The History of Revivals

In Christianity, a revival is an increased amount of interest in spiritual matters, over a specific time frame. A revival is generally characterized by a greater closeness to God in the church, and may be accompanied by mass conversions and an atmosphere of cultural morality. The most famous revivals are the three Great Awakenings in America, through there have been others, as well.

 

The First Awakening in America was a period of increased evangelicalism, and a shift from intellectual and deeply theological sermons to a more emotional style. The Awakening was ecumenical, spreading among Anglicans, Presbyterians, Baptists and Methodists.

 

The movement known as Le Re`veil began in Geneva, Switzerland, and Montauban, France in the first half of the 19th century. It expanded through Germany and the Netherlands, and had a considerable political influence.

Toward the middle of the 19th century the Second great Awakening spread throughout New England and the Appalachian regions.

The Third Great Awakening took place toward the latter part of the 1800’s led in part by Dwight D. Moody. It was characterized by Social Gospel which included efforts to prohibit the consumption of alcohol as well as emphasis on Christ’s return.

 

This revival in Wales, between 1904 and 1905, though short lived produced over 100,000 converts. Though past revivals largely were spread by preaching, this was characterized by music and spiritual experience.

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THE REAL FATHER

Today, many a father here on earth is spending more time with their children but having them neglect their real Father that is in Heaven. Each week I watch as parents play with their children in the yard or walk down the street. Never giving a real thought that they should take their children to church. To most families the church is no longer relevant. There was a time when the people respected Sundays and even Wednesday night services, but many people no longer see the importance of attending these services: even though it is the parent who is responsible for seeing that their children are given every opportunity to know God.

Proverbs talks a lot about the importance of obeying your Father: Proverbs 6:20 My son keep your Fathers commandments. Do you strive to do what your Father in Heaven asks of you as you go through each day?

Now, any parent will say they truly love their children with all their heart. But what does the Bible say about the children and the parent? Jesus said in Matthew 19:14 Let the little children come unto me and do not forbid them for such is the Kingdom of Heaven. This should really catch a parent’s attention because God says those who allow the children to fall into sin will in turn pay the highest price. When a parent, grandparent or especially the father, who is to oversee the home, lets ungodly things in or neglects their duty, they will pay a severe price. God takes a parent’s responsibility to know Him seriously.  Many a parent today who calls Jesus Lord, but  is out somewhere beside church, and  believes they’re OK  in their lives with God, while denying their children access to church because something else is more important than being in church, will be called to answer for that decision.

Remember this: Never allow yourself to be found guilty of taking things God says are Holy and trying to make them common or no longer relevant to a matter.  These include lifestyles, neglecting church, biblical marriage and various other things God deems holy.  Our daily lives should be lived in such a way as to bring honor to the Father in Heaven by showing the world that we are His children by living righteous lives, taking the talents He has given us and raising our children to exalt and enlarge His Kingdom here on earth: remembering that no child is ever too old to come to know their real Father who loves them more than anyone and will never leave them or forsake them.  Children should know they have a  loving Father who will help them every day of their lives here on earth and who in the end will receive them into their new home in Heaven.

YOUR SAMARITAN WELL

One of the most popular Bible stories is found in John 4:3-30. It’s the story of Jesus meeting a woman from the area of Samaria, a place where most good people seemed to avoid. But He chose to go there, out of His way and on purpose, to prove a point to those that turn their nose up to people they think they are better than.

This woman came to the well when others didn’t as much because she was looked down on by others, but not Jesus. That day He revealed to her who she was with truth, but who she could be with the greater truth of who Jesus could be in her life.

The woman believed and saw Jesus for who He was and she began to spread the word to come and meet the man that had changed her life.

That same story is played out again and again each day when a person comes to the reality of what Jesus knows, and what He can do for their life. Have you ever come to that place where you had to come face to face with what was really true? What did you do about it? Did you let Jesus help you, or did you turn away and go on your own?

If you’re tired of the same old life that has dogged you for years, find your way to that well, where Jesus is waiting to touch your life in such a way that will transform who you are into who you can be. Then your life will not be so burdened down. Be free and experience a peace that passes all understanding.

