OUR WORLD NEEDS REVIVAL!
If you have ever watched Judge Judy, you will often hear her say, “That’s not my America.” Well let me tell you, with terrorists killing people all over the world, all of the violent protests, the alarming crime rate, racial division, danger in the streets of city’s around the globe, and people protesting anything related to the Bible or Christianity. Our city, nation, and our world, by and large has turned its back on God. Alcohol, drugs, illicit sex, crime, homeless people, divorce, and abuse are all on the rise. God’s word says in Jeremiah 3:2,3, “You have polluted the land with your harlotries and your wickedness. Therefore the showers have been withheld and there has been no later rain.” I must say, “That’s not my world!” We need for God to touch down as He did in the past!
What can turn our world around?
•All the Ecologists on earth can't solve the problem with the environment!
•All the Economists in the world can't come up with a financial solution!
•All the Physicians on earth cannot diagnose the human problem!
•All the Affirmative Action groups could never repair the culture!
•All the Politicians in the world could never cure the racial issues, it can only be solved when the great uniter of people does a work in people's hearts!
“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” (2 Chronicles 7:14 NLT).
Only a movement of the Spirit of God in revival power can change this world. I pray for revival! Several years ago, the late Bill Bright called for a 40-day fast. Several of us joined him in this concentrated prayer effort, praying for a world-wide revival.
Psalm 85:6 NLT, “Won’t you revive us again, so your people can rejoice in you?”
Habakkuk 3:2, “O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years!”
Our personal lives need revival! Our homes need revival! Our churches need revival! This nation and the world need revival! No economic upturn can bring revival. And no election can bring revival. You can’t work is up, but you can pray it down.
Following are what Christian leaders have said about Revival:
•“Revival is that strange and sovereign work of God in which he visits His own people, restoring, reanimating, and releasing them into the fullness of His blessings.” –Stephen Alford.
•“Revival is the renewal of the first love of Christians, resulting in the awakening and conversion of sinners…It reclaims the backslidden church… It a “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.
•“Revival is breathing the breath of God.” –Robert Coleman.
•“Revival is the inrush of the Spirit into a body that threatens to become a corpse.” –D.M. Panton.
•“Revival is God's quickening visitation of his people, touching their hearts and deepening his work of grace in their lives.” –J. I. Packer
•“Revival is an extraordinary season of religious interest. –Robert Baird
“The sovereign act of God, in which He restores His own backsliding people to repentance, faith and obedience.” –Stephen Olford
•“Revival is times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord.” (Acts 3:19) –J. Edwin Orr
•“Revival is the awakening or quickening of God's people to their true nature and purpose.” –Robert Coleman
•“Revival is the return of the Church from her backslidings, and the conversion of sinners.” –Charles Finney
•“Revival is an extraordinary movement of the Holy Spirit producing extraordinary results.” –Richard Owen Roberts
•“Revival is a community saturated with God” –Duncan Campbell
•“Revival is the work of the Holy Spirit in restoring the people of God to a more vital spiritual life, witness, and work by prayer and the Word after repentance in crisis for their spiritual decline.” –Earle Cairns
•“Revival is a work of God's Spirit among His own people. What we call revival is simply New Testament Christianity, the saints getting back to normal.” [Vance Havner].
•“Revival is, God in the midst of His people.” –Richard Owen Roberts.
•“The Holy Spirit comes down upon a number together, upon a whole church, upon a number of churches, upon districts, or perhaps a whole country. It is, if you will, a visitation of the Holy Spirit.” –Martyn Lloyd-Jones.
•The Puritans called revival, “The manifest presence of God…It is such a manifest working of God that human personalities are overshadowed and human programs are abandoned. It is man retiring into the background because God has taken the field. It is the LORD working in extraordinary power upon the saint and the sinner.”
•David Whitefield called revival, “God, the Lord came down among us.”
"Revival is the Sovereign, Sudden, Selective and Sensational operation of the Spirit of God” –Dr. Ken Connolly
Sovereign means that there are no known human factors which cause revival. It cannot be pumped up or pulled down! Dr. Alexander Whyte, who was touched during the 1859 awakening in Great Britain said, “There is divine mystery about revival, God’s sovereignty is in them.”
