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The 18th Century Awakening: What we can learn from it

By Editorial Staff
Published December 14, 1992

Evangelicals in the United States today feel frustrated because they have failed to transform American society in recent years. English and American evangelicals in 1730 felt much the same way. Many years of political and social effort had not succeeded in bringing reform. Yet within a decade they experienced what is now called “The Great Awakening,” during which time their nations’ political and social cultures were radically impacted by Christian values. The following ten characteristics of the revivals that took place in America, England and Europe are instructive:

1. Prayer. Evangelicals in the 1700s learned that corporate prayer was a prerequisite for outpourings of God’s Spirit. The revivals in many places were preceded by days of prayer and fasting. Jonathan Edwards believed that corporate prayer was more effective than just the combined prayers of individuals.

2. Leadership. God raised up strong leaders to guide the movement. Jonathan Edwards was the theologian of the awakenings and his writings were a powerful influence even until the end of the following century. George Whitefield was a dramatic and powerful orator, able to deeply move audiences with his sermons. John Wesley was an administrative genius who established an extremely effective small-group structure of “class meetings” which kept the revival fires burning.

3. Doctrine. Revival preachers of the time focused on the great Reformation doctrines of justification by faith and the atonement. They emphasized God’s judgment and then his grace.

4. Emotionalism. The revivalists unashamedly appealed to people’s emotions. They felt that their listeners’ problem was not a lack of knowledge but a need to take action. They abandoned the formality of manuscripts or notes and preached as the Spirit led.

5. Music. As one aspect of that emotionalism, evangelicals noted that music was an effective way to stir religious affectations and they made frequent use of it.

6. Open-air meetings. Whitefield preached in open spaces where large crowds could gather. Wesley took the message to jails , inns and ships, as well as outdoors.

7. Persecution. At times these preachers faced fierce opposition from hecklers, gangs of attackers and the press.

8. Testimonies. Reports of revival in other places often sparked new outbreaks as lay people who had been there first shared firsthand accounts of what the Holy Spirit was doing.

9. Holy Spirit. The 18th-century revivalists expected the Spirit to manifest His presence in powerful, visible ways.

10. Social action. A greater concern for the poor and downtrodden often resulted from these revivals. Jonathan Edwards taught that it was the Christian’s duty to be charitable. Whitefield devoted a great deal of his energy to an orphanage he founded in Georgia.

The conclusion can be drawn from the 18th-century experience that a deep and powerful spiritual renewal can be more effective in transforming a culture than political action.

- Gerald McDermott
National & International Report, Dec. 14, 1992.


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Your comments are welcome!

I pray America will see 2009 as a year of “deep and powerful spiritual renewal.” Thank you for this article and website!

Posted by Angela Wittman on 12/30/2008 12:44 PM #

Thanks for Documenting these important articles which i believe are very necessary for the body of Christ in these end times to read . I love to see how our forerunners were used of God in there generation to the glory of HIS name. Your work should inspire many to step forward by faith, and be used of the same mighty God in the Revival that is soon to “burst”, whose dimensions we’ve never seen before, coming to prepare the church for the rapture.
Iam preparing my website, with research in the same field. Please also include East African Revival. Something happened that has practically impacted generations.
Thanks.
Enoch Mwesigye.

Posted by mwesigye Enoch on 03/19/2009 04:06 AM #

Hey!
I’m so excited and I really can’t wait for revival to hit South Africa. We are trusting God to do HUGE things in our valley and then for it to spread to the rest of SA and then to the nations.I thank you for the info, because I’m doing an assighnment on revivals for history.
We are trusting God for great things!
Thanks and blessings
Anri Otto

Posted by Anri on 04/30/2009 08:15 AM #

Your information has been a great help and encouragement. I am using it to intiate interest among my congregation to pray for revival in England.

Posted by Lorna Wilson on 04/28/2010 10:58 AM #

We thank God for the men that stood the test of time and did that which God wanted to do through their lives. Wait to document another great revival that's about to break forth in Botswana in Southern Africa. I can hear the Sound as of a mighty rushing wind.
Alfred Bucco Baki
Gaborone
Botswana

Posted by Alfred Bucco Baki on 03/14/2011 08:22 AM #

Pray for Nigeria where God is expected daily to visit with His revival power. In it lies our only hope.

Posted by Bro Emmanuel N. Nwachukwu on 05/14/2011 02:07 PM #

May the Holy Spirit visit us again in such a power never known in our time. If He visits all other will be subjected to Him. Dear church, regardless of denominations and groups, let us come together that our thurstful CRY might appear before the almighty and compell Him to manifest in another fire-boosh that attracted Moses in the Desert land and thousands on the day of Pentecost were drawn to confess Jesus.
Please pray for me so that God will allow me to be an instrument for Revival Fire in our time; although unworthy!!!!!!

Posted by Evangelist Robert Singh on 09/21/2012 03:02 PM #

I’m blessed by these research. It will help me to stir my gift in these present world full of sin. We need real REVIVAL to overhaul the present Church. We need God’s Holy Spirit than before!

Posted by Hiram Ongoma on 11/07/2013 11:57 PM #

Textile Help

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

Download the free Study Guide!

Is there a connection between pagan religion and the abortion industry?

This powerful presentation traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God and crime against humanity has produced in our beleaguered society.

Conceived as a sequel and update to the 1988 classic, The Massacre of Innocence, the new title, The Abortion Matrix, is entirely fitting. It not only references abortion’s specific target – the sacred matrix where human beings are formed in the womb in the very image of God, but it also implies the existence of a conspiracy, a matrix of seemingly disparate forces that are driving this holocaust.

The occult activity surrounding the abortion industry is exposed with numerous examples. But are these just aberrations, bizarre yet anomalous examples of abortionists who just happen to have ties to modern day witchcraft? Or is this representative of something deeper, more sinister and even endemic to the entire abortion movement?

As the allusion to the film of over a decade ago suggests, the viewer may learn that things are not always as they appear to be. The Abortion Matrix reveals the reality of child-killing and strikes the proper moral chord to move hearts to fulfill the biblical responsibility to rescue those unjustly sentenced to death and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 24:11,12; 31:8,9).

Speakers include: George Grant, Peter Hammond, RC Sproul Jr., Paul Jehle, Lou Engle, Rusty Thomas, Flip Benham, Janet Porter and many more.

Ten parts, over three hours of instruction!

Running Time: 195 minutes

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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

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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.

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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. More recently, it was by catching just a glimpse of what this film reveals that Planned Parenthood director and abortion advocate Abby Johnson turned and became a strong advocate for the pre-born.

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!

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Massacre of Innocence (DVD)

Exposing The Occult Roots of Abortion

This presentation looks at the spiritual roots of abortion and exposes the myths surrounding child killing. Little known historical facts about abortion and how they relate to modern feminism are presented logically and accurately. Has been effective in converting many to a pro-life position.

Massacre of Innocence goes where no pro-life presentation has gone before in “tearing the lid off abortion” to reveal the spiritual realities we must battle if we will bring an end to this crime. The presentation is absorbing, fast-paced, informative and incredibly devastating to any attempt to justify abortion.

“… an extraordinary statement … a powerfully articulate presentation about what abortion really means, and why a great and moral nation like the United States must not allow the slaughter to continue.”
— Congressman Robert K. Dornan

Running time: 85 minutes

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information

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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...
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