Posts Tagged ‘Charles Finney’

William Booth, the co-founder of the Salvation Army with his wife Catherine, embarked upon his ministerial career in 1852, desiring to win the lost multitudes of England to Christ. He walked the streets of London to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to the poor, the homeless, the hungry, and the destitute.

Booth abandoned the conventional concept of a church and a pulpit, instead taking his message to the people on the street. His fervor led to disagreement with church leaders in London, who preferred traditional methods. As a result, he withdrew from the church and traveled throughout England, conducting evangelistic meetings.

Thieves, prostitutes, gamblers, and drunkards were among Booth’s first converts to Christianity. To congregations who were desperately poor, he preached hope and salvation. His aim was to lead people to Christ and link them to a church for further spiritual guidance. His renown as a religious leader spread throughout London, and he attracted followers who were dedicated to fight for the souls of men and women. 

William Booth was a remarkable man, who had a passion to save men’s souls. He was a man born into poverty and who worked in the midst of poverty his whole life. He was given the title “The Prophet of the Poor.” His life could be summed up in his own statement, “Some men’s passion is for gold. Some men’s passion is for art. Some men’s passion is for fame. My passion is for souls.” 

I believe that William Booth would be very disappointed if he could see how the Salvation Army and many church members have changed. The Salvation Army has become more of a social services center, concerned only with meeting people’s physical needs, more than their spiritual needs. And churches today are not much different.

It’s been reported from people who attended the evangelistic meetings of William Booth that many in attendance would begin to shake so at his preaching that they would tear at the hymnals in their laps! Where is that type of preaching today?

When Charles Finney, a revivalist preacher during the Second Great Awakening during the 1830s, preached at his meetings, whole communities would be converted! Taverns and theaters were turned into places of worship! When he would visit factories, people, would fall to their knees weeping in repentance by the power of the Holy Spirit, without Finney even speaking a word! Where is that spirit in the churches today? Where is the fire of God’s word?   

The following is a poem written by Howard Clinebell, a former professor of pastoral psychology and counseling at the School of Theology in Claremont, California. It describes perfectly the state of the church today:

The Little Lifesaving Station 

On a dangerous seacoast where shipwrecks often occurred, there was once a crude lifesaving station. The building wasn’t much more than a small hut, and there was only one boat. But the few devoted members kept a constant watch over the sea, and with no thought of themselves, went out night and day tirelessly searching for the lost.

Many lives were saved by this wonderful little station. So much so that it became famous for its rescue efforts. Some of those who were saved and various others in the surrounding area wanted to become associated with the station and give of their time and money for the support of its work. New boats were purchased and donated to the station and crews were trained to improve the rescue operations of the station.

As the little lifesaving station grew some of the members were unhappy that the building itself was so crude and poorly equipped. They felt that a more comfortable place should be provided for those who were rescued from the sea. So the members raised funds for the station and replaced the emergency cots with beds and placed better furniture in an enlarged building.

Soon the lifesaving station became a popular gathering place for its members. They decorated it beautifully and furnished it so exquisitely that it became sort of a club. The lifesaving station’s logo still prevailed on the wall above the fireplace and its name was still used to raise funds,  but  fewer members were now interested in going out to sea on lifesaving missions. They even hired lifeboat crews to do the work that they used to do themselves.

About this time a large ship was wrecked off the coast and the hired crews brought in boatloads of cold, wet, and half drowned people. These people were dirty and sick. And some of them were foreigners who couldn’t speak English. The beautiful club was thrown into chaos. The property committee immediately had a shower built outside the club building with an attached closet filled with clean clothes so that the victims of shipwrecks could be cleaned up and dressed properly before coming inside.

At the next club meeting there was a split in the membership. Most of the members wanted to stop the club’s lifesaving activities because it was unpleasant and a hindrance to the normal social structure of the club. Some members insisted that the lifesaving operations were the primary reason for them being there and pointed out that they were still called a lifesaving station. The latter were finally voted down and were told that if they wanted to save the lives of all the various kinds of people who were shipwrecked in those waters they could start their own lifesaving station further down the coast. That’s exactly what they did.