Sudden: Stories of well-dressed, dignified men and women, in the middle of the day, in the middle of the town, in the middle of the block, in the middle of the street, suddenly falling on their knees, crying out to God for pity, and for help from a neighbor to find forgiveness for sins. Stories like these were common during revivals.
Selective: There must be an evangelical base for revival to operate. Revival is the bringing back to life of dead orthodoxy, dead churches and dead Christians. Not for those who are, “Dead in their trespasses and sins.” But for those who have lapsed into coldness and indifference.
Sensational: Prostrations were a common sight during revivals, people falling under the power of God. Newspapers announced that people had “gone mad,” as on the day of Pentecost. Noises were associated with some revivals, the great and saintly Andrew Murray, reported the sound of a rushing train hitting the wall of the church building. Visions were a minor part in Revivals.
Revival is a manifestation of the holy, sovereign, almighty God, when we can actually sense His presence in our lives, our churches and communities. It is when God comes down in mighty power to walk among His children. It is a new consciousness of God, a new revelation of God, a sense of God's holiness and His righteous demands upon every believer. Revival shocks Christians out of their indifference into a deep conviction of their need for God. Revival reenergizes the church.
The late Bill Bright, Campus Crusade for Christ, in his book, The Coming Revival wrote: “Who is responsible for revival? God or man? Do you work a revival up or do you pray a revival down? What are the conditions for revival? These are legitimate questions that Christian theologians and laymen frequently ask.
The great and holy, righteous, and loving Creator God is sovereign. He rules in the affairs of men and nations. Everything in creation is under His control He has chosen, however, to give to His children the privilege of working together with Him to take the ‘Good News’ of His love and forgiveness in Christ to the world. In like manner, He has entrusted to man a virtually important role in preparing the way for revival. Whatever God tells you to do, He will give you the power and ability to do. The apostle Paul said, ‘It is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose’ (Philippines 2:13). God has given to me and to multitudes of others a desire to fast and pray, and to work for a spiritual awakening for our country and for the fulfillment of the Great Commission throughout the world.
During World War II, we were fighting the Japanese man-to-man from island-to-island with great casualties. with a kamikaze spirit (divine wind) the enemy fought fiercely, willing to die for their emperor whom they believed to be god. American forces knew that when they invaded Japan, millions of people would die, and the outcome of the war could still be in question. Then President Truman dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Japanese surrendered and the war ended immediately.
In the providence of God, I believe the power of fasting as it relates to prayer is the spiritual atomic bomb of our moment in history to bring down the strongholds of evil, bring a great revival and spiritual awakening to America, and accelerate the fulfillment of the Great Commission.
On the basis of His Holy Word and divine assurances He has placed in my heart, I am absolutely convinced that our Sovereign God is going to send a great revival to our nation and world so that the Great Commission will be fulfilled.
God's Word admonishes us to ‘Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness’ (Matthew 6:33). Jesus said, ‘Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me’ (Mark 8:34). In Mark 10:29, 30 He promises great rewards to everyone who forsakes all to follow, trust, and obey Him.
I urge you with every conviction within me–yes, with tears of compassion and commitment–to plan and prepare for revival. I trust that these insights will be mightily used of God to help you in your preparation.”
Revival is a sovereign work of God–in answer to sincere, prevailing prayer.
