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The Holy Spirit in Revival | The 1970s Spiritual Awakening

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
February 7, 2023 3:00 am

The Holy Spirit in Revival | The 1970s Spiritual Awakening

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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February 7, 2023 3:00 am

“God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” You can find those reassuring words in 2 Peter 3. And when a culture seems intent on its own destruction, sometimes God’s hand moves in miraculous ways. It’s happened before in the history of our country, and today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie says it can happen again. But we play a part in bringing it to pass. Glad you’re along for a fascinating series that launches today.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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Hey everybody, you're listening to A New Beginning, which is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners.

If this program has impacted you, I'd love to hear from you. So just send an email to me at Again, it's

You can learn more about becoming a Harvest Partner by going to Pastor Greg Laurie points out, when the culture seems to have lost its way, sometimes God brings a great spiritual awakening. You know, in the late 60s and the early 70s, America seemed to be unraveling. But in the middle of the drug revolution, in the middle of the sexual revolution, God sent the Jesus revolution. So it's good to look back and reflect and learn from it, because our prayer today is that God would do it again. This is the day when the lost are found. This is the day for a new beginning. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound. Oh, can you hear all the angels are singing?

This is the day, the day when life begins. God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. You can find those reassuring words in 2 Peter chapter 3. And when a culture seems intent on its own destruction, sometimes God's hand moves in miraculous ways.

It's happened before in the history of our country. And today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie says it can happen again, but we play a part in bringing it to pass. Glad you're along for a fascinating series that launches today. This is the day, the day when life begins. We are going to take a little walk down memory lane and revisit the last great spiritual awakening that happened in America called the Jesus movement, also called the Jesus revolution. This revival, this awakening impacted the church. It impacted the nation. And really, it impacted the world. Some might say, well, why go back and look at something like that? That was a long time ago.

Here's the answer. The fame of revival spreads the flame of revival. So it's good to look back and reflect and learn from it. Because our prayer today is that God would do it again. That we would see another spiritual move in our land.

Because I'll tell you what, our country desperately needs it. So back in the day, a lot of people wore their hair really long. I had long hair. I wish I had any hair right now. I miss hair. Listen, if you meet a bald guy and he says, I don't even care about hair. They're lying. They want hair.

Okay. I'm speaking on behalf of all bald men. So back in the day, you know, hippies as they were called, would admit they're hippies. Yeah, we're hippies. Now today we don't really have hippies. We have hipsters. We have hipsters. But the difference between a hippie and a hipster is a hipster will not admit they're a hipster. Are you a hipster? I'm not a hipster.

I need a latte and some avocado toast please. Wait. Yeah. So let's think a little bit. We have some young people up here in the States. Like about parallels between the 60s. You know, in the 60s, Noel, a lot of young people were using drugs. And this is before we knew as much about drugs as maybe we know today and how destructive they are. I would say today most people use drugs to numb themselves, to disconnect, to escape. Back in those days, many were using drugs, I have to say myself included, because we were searching. And we were told, oh man, if you take drugs, it will expand your consciousness. You know.

In fact, the mantra of the day was turn on, tune in, drop out. And many kids did. To their own detriment I might add. But you know as you look at the culture today, you almost wonder if like, it seems like people are looking for some kind of family, some kind of community. Because so many come from broken families today. You had an interesting thought about where people go to find that.

Yeah. So people I feel today are going to social media, trying to find their self-worth and just trying to chase that. Those likes are just trying to feel like they're wanted. Like being a part of a group. Like back in the day, they were trying to find their self-worth and I think it was Woodstock and other groups like that. Just trying to like feel like they belong since a community. And today because of social media and everything, it's really just causing everyone to be separated and just being more isolated and more lonely than ever than actually going face to face and finding that community out in the world. Like where we should be like at church and stuff like that. Yeah. It's all an imitation of the church.

