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What is a Revival? - by Charles G. Finney

By Editorial Staff
Published March 31, 2008

TEXT: – “O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy” (Habakkuk 3:2).

It is supposed that the prophet Habakkuk was contemporary with Jeremiah, and that this prophecy was uttered in anticipation of the Babylonish activity. Looking at the judgments which were speedily to come upon his nation, the soul of the prophet was wrought up to an agony, and he cries out in his distress, “O Lord, revive thy work.” As if he had said, “O Lord, grant that thy judgments may not make Israel desolate. In the midst of theses awful years, let the judgments of God be made the means of reviving religion among us. In wrath remember mercy.”

A need for revival presupposes that the church is sunk down in a backslidden state, and revival consists in the return of God’s Church from her backslidings, and in the conversion of sinners.

A revival always includes the conviction of sin on the part of the Church. Backslidden professors cannot wake up and begin right away in the service of God, without deep searchings of the heart. The fountains of sin need to be broken up. In a true revival, Christians are always brought under such convictions; they see their sins in such a light, that they often find it impossible to maintain a hope of their acceptance with God. It does not always go to that extent; but there are always, in a genuine revival, deep convictions of sin, and often cases of abandoning all hope.

During a revival, backsliders will be brought to repentance. A revival is nothing else than a new beginning of obedience to God. Just as in the case of a converted sinner, the first step is a deep repentance, a breaking down of the heart, a getting down into the dust before God, with deep humility, and forsaking of sin.

During a revival, Christians will have their faith renewed. While they are in their backslidden state they are blind to the state of sinners. Their hearts are as hard as marble. The truths of the Bible only appear like a dream. They admit it to be all true; their conscience and their judgment assent to it; but their faith does not see it standing out in bold relief, in all the burning realities of eternity.

But when they enter into a revival, they no longer see men as trees walking (Mark 8:22-26), but they see things in that strong light which will renew the love of God in their hearts. This will lead them to labor zealously to bring others to Him. They will feel grieved that others do not love God, when they love Him so much. And they will set themselves feelingly to persuade their neighbors to give Him their hearts.

So their love to men will be renewed. They will be filled with a tender and burning love for souls. They will have a longing desire for the salvation of the whole world. They will be in agony for individuals whom they want to have saved; their friends, relations, enemies. They will not only be urging them to give their hearts to God, but they will carry in the arms of faith, and with strong crying and tears beseech God to have mercy on them, and save their souls from endless burnings.

A revival breaks the power of the world and of sin over Christians. It brings them to such a vantage ground that they get a fresh impulse towards heaven. They have a foretaste of heaven, and new desire after union with God; and the charm of the world is broken, and the power of sin overcome.

When the churches are thus awakened and reformed, the reformation and salvation of sinners will follow, going through the same stages of conviction, repentance, and reformation. Their hearts will be broken down and changed. Very often the most abandoned profligates are among the subjects. Harlots, and drunkards, and infidels, and all sorts of abandoned characters, are awakened and converted. The worst part of human society are softened, and reclaimed, and made to appear lovely specimens of the beauty of holiness.


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Your comments are welcome!

America may have crossed over into judgment when it favored President Clinton after his lie to cover up infidelity. We chose mammon over God as our economy was more important than integrity. It was a few short years later when the World Trade Center was destroyed in less than one hour… reminiscent of Babylon in Rev 18:9-12. America did not have revival but instead chose to solve this apart from Him. We entered a recession during this period and the economic advisors of the land decided it best to lower lending rates so as to stimulate the economy. It worked…sort of. We saw a huge influx of housing purchases and the corresponding price increases. America pulled out of the recession…or did we just set ourselves up for a worse problem? We can now say that our current dilemma is partially due to this so-called way out. It is the very same purchasers that cannot pay the adjusted rates and are walking away from their homes. If it is judgment then escape is through humility and repentance…not our own determination. America further thumbed its nose at Almighty God by seeking to legalize things God has already judged. While homosexuality will no sooner condemn a soul than any other sin, the determined effort of some in our land to legalize this under a banner of marriage is only fuel for the anger of a God that showed His disapproval years ago in Sodom & Gomorah.
Where has the voice of God been? Our churches seem intent to grow numerically without respect to salvations. We seem eager to assimilate the unchurched but settle for this rather than for new creations consecrated to God. America has turned from God and we need an awakening. Please pray as i hold meetings in our land to this end.
We will do our best to help our Lord and His cause.

Posted by Ed on 01/20/2009 12:47 PM #

True revival is the urgent need of the hour. Without experiencing true revival and spiritual awakening, the Church today will be without influence and impact in our societies. we really need revival and we need it now…

Posted by JEGEDE SUNDAY on 10/19/2009 12:55 PM #

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Frank Schaeffer Will You Please Shut Up! (Book)

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A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism

Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner

The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.

Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.

Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.

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Go Stand Speak (DVD)

With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?

Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?

Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?

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

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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

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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

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - How Should We Then Live? (DVD)

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.

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