Every time the church has lost power and authority and becomes ineffective, certain people become disturbed by the condition of the world and unhappy with the state of the church, so they begin to pray for a moving of the Spirit of God upon the church. They get desperate for a touch from God, a burning desire to see God touch down. They surrender themselves and decide to pray until God shows up. “There has never been a spiritual awakening in any country or locality that did not begin in united prayer.” –Dr. A.T. Pierson
In 1949, in the Outer Hebrides island of Lewis (off the coast of Scotland), a remarkable movement of the Spirit of God broke out…which then spread all over the island…It was an incredibly deep work of the Holy Spirit, in which the awareness of the presence of a holy God was so overwhelming, the fear of God and the conviction of sin were so great that in a matter of hours, or even minutes, church buildings became crowded without any advertising or any information being given out, with hundreds of men and women crying to God for mercy before they even got near a church building or a house meeting; hundreds of people’s lives radically altered, and whole communities changed. Rarely, if ever, in the history of the world, has such an outstanding work been witnessed. –calltoprayer.org
Prior to the revival, in a small cottage, two elderly sisters, eighty-four year old Peggy and eighty two year old Christine Smith lived. Peggy was blind and her sister almost bent double with arthritis. Unable to attend public worship, their humble cottage became a sanctuary where they met with God. They were so burdened that both of them decided to spend a long time in prayer twice a week. On Tuesdays and Fridays they got on their knees at ten o’clock in the evening, and remained on their knees until three or four o’clock in the morning.
To them came the promise: “I will pour water upon him that is thirsty and floods upon the dry ground” (Isaiah 44:3), they pleaded this day and night in prayer. They prayed fervently for revival. God answered by giving Peggy a vision, revival was coming and the church of her fathers would be crowded again with young people! She sent for the minister, the Rev. James Murray MacKay, and told him what God had shown her, asking him to call his elders and deacons together for special times of waiting upon God. Her vision included inviting Duncan Campbell, a famed Scottish evangelist.
Duncan Campbell turned down the invitation to come to Lewis because he said, “I have another invitation of great importance.” Peggy and Christine were not swayed by Campbell's response. Instead they continued to pray for revival. They knew that Duncan Campbell would come just as God had shown them. The little lady said, “I won't accept that.” She began to pray. She said, “He will come. God will make him come. He will come.” And she began to pray, and she said to the pastor, “Print the invitations and put them in all the roads.”
Duncan Campbell was sitting on the front row of the Keswick Convention, which is the deeper life center of all of England, and he was the next speaker up. The spirit of God came upon him and he felt conviction and he turned to the moderator and said, “You will have to excuse me, God has another appointment for me.” He got up and walked away. Duncan Campbell got on a boat and made the journey to the Hebrides. He knew that God was calling him there. It was in this little church, that God broke through the hearts of people on these islands. The revival lasted for
Just picture a small group of believers are praying, pleading with God, late into the night, begging him to save their community from the corruption and gross sins that are destroying their quality of life. Then, suddenly, after several months of praying, it happens. If God hears the fervent prayers of two elderly, shut-in women who were praying for revival, do you not think He will hear the prayers of thousands of believers, beseeching Him for spiritual renewal in our world?
Isaiah 64:1-3 NLT, “Oh, that you would burst from the heavens and come down! How the mountains would quake in your presence! As fire causes wood to burn and water to boil your coming would make the nations tremble. Then your enemies would learn the reason for your fame! When you came down long ago, you did awesome deeds beyond our highest expectations. And oh, how the mountains quaked!”
“In Isaiah 64, God’s people had been carried into captivity, His work was in disrepair, and His people were dispirited, much like believers today. The Church has been carried into captivity by the world, the flesh and the devil. Christians are discouraged. Many have no hope for revival. They don’t even believe that revival is possible!” –Adrian Rogers
Revival is God coming down. It is meeting with Almighty God. God loves to come down. He came down when the Lord Jesus stepped out of heaven to save us.
God came down on Jacob, and changed his name to Israel. “And Jacob called the name of the place where God spoke with him, Bethel” (Genesis 35:1-15).
God came down on Moses. After Go met him on Mount Sinai and the problem of the golden calf was resolved, “And it came to pass, when Moses entered the tabernacle, that the pillar of cloud descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the Lord talked with Moses. All the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the tabernacle door, and all the people rose and worshiped, each man in his tent door. So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend” (Exodus 33:9-11).
God came down on Asa. “Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God, 3 for he removed the altars of the foreign gods and the [a]high places, and broke down the sacred pillars and cut down the wooden images. 4 He commanded Judah to seek the Lord God of their fathers, and to observe the law and the commandment” (Verses 3,4). “…Now the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded. And he went out to meet Asa, and said to him: ‘Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. For a long time Israel has been without the true God, without a teaching priest, and without Law” (Verses 3,4). (2 Chronicles 14:3,4; 15:1-43).
