[b]AMERICA - DON'T MISS YOUR 'WINDOW' OF REVIVAL[/b]
[i]by Andrew Strom[/i]
[b]For 200 years now, roughly every fifty years America has had a large-scale Revival. The next one is due any time. But will she be ready?[/b]
Did you know that, historically speaking, America is the Western world's last remaining "Land of Revivals"? What do I mean by the term "Land of Revivals"? Well, it is an amazing fact that for the last 200 years, America has experienced a major Revival roughly every 50 years. Starting with the Great Awakening in 1741-44 (-which completely altered the course of history), America has had large-scale Revivals on a regular basis ever since. But the devil is going all-out to try to ruin and de-rail what remains.
Do you realize what our world today would be like if America had not been blessed with these massive Revivals and Awakenings, going back hundreds of years? Everything would be vastly different. America is now living off that heritage. In fact, she has been living off it for awhile. And the clock is ticking.
You see, in a "Land of Revivals" what God is able to do is visit each new generation with a fresh move of His Spirit. There is not a generation that goes by without a visitation of God's glory in some way. That is what has kept a nation like America so spiritually vibrant. While all of Western civilization has slid into decay and spiritual bankruptcy, America has still managed to retain at least a semblance of Christian vibrancy. But what if this generation misses it's Revival? What happens then?
Well, I want to tell you about another "Land of Revivals" - one with a spiritual heritage just as glorious as America. We are talking about the nation of Wales.
Just like America, from the Great Awakening of the 1700's onwards, Wales became a "Land of Revivals" as well. Famous Revivalists such as Daniel Rowland, Christmas Evans, Howel Harris, John Elias and many more were raised up by God to become the "John Wesleys" and "Charles Finneys" of their day. Between 1762 and 1862 alone, the historians tell us that there were 15 outstanding Revivals in Wales. Can you believe it? Just in the space of one hundred years - fifteen sweeping moves of God! People began to literally call Wales "The Land of Revivals"! But then something changed.
There had been a massive Awakening in the UK in 1858 to 1860 (-it had spread there from America). An enormous move of God, including Wales. But then there was a gap of almost 50 years.
Next came the famous Welsh Revival of 1904. One of the most powerful visitations of all time, with the anointed preaching of 27-year-old Evan Roberts. The whole nation was aflame for God. This was the birthplace of today's Pentecostal movement worldwide. An amazing Revival. But it lasted little more than a year. And it's ending was quite a mess. In fact, it was such a mess that many Welsh people began to question if God was in it at all. (-He definitely had been! Hundreds of thousands had been converted and remained so. But counterfeits and ugliness flooded in, ruining the whole thing).
Guess what happened next? The following generation MISSED THEIR HOUR OF VISITATION. There was no Revival in the 1940's, 1950's or 1960's. In fact, there has been none to this day. Wales has now gone 100 years without Revival. And she has lost almost everything she had.
I read a tragic report recently from Carl Brettle of Mission Support in the Rhondda Valleys, Wales. Here is what he wrote:
"Even writing this makes me want to cry. For four years our office has been in Treorchy, in the Rhondda Valley, Wales. Rhondda was really touched by the Welsh Revival of 1904 but in the 100 yrs since, has turned its back on Jesus to become a place where, for the vast majority, the Church, Christianity and Jesus Himself have become totally irrelevant... drug abuse is rife, crime is soaring and one-parent families have become the norm. The economy is totally impoverished and Rhondda has the smallest percentage of population in the UK regularly attending church plus one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancies and close to the highest incidence of suicide, especially among the young. In 2002, suicide & drug abuse claimed the lives of almost 1% of the male population, aged 15-30."
The above is what 100 years without Revival will do to a place that used to be a "Land of Revivals".
So what of America? Could the same thing happen there?
Well, the last two major Revivals in America were the Pentecostal Revival of 1905-1906, and the Great Healing Revival of the 1950's. Thus it has now been 50 years since a major Revival swept through the USA. We are at a crossroads in history. Everything depends on whether or not America can truly ENTER INTO HER NEXT HOUR OF VISITATION. If she misses it then it is very probable that all is lost. The next few years may decide. (-Yes, the NEXT FEW YEARS). America is coming into her next "window" of Revival right now. -Which is why it is so urgent that John-the-Baptists arise to speak a word that will "break up the fallow ground" in America before it is too late. Deep repentance must be preached before Revival can come. And she is running out of time.
