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Can We Have Revival in Our Time? | Spiritual Awakening

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
February 18, 2022 3:00 am

Can We Have Revival in Our Time? | Spiritual Awakening

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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February 18, 2022 3:00 am

The world always seems to be in a state of disequilibrium. The problems are too numerous to mention . . . and with 24-hour cable news, we’re all too aware anyway. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie says there is a treatment for what ails us. It’s not found in a pill or a protest or a political candidate. We’ll see we need to invite God onto the scene. And that starts right at our front door. We’ll see believers need to take the lead . . . we’ll found how 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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You're listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by Harvest Partners. For more ways to deepen and challenge your spiritual walk, enroll in Pastor Greg's free online courses.

Sign up at harvest.org. We should not live in the past, but we can learn from it. After the turbulence of the sixties came a genuine revival called the Jesus movement.

Pastor Greg Laurie says we need a repeat. Now we can look at this generation and realize we need another Jesus movement. We have riots in the streets. We have racial unrest. We have a drug epidemic. There's a sense of hopelessness in the air. How desperate are we for another spiritual awakening? The world always seems to be in a state of disequilibrium.

The problems are too numerous to mention. And with 24-hour cable news, we're all too aware anyway. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie says there's a treatment for what ails us.

It's not found in a pill or a protest or a political candidate. Well see, we need to invite God onto the scene. And that starts right at our front door.

Well see, believers need to take the lead. We'll find out how today. I read about an interesting new alarm clock.

I may even go buy one. I don't know. You wake up in the morning to the smell of bacon. I am not making this up. It is called the Waken in Bacon alarm clock.

So I was fascinated to know how such a device works. The way it works is you take a piece of frozen bacon, put it in the special clock before you go to bed. Ten minutes before you are to wake, the bacon starts cooking so you wake up to that amazing smell.

I love that. Now for vegetarians I don't know what to say. Maybe they have amazing broccoli or probably amazing kale. What is the thing with kale?

I don't know. Anyway. And by the way, I love bacon. How many of you love bacon?

Raise your hand. Oh yeah I do too. I just love it. I love the smell of bacon in the morning. In fact my favorite meal of the day is breakfast followed only by lunch and dinner.

But I do love that time. So in the same way I think it is time for America to wake up and smell the bacon. And here is why. As we look at the prophetic scenario, and by that I mean as we look at end times events, it is alarming to not find the reigning superpower on the face of the earth in that last day's chain of events. You can certainly find the nation Israel. You can find the nation Iran. I think you can make a pretty good case for Russia and perhaps even China. But where is the reigning superpower? The United States of America.

Where are we? Here is what we need to know. Every nation has a lifespan. Every nation has a beginning, a middle, and an end.

Listen. The might of ancient Babylon only lasted for 86 years. The powerful Persian Empire did a bit better. 208 years. The glory of Greece was eclipsed after 268 years. Mighty Rome ruled for almost nine centuries.

The British Empire endured for some 250 years in her great power. And the USA is around well 235 years old and counting. But here is what we need to know.

Every nation's days are numbered. And the Bible says righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to the people. So if we turn from righteousness, if we turn from God we are going to face the consequences.

Listen to this. Knowledge brings responsibility. America is not like just any other country out there. I do believe in American exceptionalism. I think we are a special nation blessed by God in many ways. The only nation I think we could even compare ourselves to is the nation Israel. A nation that was founded on biblical principles. A nation that was founded in the belief in a God who placed us here.

So I think there is a responsibility that goes to the great privileges we have in this nation in particular. And if we abandon God, if we forget God, even worse if we rebel against God there will be consequences to pay. But I have a suggestion, a thought, as to why we cannot find America in the end time scenario.

And here is what I think. It may be we are not there because a massive spiritual awakening, a fifth great awakening if you will or maybe a sixth or a seventh happens and it changes the course of our country. You say, well I don't understand why a revival would change our position in the prophetic scenario.

Well listen. If millions of Americans were cut up to heaven we wouldn't be the superpower we are today. I mean how many Americans are Christians?

I don't know. Polls are taken and usually half of all Americans say they are born again followers of Jesus Christ. How many of you believe that by the way? Ok good.

Because I had a bridge I wanted to sell you. I don't believe it either. So there is over 300 million Americans. Let's be super conservative and say let's say if one third of America really were Christians. Let's say there were 100 million Americans who believed in Jesus in a correct way. Or maybe a revival or two happened and so our numbers swelled to 100 million.

Now imagine this. If 100 million people were caught up to meet the Lord in the air if they just disappeared do you think that would affect our nation? Well of course it would. Imagine the effect on our country of 100 million people.

People in industry, governments, military, business, agriculture, education, medicine suddenly disappeared from the face of the earth. Now Hollywood and the press would be largely untouched. But I am talking about the rest of the nation. It would certainly have a crippling effect on our entire nation and upon our infrastructure.