God came down on Jehoshaphat. “Jehoshaphat feared, and set [c]himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 4 So Judah gathered together to ask help from the Lord; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord…Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel… And he said, ‘Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow go down against them…You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.” (2 Chronicles 20:3.4; 14-17).
God came down on Josiah. “Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. 2 And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the ways of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his father David; and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the [a]high places, the wooden images, the carved images, and the molded images. They broke down the altars of the Baals in his presence, and the incense altars which were above them he cut down; and the wooden images, the carved images, and the molded images he broke in pieces, and made dust of them and scattered it on the graves of those who had sacrificed to them…Hilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law of the Lord given by Moses…And he read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant which had been found in the house of the Lord. 31 Then the king stood in his place and made a covenant before the Lord, to follow the Lord, and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant that were written in this book.33 Thus Josiah removed all the abominations from all the country that belonged to the children of Israel, and made all who were present in Israel [h]diligently serve the Lord their God. All his days they did not depart from following the Lord God of their fathers” (2 Chronicles 34:1-4; 14; 30-33).
God came down on Nehemiah. “Now all the people gathered together as one man in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate; and they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded Israel. So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly of men and women and all who could hear with understanding on the first day of the seventh month. Then he read from it in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate [a]from morning until midday, before the men and women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law…And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God.
Then all the people answered, “Amen, Amen!” while lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground” (Nehemiah 8:1-3; 5,6).
God came down on Isaiah. “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!’ And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. So I said: ‘Woe is me, for I am [a]undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts” (Isaiah 6:1-5).
God came down on the Day of Pentecost. “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all [a]with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting” (Acts 2:1,2).
God came down in the revivals of history.
•The First Great Awakening (1726-1756) of the early and beyond the middle of the eighteenth century began in Germany. From there it spread to the British Isles and the United States. Moral conditions there were at a low ebb. Bars offered enough whisky for one to get “drunk for a penny, dead drunk for two,” and even offered a bed of straw to sleep on while in a drunken stupor. Theaters displayed the decadence that was rampant in society. “The literature of the period would even today be classed mostly as hard-core pornography…Violence was rampant. Gangs of drunken ruffians paraded the streets and subjected women to nameless outrages and defenseless men to abominable tortures.” (Colin C. Whittaker, Great Revivals [Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1984], .
•The First Great Awakening in the United States. This was a series of Christian revivals that swept Britain and its Thirteen Colonies between the 1730s and 1740s. spiritual conditions in the Thirteen Colonies in America were similar to those in Europe. “Due to harsh conditions in the colonies, People turned grain into a liquid cash asset, whiskey. Consumption of whiskey brought violence and loose living; drunkenness abounded. In many areas there were no churches present to tame the people. “Revival was needed! Those who brought revival emphasized a genuine conversion experience. Fearing an unconverted ministry, they set up their own schools for the training of pastors for the churches of the movement. At first they were called ‘log colleges’ because they were housed in simple buildings which the title suggests. Some of these later became great centers of learning as, for example, Princeton University.” –Cairns
•The second Great Awakening 1776-1840, in the British Isles, in continental Europe, in North America, in South Africa, Asia, and the Pacific. Again, this revival had its roots in prayer meetings. . Circuit riding ministers among the Methodists made notable contributions to the move of God during this period. Typically, the Circuit rider traveled 200-500 miles in his monthly circuit on horseback and received $64.00 per year They slept in homes, inns, or in the open fields. The most famous of these was my
The frontier preacher, Peter Cartwright, (AKA: Uncle Peter, Backwoods Preacher, "The Lord's Plowman, The Lord's Breaking-Plow) was my great, great uncle (my grandmother Sparks was a Cartwright) is probably one of the best known among Methodist circuit riders.