As the years went by, the new station experienced the same changes that had occurred in the old one. It evolved into a club and later another lifesaving station was founded.

History continues to repeat itself and if you visit that seacoast today you will find a number of exclusive clubs along its shores.  Shipwrecks are frequent in those waters, but sadly, most of the people there drown.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

As Christians we are quick to laud the accomplishments of revivalists, evangelists and Christian musicians—creative people whose ideas have transformed our world. We celebrate the great innovators of the gospel; from Charles Finney to Billy Graham to Keith Green and Rich Mullins—viewing their work for the Lord as an asset to Christendom. We speak highly of these innovators who spoke the raw truth from the Bible and we say that we would love to follow in their footsteps.

But it’s all a lie. This is the thing about speaking God’s truth; no matter how creative or innovative you may be in presenting it, it is rarely acknowledged. Most people don’t actually like it. People are biased against boldness and creative thinking—despite all of their insistence otherwise.

The internet is filled with biographies of great men and women of God who thought outside of the box in order to bring the gospel to their generation and how God rewarded them for their faithfulness. We think of these people in a heroic manner, and we celebrate them, but when confronted with the opportunity to do the same, we shrink away in fear.

That’s because most people are risk-adverse. As much as we celebrate those who boldly speak the truth in love, most Christians avoid stirring things up—especially if it means the possibility of being rejected by fellow Christians. (Or their worldly friends)

Take Keith Green for example: At the height of his career many Christians looked to Keith as a type of prophet. Many would symbolically pat him on the back and admire him for his boldness, but could never imagine themselves doing the same thing for fear of rejection. But to Keith rejection actually facilitated his creative process—and drew him even closer to God.

Rejection is a common and often infuriating experience for a person who is completely sold out to God. I have watched people with the most interesting and “out of the box” ideas get ignored or ridiculed by the Church in favor of those who repeat an established tradition.

“Everybody hates it when something’s really great,” says essayist and art critic Dave Hickey. He is famous for his scathing critiques against the art world, particularly against art education, which he believes institutionalizes mediocrity through its systematic rejection of good ideas. Art is going through what Hickey calls a “stupid phase.”

This is also true within the Church. We tend to find the easy way out—either by not engaging in boldly speaking the truth or by completely conforming to those who we believe will be evaluating us.

Unfortunately, the place where our boldness goes to die is the place that should be most open to it—the Church. Historically, pastors overwhelmingly discriminate against those in their flock who are knowledgeable in Scripture and desire to boldly speak God’s truth, favoring instead those who more readily follow directions and do what they’re told.

All of this negativity isn’t easy to digest, and rejection can be painful in some of the same ways physical pain hurts. But there is a glimmer of hope in all of this. Rejection is not actually bad—and can even facilitate even more boldness. Godly men in the Bible, from the prophets of the Old Testament, to Jesus and the apostles, were constantly rejected by their own people. So if you are boldly speaking God’s truth from Scripture and feel that you might not belong, the act of being rejected confirms that you’re doing what’s right in the sight of God. Rejection can liberate you from the need to fit in and allow you to pursue God’s interests rather than man’s.

Perhaps for some, the pain of rejection is like the pain of training for a marathon. Believe me; you’re going to need it! A marathon runner trains their body and mind for endurance by constantly pushing themselves beyond their limits.

“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)

God’s truths sometimes take a very long time to be accepted. The more God’s truth contradicts Church tradition, the longer it might take. Even the work of Nobel Prize winners was commonly rejected by their peers for an extended period of time.

To live boldly for God is a choice. You must make a commitment in your own mind and with the possibility that you will not be accepted. You have to let go of satisfying other people—often even yourself.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)
Leonard Ravenhill Biography:

Charles FinneyCharles Finney (1792-1875) knew about Revival, he knew how to be a soul-winner. He was a man with a message that burned through the religious community and secular darkness of his time. Finney was a lawyer by trade and did not come to know the Lord until he was nearly thirty years old.