But this much we know. All nations as we know them are going to change, expand, or shift to some degree or another as the whole global situation rearranges for the events of the end times. So we need to pray for another spiritual awakening in the United States. We have had four great awakenings in America. The first great awakening in the 1700s led by such men as Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield. It preceded the Revolutionary War and the birth of America. It lasted from about 1740 to 1742 with around 50,000 people added to the churches of New England. Now that may not sound like a lot but that was when we had a population of around 300,000. So it was significant. The first great awakening. The second great awakening from the 1790s to around 1840 was led by many including Charles Finney. It was during the days of the Wild West.

The law was disregarded. Sexual sin was rampant. And they had these events called camp meetings.

You ever heard of those before? Wonder what they were. They had set up a tent up out in the forest.

Put sawdust on the floor. Preachers would come and share the gospel. And thousands and thousands of Americans came to faith during that time.

And they would have huge crowds. So that was a significant awakening in our history. The third great awakening was from around 1857 to 1859. And the way that began is unique. There was a 48 year old businessman named Jeremiah Lanphier who began a prayer meeting on Fulton Street in New York City. And his prayer meeting was very small. But then it exploded. Why did it explode?

The stock market crashed. And so suddenly thousands of people were showing up for this time of prayer. Within six months 10,000 people in New York City gathered daily for prayer.

Can you imagine such a thing like that happening today? It is reported that 50,000 New Yorkers were converted from March to May. And there were 10,000 additions to church membership. Listen.

Weekly. And around that time around one million people came to believe in Jesus. Now that brings us to the fourth great awakening.

And the last one in American history. And I am of course talking about the Jesus movement. Now I was privileged to have a front row seat for it because I came to Christ in 1970 and found myself smack dab in the middle of a full blown spiritual awakening. And by the way we did not know it was a spiritual awakening when it was happening. I just thought it was normal Christianity because I had no point of reference. And in a way it was normal Christianity. Normal in a New Testament sense.

Normal in the way that it is supposed to be as opposed to a watered down version that we often see in its place today. But I think it is a good thing to reflect back on what God has done in the past. Jonathan Edwards who is a part of the first great awakening made this statement and I quote, "'It has been found by experience that the tidings of remarkable effects of the power and grace of God in any place tend greatly to awaken and engage the minds of persons in other places.'" End quote.

Let me rephrase that. Stories of revival often spark other revivals. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment.

Hey everybody Greg Laurie here. You know my uncle Fred Jordan had one of the first Christian TV programs out there. It was called Church in the Home.

I remember watching it as a little boy when I was living with my grandparents. Well we have Church in the Home for you every weekend. It's called Harvest at Home and you can find it at Harvest.org. We have worship and a message from God's word.

So join us this weekend for Harvest at Home at Harvest.org. Well today Pastor Greg is bringing an important message called Can We Have Revival in Our Time Part 1. We are discussing how to bring revival to our land much as we saw during the time of the Jesus movement. So as we look back historically we ask the question is there anything we can learn?

Let's consider the backdrop of the country when the Jesus movement happened. It happened in the late 60s early 70s. Now you know for those of you that have been around for a while like me you remember the 50s and the early 60s. And the early 60s were a lot like the late 50s. It was an idyllic time. We had come through World War II and people were building homes and starting families.

And there was an optimism and Eisenhower was our president. And technology was sort of exploding. One of the latest developments was something called color television. Up to this point it had been black and white. I remember the first time I saw color TV. It was at a friend's house and we went over and looked in the window of his front room and watched with great envy the wonderful world of color.

The Disney program. So you know there was sort of this excitement. And this is a time when Elvis was the king of rock and roll. And James Dean was acting in films. And Marilyn Monroe was in her prime.

So there was a poll actually taken by CBS News. And they asked people what decade would you most likely travel to if you could. Now most people chose the decade of their childhood. But by and large the decade that went out were the 50s. People wanted to live in the 50s. Cars were super cool.

I mean anything from 55 to 57. Amazing cars. So it was a great time. And that was sort of the early 60s too. But then we had a brand new president that really marked a change in our culture. And really a change in the 60s. John F. Kennedy was elected president.

We went from a 70-year-old grandfather to a youthful senator with a young family occupying the Oval Office. But Kennedy was quickly put to the test by the leader of Russia at that time Nikita Khrushchev. And Khrushchev was determined to expand the Russian empire. And so one of those things was he was putting missile sites over in Cuba, which is not far from our shores, especially Florida. Kennedy became aware of this.

And they had this conflict that is called the Cuban Missile Crisis. And there was a moment where America thought we were going to engage in a full-blown nuclear war. I remember in school when I was a kid we would have drills in our classroom where in case there was a nuclear explosion we went under our desks.

Do any of you remember that? Do you think it would have helped being under your desk? I know it is a nuclear blast but I am under my desk.

I will be fine right here. Yeah. So kind of a scary time. But everything changed in America when our president was assassinated on November 22, 1963. Television was pervasive at that time and the whole country found out about it. In fact everyone remembers where they were when Kennedy was assassinated.

It is as though we watched it in real time. It was hard to believe that one man, Lee Harvey Oswald, could kill the president of the United States and effectively the leader of the free world. A lot of people thought there were conspiracies and others involved. And they did a great report on it done by the Warren Commission.