Wouldn't you say Stephanie, you had some thoughts about that as well? And you reminded me as we looked back to the Jesus movement in time then in our generation now. Count Ecclesiastes, it says that nothing is new under the sun and every generation is chasing something to find their worth and their identity in. And I think it's so important that the church be aware of that as these new generations are coming because we know God's word doesn't change and we know we all have that void in our heart but we're seeking a relationship with Jesus. But how we approach that and how we connect and as Noel was saying, we're so isolated in our generation knowing and trying to learn how do we connect with that generation then because things are different now.

Yeah. Very true. But like you said, nothing's new under the sun. Things are different and in other ways things are the same.

Here's the big paradigm shift. Back when I was a kid, we were rebelling against the status quo and the status quo was largely conservative. It was like pro-family, pro-values. TV shows like Father Knows Best and Leave it to Beaver. Father was a good authority figure. Now we have modern family. A reinterpretation of the family.

Right? Everything's different. So those young kids, many of them went into academia. They went into the media and in many ways they set the cultural cues. And now instead of it being a largely conservative worldview, it's largely a very, well, unbiblical worldview. And so when you're a follower of Jesus Christ, you're like the new rebel because you're not going with the grain of society. You're going counterculture. Counterculture now is biblical culture. And that's the interesting thing how everything has sort of shifted since then.

But then there are some things that haven't changed. You know back in those days there were icons, musical icons like Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison of The Doors. And these are people that we're looked up to. But they all joined something called the 27 Club. And that's because they all died at the age of 27.

All drug-related deaths. And fast forward a generation. You had Kurt Cobain from Nirvana.

Fast forward some more years. You have more recently Amy Winehouse and the DJ Avicii. Electronic dance music. And I didn't realize his popularity until I watched a documentary on him on Netflix. And it was so sad because he's just a young guy. And he's catapulted into fame. And people are chanting his name.

Avicii Avicii. And he's traveling the world and living the life that so many people want to live. And he's so miserable. And he starts drinking heavily. And he's damaging his body.

And ultimately he commits suicide. And I thought you see like you said Stephanie nothing is new under the sun. It's the same old problems.

And it's the same answer. That's why our nation. That's why this generation needs another Jesus revolution. Another spiritual awakening. And you know I think this is something that we can pray for boldly. I don't think we need to be timid when we ask God to send an awakening.

I don't think we pray along the lines of well God if it's your will and if you want to do it and maybe you don't want to do it but please no no God wants to do it. He wants to pour His Spirit out again. In fact He even gives a prescription for revival if you will at 2 Chronicles 7 14 that was given contextually to the nation Israel.

But I think principally applies to any nation when He says, If My people which are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then God says, I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land. I don't know when America has been more fractured, more divided than it is right now. And we need that to happen. So let me make a distinction between the word awakening or revival. Awakening is what a nation needs. A revival is what the church needs. So we need to pray that it will start with us and then it will spread to the rest of the culture. So I want to talk to you about that a little bit today. Turn to Acts chapter 2 and the title of my message is Jesus Revolution.

The Holy Spirit in Revival. You know in the late 60s and the early 70s America seemed to be unraveling. There was a very real threat of nuclear war in the mid 60s. Nikita Khrushchev made some very serious threats against our nation including placing nuclear missiles in Cuba.

And President Kennedy faced off with him in what is called historically the Cuban Missile Crisis. But for kids in school, I was one of those kids in school, we thought we might all die tomorrow. So we had bomb drills in our classrooms where we would get underneath our desks in case there was a nuclear blast. Which if you look back in retrospect do you think being under our desk would have saved us from a nuclear blast?

I don't know. So one year after the Cuban Missile Crisis our youthful president John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas on November 22nd 1963. Meanwhile this traumatized the nation by the way. Some of you who are alive then will remember this. Very traumatizing event.

All of America mourned. Meanwhile the Vietnam War which was never officially declared raged on with young men coming home in body bags. And then the drug revolution is breaking out at the same time. Thousands of kids are turning to drugs for some kind of self-realization.

Some kind of answer hopefully and it just made things worse. Add to the drug revolution the sexual revolution with the discovery of the birth control pill in the early 60s. Free love reigned and everybody just wanted to express themselves and push away those parameters and those barriers that existed for so long. It all sort of culminated in a big music festival called Woodstock which was billed as three days of peace and music. And Jimi Hendrix played the star-spangled banner on his electric guitar.

