The great Revivals of the past shook nations. They were not just meetings to stir up the faithful, to energize the “choir”, or to record notches on an evangelist’s gun, but shakings of the very foundations that Church and society rested upon! They began with the preaching of the Law and the impossibility of us to reach acceptance by God without a radical transformation of enablement by the Holy Spirit.
The Great Awakening of 1735, the first great Revival on American soil, laid the Christian foundation of this nation. The great preaching of Jonathan Edwards, William Tennet, George Whitfield and others, helped shape the course of America for a hundred years. It has been said that the Wesleyan Revival, taking place in England during this same period, saved the British Empire from the same type of bloody revolution which befell France.
During the Revivals in the years from 1799 to 1803, epitomized by the Cain Ridge Revival, it is estimated that the Methodists gained 2000 members per year and that the Baptist added 10,000 members. The Western Conference of the Methodist Church had a membership of 2700 before the Revivals and over 12,000 after. All this in what was then the frontier of America; Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee (although Revivals shook the New England area as well).
Can we compare the so-called Revivals of our day to those of the Second Great Awakening? Have we preachers comparable to Lyman Beecher or Charles Finney? When was the last time all the bars in a city were put out of business because the town was converted? Which of our modern Revivals put a dent in TV ratings, or caused attendance at sporting events to drop because the conviction of sin was so great upon the un-churched that they sought out the preacher to get saved?
How many of the converts from these present day “revivals” persevere? When great evangelistic crusades are held in our cities today, not only is the general population unaffected, but our Churches barely notice the difference! The Revivals which occurred around Rochester, NY, in the early 1830s resulted in between 50,000 to 100,000 conversions in a little over one year! From 1830 to 1835 reports stated that 200,000 souls were saved in this area. Of those people converted under the ministry of Charles Finney, it is said that above 80% were stable Church members 10 years later.
As a result of preaching the Law and our understanding of our hopelessness there resulted a godly sorrow and repentance. When is the last time you blushed over your sin and the sin of others? Dear God Send us Revival lest we die.
Ezr 7:10 For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments
Ezr 9:6 And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens.
2Co 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
some of this is copied and some my own….
Listen to my mentor on revival