Author, speaker, and teaching pastor Robert J. Morgan, who has been a guest on The Meeting House program on Faith Radio multiple times, shared some sobering, yet encouraging, words about a unique and challenging time in the history of our nation in a piece for Decision Magazine. He described an America that “grew economically and wrangled politically,” but as that occurred, he says, “the light of Christianity dimmed. French rationalism seized the colleges, which became hotbeds of atheism. Church attendance plunged. John Marshall, the chief justice of the Supreme Court, feared the church had declined too far to be saved.”
Does that sound a bit familiar? This time period Pastor Morgan described was in the latter 18th Century, during the early days of our nation; years before, there had been the First Great Awakening, which Morgan says “set the stage for the Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary War.”
He relates that in 1783, President George Washington had written the governors of the 13 colonies and included this prayer:
“I now make it my earnest prayer that God would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility and pacific [peaceful] temper of mind which were characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion [Jesus Christ], and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy nation.”
Many did not share that expressed sentiment. Morgan points out that “the Lord sent another great revival—the Second Great Awakening.” He added, “It began in the early 1800s on college campuses in the East and at Kentucky Camp Meetings in the West. Thousands came to Christ in a massive revival that birthed the modern missions movement, launched the spread of Sunday schools, filled America’s pulpits with Biblical expositors and sent hundreds of itinerant evangelists into the untamed frontiers.”
The pastor goes on to say: “The United States of America came into existence between two of the greatest revivals ever recorded. We have a God who still sends seasons of refreshing on His church around the world.”
Is Revival Happening?
Please allow me to present some evidence. A few weeks ago, I reported on a church in Tennessee that baptized over a thousand people between the week before Christmas and Easter Sunday. I recently talked with Sean Dunn of Groundwire, which is a ministry that leverages technology to share the gospel – it saw well over 100,000 people come to Christ in the year 2020 and has a goal to more than double that this year.
That same Decision Magazine edition also featured Sean Feucht, whose “Let Us Worship” events have been held across the country – from California to Minnesota to New York to Washington, DC, where an estimated crowd of some 35,000 gathered on the National Mall for prayer and worship. Feucht says: “I’m praying for an awakening and a revival in the nation, but more important, I’m praying for an awakening and a revival in the church. I’m praying that we would start living the Gospel message, that we would take a stand for righteousness and truth, not back down, not try to be politically correct, but that we would live according to the Gospel.”
CBN.com, in a recent feature earlier this month, states that “Feucht and his ‘Let Us Worship’ team have traveled across the country over the past year, and he’s pointed out that they have no plans of stopping. The article related that the summer schedule includes 34 cities in 87 days.
In May, an online event called the “National Senior Sendoff” occurred, featuring a number of speakers and musical artists. Its website says:
If you’re a student, that “something new” can be a catalytic season for your relationship with Jesus Christ. The next season of life will be so formative, and having a strong gospel community can build a foundation of faith that will follow you for the rest of your life.
God is able and God is available in order to provide what they are searching for. His work is moving forward.
What does revival look like?
I believe it’s characterized by a desire, a yearning, to know God better, to enter into repentance so that our lives reflect the inner work of God in our hearts. We have to set aside our selfish desires and allow the Lord to change us. We can strive to put Him above all else. Revival is more than an event, more than an experience, it’s entering into the presence of God and allowing Him to enter into every area of our lives, so that He permeates our very being. We live in desperate times, and can respond to God’s invitation to be desperate for Him.