He was criticized for nearly everything like most people who are being used by God. One of the main reasons Finney was criticized among the religious community was because he believed that a small group – or even one man, could start a revival and that we could actually initiate a revival. It was this belief that motivated him to evangelize the lost, to confront sinners and to initiate revival in the Church. Finney’s passion caused him to be one of the greatest revivalists of all time. He led about 250,000 souls to Christ. (Which was a big number considering the time he lived in) His passion for revival was so strong that at times he would simply walk through factories, and without speaking a word, people would become so overwhelmed with their sinfulness that they would drop to their knees in tears and repentance!

Charles Finney’s books reveal his secrets to revival. In chapter one of his book, ‘How to start a Revival’ he wrote, “Revival is renewed conviction of sin and repentance, followed by an intense desire to live in obedience to God. It is giving up one’s will to God in deep humility.” Charles Finney knew how to stir up the hearts of man to seek God, to go to the Lord with repentance, and to equip the church to win souls. The book of James says, “Come close to God, and God will come close to you.” (James 4:8 NLT) With this promise who does the initiation? The person who takes the initiative to come close to God.

“Then if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” (2Chron. 7:14 NLT)
The Lord gives us the initiative to go to Him. Jesus said “ask, and it will be given, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Mat. 7:7) The Lord through the prophet Jeremiah said, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” (Jer.33:3) God has given His word that we CAN receive answers to prayer, but it is up to us to initiate it.

When is it time for revival?
You know it’s time for a revival when:
• There is a lack of brotherly love, and Christian confidence among believers.
• There are dissensions, jealousies and evil rumors within the church.
• The church has no interest to serve and has no concern for those dying without Christ.
• The Christians becomes selfish and prideful with no fear of God in our churches, homes and culture.
• There is a worldly, compromising spirit in the Church.
• Church leadership is openly living in sin.
• The Word of God is watered down and neglected in the pulpit and in private devotion.
• You see Christians conforming to the world in music, dress and talk.

When you witness these things then you know it’s time to wake up the Church and to get to work! It is as much the Christian’s duty to get to work as it is the fireman’s duty to get to work when a fire breaks out.
Christians in the Church must now wake up and get the sin out of our hearts and lives and out of our churches. What kind of fireman will be asleep when people are burning up? The fireman would be guilty of neglect of duty for not waking up and would be relieved of duty! The Christian will also be guilty of neglect of duty if they sleep while souls around them are headed for destruction. It is our responsibility to wake up and revive the Church! WE MUST WAKE UP!

Charles Finney said, “Christians are more to blame for not being revived than sinners are for not being converted. A church cannot continue without revival. Without it, more people will die unconverted inside a church building than new believers will be added to the Body of Christ!”

One of the first things we must do to start a revival is prayer–And not some weak general prayer asking God to save sinners, but serious, heart wrenching prayer for revival that will move God to act! Christians who have the spirit of prayer for revival will also have a deep concern for souls. The Greek word for “watch” is γρηγορέω (grēgoreō) and means to be awake and watchful, to give strict attention to, and to actively take heed lest through remission and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtake one. It is like the watchman of Ezekiel 33, who keeps watch for dangers and who is always aware of the situation.

Once again a message came to me from the LORD: “Son of man, give your people this message: ‘When I bring an army against a country, the people of that land choose one of their own to be a watchman. When the watchman sees the enemy coming, he sounds the alarm to warn the people. Then if those who hear the alarm refuse to take action, it is their own fault if they die. They heard the alarm but ignored it, so the responsibility is theirs. If they had listened to the warning, they could have saved their lives. But if the watchman sees the enemy coming and doesn’t sound the alarm to warn the people, he is responsible for their captivity. They will die in their sins, but I will hold the watchman responsible for their deaths. “Now, son of man, I am making you a watchman for the people of Israel. Therefore, listen to what I say and warn them for me. If I announce that some wicked people are sure to die and you fail to tell them to change their ways, then they will die in their sins, and I will hold you responsible for their deaths. But if you warn them to repent and they don’t repent, they will die in their sins, but you will have saved yourself. (Ezek. 33:1-9)

Using the same word, Jesus told us to watch (grēgoreō) and pray. Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed [is] willing, but the flesh [is] weak. (Mat 26:41 KJV)

Breaking up our fallow ground
We must not grieve away the Holy Spirit when God begins to send revival as a result of our prayers. Unless we remove the sin from our hearts, revival will not stay. One cannot continue in their hidden sins of the heart like pride, and expect a move of the Holy Spirit.