This revival also inspired youth on college and university campuses to seek the Lord. “Rationalistic and humanistic thinking had swept such sites as the century turned into the nineteenth. Students, even those studying for the gospel ministry, substituted the wisdom of the world for the truth of Scripture. “College students much admired the French deists’ ideas. Few professed to be Christians, and many were guilty of gambling, drunkenness, swearing, and immorality…” –Cairns
The work of William Booth in England also developed out of this time of spiritual renewal. His ministry led him to establish the Salvation Army. During the period Robert Moffatt of South Africa also rose to fame. He is considered to be the father of missions in Africa. Titus Coan took the gospel to the Hawaiian Islands and witnessed mighty results .The Lord used William Burns to lead in a great spiritual renewal in Scotland and later as a missionary in China.
•The Laymen’s Prayer Revival, 1857-1861. The Revival had its beginning in the Fulton Street Church in New York City in 1857. The congregation had employed Jeremiah Lanphier to serve as a missionary to the unreached people in the city. He began by scheduling noon prayer meetings for businessmen in the church. Though only six persons responded to his invitation for the first session, attendance gradually increased. “Within six months, ten thousand business-men were gathering daily for prayer in New York. –J. Edwin Orr
The movement soon spread to other churches and other cities. Spiritually hungry hearts gave their lunch hour break to prayer in the church nearest their place of employment. Businesses accommodated for the daily events by blowing the whistle at 11:55 to begin the period and at 1:05 to end, allowing time for their workers to get to and from the service in a church nearest to them. Noted newspapers, including the New York Herald and the New Your Tribune told their stories.
Ministerial leadership was virtually absent. “The meetings themselves were very informal―any person might pray, exhort, lead a song, or give a word of testimony, with a five-minute limit placed on each speaker.” –Towns and Porter
•The Ulster Prayer Meetings. At about the same time the prayer services began at Fulton Street Church, four men started a similar meeting in a village schoolhouse in the Ulster Province of Ireland. As in America, the small beginning gradually grew to sizeable attendance as the services spread far and near. Cairns says, “This revival, which began in Ulster in 1857, brought an estimated 1 million to Christ, with 100,000 in Wales, 300,000 in Scotland, and 400,000 in England. This million amounted to about 3 or 4 percent of the population. As in America, the key was prayer by the laity.”
It was during this time that Charles Spurgeon built his 20,000 seat tabernacle in London. In the same period Hudson Taylor began his noted work in the China Inland Mission. C. T. Studd left China for Africa. Andrew Murray’s ministry developed in South Africa. Both Germany and some parts of Russia experienced revival.
•The Welch Revival 1904-1905. A youthful student named Evan Roberts was moved by God to seek for a revival in his native land of Wales. God gave him a vision of 100,000 souls to be won in his native land. His brief ministry only lasted a few months. His basic message consisted of four major principles.
1. Confess all known sin, receiving forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
2. Remove anything in your life that you are in doubt or feel unsure about.
3. Be ready to obey the Holy Spirit instantly.
4. Publicly confess the Lord Jesus Christ
The revival spread throughout the British Isles so that the membership in the churches increased by as much a ten per cent. The movement swept the rest of Britain, Scandinavia, crossed over into Europe, the mission fields of India and the Orient, Africa and Latin America. Finally, it served as a catalyst for the twentieth century revival in North America.
Since Pentecost, when God came down to empower the infant church, every time the church has lost power and authority, and becomes less effective in the world, certain people become disturbed, concerned and unhappy about its condition, and say, “We need a visitation from the Spirit of God in revival power.” They get desperate for God’s touch. The get a burning desire to see God work in the lives of their Christian brothers and sisters. They get stirred up and a little angry about the spiritual condition of believers within their frame of reference. Then they surrender themselves and decide to pray until God shows up.
Pray for revival! “God bend the church and save the world.” …Evan Roberts
Unless otherwise noted, the New King James Version (NKJV) of the Bible was used. Also The New Living Translation (NLT); The King James Version (KJV); and The Message (MSG);
Permission is hereby granted to use any of Dr. John Sparks’ materials. If this message was helpful, please E-Mail me: email@example.com