Transcript from show #266, February 12, 2023
In keeping with Timing Revelation, end times and prophecies, this article is about "why is there no revival today?" as there were in previous times. This article is a transcript of one of my radio show broadcast from a couple of years ago on this very topic.
Of course since then we've been hearing recently about the revivals taking place in some of the universities across the United States and other locations.
And that is wonderful. However in many places where people are wanting revivals and praying for that to happen, there may be something missing in their sincerity. And of course again, God can start revivals anywhere He wants. But we also have to remember that God works through His people.
Every day I hear people say that there’s a Revival coming… it sounds wonderful and I do hope there will be… However my Bible says that there will be an apostasy in the end times leading up to the timing of revelation events. Speaking of the end time, Jesus said … “… when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”
(Please note that scriptures quoted are from the King James Version unless otherwise noted.)
In Matthew 24, Jesus tells us that in the end time, it will be as in the time of Noah. We know that in that time of Noah, God could only find 8 righteous people.
I’m not saying there will only be that few people at this time of the end, but we know that it will be only a remnant – and a remnant is about 10-15%. Now I’m not saying that the same percentage will be applicable to the believers at that time either. But all this simply means that only a few will be ready for the return of Christ at the end time.
Few there be that find it
Jesus said, “…strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:14)
Personally, I believe that there is revival happening all the time. A few years ago, I saw an interview on one of the Christian Television Networks, where evangelist Nick Vujicic (who was born with no arms and legs) had a crusade in Ukraine or Poland, I can't remember exactly right now, but the crowd that came was wall-to-wall in the streets of the location where Nick was preaching.
Many came to Christ right there and then. And he did hold these meetings all over the world where people came to Christ by great numbers. Yet not many people heard about it. I didn't know if he was still in ministry but I did a search recently and was amazed at how much he is! I will give you the link to some interviews that currently took place in the last year or two. Big stuff. You'll be amazed also at what God is doing through him and his wife and other Christians.
In another area, in Africa, Reinhard Bunkey’s team, before he passed away, held crusades in many areas where millions actually filled in the forms of accepting Christ into their heart by the thousands. And these meetings were going on for decades.
I believe there are many revivals going on today in geographical pockets around the world. Even the Muslim world in recent years has shown reports of many having encounters with Christ and receiving Jesus into their hearts during times of great personal distress.
Revival doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be thousands and millions coming to Christ all at the same time and place -- any size where people receive the message of the Gospel and turn their lives to God is revival. We also need to recognize what is a genuine revival and a simply emotional, temporary look-alike.
Interestingly, I came across an article by R.C.Sproul, on Johathan Edwards’s writing “Distinguishing Marks”, where it says this:
“For us to discern the presence of an authentic revival, we need to know what such a revival would look like.
When signs of revival appear on the landscape of history, one of the first questions that is raised is that of authenticity. Is the revival genuine, or is it a mere outburst of superficial emotion? Do we find empty enthusiasm backed by nothing of substance, or does the enthusiasm itself signal a major work of God?” (https://www.ligonier.org/blog/spirit-revival-part-3/)
And then, we have the question of many as to what is revival? Is it the same as awakening? If you look at many sources for answers to this question, we find all kinds of descriptions. But what I have found is that in most cases it is just an inter-usage of the words meaning the same thing.
The one most different interpretation that I found in an old Websters dictionary was that revival comes out of a religious death, whereas awakening from a religious sleep. I think this is most appropriate. In other writings, when referring to the term “Great Awakening” of years gone by, it refers to periods of religious revivals.
In any case, we’ll take a look at some of the last real revivals that took place and see “what” it takes for people's wishes to translate into revivals.
Now, before I get to the last great revival that took place here in Canada in the late eighteen hundreds, I will just refer to some of the characteristics of some great revivals that took place in the 1700’s… in England and later on also in the U.S., which show clearly what it takes to have what we can call true, authentic revivals.
I’ll glean from parts of an article I wrote some years ago when I co-pastored a small church back in Ontario.
Wesley and others
Back in the mid-1700’s, John Wesley relentlessly travelled some 250,000 miles on foot and horseback to deliver some 40,000 sermons. Think of that!
As a matter of interest, I have in my library a 500-page book on 44 of John Wesley’s Sermons, which I read at various times and all of them are around 1-1/2 hours long… and very theological. I also have a 300-page book on the Journal of John Wesley which tells of some very personal experiences.
Prior to getting on the road for these evangelistic meetings, John and his brother Charles, along with George Whitefield and four others gathered one evening to sing and pray the whole night, giving thanks, reading the psalms, until 3 o’clock in the morning.
In his diary, Whitfield wrote, “It seemed that the Day of Pentecost had come again.”
John Wesley wrote: “The power of God came mightily upon us, insomuch that many fell to the ground. As soon as we were recovered a little from awe and amazement at the presence of His Majesty, we broke out with one voice: ‘We praise Thee, O God, we acknowledge Thee to be the Lord”.
Just a note in passing, I have seen many attempts at such meetings in our generation but never saw results such as these earlier revivals… it seems that in the Western world we have been saturated with the gospel to the point where we no longer respond… and I don’t mean the Christians, but rather, the increase of 'rejectors' of the gospel who have chosen a more liberal way of living their lives.
Silvester Home in his “Popular History of the Free Churches” said: “The situation in England called for a special move of the Spirit of God, for things were in a desperate state. The whole population seemed to be given over to an orgy of drunkenness which made the very name of Englishmen to stink in the nostrils of other nations. ‘Drunk for a penny, dead drunk for two-pence. Straw to lie on’ was a common sigh outside the pubs of that time.
How does that compare to our pubs today? You might say we don’t have such signs. How about lap dancing? I recall seeing tickets placed on car handles in the parking lots of companies, enticing workers to strip-tease shows during their lunch hour!
Is this not even worse? If drunkenness was then calling for a special move in England, what we have today calls for a super special move – or has it gone so far now that we don’t even need to advertise it? And has God given us up to vile afflictions as we read in Romans 1:26?
In the book “Great Revivals”, Colin Whittaker wrote that John Wesley was only 5’ 5” tall and “never more than 9 stone in weight”. The equivalent to that today would be 126 lbs…
and he was actually difficult to please. It is said that he commanded attention and quite frequently as he preached, men and women were made to cry out in agony as they came under conviction by the Spirit of God. Sometimes their cries drowned him and many actually fell prostrate under God’s power.
Wow, do we see that today? Conviction... what's that. People don't know about that today.
Both Whitefield and Wesley suffered more than their share of persecution and violent opposition from the mobs in the open-air meetings. Rotten eggs, stones and dead cats were thrown at them…
And we think we have it bad today
Their lives were endangered on several occasions. When Whitefield was forty-two years old he almost became a martyr, when preaching in Dublin.
He wrote: “Volleys of stones came from all quarters and every step I took, a fresh stone struck and made me reel backwards and forwards, till I was almost breathless, and all over a gore of blood. I received many blows and wounds; one was particularly large near my temples.
Wesley also came very near death in Walsall at the hands of an enraged mob who cried out “Drown him! Hang him! And even, Crucify him!”
Some shouted “Strip him, tear off his clothes!” One violent blow made his nose and mouth gush with blood…”
But the two men allowed nothing and no-one to deter them from their supreme task of preaching Christ and bringing men and women to a saving knowledge of His love.
We often hear people say how great revivals used to be in the time of John Wesley and we want to have the same today, but we never hear anyone talk about what it actually took to get there.
Closer to our generation, there were great revivals in Wales in the early 1900’s.
After years of prayer, a young Welsh mine worker with all the passion of his prayer-burdened heart cried out, “Bend the church and save the world…” One day Evan Roberts asked his pastor permission to hold services for young people...
After the adult prayer meeting, sixteen adults and one young girl remained behind; as he spoke on the importance of being filled with the Holy Spirit. The next Tuesday more and more people came.
He spoke of the 4 conditions he believed was important for the outpouring of the Spirit…
And I will get into these in Part 2 of this article series… and will go to the great revival that took place in the late 1800’s, that began and ended in Hamilton, Canada, and New York, USA.
P.S.: I told you about Nick Vujicic earlier in this article. Well here's a link to one particular interview with “Takeaways with Kirk Cameron” show, from just a few months ago.
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