The primary purpose of a farmer plowing up the fallow ground is to turn over the upper layer of the soil, bringing fresh nutrients to the surface, while burying weeds. The remains of previous crops, and weed seeds will be plowed into the soil, allowing them to break down. It also aerates the soil and allows it to hold moisture better and provides a seed-free medium for planting an alternate crop.

Jesus compares our heart to the ground in the Parable of the Sower and the Seed: (Matthew 13:1-23)

We must prepare our hearts for revival by breaking up the fallow ground of our hearts.
…”Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the LORD that He may come and shower righteousness upon you.” (Hos. 10:12 NLT)

And the results will be a heart ready to receive God’s Spirit:
And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put My Spirit in you so that you will follow My decrees and be careful to obey My regulations. (Ezek. 36:26-27 NLT)

Revival consists of two parts: 1st, that which affects the church and 2nd, that which affects sinners. The Bible talks a lot about having a hardened heart, a stony, stubborn, a non- teachable heart and attitude. The heart is like soil – whatever you plant in it will produce a harvest as long as it is good ground and not full of weeds or even worse, nothing but hard, stony ground. The Lord spoke a great deal against the hard- hearted person, the “stiff-necked” who will not repent or change. Stubborn people have this kind of heart, and unless the “hard ground of their heart” is fallowed, or broken up and softened, those people will be in danger of the fires of Gehenna.

But God gives us a great example of how to break up the fallow ground of our heart by reading about Samuel confronting Saul:

Stubbornness is as idolatry: For rebellion [is as] the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness [is as] iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from [being] king. And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice. (1Sam. 15:23-24)

You can break up the hard fallow ground of your own heart by self-examination. Soften up the ground of your heart by looking inside and examining your motives, your thoughts and the intentions of your heart. Make it a point to do this, but don’t be in a hurry. Let the Word of God and the Spirit of God give you a supernatural heart examination. The Lord is The Great Physician so let Him do a little heart surgery on you. He is The Lord of the Harvest, let Him plow your ground and uproot the bad seeds and roots of bitterness. Let Him uproot things that would grieve the Holy Spirit. Let the Lord of the Harvest plant and bring forth a harvest. As He points out these issues, stop and repent and plant the seed of the Word of God in its place. Sow the seed of the Word of God in your heart concerning the issue at hand. The Lord of the Harvest knows how to plow, uproot, sow and water.

Self-examination is opening up your heart and looking at your life and just like a computer virus scan, allow the Lord to scan your “system” in order to look for “threats” and things that contaminate your system’s function. Self-examination is looking at your true character; examining your sins one by one and then cutting out its source. It will revive and resurrect your conscience, causing you to come back to God. Don’t have a seared conscience and be stubborn. A seared conscience is someone who has no or little conviction and is so used to resisting the Holy Spirit that they have a seared conscience.

Examine yourself in light of the Word of God and find out why you do the things you do, why you say the things you say – examine your character and motives of your heart. Self-examination of your sins is a detailed examination and remember don’t just repent of sin in general, but confess every one of them to the Lord. When you committed those sins you did them one at a time and it would only be right that you repent of them one at a time and completely focus on uprooting them and replacing them with God’s Seed – The Word.

As you examine your heart don’t forget the sins we commit that would be considered “omission” like the things we neglect, like not being thankful. Ingratitude is a sin that needs to be repented of. There is no blessing that you have received that did not come from the Lord. God’s grace saved you and continually blesses you – do not neglect your duty to thank God.

