BIBLE STUDY LESSON # 33...JULY, 11 , 2010
The Great Awakenings
Revival in America
14 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. – II Chronicles 7:14
Ever since its settling in 1607 at Jamestown, America has been blessed by God. Even as the descendants of the first settlers wandered from their faith, God had mighty plans for them. Through a series of revivals known as The Great Awakening and The Second Great awakening, God inspired, encouraged, and emboldened the colonists in preparation for the path He was preparing to lead them on.
As a student of America’s Christian heritage, I have always been amazed by the ability of the colonists to wage and win a war against the mightiest nation in the world at that time. However, as I delved deeper and deeper into the true history of our great nation, the hand of God upon our forefathers became more and more obvious.
Yet, He did not allow things to happen quickly. Before they could put God’s plan for a Christian nation into place, they needed to find strong and fearless Christian leaders; they needed to have their faith revived. Contrary to many beliefs, revival does not always start with a lot of fanfare. But, once revival takes hold of God’s people, it can spread like wildfire with no end in sight.
Watch This Carman Video called "America Again".
28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. – Joel 2: 28, 29
With these verses planted deep within their resolve, the sleepy little town of Northampton, Massachusetts, burst into revival and continued to spread rapidly throughout New England and then to the rest of the colonies. Preparing men of deep faith ready to stand for religious freedom at all cost, this first Great Awakening empowered the colonies to do the impossible – wage a revolution against a super power and win. Also, it empowered those same leaders to implement a new and exciting nation based upon a Christian faith, the United States of America.
As America grew, so did the temptations associated with success. As the young nation worked to solidify their place in the world order, Satan began to throw many obstacles into their path: the Age of Reason (Deism), the Industrial Revolution (the need for more slaves), and more common social issues (the poor, drunkenness, lewd behavior, etc.). As different sects started to rise within the nation, regional, class and social envy began to drive a wedge between the citizens. Ultimately, the churches that once were alive with the Holy Spirit were now stagnant and, in essence, had become inconsequential. A new and different revival was needed. Unknown to the nation at this time, God was preparing them for a holy war that would test their resolve not only as a Christian nation but as individuals as well.
Again, this revival would start in an unheralded part of the nation – Kentucky. And, it would start with the unlikeliest of people – the Methodist circuit riders. As this Second Great Awakening spread, each region would experience revival in different ways. First, it changed the landscape of American religion. Gone were the influences of the older, dominant denominations (Anglican, Presbyterian, et al). Instead, the Methodists and Baptists grew to become the more prominent churches. Also springing up from this revival was a new breed of believers (the Mormons and the Unitarians). Secondly, it changed many social views. Relief agencies for the poor were founded. Abstinence societies were formed. And, in many areas, abolition gained a stronghold. Thirdly, it led to expansion with missions as its stated goal. Fourthly, it provided the leaders who would be needed to see America through a tough and bloody civil war and oversee the rebuilding of a torn and tattered nation.
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! – Romans 10: 14-15
Beginning with the Second Great Awakening, God has provided great evangelists to carry on the tradition of revival. In succession, He has empowered Charles F. Finney, Dwight L. Moody, Billy Sunday, and Billy Graham as spiritual leaders during many of the trying times that have befallen the United States since its inception. Using these men and countless others He ordained God has guided America through many wars, a devastating depression and a cowardly and vicious attack by evil terrorists. Likewise, He has led us through many natural and man-made disasters.
Yet, through it all, America seems to have lost sight of God’s bountiful blessings poured out over us.
14For Israel hath forgotten his Maker, and buildeth temples; and Judah hath multiplied fenced cities: but I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour the palaces thereof. – Hosea 8:14
“Never forget, Americans that yours is a spiritual country. Yes, I know you’re a practical people. Like others, I’ve marveled at your factories, your skyscrapers, and your arsenals. But underlying everything else is the fact that America began as a God-loving, God-fearing, God-worshipping people.” – Carlos Romulo (1899-1985), heroic Philippine Army general
If leaders from other countries recognize America as a God-fearing, Christian nation, why can’t we? Have we become so caught up in America that we forget our Great Benefactor? Has public discord and politics driven a wedge between ourselves and God? Or, have we become so into ourselves (the ME thing) that we have forgotten who made us?
How can we return to our core values and restore our faith? Is it too late?
If a new greater reawakening is in order, how does it start? Where does it start? With whom does it start?
It is not too late yet! But we must awaken and rise up and meet our sins head on. America needs revival and needs it urgently. God will not allow us to continue snubbing our noses at Him without paying the consequences. Sooner or later, if we do not return to God, He will punish our disobedience.
Revival starts with the fervent and sincere prayers of Believers willing to stand in the gap for Christ? Then it spreads to others called by God to take His Gospel into the highways and byways of America as well as the slums and high-rises of the cities.
It could start right where you or I am sitting. It could start in Washington, Philadelphia, Boston, North Brook, Charlotte, Cherryville; the list of possibilities is endless. But it has to start within the hearts of true Believers. In all practicality, Revival begins first and foremost within my heart and your heart as believers in Christ.
8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. – Isaiah 6:8
20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. 23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better….. – Philippians 1:20-23
19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21 And having an high priest over the house of God; 22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. – Hebrews 10:19-25
17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 19 We love him, because he first loved us. 20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. – I John 4:17-20
Whether renown or a virtual unknown, the man God uses will be one willing to go. Likewise, he will be bold and fearless, willing to lay down His life in obedience to God’s command. Similarly, he will be loving and true – a real man of integrity. Above all, he will be faithful and diligent in his devotion, worship, and service to God – totally Christ-centered.
Yet, it will not be done by one man alone. Others will rise up to stand by his side until the whole nation once again be the beacon of light in a dark and dreary world.
Whether it begins with me or if I am just one of millions experiencing it, I am ready for revival to burst forth in America.
What about you? Are you ready and willing to let revival start with you? Are you willing to stand with those proclaiming the Gospel? Do you want to see America once again become “One Nation under GOD”?
Let us pray: Most gracious and loving God, we know that our country has drifted from You. Lord, we just ask that you will forgive us and heal our land. Lord, we need revival desperately. Open my heart and soul and let it begin in me. As You guide us, O Lord, embolden us and empower us with Your Holy Spirit. In the name of Your most precious Son, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen
God bless each and every one of you,
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