We have reached a point in time where the world sits and waits for the proverbial “other shoe to drop.” Something big is going to happen soon. Christians sense it. Students of Bible prophecy can feel it in their bones. Even the unsaved world senses that something ominous is heading our way. We live in the most dangerous time in world history. What’s going to happen in the next year or so? Will there be a war in the Middle East around the Blood Moon timeframe? A global financial collapse on the next Shemitah? A nuclear tragedy? Another terrorist catastrophe? (Prophecy News Watch)
As a student of revival, I have read about the impact that past revivals have brought to America and the world. The first and second awakenings of the 18th and 19th centuries as well as the 20th century awakening were so powerful and far-reaching that they changed the spiritual and moral culture of entire nations.
The Welch revival is a great example of the violent upheaval a Spirit-born awakening can bring down on society. After the initial outpouring in Wales at the turn of the 20th century the churches were crowded for two years with 100,000 outsiders being converted. Drunkenness was reduced by 50%, taverns went bankrupt, crime nearly disappeared that judges had no more cases to judge, and the police became unemployed in many districts. This outpouring affected all nations. It spread like wild fire through Ireland and Scotland, and into other nations of Europe where meetings were marked by prayer and confession of sin.
That outpouring coincided with others during that same time period, such as the Azusa street revival in Los Angeles, and was not only international in nature but ecumenical as well. It impacted nations and involved major churches and denominations such as the Baptists, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, Anglicans, Congregationalists, Disciple, and Reformed churches. The only ones left virtually untouched as in earlier awakenings were the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox communities.
It is recorded that William T. Stead, a London newspaper editor, considered by some to be the most powerful man in Britain at that time, gave this impression of the Wales revival.
“There is something there from another world. You cannot say whence it came or whither it is going, but it moves and lives and reaches for you all the time. You see men and women go down in sobbing agony before your eyes as the invisible Hand clutches at their heart. And you shudder.”
When asked if it was all emotion and if there was any teaching, Stead responded:
“Precious little. Do you think teaching is what people want in a revival? These people, all the people in a land like ours are taught to death, preached to insensibility. They all know the essential truths. They know they are not living as they ought to live, and no amount of teaching will add anything to that conviction.”
This is where we presently are as a Church today.
It takes a man of wisdom and understanding to know the times and seasons of God, and what the Spirit is calling for. Teaching is important, but there are times when people will never abandon their sin and idolatry unless they are aroused and awakened, until they feel an urgent sense of guilt and danger and can no longer contain themselves.
When Christianity degenerates and the Church backslides, the nation is further darkened and sucked down into gross immorality, perversion, pride, greed, luxury and idolatry. It takes these mighty awakenings to break that cycle and revive and promote Christianity.
There are two elements that often lead to revival: Spiritual hunger and/or a great crisis. I see both happening simultaneously right now in its beginning stages. Prayer is often born from these two elements. And the two foundation stones that make it all work are the preparedness of man and the sovereignty of God.
God has always worked throughout history by means of revival. The fallen nature of human beings in cooperation with the devil tend to evil and sliding off into Deism, and God has to often reverse this downward cycle through sudden and mighty outpourings of His Spirit, sometimes preceded by judgments.
“Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Gen. 6:5).
God always looks for a man to stand in the gap and plead for the sins of the people. He found such a man in Noah (Gen. 6:8). This has always been the case throughout Israel’s history that God raised up a leader in a time of judgment and brought restoration. From Abraham to Moses to Gideon to Jephthah; from Jehosaphat to Hezekiah to Josiah it has always been the pattern.
We are facing the same cycle today as Israel and our spiritual forefathers did before us. In his book on Revival, Winkie Pratney states that there is a cycle of change and decay, of reformation and revival and then apostasy, which agrees with the four fold collapse of Israel’s history:
1. Israel forgot God;
2. Israel forgot God’s laws;
3. Israel made up new gods;
4. Israel made up new laws.
Nations leave the ways of God because of a physical law present in the universe called, the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Basically this law teaches us that things tend to run down, not up; from order and cohesion to disorder and decay and eventually death. This is the reason reforms, revivals, and awakenings are mandatory. They create spiritual momentum and violent upheavals in society.
In light of the abominable sins of our modern culture and the widespread deception and apostasy of a backslidden church, oh, how we need a third great awakening right now that will affect not only America, but the nations of the world! May God grant it as His people prepare for it.
If you are sleeping it is high time to wake up. The battle for the souls of men is raging.
It can no longer be casual life or church as usual.