Monday, December 31, 2012

Greetings Friends,

As we begin another new year, I would ask you to pray for revival.  The flames of Revival have left their mark upon this nation.  I pray God would send the outpouring of the Spirit one more time.

2Chronicles 7:14  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. 

If revival is to come we must ask ourselves a couple of questions.  Will we allow the Spirit of God to deal with out hearts?  Will we be willing to genuinely seek the face of God?  If the Holy Spirit of God deals with our hearts, will we be willing to humble ourselves and pray and to seek the face of God.

Psalm 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. (KJV)

This is a choice of faith.  If the LORD is to be our God, we must by faith choose him.  Life is full of choices, but there is no choice as significant as choosing Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior.

Mark 8:36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

Jesus said in John 10:9-11  9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

Satan and his principalities and powers of darkness seek to deceive mankind to keep them from Christ; to keep them wandering aimlessly through life never being made to lie down in green pastures; never being lead beside the still waters, never having the diseases of the soul restored and healed, never knowing the sweet comfort and care of the good shepherd.  Oh beloved, if the people of America only knew, the great price, that God himself in the person of Jesus Christ, paid for our redemption the churches of America could never hold the people who would flock to hear of his love and grace.

There have been three great American Awakenings where the Spirit of God moved across this country with the fires of Revival and hundreds of thousands were swept into the kingdom.  The Puritans as well as many groups of believers came to America in the early 1600’s to practice their faith.  To walk with God and to know the freedoms of liberty in Christ and in human government.  But by the early 1700’s  there was a great decline in the spiritual and moral condition of believers of New England.  There was literally no difference between the lives of church members and the lives of those who made no profession of faith.  A group of pastors became burdened about the colonies spiritual condition and they began to pray for revival.  The winds of Revival first began to blow in England during the 1730's.  Revival fires began to burn in the hearts of John and Charles Wesley and an 18 year old evangelist named George Whitefield.  As the fires of revival continued to burn in England these 3 men came to America.  The moving of God's Spirit had already begun in the lives of Gilbert Temnent and Jonathan Edwards.  Gilbert Temnent's father started Princeton University for the sole purpose of training men to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Harvard, Yale, Brown University, William and Mary, Rutgers, Dartmouth, Columbia University, as well as, many other universities were started to train preachers to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  For the early founders of this great nation full well knew the scripture text: "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord."

Jonathan Edwards was preaching his famous sermon "Sinners in the hands of an angry God throughout the New England colonies and literally thousands were being saved.  Francis Asbury a Methodist circuit riding preacher was preaching all over the south, as well as the Wesley's and George Whitefield and God was purging a nation of sin.  And God was forming and forging a new nation that would be based on biblical principle and from this environment was born the Constitution of these United States of America.  America was born in the Spirit of Revival.  But shortly after the war of Independence the hearts of this great nation were prone to wander.  The 1st Great Awakening had come and gone and people began to forget the importance of maintaining the blessing of the Lord upon their lives individually.  And by 1790, America had again sank back into moral corruptness.  Kenneth Scott Lauterrette, a early American Church Historian stated:

“It seemed as if Christianity were about to be ushered out ot the affairs of men.”

From the Eastern seaboard to the Western wilderness, the peoples of America spiritually had sank to an all-time low.  There were very few churches in Kentucky and Tennessee during the early 1800’s.  But soon, all across America, the Sovereign hand of God began to move upon the hearts of believers and prayer meetings began to spring up. 
The first flames of America’s 2nd Great Awakening began to spread through Kentucky and Tennessee during the early part of 1800 and lasted for more than 20 years.  One of the men God used during this time and in this part of the country was a man named James McGready.  He was known as a great man of prayer.  But When James McGready preached, the power of God came.  Revivals came and churches were built.  Red River Kentucky was the site of one of the great Revivals of this time and then at Cain Ridge it was reported a gathering of 25000 people, the revival was one.  Just prior to the Spirit of God coming to the East Coast during the 2nd Great Awakening, these reports were given.  One of the leaders of the Presbyterian Church stated.

"Profaneness, pride, luxury, injustice, intemperance, lewdness, and every species of debauchery and loose indulgence greatly abound."

There was a profaneness of language, drunkenness and immorality with a complete disdain for Christianity was evidenced by a Bibles being burned openly in the streets in New Jersey.  Williams college had a mock communion service  on campus.  Harvard University which had been established to train preachers to preach the gospel, reported not a single believer could be found on campus.  But then the Spirit came to the Colleges of New England, the Revival in the east began with the students and then revival rang throughout the towns and cities of the east.  The merchants turned their businesses into meetings houses and all the churches were full on Sundays.  This Great revival sparked the anti-slavery movement; Prison reform, the temperance movement, child labor rights, inner city missions, the Home Missions Movement. By 1834 the annual income of all of the benevolent societies rivaled the national budget of the United States.  God’s glory was revealed in our land.

2 Chronicles 7:14 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. 
But by 1857,  the effects of the 2nd Great Awakening were already beginning to diminish and interests in spiritual matters were on the decline with the dawning of the industrial revolution.  Money, prosperity, productivity were the main themes of the day.  But then the Spirit of God began to move upon people to pray.   Unlike the 2nd great American awakening, the emphasis was not on preaching.  The anointing of God came as people gathered for prayer.  Confessions of sin were made.  Exhortations and encouragements were followed by singing and the Spirit of revival would run through the night.

A Washington paper ("The Washington National Intelligencer") reported that in several New England towns not a single unconverted person could be found.  During the revival, the church bells would daily call the people of that area to prayer.  The newspapers of Massachusettes reported that 150 towns had daily prayer meetings.  New York - 200 towns New Jersey - 60 towns Pennsylvania - 65 towns Ohio - 200 towns Indiana - 150 towns Illinois - 150 towns Missouri - 50 towns Iowa - 60 towns.  In our nations capitol, it is reported that they held 5 daily prayer meetings with one meeting that was held in a large hall in Washington's Academy of Music had over 5000 people in attendance.  In Louisville, Kentucky the daily paper reported that the Millennium had arrived.  There was such joy...such blessing...such glory...people were literally overcome with the presence and power of God.

But on the horizon was now looming the dark clouds of the civil war.  Men began to struggle with the issues of states rights.  We were just like Israel of the Old Testament.  How soon we forget the supernatural workings of God's power and we turn to our own ways.  The civil war ended and so did the 3rd great American awakening, but the end of the war provided many opportunities for courageous ambassadors for Christ to go South to try and mend some of the ravages of war.  During this period of time following the war, many relief societies were started as believers in the north went south to minister to those who were hurting.  And beloved today the wars are raging on....drugs are devastating the lives of many in our culture.  The war of morality is being shamelessly lost...infidelity, the internet with its various forms of pornography are having incredibly damaging effects upon the families of our nation. 

Acts of terrorism, violence, injustices of every kind, and instead of our Nations leaders calling on God, they call on the people for more money. Money will not solve our nations problems.  Only God can heal our land, And God only moves upon a nation when the people of that nation will humble themselves and pray.  When they will repent of their sins and wholeheartedly seek their God.  When the Lord comes, will he find you faithfully serving him?  Or, will you simply be doing your own thing.  Come to Christ and join with us in prayer for another Great American awakening, so that, 1000's can again be swept into the kingdom of God.

1John 3:3  And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. 

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