Everything was really groovy man. But then in 1968 all the psychedelic colors turned to black and white as reality began to kick in and we reaped the consequences of all of these horrible decisions. It was in 1968 that civil rights leader Martin Luther King was assassinated.

And then on the heels of that shortly after as a matter of fact Robert F Kennedy the brother of President Kennedy who was running for the presidency was also assassinated in Los Angeles right here in California. And then all of these rock icons died in a relatively short period of time. Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones. Jim Morrison of the Doors. Jimi Hendrix. Janis Joplin. So this is the reality and because things were so dark with riots in the streets and division Time magazine put out an ominous cover story.

Black cover, red letters reversed out. Is God dead? That's how a lot of people felt that maybe God was dead. But God was not dead. God was very much at work.

And we don't know exactly when it started or where the actual beginning of it was. But in the middle of the drug revolution, in the middle of the sexual revolution God sent the Jesus revolution. So only a few years later Time puts out this cover with Jesus revolution on the cover. What a difference a few years make. What a difference a revival makes. So I have an issue of this and let me read to you something from that particular issue of Time magazine. And imagine for a moment reading this in Time magazine today.

Headline. Jesus is alive and well. The article says quote, Jesus is alive and well and living in the radical spiritual fervor of a growing number of young Americans who have proclaimed an extraordinary religious revolution in His name. Their message? The Bible is true. Miracles happen.

God really did so love the world that He gave His only begotten Son. What is this Time magazine? Bibles abound whether the cherished fur covered King James Version or scruffy back pocket paperbacks.

They are invariably well thumbed and often memorized. There is an uncommon mourning freshness to this movement. A buoyant atmosphere of hope and love along with the usual rebel zeal. But their love seems more sincere than a slogan deeper than the fast fading sentiments of the flower children. What startles the outsider is the extraordinary sense of joy that they are able to communicate end quote. Can you imagine again that being in Time magazine today.

And that is exactly what was happening. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Hey I don't know if you know about this but we have a weekend service called Harvest at Home exclusively for people that are tuning in literally from around the world.

Listen to this. We even have harvest groups where you can get into a small group with folks from all around this planet of ours and study the Word of God. So join us this weekend Saturday and Sunday for Harvest at Home at We are revisiting the era of the Jesus movement today in preparation for the launch of the feature film Jesus Revolution on February 24th. Pastor Greg is pointing out how we need another great move of God's Spirit.

Let's continue. Now a little history lesson because it's important for us to know what God has done in the past so we can pray for what he wants to do in the future. America has had four great spiritual awakenings. The first awakening was in the 1700s led by such men as Jonathan Edwards and George Whitfield.

This is actually before we were officially a nation. George Whitfield an evangelist from England came over and preached to so many people living in the colonies. Thousands were coming to Christ and a revival broke out. So you can make a very good case for the fact that America was born in a time of spiritual awakening. It was that fertile soil of revival that produced the parameters that we could safely have this great experiment in of liberty and freedom and a belief in God as our founding fathers had. That was the first great awakening. The second great awakening the 1790s to 1840 was led by many including Charles Finney. This was in the days of the wild west.

Law was disregarded. Sexual sin was rampant. But people would gather for what they called camp meetings often out in the middle of the forest. They would build little structures or put up tents and put the sawdust on the floor and people would walk forward to accept Christ and that's where the phrase the sawdust trail came from.

That was a great revival. The third great awakening in America was from around 1857 to 1859 led by a young man in New York named Jeremiah Lanphier and it started as a prayer meeting. Jeremiah Lanphier felt it would be a good idea for New Yorkers to start praying. So he called a prayer meeting at lunchtime and needless to say very few people showed up. Then the stock market crashed and then a lot of people showed up because people were alarmed and concerned and within a relatively short period of time thousands of New Yorkers were coming to Christ. There were 10,000 additions to church membership every week during this revival and one year alone 50,000 people came to Christ and when it was all said and done one million came to the Lord in this brief period. That brings us to the fourth and the last great spiritual awakening the Jesus movement. I had the privilege of being there.

