Tuesday, July 28, 2015

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Need For Revival

          This country started out as a Judeo-Christian experiment. In like manner as Israel, America has been backsliding and then returning to the Lord Time and again. Perhaps we can "git-r-done" one more time.

          The United States as a nation, and each of us as individuals, have a lot to repent for. The propensity of the current and past administrations, lead by the progressives, to secularize our country has been met with little or no opposition. The Supreme Court turned against the people and the Constitution beginning in 1962. Some examples are :

1. June 25, 1962, the U.S. Supreme Court declared school-sponsored prayers unconstitutional in the landmark case Engel v. Vitale. (Keep in mind that the school system in the United States was originally founded to teach the Bible and train pastors.)

2. January 22, 1973 - The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 7-2 decision, affirms the legality of a woman's right to have an abortion under the Fourteenth amendment to the Constitution.

3. Jun 26, 2015 - The Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision recognized gay marriages nationwide. (Two of the judges should have recused themselves because they had both spoken in favor of and performed gay marriages prior to the case. The case would have turned out differently if they had obeyed the law.)

          Many of us who experienced the Jesus/Holy Spirit movement of the 60's and 70s are still alive. I question whether there will be another great revival before the return of Christ, or will the return of Christ be that revival?

                         He stands at the door of your heart, and knocks.

          "During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries American society experienced a number of "Awakenings" around the years 1727, 1792, 1830, 1857 and 1882. More recent revivals in the twentieth century include those of the 1904–1905 Welsh Revival, 1906 (Azusa Street Revival), 1930s (Balokole), 1970s (Jesus people), 1971 Bario Revival and 1909 Chile Revival which spread in the Americas, Africa, and Asia among Protestants and Catholics."[1]

          The Barna Group, in partnership with the American Bible Society and The Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, released a study on "Millennials", done over a 10 year period; interviewing 27,140 Millennials, in 206 studies.[2] Millennials are defined as those born between the early 80's and early 2000's. Of the secular Millennials interviewed, 19% said the Bible was irrelevant, 27% said the Bible was dangerous, and 62% said they have never read the Bible. They used words like mythology, symbolic, and fairy tale to describe the Bible (God's Word). I don't see that there has been a significant change, over the past 50 years. The survey also showed that practicing Christian Millennials maintain a high view of scripture. From this we can see that although the field is ripe for harvest, the labor needed is going to be great.

The name Puritan designated those in the Anglican Church who “sought a simpler faith and form of service.” This movement grew out of the widespread reading of the Bible.

George Fox, born in 1624,  was brought up in a Puritan home.
In the middle of the seventeenth century there were thousands of men and women who were adrift from the Church of England. They were seeking for the truth, and were like sheep without a shepherd. In addition to Presbyterians, Independents, and Baptists, we read of Sabbatarians, Seekers, Traskites, Millenaries, Familists, Etheringtonians, Fifth Monarchy men, Muggletonians and many others.

This revival in America began in 1735. Jonathan Edwards’ revival was the beginning of this awakening which continued for about twenty-five years, and was powerful in many American states.

After some years of difficult and almost fruitless work among the North American Indians, David Brainerd saw a powerful revival commence in July, 1745. It was in answer to agonizing prayer.

The Methodist Revival was born in the power of the Holy Spirit. Wesley records: “Jan. 1, 1739. Mr. Hall, Kinchin, Ingham, Whitefield, Hutchins, and my brother Charles, were present at our love-feast  in Fetter Lane, with about sixty of our brethren. About three in the morning, as we were continuing instant in prayer, the power of God came mightily upon us, in so much that many cried out for exceeding joy, and many fell to the ground. As soon as we were recovered a little from that awe and amazement at the presence of His Majesty, we broke out with one voice, “We praise thee, O God, we acknowledge thee to be the Lord.”
On February 17th, 1739, Whitfield preached his first field sermon at Rose Green. Then he preached at Kingswood near Bristol. Thousands of people heard him, and were deeply moved by his preaching.
When Whitfield left for America, Wesley carried on the work. He preached in the open air, for the first time, at Kingswood. Of this place he says, “In the middle of February, Kingswood was a wilderness, and when the month of June arrived, it was already blossoming like the rose.’’

