By Jay Rogers
Published April 10, 2008
I have been a student of revival and spiritual awakening since I was converted to Christ in 1985 as part of a church outreach ministry to young adults in Boston. Since that time, I have been in the middle of several movements that have been called “revivals” in Russia, Ukraine, Latin America and even parts of the United States. The Holy Spirit orchestrated these movements, but there was also something lacking. While the Great Awakening of the 18th century transformed America’s cultural landscape, recent “revivals,” such as those during the time of D.L. Moody and Billy Sunday, have been deficient in this quality.
We can always be hopeful for another Great Awakening because God himself has promised that these events will always occur in human history. God is taking us toward a time “when the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him who sows seed; the mountains shall drip with sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it.” (Amos 9:13). In other words, there will one day be a time of universal revival. In fact, the Bible is rife with prophecies stating that someday there will be a revival that never needs to be revived.
A common misrepresentation of the word, “revival,” is a planned evangelistic meeting or program. In the historic understanding of the word, revival begins with the recovery of the Lord’s testimony in a given generation. The resulting effect of the revived Church on society with large numbers of people being converted is termed a “spiritual awakening.”
Author and pastor, Paul Jehle explains, “Many revivals have stopped short of their full potential because God’s people had a goal of simply being revived themselves. The goal of true revival is more than church meetings, souls or sensitivity to spiritual things. The goal of true revival is a long-term vision for covenant faithfulness to our children’s children.”
Similarly, David L. McKenna, president of Asbury Theological Seminary writes: “If the church is to be revived, it will be a multigenerational experience which brings together the visions of the young, the prophecies of the adult and the dreams of the elderly. Rather than stifling the energies of the young, we should set them free with the balance of the prophetic Word and a sense of history. They are the fuel for the engine of revival.”
Looking at social trends, some may doubt that we are on the verge another Great Awakening. However, when we look at history, we see that spiritual awakening always occurs after a time of deep moral decline in the churches.
Revival expert Jeff Ziegler notes, “When moral decline is at its most rampant then the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ dawns upon the elect in unusual power and His character is recovered and expressed among His people. Among the society, spiritual awakening occurs when there is great spiritual darkness among the people. When the greatness of Christ’s glorified testimony is revived in the Church, the lost are awakened in large number.”
We should also realize that there is revival happening all over the world today. There are spiritual awakenings that have swept hundreds of millions of people into the Kingdom of God within the last few decades. There is revival in Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe, China, the South Pacific Islands, and Southeast Asia. The sheer volume of people coming to know Christ in this “World Awakening” not only rivals but also even surpasses what happened in America in centuries past.
As we turn to look at our own nation and Western Europe, we see that the supposedly “Christian” nations of the world today are sadly deficient in terms of revival experience. Nevertheless, in times of great darkness in America’s past revival has dawned bringing new light and hope. So we can hope and pray for a Great Awakening in America, which will surpass all past experience.
Today in America, we are in the midst of a spiritual awakening among young people. As a high school English teacher, I have used some of the articles that appear in this magazine with my students. It seems absolutely normal to these young people to read about God in class. This is a big change from my high school experience and what I saw as a teacher only a few years ago.
In fact, this generation thinks about spiritual reality far more than any recent generation in America’s history. They lack only leadership. Every youth evangelist I have spoken with agrees that this is the most spiritually open generation of young people that they have ever seen. There is already an awakening among youth. Every revival starts like this. As one revivalist wrote: “The youth are the kindling that set fire to the old logs.”
Jay Rogers is the director of The Forerunner International, a media ministry that trains students worldwide in Christian apologetics.
See also: Revival and Spiritual Awakening
What is true Revival and Spiritual Awakening?
Discover the answer in this eyewitness account by Dennis Kinlaw, President of Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, who recounts the story of a visitation of the Holy Spirit in 1970. This is the presentation that has continued to spark the flames of Revival in the hearts of people around the world. Contains eyewitness footage from the Revival at Asbury College in 1970 in Wilmore, Kentucky.
Certain to challenge you to greater holiness and a deeper commitment to full-scale revival. Original news and private footage has been included. If you are a student who longs to see a spiritual awakening at your school, you must see this video!
“This simple video does a wonderful job of conveying something of God’s heart and power, Everyone we have ever shown this to has received an immediate impartation of faith for revival and the power of prayer.”
— Bob and Rose Weiner, Weiner Ministries Int’l
Running Time: 40 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Forerunner - Home » The Boston Awakening
Your comments are welcome!
Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Running time: 105 minutes
Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.
Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
$9.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Download the Free Study Guide!
Just what is Calvinism?
Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?
This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.
Running Time: 257 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!
These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.
Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.
Watch these pro-life videos on-line.
“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California
“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter
$4.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
$49.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)