Another thing we must look at is our lack of love for God. How would you feel if your child refused to obey you, took you for granted, and didn’t pay much attention to you unless they wanted something? Would you be moved to bless that child? Repent and make it right and revival will come to you.

Another sin of “omission” would be of neglecting the Word of God and prayer – allowing doubt to creep in to negate what you used to believe. The God of Truth has promised to give the Holy Spirit to those (of His) who ask Him (Luke 11:13) Do you believe this? Do you expect Him to answer? Poor spiritual attitude, a lack of concern for unbelievers and a lack of love for the brethren are all sins that must be repented of.

The sins that we willingly commit out of our free will of choice
Vanity and Pride are things that must be put away; the Word of God says that a little leaven leavens the whole lump. (1 Cor. 5:7) Do you put more effort on your outside appearance than you do on the inside appearance to God? When you get ready for church do you get ready spiritually, or is it all about outward appearance? Man looks on the outside appearance but God looks at the heart. (1Sam.16:7) Allow God to get in your business like Samuel did with Saul and like Nathan did with David.

Do you have a critical spirit? Remember the times you had a bitter spirit about a brother or sister and spoke against them in a way that was not in love? Have you ever slandered a brother or sister? Do you have a lack of seriousness in the things of God? These are things that hinder revival, get them out of your heart and you will experience revival and the refreshing presence of the Lord again!

Let us be like David and repent as God’s Spirit reveals the sin in our heart. We all need a Nathan who will point his finger at us and say “Thou art the man!” Deception is a lie and done with intention. Do you have a lying spirit? Have you ever lied to get your promotion or to receive an extra benefit? Cheating and hypocrisy and robbing God are sins that must be repented of individually and each one must be dealt with separately. If you sinned against God get it right; if you sinned against a anyone get it right and do your best to fix it with the person before moving on. Jesus said to not even give an offering unless you deal with the issue of the heart concerning your brother. (Matthew 5:23-24) By the grace of God, try to revive and resurrect your conscience and call it into accountability with God and His Word, and your ground – your heart, will experience revival as a fire burning in your bones! (Jeremiah 20:9)

Just as Paul told Timothy to “stir up the gift of God within you” and as Peter said in his epistle to “stir you up by way of remembrance”, I want to stir you up to seek God to correct these issues and prepare your heart for the spirit of prayer and partner with you to initiate a revival in the Church.

The secrets to revival are not secrets anymore. We must return to our First Love. We must not be luke-warm. We must return to the Lord and get our hearts in sync with His through repentance – repentance from religious works and repetitive, unfeeling prayer, and return to making God first.
When we come to the Judgment Seat of Christ we will each give an account to Him for what works we did and did not do. I exhort you today to return to your First Love and go back to doing what He told you to do! Keep yourself examined and be free of revival hindrances! Remember the sleeping fireman, and don’t be a sleeping Christian! The zeal of the Lord is in you! The divine embers of life from heaven are still in you and waiting for the wind of God’s Spirit to blow on them and cause them to explode!

This article includes excerpts from Charles Finney’s Revival Lectures. CLICK HERE for more.


re·viv·al  noun /riˈvīvəl/

1. An improvement in the condition or strength of something

2. A restoration to use, acceptance, activity, or vigor after a period of obscurity or quiescence.

3. A reawakening of religious fervor, esp. by means of a series of evangelistic meetings

4. A time of reawakened interest in religion.

One only needs to read the headlines in local newspapers or on the internet to know that our world is in serious trouble:

Social Security disability on verge of insolvency; Two shot, one attacked, at NFL pre-season game; Egypt, Israel tries to defuse tension over killings; London riots: police lose battle as lawlessness erupts; Chicago Police Brace for ‘Flash Mob’ Attacks; Gunman opens fire at Philadelphia basketball game…. And on and on it goes.