The year 1790 ushered in a new era of revivals for the United States. Religion had sadly declined during the previous years. Unitarianism had gained much ground, and infidel philosophy was poisoning the minds of millions of people.
At this time there were no American Missionary societies, no Bible societies, no Tract societies, no Education societies. At home—religious indifference; abroad—the darkness of death over the heathen world.
In 1790 there were extensive revivals in Pennsylvania and Virginia. “At this time,” says Dr. Griffin, “began the unbroken series of American revivals.” In New England, during four or five years, about one hundred and fifty churches were blessed with Revivals.
This revival period continued for many years, and powerful revivals prevailed in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, the Carolinas, and Georgia.
Harlan Page writes of a revival in New York, “The Lord appears now to be coming down on all parts of this great city, to arouse His children and to awaken sinners. Thousands of Christians here are praying as they never prayed before. Conversions are occurring in all parts of the city. Churches are daily crowded to overflowing, and a most fixed and solemn attention is given to the dispensation of the truth.”
Christians at that time believed that, “The Church is the Bride of Christ, and the mother of his children.” And that, “No soul is ever converted except as some believer has painfully travailed in birth for that soul.”
During this period of American revivals, the Christians began to feel their obligation to send the Gospel to the heathen. All the first foreign missionaries were the fruit of the revivals : Hall, Newell, Mills, Judson, Nott, Rice, Bingham, King, Thurston, and others. The American Board of Foreign Missions, the American Bible Society, the United Foreign Missionary Society, and other missionary movements, were formed at this time as a direct result of the revivals.
During these years many colleges were blessed with revivals. Dr. Tyler wrote of Yale College having thirteen special revivals in a period of twenty-five years.

After receiving many pressing calls to preach, Charles Grandison Finney felt that as Rochester was the most needy— there were three Presbyterian Churches in a very low and divided state—it was the Lord’s will that he should go there.
Soon after he began to preach the ministers came together, and a great improvement in the spiritual state of the churches was manifested. Finney said, “The three churches, and indeed Christians of every denomination, seemed to make common cause, and went to work with a will, to pull sinners out of the fire.
“The spirit of prayer was poured out powerfully, so much so, that some persons stayed away from the public services to pray, being unable to restrain their feelings under preaching. Mr. Abel Clary continued in Rochester as long as I did. The burden of his soul would frequently be so great that he would writhe and groan in agony. He never appeared in public, but gave himself wholly to prayer.”
Soon there were some very marked conversions, one of the first being the wife of a prominent lawyer. The meetings became thronged with lawyers, physicians, and merchants. Many of the lawyers, became very anxious, and freely attended the enquiry meetings. It was in this revival that Finney began to use the “anxious seat.”
The revival took a tremendous hold of the High School. Nearly every teacher and student was converted. As a result, forty of those students became ministers, and a large number became foreign missionaries. The majority of the leading men and women in the city were converted. Some years later Dr. Beecher talking to Finney of this revival in Rochester, said; “That was the greatest revival of religion that the world has ever seen in so short a time. One hundred thousand were reported as having connected themselves with the churches as the result of that great revival.” The mighty working of the Spirit of God, as in this revival, continued throughout Finney’s long ministry.

          "United States 1800–1850 In the U.S. the Second Great Awakening (1800–30s) was the second great religious revival in United States history and consisted of renewed personal salvation experienced in revival meetings. Major leaders included Asahel Nettleton, James Brainerd Taylor, Charles Grandison Finney, Lyman Beecher, Barton Stone, Alexander Campbell, Peter Cartwright and James B. Finley.

Rev. Charles Finney (1792–1875) was a key leader of the evangelical revival movement in America. From 1821 onwards he conducted revival meetings across many north-eastern states and won many converts. For him, a revival was not a miracle but a change of mindset that was ultimately a matter for the individual's free will. His revival meetings created anxiety in a penitent's mind that one could only save his or her soul by submission to the will of God, as illustrated by Finney's quotations from the Bible. Finney also conducted revival meetings in England, first in 1849 and later to England and Scotland in 1858–59.
In New England, the renewed interest in religion inspired a wave of social activism, including abolitionism. In western New York, the spirit of revival encouraged the emergence of new Christian denominations and movements such as the Restorationist and the Holiness Movement.
In the West (now Upper South) especially—at Cane Ridge, Kentucky and in Tennessee—the revival strengthened the Methodists and Baptists. The Churches of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) arose from the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement. It also introduced into America a new form of religious expression—the Scottish camp meeting."[11]

 Dwight L. Moody began to plan his round of evangelistic city campaigns. From October 1875 to May 1876, Moody and three other evangelists toured through the major cities of the Midwest and Atlantic coast, preaching the message of salvation.
Finney writing of this revival said, “This winter of 1857-58 will be remembered as the time when a great revival prevailed throughout all the Northern States. It swept over the land with such power, that for a time it was estimated that not less than fifty thousand conversions occurred in a single week. This revival was carried on to large extent through lay influence, so much so, as almost to throw the ministers into the shade.
There had been a daily prayer meeting observed in Boston for several years; and in the Autumn previous to the great outburst, the daily prayer meeting had been established in Fulton Street, New York. Indeed, prayer meetings were established throughout the length and breadth of the Northern States. A divine influence seemed to pervade the whole land. It was estimated, that during this revival not less than 500,000 souls were converted in this country.

