What is a Revival?
by Richard Flanders

The United States of America has experienced in its history great periods of religious revival that have profoundly affected our country’s culture and history. A nation-wide revival called “The Great Awakening” laid the foundation for our independence. Of this period, Benjamin Franklin wrote, “It seemed as if all the world were growing religious.” A second “Great Awakening” in the early eighteen-hundreds held our society under its influence for forty years and brought about the end of slavery. Revivals have spread out to be national events. Some revivals have shaken whole cities or counties, but have not spread further. Many revivals have taken place within a single local church. Regardless of its size or influence, a real revival is a powerful and wonderful thing.

A revival is not a special series of services at a church, under a tent, or in a big public auditorium. Revival campaigns have been held in these places, but the special services themselves do not constitute a revival. A real revival is the reviving of the Christians’ love for God. A great American named Charles Finney said,

“A Revival is. . .the renewal of the first love of Christians, resulting in the awakening and conversion of sinners to God.”

Mr. Finney knew what he was talking about. He took part in some of the greatest revivals of all time, in which thousands became Christians, morality came back to communities, and the churches grew in number and in holiness.

The great need of America in the 1990's is a revival. Our county needs a revival; our churches need revival; our country needs a great revival of true Christianity!  In the Bible, Psalm 85 describes what a revival is and how to get it. Let every believer in Christ read this chapter again!

Psalm 85

1. Lord, thou hast been favourable unto thy land: thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob.
2. Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah.
3. Thou hast taken away all thy wrath:  thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness of thine anger.
4. Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease.
5. Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations?
6. Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?
7. Shew us thy mercy, O Lord, and grant us thy salvation.
8. I will hear what God the Lord will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.
9. Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land.
10. Mercy and truth are met
together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
11. Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
12. Yea, the Lord shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase.
13. Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.

Yes, “glory may dwell in our land” again (verse 9). Families will be strong, morals will be high, politics will be principled, neighbors will be kind, churches will be spiritual, the Bible will be believed, souls will be saved, and Christians will be victorious wherever God sends a revival!

Psalm 85 says that. . .

  1. Revivals are needed again and again because God’s people tend to lose their love for the Lord and their commitment to obey Him (vs. 1-8).

  2. Revivals come in answer to earnest prayer (v. 6). “Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?”

  3. Revivals result in the salvation of the lost (v. 9), balance in the church (v. 10), agreement between heaven and earth (v. 11), fruitfulness among God’s people (v. 12), and Christians following the steps of Jesus (v. 13).

The first step toward revival in your life is your learning how to be saved.
1. Admit that you are a sinner who needs to be saved — “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
2. Repent and turn to Christ for your salvation — “The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ Our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
3. Call upon Jesus Christ and ask Him to save you — “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)

If you have already been saved, turn yourself over to the Lord and begin praying for a revival in your life, your church, and your community.

-Dr. Rick Flanders

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