Throughout history God has called for people to repent and turn away from their ungodliness and every time they could not bring themselves to recognize their own sin. In failing to recognize their sin, they failed to recognize the holy God that they were called to serve. And as a result, God had to discipline his people with judgment. It is no different today. For decades God has been sending his prophets to warn us of His impending judgment, but we refuse to listen to them and instead continue to sin and listen to the false prophets who preach, “Peace, peace!” when there is no peace.

Many of God’s prophets in the Old Testament delivered God’s message of impending judgment but time and time again the people would not listen because of their unrepentant hearts. The message of the Old Testament prophets is the same as it is today. The message of repentance!

I believe that the time for revival is now! Not the revival that is planned with big tents and special ‘Revival Evangelists’ but a true Holy Spirit revival that changes the lives of believers.

Revivals begin with God’s own people; the Holy Spirit touches their heart anew, and gives them new compassion, zeal, and new life. And what a great responsibility this lays on the Church of God! Because if you hinder the work of God’s spirit by your unrepentant hearts, then the people who are perishing in the world are the ones who really suffer! Revival is not excitement, or emotionalism. It is not even evangelism! Revival is the moving of God’s Spirit, through the power of His Word, to the hearts of His children, that resurrects new life in those areas which have been lying stagnant, dormant, or out of balance, and that results in a new love and obedience to Jesus Christ.

The captives in Babylon missed revival because they placed their idols above their one true God. And if revival is being withheld from us today it is because some idol remains still enthroned in our hearts; because we still insist in placing our reliance on human schemes; and because we still refuse to face the unchangeable truth that, “It is not by might, but by My Spirit says the Lord.” (Zechariah 4:6)  Hosea 10:12 says: “Sow to yourself in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground; for it is time to seek the Lord till He come and reign righteousness upon you.”

What is fallow ground? Fallow ground is ground that was once fruitful, but then it has been unplowed and left alone. After a time, it becomes so hard that no seed can be sown in it and it becomes unproductive. In order to plant again this ground must first be plowed up and turned over to kill the weeds that would crowd out the crop or compete with it for water and nutrients. Notice that the scripture says that we are to break up our fallow ground. Psalm 85:6 states: “Would Thou not revive us again: that Thy people may rejoice in Thee.” So, without revival, without breaking up the fallow ground in our hearts, there is an absence of joy and our lives become unproductive.

I have read of the revivals of the past, great sweeping revivals where thousands of men were brought into the Kingdom of God. I read about Charles Finney winning his thousands and his hundreds of thousands of souls to Christ. When you read the messages of Charles Finney and Jonathan Edwards and Charles Spurgen you can feel their desperation for sinners falling into the hands of a just God, and understand why men and women trembled and fell down at the altars and cried out in repentance and sobbed their way to the throne of grace!

Where are the men and women of desperation today? Why do we not care if our loved ones depart this world without salvation? Why are we satisfied with a dull watered down Gospel in exchange for the fire of the Holy Spirit? If you are waiting for a pastor or Bible teacher to lead the world to revival you will have a long wait; because religious leaders seldom welcome revival.

Leonard Ravenhill, one of the greatest revival preachers of our time said, “I don’t think the world has ever been in a greater sense of turmoil than it is in this moment. I don’t think our nation has. Whatever we shall say about revival we have to recognize this: There are three things about natural life: conception, gestation, and birth. You can’t alter the program. There has never been revival, that I can trace, that has not been preceded by agonizing prayer. You might say, “I haven’t got to that stage yet of agonizing prayer. How does is come?” Well, it comes through vision. If we are really going to get a concept of revival we have to get a vision of God’s sorrow over sin. We have to get a concept of how, day by day, we offend God. As a nation we offend God in millions of ways. If we are going to realize how much we need revival we need to recognize the dimension of sin. We have to recognize that sin offends God.”

This is the one thing that Israel and Judah did not recognize. Even though God sent prophets to warn them, they refused to repent. And because they refused to listen, they were taken captive into Babylon. And this is the one thing that God’s people today fail to recognize.

Characteristics of Revivals of the past

During revivals of the past, people were making money hand over fist. (Due to the railroad and the industrial revolution) because of the economic bubble, there was also a very serious spiritual decline. But at the same time, many were speaking out against the social injustices of the time, such as slavery. Some abolitionists felt so strongly against slavery that they felt justified in the killing of slave owners. Then as the economic bubble began to burst many people found themselves in a sudden economic downturn. Revival started as the result of intense prayer and God seemed to answer prayer in places that they least expected it and the power of God seemed to fall spontaneously in many different places. Soon afterward the Lord breathed new life into the Church where there was widespread repentance and brokenness of Christians and backsliders alike. There were also conversions of ministers during these revivals.

Why America is ready for revival

In the past decades Americans have experienced an economic boom. The 2007 World Wealth Report, issued by Merrill Lynch and Cap Gemini, showed a record number of millionaires in North America and abroad. The survey said there were 9.5 million millionaires in the world at the end of 2006. The millionaire population increased 8.3% between 2005 and 2006. And these millionaires controlled $37.2 trillion in wealth. By 2011, that wealth is expected to grow to $51.6 trillion. In North America, the number of financial millionaires grew 9.2% to 3.2 million. Their total wealth grew by 10% to $11.3 trillion.

In recent years some of those opposed to abortion, (The social injustice of our time) have sometimes resorted to very public demonstrations of violence in an effort to achieve their objective of curbing the termination of pregnancy. Those who engage in or support such actions defend the use of force—as justifiable homicide or defense of others—in the interest of protecting the life of the fetus.

The financial crisis in the late-2000s is considered by many economists to be the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. It resulted in the collapse of large financial institutions, the bailout of banks by national governments, and downturns in stock markets around the world. In many areas, the housing market has also suffered, resulting in numerous evictions, foreclosures and prolonged vacancies. It also contributed to the failure of key businesses, declines in consumer wealth, which lead to a severe global economic recession in 2008. Due to the foreclosures and evictions the homeless population continues to increase and currently the average age of a homeless person is 9 years old!

The characteristics for revivals have not changed; and the Satan’s tactics to keep people from God has not changed either. Unfortunately, people tend to fall for his same old tricks. Mankind continues to put its confidence in ourselves instead of God; all the while expecting God to bless and prosper us as a nation. And then we question why He has not! The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results!

Real revival is taking place, but not in America. It is occurring in Korea, where the Church has grown from less than one million 25 years ago, to over 12 million today. And it is occurring in Africa, where the Church is growing so fast that Muslims attack preachers and disrupt meetings to try to stop its progress. It is taking place in Central and South America, in China and Malaysia, but in America? No! We are so smug in our presumed spiritual superiority, so at ease in our comfortable buildings, so fat in our land of plenty that we have no need of God. That may be why God has allowed the current financial crises to occur.

Just like the ancient people of God, we have not realized our sin, and we have failed to acknowledge the holy God that we were called to serve. Why is it only when we feel threatened that we turn to God? When our money can’t help us, we may cry out to Him. When the doctors can’t save us, we may pray for a healing. When we feel we might not be quite as good as we should be, we might respond to an invitation and let the preacher massage our conscience by telling us that now that we have accepted Jesus we’re alright. We might come to God to be “blessed”, we might go to meetings to hear how God wants to “prosper” us and make us wealthy – but surrender to God? Devote our whole lives, hearts, minds, souls and strength, to His cause? Never! We have become a nation of jail house converts!

America will only see true revival if we begin to pay more than lip service to God and His Word. 2 Chronicles 7:14 states “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 will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” We have heard it preached many times but we must believe it and obey it if we are to see God move in our land. Our church leaders must obey the admonition of Joel, who declares, “Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God? Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people.” (Joel 2:17) In Habakkuk 3:2 the prophet prays, “O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.” This must become the believer’s heart cry! Elisha exclaimed, “Where is the God of Elijah?” But God is now crying out, “Where are the Elijahs of God?” America can have true Holy Spirit revival if the Church recognizes the need for it and does what it takes to bring it about.

                           Oh Lord! Send revival to your Church now!