In America, the end of the Healing Revival (50 years ago) was actually pretty "messy". It led to some good things, but some bad also.
One good thing was the Charismatic renewal, which basically grew out of this Revival. However, one terrible thing was the preoccupation with MONEY amongst a lot of the new preachers. "Seed-faith" giving was invented during this period, and a dubious emphasis on Prosperity and Money began to dominate much of the Charismatic/Pentecostal scene.
There can be no doubt that this has caused a lot of suspicion and antipathy from ordinary people towards modern churches and 'Revival'-type preachers. The things they see on Christian TV are undermining the gospel for a lot of people. These excesses are not Jesus.
Let us hope that this general feeling does not lead to the kind of disaster that occurred in Wales. The mess that came about after the 1904 Revival there definitely left a bitter aftertaste. And the nation MISSED IT'S NEXT HOUR OF VISITATION. Surely this cannot be allowed to occur in America?
So what is needed for America to avoid missing her Hour of Visitation this time? In my view, some of the answers are as follows:
1)- AGONIZED, PLEADING PRAYER;
2)- BOLD PROPHETS speaking an uncompromising word to awaken the church;
3)- REPENTANCE AMONGST THE CHRISTIANS;
4)- RESTORATION of a simple, down-to-earth New Testament Christianity. (-The "common people" loved Jesus. We need to return to a Book-of-Acts Christianity for the 'common people').
AMERICA, PLEASE DO NOT MISS YOUR NEXT HOUR OF VISITATION!
A lot of people do not realize that America is not just the "physical" leader of the free world, but very much a spiritual leader also. If you go to all the Western nations (and even many developing ones) you will find that the churches often look to America to set the trends. Whether it is New Zealand or Finland, South Africa or Australia, Nigeria or Fiji, the churches in these nations largely line themselves up with what is happening in the US. Whether it is good or bad, truth or deception, the winds that blow through the American church will sooner or later find their way to these places.
That is why God holds the American church to a greater accountability than a lot of other nations. The US has been abundantly blessed by God for over 200 years - more than any other land. She has prospered spiritually, militarily and economically - in every conceivable way. She is the richest nation the world has ever known. But the dangers of materialism and complacency are now evident for all to see. In some ways America has grown "fat". And this brings her into great danger. For God will spew anything that is lukewarm out of his mouth. And He has made it abundantly clear that "to whom much is given, much is expected." America, you urgently need to repent.
What happens spiritually in America over the next few years is vitally important to the entire Western world. For at present there is not one Western nation that is actually in Revival. The awakenings that are occurring around the globe are almost all in Third World or developing countries. The West has not seen a full-scale Revival for decades. Thus it seems that if America does not come into Revival in this hour, the whole Western world may descend into depths of depravity and darkness the likes of which we have never seen. I don't think we realize how important it is that for generation after generation, GOING BACK CENTURIES, America has had regular Revivals and Awakenings. This has altered the course of her history and renewed the nation - it really has.
But we must never forget how easy it is to lose it all - in the space of just one generation - which is exactly what happened to Wales.
I believe there is something very significant about the 50-year gap between Revivals. Wales missed her "next window of Revival" so to speak, and it was all over. It is very hard to recover after that, because the generation that "remembers Revival" passes on, and the momentum is lost. So I say to America: "Time is of the essence" - it really is. Your last large-scale Revival was fifty years ago. You cannot afford to miss the next one.
Some people say that the "Jesus Movement" of the late 60's and early 70's may have been a kind of Revival. But most historians would hesitate to call it one. It was certainly a powerful few years and it ministered very effectively to the hippie and youth movements of the day. But rather than a full-on Revival, it seemed to be partly an outgrowth of the charismatic renewal. Those were indeed good times, however. And there have been a number of other localised movements in the intervening years as well. But really, none of them qualifies as a full-on, sweeping Revival or Awakening.
My own feeling is that the "50 years" thing is significant. This is the pattern that we have seen in America going back 200 years. And the next 'window' is about to open. In fact, it is opening right now.
AMERICA - PLEASE DON'T MISS YOUR NEXT 'WINDOW' OF REVIVAL!!
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon