“Won’t you look down upon me Jesus? You’ve got to help me make a stand…” (1970) “Fire And Rain” Written and Recorded By: James Taylor
Christian history is simply fascinating, to put it mildly. In fact, from Jesus, all the way down through the ions, the historical timeline of the Christian faith is like no other. You don’t have to look behind us too far to find extraordinary happenings of Jesus movements that can raise your hair.
Just since the birth of the American Colonies, the amazing milestones of the church, and its outreach, are well documented, but often tinkered with in a Google search or Wikipedia. For the authentic history, it’s best to rise above the “wokeness” of those with large erasers. Instead, do the research by hitting the old history books before the slanted rewrites began to manipulate factual, documented occurrences concerning Christianity in America.
Trust me, there is way too much of church history to layout on this post. But I would be remise if I didn’t mention, “The Great Awakening”, and the “Second Great Awakening”. The facts of the faithful in the U.S., Canada, and Europe are astonishing. There are a few names that stick out to me who were used greatly to ignite a faith movement during their times.
George Whitefield (Often spelled, “Whitfield”) He lit a spiritual fire for decades all across Great Britain, and the American Colonies from the 1740’s-1770’s. Benjamin Franklin wrote of Whitfield’s magnetism by use of his voice delivery and the pulpit.
Charles G. Finney. From the 1820’s to the 1870’s, he was the match God used to start a flame known as the “Second Great Awakening”. His works and documents are outstanding. He set out to revive a spiritually sluggish nation, earning the title of “Father of Modern Revivalism”. Not unlike Whitfield, Finney travelled mainly by horseback, drawing crowds ready to stay a few days. Many of the throng would travel far and wide to be under his sermons.
Dwight L. Moody was a shoe salesman in Chicago. He was inspired by the evangelical giants before him like, Charles Finney and George Whitefield. He began small by starting a kid’s ministry and a street ministry that would later be called, “Sunday School”. His sermons of note, some printed and published, are still quoted by many pastors today…if they dare. From the 1850’s to the 1890’s, this salesman turned fiery preacher, aided in evangelizing both America and Great Britain. He also founded the highly successful Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, which continues to send out quality trained graduates into the world today.
Billy Sunday was a famous baseball player, turned evangelist. From the 1880’s to 1935, Billy Sunday became widely known as a camp-meeting revivalist, who would spend weeks at a time, preaching in communities all across America. The mother of an old friend of mine came to faith under the preaching of this incredible man.
And of course, Billy Graham who took the torch into our generation until his recent death, reaching more ears across the world than anyone in Christian history.
There are more I could list here, but the trail these evangelists blazed are like wagon train wheel tracks cut into stone. You can follow their tracks, their ripples to this day. If you should look up the Great Awakening movements, you will discover how after a community was lit ablaze by the daily preaching of some of these fire-starters, saloons would close down. Prostitution vanished. Gambling halls were boarded up. Gangsters were converted, or run out of town. Countless people came to realize their need for God’s forgiveness through the saving gift of Jesus. Homeless were fed and housed. Love expanded. Enemies became friends. Churches were built. Schools, orphanages and hospitals were funded and built. Imagine the change in a city like that. Imagine your community altered like that.
Just like in the book of Judges, where the spiritual life among Israel resembled a roller coaster. Up/down, up/down. The anti-God sentiment would rise to the point where everyone’s deeds were always right in their own evaluations. What was once known as “evil” became acceptable, even commonplace. What was once known as righteous was either suppressed, abandoned, or ignored all-together. God’s reply to the spiritually weak nation was to bring calamity, hardships, weather changes, droughts, war, violence, etc. The Israeli’s response was to repent, turn from their ways and acknowledge God, followed by the lifting of the curse with blessings and safety taking its place. Then, the nation would backslide into their wild ways again. This cycle continued for decades. It seemed like they would never learn the consequences of turning their national back to their God.
I am not a prophet. I do not claim to know the future, with the exception of what the scripture tells us. But, I can read the barometer of the nation in which I live. We are spiritually ill, at best. We watch the news and our jaws hit the floor on the outlandish signs of our days. If not for God’s amazing grace toward this culture, we would be finished already. At this point in our history, Sodom and Gomorrah are not too far from here.
Our nation, our world, has endured so much in recent years. So much in the way of manifestations of pure evil are abundant. I know, we don’t like to call it for what it is, but that’s because we belong in the book of Judges. The list is way too long to write here, but nevertheless, the list of our sins grow daily. Our nation is decaying as we play our violin from the balcony.
We call evil things something good and upright. We celebrate wickedness and glamorize it all. We cheer those who attack our children with sexual sins, that is if we don’t slaughter them in the womb first. Forgive me, but we parade and applaud the physical mutilation of our children in the name of choosing gender. We mourn for those who are saddened because certain pronouns are not used to describe an individual due to their gender alterations, gender wishful thinking, and normalizing the ideology. We invite our children to drag queen shows, as well as other drag queen events as tools for indoctrination. Pedophilia, bestiality, and goddess worship are becoming tolerable for many in our country, even in our courts. We have normalized self-worship as we gaze at ourselves on little screens and self-publish our images to the world on social media.
What are we doing? Where are we going?
We are accepting cultural sewage on our dinner plates everyday because the Woke minority demands we do it, like shepherds prodding sheep. At the same time, we run from the righteousness the Almighty defined for us long ago.
According to Roman and Greek history, not to mention many other geo-political lands, we are way past due for a collapse of our house of cards. God’s nature is HOLY. He has, and will not perpetually endure a rebellious nation which was founded by Him, and held up His banner for well over 200 years.
Yet…there is a modern remnant.
We saw “The Chosen”, a highly successful TV drama series surrounding Jesus and His followers, continue to spike in viewership worldwide. Promos began to run on the movie, “Jesus Revolution” (out now in theaters) depicting the Jesus People movement of the late 60’s and early 70’s, when a conservative pastor, Chuck Smith, (Played by Kelsey Grammer) dared to minister to the hippies of his day. He was trashed by many in the church at that time as sin-on-wheels, and discredited as a nothing burger. Chuck Smith was unjustly ridiculed by his own spiritual sisters and brothers, including some of the churches I grew up in. It was a God-breathed ground zero movement which still rings through our culture today. Coincidence? Take a step back and get the wide-angle lens out.
Suddenly, this nation pulled together a bit in praying for Damar Hamlin, the seriously injured NFL player who died during a tackle on national television. The very public prayers began on the field of play, spreading all across the stadium, and the country. Not long after, rattling of WWIII got louder, mysterious, unexplained UFO’s were shot down, China’s spy balloon allowed to cross our country, signs of the U.S. in sharp decline in so many areas, new COVID resurgence, record breaking drug overdose deaths, etc, Meanwhile, the Grammy Awards highlights Satanic scenes live on stage, vis Sam Smith, to rousing standing ovations and screams of adoration from the audience, all sponsored by Pfizer, your friendly COVID vaccine conglomerate. Again, ask…a coincidence?
Now we see another heavy public movement of faith. It seems spiritual blooms are bursting open.
Asbury University in Kentucky. An average, regularly scheduled service at the campus chapel, ignites into a 24/7 organic praise, prayer, and worship center where individuals came to grips concerning their need for God’s grace, their need for repentance, their need for prayer. The doors had to stay open due to the masses coming to the extraordinary spiritual awakening at ground zero. Before you could keep up, days and nights, nights and days went by. As the word grew, others began to flock to the chapel from outside the campus, the town, the state, and even the nation. Globally, people took flights from other countries to gather at the Asbury University Chapel. So organic, not organized or pre-sold, no event planner involved, the phenomenon lacked famous, well-known preachers or evangelistic experts. No multi-platinum recording artists were invited to boost crowds. Ticketmaster wasn’t needed, or called on. At last count, before the chapel marathon service was ended, over 50,000 people had attended. Just shocking!
Although the chapel location was closed after several non-stop days, the revival continues off-campus. Now many other revival events are popping up all over the nation at various college campuses.
Thousands and thousands from Generation Z are giving their hearts to God, praying, getting on their knees in humility, making decisions for this life and the next. What is more newsworthy, none of this movement is contained inside one denomination. This fresh spiritual breeze blows across denominational lines. That is an occurrence outside of human hands, manmade design. No need to ask who is playing at any of these gatherings. Currently, there is no rock star drawing crowds, no Billy Sunday, no TBN, only The Bright Morning Star, Jesus. The Event Planner is indeed, the Holy Spirit!
Truthfully, this nation is more than ripe for a Great Awakening.
If you are reading this as an unchurched person, one who isn’t into Jesus, or the Bible in general, try not to analyze this moment in history too much. In your position, the word, “Revival” may be foreign to you, or you may know it only as a description concerning a resurgence of retro music, entertainment, fashion, or structural design. Spiritual revival didn’t start at Asbury Chapel, it starts in the single, individual heart. I hope and pray the revival ignites this writer’s heart.
God said it in scripture, so we would know the formula. He promised if we move closer to Him, He would move closer to us. Our land needs to be healed.
Find out the difference between Woke and Awake, in fuel for the race.
“Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “Return to Me with all your heart, And with fasting, weeping, and mourning; And tear your heart and not merely your garments.” Now return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger, abounding in mercy And relenting of catastrophe. ” Joel 2:12-13 (NAS)