I had a front row seat. I didn't know it was a revival. I didn't know I walked into the middle of a spiritual awakening and there was a man that opened his heart and opened his church to it named Chuck Smith. And so all these young kids are getting saved and they want to go to church and a lot of churches the one look at them and said you're not coming in here looking like that. But for the churches that opened their doors to the Jesus people as they were called or the Jesus freaks as they were also called those churches experienced revival. For the churches that kept their doors shut to these folks they did not experience revival.

Here's some things that kind of stand out to me about that time. Number one there was a sense of expectancy in the services. So when you came to church you came with a sense that God is going to do something. You know we talk a lot about the need for anointed preaching but I think there's also a need for anointed listening. That we come with the right attitude to church. We come with an open heart. With an open Bible.

Come with a notebook. Listen. Say Lord speak to me today. No one was ever late for church back in those days by the way.

Because if you were you wouldn't get a seat. So that sense of expectancy. Number two the Word of God was pretty much taught in every service. You know Pastor Chuck Smith taught us to love the Bible and we would go through books of the Bible and our lives were changed by the Bible.

We were a bunch of young kids that knew nothing. We were ignorant of all things biblical but we developed at that time a biblical world view. And then also there was worship. It was a whole new kind of worship that was born before our very eyes.

We would give invitations in pretty much every service. And I think what happens is when non-believers come to a church that's alive. A church that's experiencing revival. They want to know God. So we brought friends and people would accept the Lord.

Here is another big earmark of that time. We believed in the imminent return of Jesus Christ. We believed that Christ could come in our lifetime. So some of you would say well what is that 45 years ago.

I think your timing was a little off Greg. Yeah well you know what I don't regret living in belief that Christ could come back and you know what we are 45 years closer to His return than we were there. I still believe it. I believe Jesus could come in my lifetime. Well we got up to meet the Lord in the air.

And I think it is a very important thing. You know some might ask well why didn't He come back then. Well a lot of us were praying Jesus would come and catch us up to heaven in 1970. But let me take a quick poll. How many of you have come to believe in Jesus since 1970. Raise your hand up. Aren't you glad God didn't answer our prayer.

Yeah. So here is what the Bible says. God is not late as some men count lateness.

He is long suffering toward us and not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. God is waiting for that last person to believe. Can you imagine if there was one person the Lord was waiting for and you knew who it was.

Would you be tempted to pressure them. Dude will you get saved. What is wrong with you. But the Lord knows who that person is and it will happen in His timing of course. But we need to pray that God will do this again. Psalm 85 6 says, will you not revive us again that your people may rejoice in you.

The prophet Habakkuk understood this when he prayed this prayer in Habakkuk 3 2. I have heard all about you Lord and I am filled with awe by the amazing things you have done. In this time of deep need revive your work as you did in years gone by.

Show us your power to save us. And so it is similar to how you might feel now. Some of you might be thinking well that must have been so great back then.

I wish I could have been around then. God wants to do it again because Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. Okay so it starts with us. Pastor Greg Laurie with fascinating insights on the Jesus movement and how we play a part in inviting another great move of God's hand on our culture today. And before this edition of A New Beginning concludes, Pastor Greg comes back to lead us in an important word of prayer.

And then we're so excited for you to see the new movie Jesus Revolution. It's a retrospective look at the time of spiritual renewal in the late 60s and early 70s. It focuses on four lives, Greg and Kathy Laurie, hippie evangelist Lonnie Frisbee and Pastor Chuck Smith along with his wife Kay.

It's a fascinating look at what brought us here to this moment in time. Chuck Smith has been called and I think rightly so the father of the Jesus movement. Well of course it was basically Kay more than me.

