This Issue Began with the quote from Rev. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, “I am profoundly convinced that the greatest need in the world today is revival in the Church of God. . . . ” After this look at American awakenings, we might ask: Should Christians around the world today expect more awakenings? Could widespread awakening happen again in America? Will future awakenings be confined to the mission fields of developing nations—the Third World?
Has the West grown so hardened through humanism and our adoration of material things that we don’t care about, and can resist, the moving of the Holy Spirit? Has our faith grown cold?
Only God knows these things. However, we do hear of tremendous awakenings in Korea, where 10,000 people gather daily in Seoul to pray. We hear of movements toward Christianity in Indonesia and the southern half of Africa. Yet to many in the West, things look bleak. Have we had our day?
It is worth reflecting here that things must have looked equally bleak to Martin Luther 500 years ago, after 1,000 years of the gospel smoldering under spiritual confusion and widespread ignorance of God’s Word. Then came what could be called the mightiest awakening since Pentecost, the Reformation. Dare we think that God cannot or will not do such a thing again?
The Lord informs us in the New Testament that “this gospel of the kingdom will be preached to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14), and that “Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of Gentiles has come in,” but that the “natural branches” will be grafted back into the olive tree, “And so all Israel will be saved.” (Romans 11) We know that there is still missionary work to be done to bring awakening to the peoples of the world, and we know that at some time a great awakening will come upon the Jewish people, and that many of them will turn to the Messiah. We can, at the very least, through these promises look forward to future awakenings.
Rev. Lloyd-Jones also said in our quote that “ . . . Anything that can instruct God’s people in this matter is very welcome.” We hope and pray that these articles have helped you to know a little more of our great heritage of awakenings, and that God’s people everywhere will earnestly pray for renewal, and, filled with hope, diligently seek spiritual awakening.
By the Editors
[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #23 in 1989]
Patterns of Spiritual Renewal
Spiritual awakenings show similar patterns.the Editors
A Dawning in the New World
Origins of American Awakenings in New England & the Middle Colonies.the Editors
God’s Wonderful Working
The first Great Awakening in New England & the Middle Coloniesthe Editors
Snapshot of Jonathan Edwards, America’s greatest theologian.the Editors