THE AZUSA STREET REVIVAL of 1906: "Bringing in the Kingdom"
For three years, the Azusa Street Revival lit a Holy Ghost fire in a humble Los Angeles mission building, then it spread all over the city, and soon, across the world.[13]

THE CHARISMATIC MOVEMWNT "is the international trend of historically mainstream congregations adopting beliefs and practices similar to Pentecostals. Fundamental to the movement is the use of spiritual gifts. Among Protestants, the movement began around 1960. Among Roman Catholics, it originated around 1967."[14] This movement is very active to this day.

THE JESUS MOVEMENT "was a movement in Christianity beginning on the West Coast of the United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s and spreading primarily throughout North America and Europe, before subsiding by the early 1980s. It was the major Christian element within the hippie counterculture, or, conversely, the major hippie element within some strands of Protestantism. Members of the movement were called Jesus people, or Jesus freaks."[15] Not all hippies were drug crazed, oversexed revolutionaries.

          There has been a conscious effort to eliminate the Christian foundation of our nation. In 1779, every state but one had a stipulation that said you had to be a Christian to hold state wide office. Starting with the Wilson administration, the rejection of biblical values and the lessening of our freedoms (which are given by God[16]) can be traced directly to the apathy of the people. As for me and my house, we have had enough.

          It is true that not everyone will be saved.  Jesus used the Lazarus story,[17] to illustrate this. In the story Abraham said: "If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead." Jesus was resurrected from the dead and even though people hear the story, they don't believe. So we can see that if they won't believe, they simply won't believe. These are described in the Bible as hard hearted and stiff necked. "There are times when we need to shake off the dust from our feet (Mark 6:11) and/or let our peace return to us (Matthew 10:13).  There are those who are beyond redemption: not because it is impossible for God, but rather it is impossible for them to receive what God offers."[18]

          Revival is necessary because Jesus didn't die, on the cross, to save us in our sins; He came to save us because of our sins. As He said to the adulteress woman, "go and sin no more"[19]. There will come a time when the decision to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior will be one second to late. It's time to review what the Bible says:

1. You must be Born Again  "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."[20]

2. God loves you so much, He sent his only Son to save you.[21]

3. "That if thou shall confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shall be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."[22]

4. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God.[23]

          So, now what is our duty to God? We are to "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believes not shall be damned."[24] As I said above: I question whether there will be another great revival before the return of Christ, or whether the return of Christ will be that revival. Whom do you need to tell about the Lord? Revival begins with small steps; one soul at a time, since there is no such thing as collective salvation. It is up to the Body of Believers to present the plan of salvation and bring this country out of its downward spiral.

          If you are interested in the history of the religious ties, to the foundation of our nation, I offer my paper on Godly America.

[1] Wikipedia
[2] https://www.barna.org/barna-update/millennials
[3] https://www.barna.org/barna-update/millennials
[4] http://www.revival-library.org/catalogues/genhistory/allen.html
[5] http://www.revival-library.org/catalogues/genhistory/allen.html
[6] http://www.revival-library.org/catalogues/genhistory/allen.html
[7] http://www.revival-library.org/catalogues/genhistory/allen.html
[8] http://www.revival-library.org/catalogues/genhistory/allen.html
[9] http://www.revival-library.org/catalogues/genhistory/allen.html
[10] http://www.revival-library.org/catalogues/genhistory/allen.html
[11] Wikipedia
[12] http://www.revival-library.org/catalogues/genhistory/allen.html
[13] http://www.cbn.com/special/AzusaStreet/
[14] Wikipedia
[15] Wikipedia
[16] Declaration of Independence
[17] Luke 16:19-31
[18] http://www.thespiritsnestministries.com/2015/07/lgbt.html
[19] John 8:11
[20] John 3:3
[21] John 3:16
[22] Romans 10:9-10
[23] Romans 10:17
[24] Mark 16:15-16


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