "pray."

THE GODLY REMNANT PRAYED! God's answer was the "Great Revival of 1800." He shook Yale with Timothy Dwight, then raised up Asbury, McKendree, McGready, and Peter Cartwright. He followed them with wave after wave of revival fires under Nettleton, Knapp, and Finney.

THE GREAT LAYMAN'S REVIVAL OF 1857

The great revival lasted until about 1842, then prosperity set in again. Many thought the "Golden Age" had come, but instead the "Great Panic of1857" struck. Banks failed, businesses closed, railroads went into bankruptcy. Almost everything came to a standstill.

Spiritual declension crash dived in the late 1840's. Full churches became lukewarm, then cold, then dead, and then empty! Dr. J. Edwin Orr, a leading revival historian, did an analysis of the ten years preceding 1857 and he listed five chief characteristics of that period. It sounds much like America today:

. Gambling, gain, greed, with a rapid increase in violent crime.

. Occult domination. A nation hungry for the supernatural turned to "spiritism" which gained a popular foothold in many minds.

. Immorality. The playboy philosophy of free love" was advocated and accepted by many.

. Commercial and political corruption. Bribes, graft, and illegal business practices were rife in the nation.

. Atheism, agnosticism, apathy and indifference to God and His church. The decline was social, moral, political, and spiritual.

ONCE AGAIN GOD HAD HIS "PINCH OF SALT" IN THE EARTH! Christians prayed, "Revive us again, " and the "Fulton Street Prayer Meetings" in Manhattan set off a wave of spiritual power that swept multitudes into the Kingdom of God. More than 50,000 people were saved each week for the better part of 1858-1859. There were over one million new converts. Historians believe that "nominal church goers" who received Christ as Lord and Savior probably exceeded the number of newly converted. The revival crossed the Atlantic where over one million were saved in England.

The chief emphasis of this revival was "Prayer and Holiness," and our whole nation was shaken by God's power. God raised up outstanding leaders like Phoebe Palmer, A.B. Simpson, Seth C. Rees, Martin W. Knapp, Beverly Carradine, G.D. Watson, A.M. Hills, and AJ. Gordon. Soon these godly leaders were followed by D.L. Moody, R.A. Torrey, J. Wilbur Chapman, Sam Jones, George Stuart, D.S. Warner, A. J. Kilpatrick, B.E. Warren, H.M. Riggle, I.S. McCoy, E.E. Byrum, F.G. Smith, and a host of other spiritual giants. God defeated the devil with the spiritual power poured into the souls of these men and women.

THE GREAT WELSH REVIVAL OF 1904

All too soon the Civil War broke out and continued until it debauched and demoralized the country. Spiritual decadence pervaded society in the late 1890's, Corruption, immorality, drunkenness, gambling, agnosticism, and cults were on the march By the turn of the 20th Century the glory of God had departed, many saints had defected, the salt had lost its savor, the world had lost its light, and deep moral darkness prevailed.

STILL ONCE MORE THE SAINTS PRAYED

Revival fires broke out in Wales under a 26-year-old coal miller, Evan Roberts, with but little formal religious training. He had been possessed by the "spirit of travail" for some 13 months. He describes one prayer meeting he attended:

"I fell on my knees with my arms over the seat in front ql me, and the tears and perspiration flowed freely. I thought blood was gushing forth, for about two 'minutes it was fearful. I cried, 'Bend me! Bend me! Bend us!' What bent me was 'God commending His love' (Rom 5:8)...After I was bent, a wave of peace swept over me... I thought of that bending at the Judgment Day and was filled with compassion for those who would be bent on that day. I wept. The salvation of souls became the burden of my heart...From that time I was on fire with a desire to go through all Wales, an if it were possible, I was willing to pay God to allow me the privilege.

Many believe the most exciting time in the history of the church since Pentecost, when nations were most astonished and hell most frightened, was during the 10years of 1902-1912. This great revival impacted every nation on earth, and multiplied thousands of souls were swept into the Kingdom of God! Then came another avalanche of "blood and tears" in 1914, another 1939, then Korea, Viet Nam, Desert Storm, Afghanistan, Iraq, and the continuing scourge of terrorism. Again, our country has been corrupted and has suffered a moral and spiritual setback. Sin, shame, and sham in every form stalks the land until our beloved country has become a vast Sodom and Gomorrah, BUT

THIS TIME THERE HAS BEEN NO WIDE-SPREAD REVIVAL!

We're now in the 21st Century and we still haven't had a supernatural outpouring of the Holy Spirit that's moved the heart and soul of our nation back to God! When we study the great revivals God has graciously bestowed upon America, several things become very clear:

1. Revivals Always Occur In A Day Of Deep Moral Darkness. The worst of times precipitates the best of times. In the worst of times, the church gets serious, and even desperate. As the church goes, so goes the world!

2. Revivals Are Always Preceded By Mighty Prayer And Humble Repentance.

3. Revivals Are Always Accompanied By A Sudden Demonstration Of God's irresistible Power. It is nation shaking and history making. This righteous revolution transforms the character of a nation practically overnight.

4. Revivals Impact Society For God And Good For about 40 Years. Since the time of the Old Testament Judges, the spiritual condition of God's people has alternated between "awakenings" and "apostasies." The spiritual tide of the church has always "ebbed" and "flowed" Whatever position the church occupies, the world will soon reflect. As the church goes, so goes the world!

God destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah for two reasons: because of what WAS there---sin and immorality of the worst kind and, because of what WAS NOT there---A "core of God's people" living holy lives and interceding in prayer for the lost.

Surely millions of Americans need to be set pleading the prayer of the Psalmist: "WILT THOU NOT REVIVE US AGAIN: THAT THY PEOPLE MAY REJOICE IN THEE?" My earnest prayer is this: "0 Lord; please send us someone soon who is out of step with the professing church of our day, which is so often out of step with Thee; someone who can turn us back to God!"



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