I had the typical redneck dirty hippies, when are they going to get a bath and get a job you know. And she would say but honey they just you know they're lost they they need the Lord. She had a burden for these young kids who were searching and getting into drugs but but he took steps of faith and let the Lord work. He that believeth shall be saved. So if you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior then you may take the next step and be identified with him in the water of baptism. I do believe it was a global work of the Holy Spirit that touched countless lives. Well Pastor Greg we're excited about this new movie Jesus Revolution. It was a time you know very well because you came to Christ during that time.

Yes. How can an event from that era speak to young people in this era? Well I can just tell you this Dave we have shown a special edition of the film called the Director's Cut to quite a few audiences now. Many of them very young and I have been amazed at how young people are moved by this film.

They connect to it, they relate to it. The actors that play a young Greg and a young Kathy, Joel Courtney and Anna Grace Barlow do an absolutely amazing job. It's a beautiful love story but it also shows the conflicts in their relationship and how their faith came into play and and it's very honest and real and that is what I think young people will love about it. You know young people today are looking for authenticity something that's real and we showed these characters and the film is flawed people all of them but we show how God changes their life and works with them and transforms them and I think that this is going to be a great event to take someone to. We're going to do a very special showing of the Jesus Revolution film on February 22nd. Now you can see the film after that it'll be open on screens nationwide but what's special about February 22 is there's going to be a gospel presentation at the end of the film so what we're doing is we are wanting to offer tickets to young people because we want to get young people into the theaters and so we've had some folks make some contributions to pre-purchase tickets that young people can access to go see this film for themselves and I present the gospel in an understandable way and I'll be doing so in theaters around the United States so you would take your friend or your loved one or whoever you know hopefully someone who's not a Christian to the February 22nd showing and they would hear the gospel right there in the theater in addition to watching this powerful two-hour feature film and I'm hoping and trusting and praying that they'll accept Christ right there and then you have the opportunity to follow up on them spiritually and help them get grounded in the faith and we're going to offer a new believer's Bible at no charge to any person who prays and asks the Lord to come into their life so there's a lot of ways this film can be used by God to touch people yeah that's right and mark that date February 22nd the special preview showing of Jesus Revolution get tickets at that's dot movie not dot com again and then February 24th is the official release of Jesus Revolution make plans to bring someone with you to see this film it's a moving evangelistic story wrapped in a great motion picture and thanks so much for partnering with us as we share the gospel in this innovative way you partner with us as you support the film at your local theater and you partner with us when you send a donation to support sharing the gospel in fact to thank you for your generosity right now we want to send you the book that tells the story in more depth it's also called Jesus Revolution we'll send you the book to thank you for your investment so get in touch today our 24-7 phone number is 1-800-821-3300 that's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to and one other thing if we may you may be familiar with second chronicle 714 which says if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways then i will hear from heaven and i will forgive their sin and will heal their land well pastor greg is asking us all to follow that biblical direction to humble ourselves and pray each day for revival in the church and a spiritual awakening in the culture it's our 714 campaign would you pray with us each day at 714 at 14 minutes after seven we're all praying for revival and praying that the movie jesus revolution would help light the fire thanks for joining us in that well next time more from pastor greg's message called the holy spirit in revival exploring what we can learn from the jesus movement but before we go pastor greg comes back to close today's study time america needs an awakening and the church needs revival so i thought we would pray for that together let's pray that god revives the church let's pray that god will send a spiritual awakening and let's pray that it starts with us father you know better than any of us how badly our nation needs you and lord we're asking for you to move powerfully by your holy spirit and send a spiritual awakening to america we pray lord that thousands and thousands of people will come to christ as we've heard about in these last four great awakenings lord we're praying for a fifth great awakening in the name of jesus christ and we're even going to ask for a sixth one and a seventh one lord move powerfully move mightily and let this revival now start in us let this revival start in me in each of us individually we need to be living in that close intimate first love relationship with jesus christ so let it start in our own hearts and we ask it in jesus name amen thanks for listening to a new beginning with greg lorry a podcast made possible by harvest partners helping people everywhere know god sign up for daily devotions and learn how to become a harvest partner at
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-07 05:44:28 / 2023-02-07 05:55:22 / 11

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