Jay Rogers
Jay Rogers

Recent Posts

The Forerunner

Campus Revivals of the Past

By Editorial Staff
Published March 31, 2008

By Nick Pappis

Could a Christian revival come to your campus? Many people today laugh at the idea. After all, they suppose, students on American campuses in the 1980s are far too sophisticated to want religion. And besides, they have adopted a new set of materialistic values that leave no room for God or the Bible.

Students at Yale College in the late 1700s also scoffed at the idea of Christian revival. Yale was at that time a hotbed of rationalism; the French philosophers had become popular among the students, along with the moral infidelity that men like Voltaire and Rousseau espoused. Students even called each other by the names of French intellectuals.

But, as history records, a revival did sweep Yale which “shook the institution to its center.” God’s instrument was Timothy Dwight, a grandson of the great preacher Jonathan Edwards. When Dwight became president of the college in 1795, the students handed him a list of subjects for class disputation, claiming that free discussion was limited in the classroom. To their surprise, Dwight chose one of their subjects: “Is the Bible the Word of God?”

Most of the students involved in the discussion took the side of infidelity. But when the debate was over, Dwight’s appraisal of their arguments convinced them that they were wrong. Dwight then preached a famous series of sermons in the college chapel. Most devastating was his 1796 sermon on “The Nature and Danger of Infidel Philosophy.”

The effect was immediate. “From that moment infidelity was not only without a stronghold,” wrote one student, “but without a lurking place. To espouse her cause was now as unpopular as it had been before to profess a belief in Christianity.”

That same year, 26 Yale students founded the Moral Society of Yale College. It discouraged profanity, immorality, and intemperance. By 1800, it included “between one-third and one-half of all the students in its membership.” Its influence laid the foundation for four revivals at Yale in the opening decades of the 19th century.

What had come upon one of the leading universities of that day has historically been called revival. A genuine awakening had come and turned the tide of humanism and ungodliness for a generation of young people. The seeds sown by infidel philosophers had dominated all of university life. Immorality, drunkenness, and the excesses of all forms had prevailed. One of America’s greatest universities had been brought down, reduced to nothing more than a haven of lust and debauchery.

How much different was Yale College prior to Timothy Dwight’s first sermon when compared to the universities of America today? Our classrooms are likewise filled with humanistic philosophy. Professors are endorsing humanism, Marxism, and Eastern ideas – while at the same time ridiculing Christianity as outdated and irrelevant. Students have thrown themselves wholeheartedly into sexual revolution, drug abuse, and the endless pursuit of more money and possessions.

The Yale College revival should serve to remind us that God can bring awakening into the darkest place. Can we look through the eyes of faith – as did Timothy Dwight – and believe that God can bring revival into the campuses and cities of this nation?

Prophetic Preaching

When the spirit of revival arrives, God always raises up men and women to speak for Him. They do not preach mere sermons – they speak as prophets of God. Their preaching does not come with persuasive words, but with power and conviction.

When the Apostle Peter preached at Pentecost, it was the multitude that gave the invitation. The Bible says that they were“pierced to the heart and cried out, ‘Brethren, what must we do to be saved?’” These people were not simply embracing a new philosophy. Their hearts had been eternally changed as the power of God broke through the darkness of sin in their lives.

Arthur Wallis states, “To aim at ‘decisions’ or ‘results’ before this work of convicting has been done is to build one’s castle on the sand. What is the good of offering a man a pardon when he has never been convicted of the crime? What is the good of urging a man to come to Jesus when he has no sense of his ‘lostness’?” This is the difference between preaching and revival preaching: it always grasps the consciences of men.

Prophetic revival preaching always goes deeper than a message by a well-prepared evangelist. To those who are on the receiving end, the reality of their sin and separation from God is overwhelming. Their consciences are smitten, and they cannot rest until they surrender to the lordship of Christ.

Charles Finney’s ministry is a good example of preaching that was immersed in a prophetic spirit. It has been said that for many years Finney would devote himself to prayer and intercession before he preached. He would then go to the meetings full of the Holy Spirit, and trust the Holy Spirit to anoint him.

On one occassion, Finney said, “I had not taken a thought with regard to what I should preach. The Holy Spirit came upon me, and I felt confident that when the time came for action, I should know. As soon as I found the house packed, I arose and, without any formal introduction or singing, opened upon them with these words: ‘Say to the righteous that it will be well with them; for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill for him; for the reward of his hands shall be given him.

“The Spirit of God came upon me with such power that it was like opening a battery upon them. For more than an hour the words of God came through me to them in a manner that I could see was carrying all before it. It was like a fire and a hammer breaking the rock, and as a sword that was piercing … I saw that a general conviction was spreading over the whole congregation.”

Is it too much to believe that such power could be released once again in our day? Is it too much to believe that God could raise up an army of men and women like Timothy Dwight or Charles Finney, who can stand in the boldness of Christ and proclaim the truth of God to the university students of America once again?

Are the students on our campuses today any harder to reach with the gospel than the students at Yale in 1800? I believe that there is a wave of students emerging in this hour who will challenge every vain philosophy and turn our universities from humanism to the living God. Professors will once again call students to repentance. Students will gather by the thousands in university facilities to hear and respond to the Word of God. Similar events have happened in our nation’s past – we can expect them to happen again.

Selected quotes from Arthur Wallis taken from Rain from Heaven.

Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » Revival and Spiritual Awakening

Your comments are welcome!

Textile Help

The Silent Scream (DVD) Eight Languages

“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981

Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House.

The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.

“… a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine

Languages: English, Spanish, French, South Korean, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese

Running Time: 28 minutes

$17.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information

In The Days of These Kings (Book)

Perfect-bound Paperback — 740 pages

The Book of Daniel in Preterist Perspective

“And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever” (Daniel 2:44).

The overarching message of Daniel is that Jesus the Messiah is even now ruling over the nations. He is the King of kings. Daniel tells us that Messiah’s kingdom will advance in the whole world from “generation to generation” (Daniel 4:4,34). Christ’s dominion is “given to the people of the saints of the most High” (Daniel 7:22). Our purpose then is to see “all people, nations, and languages … serve and obey him” (Daniel 7:14,27).

This comprehensive work offers a fascinating look at the book of Daniel in preterist perspective. Great attention is paid to the writings of ancient and modern historians and scholars to connect the dots and demonstrate the continuity of Daniel’s prophecy with all of Scripture.

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information

God's Law and SocietyGod's Law and Society (DVD)

Download the Free Study Guide!

God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.

Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!

Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:

1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?

Perfect for group instruction as well as personal Bible study.

Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!

Running Time: 240 minutes

Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information

Amazing GraceAmazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism (DVD)

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.)

Click here for more information

The Beast of Revelation IdentifiedThe Beast of Revelation: Identified (DVD)

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.)

Click here for more information

Share |

View CCNow Cart/Checkout
View CCNow Cart/Checkout

Subscribe to
The Forerunner

Have The Forerunner Weblog sent straight to your inbox!

Enter your email address:

The Forerunner Channel on YouTube

Promote Your Page Too

Featured Product
If you like the articles on this website, you may also be interested in:

Featured Articles

Live Seminar!

Real Jesus
The Abortion Matrix DVD: Update

The Abortion Matrix:
Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death

is a 195-minute presentation that traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God has produced. You can order this series on DVD, read the complete script and view clips on-line...
continued ...

View My Stats