TEN YEARS FROM NOW

From technology to financial markets to society’s ever-changing moral decline, where will we be 10 years from now? In the past 10 years, we’ve seen some big economic failures like we hadn’t seen in the last 75 years. Not just business corporations and stock market stuff, but cities filing bankruptcy, countries’ financial systems falling apart, while other countries try to take over their management.

What about social issues? It is worse than ever. Just 12 or 13 years ago in America, who ever heard of marriage not being between a man and a woman? Less than 20 years ago, there were crosses and Christian symbols and sayings everywhere. But in the last 10 years, many have been taken down, covered up or destroyed. In the last 10 to 11 years, look at the type of language radio talk show hosts can use that used to get them fired.

Today there is a bigger push for what offends people more than what offends God. For the last 20 years, God is no longer being referred to as the True God but He’s given various names that are nothing more than false identities.

Television has changed so much in 10 to 15 years now to where they say and show more than ever and compete to make themselves idols of their own worship. And it is getting worse with each new series.

So what should we expect 10 years from now? Well, at our continuing rate, anything to everything; and we won’t recognize what we used to be. And 10 years from now or less, many won’t be allowed to speak any longer against such things. Only a spiritual awakening of the church can again realign to this nation’s founding principles.

THE LEAVES AND THE FRUIT

There’s a great illustration that Jesus spoke of in Mark 12 where Jesus sees a fig tree and goes over to it to get a fig to eat, but there is none. Jesus said, “May no one ever eat your fruit again.” Later, as Jesus and His disciples are walking by the same fig tree, they notice it has withered and died. The point here is that if the tree wasn’t going to bear fruit to be used then it was not good for its purpose.

The tree looked okay until Jesus walked over and took a closer look at it. The tree had leaves and looked okay, but upon closer examination it had no fruit. It was of no real value because it was a fruit tree.

The point being made here is that each one of us has been created by God, planted here on earth during this time period, to use our lives bearing fruit for His kingdom work. Some could care less, and then some want to look like they are representing God. They have leaves but never produce any fruit for Him. They produce fruit for themselves and their own life. But these are not fruit trees for God – for a tree does not eat its own fruit. It produces for others. If it keeps its own, then the fruit rots and it’s still no good for God’s purpose.

We experience many problems in life because we don’t produce fruit for God and, therefore, set ourselves up for a judgment we don’t want to have to experience.

So think on this today. When Jesus takes a good look at you, what does He really see? Fruit that He can use, or just leaves that look good but have no value?

DO YOU WANT THE TRUTH?

Real truth is hard to find.  Maybe it’s because it’s hard to deal with.  Yet real truth is the only way to know how to make your best choice of decisions.  Therefore, you can make them on fact and not fiction.

So here it goes – there is no such thing as luck.  Everything that happens in this world has a real reason behind it and there is no Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus.

But what also is truth is that there is no way to live forever in heaven except by repenting of your sins with honesty and accepting forgiveness through Jesus Christ.  There is only one God and there are not many roads to Him, only one and that is with His son, Jesus.  Every other road will eventually end up in hell with Satan.

Here is another – this world, as we know it, is very close to coming to an end.  There are multiple signs that the Bible said would happen that are now happening in greater occurrences.

Watch.  You are no dummy.  You can see things are changing and will never be like they once were.  A lot of the people of the world are running without direction.  Our financial system can’t take the long term stand it’s under.  Peace is harder to find.

The truth is Jesus is getting ready to remove the Christians, those that are really Christians.  That’s the truth, not my opinion or what you think is yours.  It is just truth.  What you do with it, I guess, will determine your eternal destiny.

Jesus said in John 14:17 that He will send you all truth.  Well, there it is.  What are you going to do with it?

THE REAL LOVE

Jesus has already won your fights. He has established victory. The kingdom of darkness cannot touch you unless you choose to place yourself close to its edge. Don’t let this world beat you down. It will try – don’t believe its lies. Romans 8:6 says: “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” God loves you like nobody can. He wants you to come to Him and share your problems, your hurts, your thoughts, your dreams… He can handle them all.

You can’t overload God; it is impossible. Whatever concern you have, turn it over to Him, for He reminds us in Matthew 11:28-29: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

God loves you even more than all the love any human could ever give you. God’s love runs deep, no matter what you’ve ever done. God still cares about helping you. When you have to face the darkest time in life, He reminds you from Psalm 23:4; “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”

This world is too big for any one of you to deal with, and God knows it. Who knows what will happen tomorrow? God does, and He’s never caught off guard and is ever ready to meet your need. He can and He will. All you have to do is turn it all over to Him. In 1 John 5:14 it says; “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” He knows your needs. He knows your family concerns. He knows your soul and how it is toward Him. He knows your beginning of life. And He knows how He wants it to end.

God has a plan for your life every day. He can balance the books and bring all your concerns in order in your life, no matter what shape they are in. You’ll never find a greater friend than you’ll find with Jesus. He takes care of every need you have at any time and any place that you find yourself faced with in life.

 

THE NET

Matthew 13:45-48 says, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, which, when it was full they drew it to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away.”

I want you to notice that someone has to make that decision of which ones are acceptable to keep or which ones are to be discarded.

There are people all over this world being drawn toward the net that need Jesus, and it’s a desperate situation for these. Whose hands are going to be laboring to pull those nets?

The master fisherman has got the bait. He has got the tackle. It is all connected to His Word and His Spirit, every resource we need if we are willing to work with Him. The catch is ready to be made, but how many fishers of men does God have who will get into the boat and go to work?

  • How many are willing to help prepare the net?
  • How many are willing to buy the tackle or finance the fishing crew?
  • We all have our part. Are we doing it?
  • Believe God. Have faith in His power.
  • Put your prayers to work for people’s lives.
  • Don’t miss out on your assignments concerning the Great Commission.
  • Ask God for divine appointments.
  • Seek God’s help for where to cast your nets before there is no more time to fish for people.

Where you can’t go, support those that are going. You also are to be about the Father’s business. Make sure you are doing so each day. Nobody who says they’re a Christian is exempt from God’s Great Commission.

THE ADVENTURE OF PRAYER

You can actually change your situations or how you get through them if there was prayer involved.

People could actually have a happier, sacrificial life if only they would let God work with them through prayer.

Many heartaches and regrets, things people wished they’d not done, could be avoided in prayer.

How much better could prayer have helped you that day?

Somehow God seemed to get my attention about just how serious He takes our prayers regardless of our knowledge of prayer and wants to transform our lives through prayer.

My journey began, and I have to say from there I’ve never been the same. I had a hunger to study prayer learning to journal my prayers, trying to understand how to talk to God.

And through this ongoing process, my life has never been dull but seems to be constantly revolving.

There’s a connection in prayer between God and mankind that cannot be made any other way than prayer.

I’ve always noticed in anyone’s life story that’s done something great for God that these people who had little talent became giants in prayer.

From any area- whether healing evangelist, crusade revivalist, great church movers, church reformers, or great missionaries- they all had the same common factor in their lives: their faith in God to answer prayer.

I believe nothing is ever built worth having in this world unless it’s built for God’s Kingdom purposes.

So many people today miss so much- especially Christians- because they do not know the real power of prayer.

Many problems people have had to experience could have easily been solved by prayer.

The very prayers of others have been life-changing events or ways of protection all because somebody knew how to pray.

ARE YOU REALLY

Recently I was in a town that had a population of over 490,000 people. I was told that the churches in this city, here in the United States, had done a survey just recently trying to find out just how many people attend a church during the week. The results that came back showed only about 84,000-88,000. That is only around 15% of the total city. And this is people who attend church. It doesn’t mean that they’re all truly born again people. This is very common in our land today.

In Acts 8, there is a story of a man named Simon who wanted to believe that Jesus was the Son of God and actually confessed it and was baptized. Yet Simon was never truly born again because in verse 18 and on he began to offer money to get God’s power, and he was called wicked by Philip and Peter, and that sin still held Simon captive.

Becoming a real Christian goes a lot deeper than most people that go in and out of church want to commit to. They want the privilege of God but are not willing to let go of themselves or other things that really are holding them back from being born again. They are not truly repenting for their sins.

Let’s be honest. America would not be in the moral shape it is in if all those Christians were living as the Bible says a Christian should.

America’s greatest need is spiritual help from our big cities to our small towns. We all need to take a serious examination of where our true faith lies this day.