And they determined there was one lone shooter. But many experts believe that is the moment the 60s shifted. And it was shortly after that that four Liverpudlians landed on our shore. And we are on the Ed Sullivan show. They are called the Beatles.

And they were followed by a bunch of other bands known as the British Invasion. And then culture began to change before our eyes. Almost monthly.

Certainly yearly. Add to this the fact that the Vietnam War is raging. Young American boys are coming back in body bags. And it was a draft back then and we all wondered are we going to be next. And then the worst year of the 60s happened.

It was 1968. Our president has already been assassinated. And now Martin Luther King is assassinated as well. Robert Kennedy, the president's brother, sort of steps into the gap and decides to run for the presidency. And many are hoping that he is going to turn the country around. There is sort of an optimism and it is gaining momentum. But as he announced well basically he was claiming victory in the California primary.

And he addressed the supporters at the Ambassador Hotel. And a man named Sirhan Sirhan shot Bobby Kennedy three times only two months after Martin Luther King was killed. Now Kennedy has been assassinated only five years after his brother. The Vietnam War is raging on. Watergate is about to happen. An entire generation of young people are disillusioned. There is huge protests.

There is riots in the streets. Kids were rebelling against society and turning to drugs, sex, and rock and roll. The slogan of that time was, turn on, tune in, drop out. And you know the church was not effectively reaching this generation. John Lennon of the Beatles was famously quoted to say, the Beatles are more popular than Jesus. And for many that was actually true.

In my case it was. And so Time magazine came out with a cover issue with these words on it. Is God dead?

And some liberal theologians announced that indeed he was. So things are bleak. Things are dark.

Things are desperate. And God intervenes. God intervenes and the Jesus movement explodes on the scene. Suddenly seemingly out of nowhere but right on God's time schedule thousands of young kids are coming to Christ. So Time magazine runs a different cover in 1971 with an image of Christ on the front and the words, the Jesus revolution.

Here is what happened. The churches that opened themselves to revival experienced revival. The churches that closed their doors to it did not experience it. But one man opened the doors of his church. And you all know who he is. I am talking about Pastor Chuck Smith.

He let it happen. Chuck was you know he was not some hipster guy. He was just your basic middle aged balding man who was pastoring a church.

And you can see I admire him a great deal. Taken after him. And he saw these hippie kids and he wanted nothing to do with them. He thought they all should get a haircut and take a bath right. So but his wife had a burden for them.

His wife Kate. And was praying for the kids to come to Christ. And Chuck sort of opened his heart up a little bit and wanted to meet an actual living breathing hippie. And so one day his daughter Jen came home with this hippie kid named John who was a Christian. And he told Chuck a little bit about what was happening with the kids. And then John introduced Chuck to another hippie kid who happened to be a preacher. And that guy's name was Lonnie Frisbee. And Lonnie was really used by God along with Pastor Chuck to bring the Jesus movement to a place of complete explosion. Lonnie was sort of like nitro to Chuck's glycerin.

The combination just boom. It blew up. And Lonnie was this charismatic preacher that drew kids in. So you might say the kids came for Lonnie and they stayed for Chuck. Because Chuck stabilized things by teaching the Word of God.

But this whole thing was happening. And that is right when I came to Christ. In fact Lonnie was preaching on my high school campus Newport Harbor High. And I came to Jesus and started going to Calvary Chapel and walked in there. And I was just overwhelmed. There were people everywhere.

There were people up the aisles. And they were worshiping God. And God was at work. And lives were being changed. And we saw contemporary worship born before our very eyes.

And you know it wasn't long after that that I came up to Riverside from Orange County. And we started a Bible study up here. I turned into the church you are in right now. Harvest Christian Fellowship.

So listen. Yeah that is worth clapping for. The church globally was influenced by the Jesus movement. But we have all gotten older. I mean you know it is a fact the kids of the Jesus movement are now grandparents. I went to grandparents day at my grandkids school recently.

That just makes you feel old to even go to grandparents day. You know. But there we are. So you say well Greg that is a nice little history lesson. But you know so what. So what.

Listen. We should not live in the past but we can learn from it. We should not live in the past but we can learn from it. Now we can look at this generation and realize we need another Jesus movement. Just as in the 60s and specifically 1968 we have riots in the streets. We have racial unrest.

We have a drug epidemic. There is a sense of hopelessness in the air. How desperate are we for another Jesus movement. How desperate are we for another spiritual awakening.

The prophet Habakkuk understood this when he prayed this prayer in Habakkuk 3.2. I have heard all about You Lord. I am filled with awe by the amazing things You have done. But in this time of deep need revive Your work as You did in years gone by. Show us Your power to save us. And in Your anger remember Your mercy.

Habakkuk is saying, Lord I have heard all these stories about the old days. Do it again. Revive Your work again. The psalmist says in Psalm 85 6, will You not revive us again that Your people may rejoice in You. How badly do we want to see another revival.

Here is reality. Often we pray for prosperity in our nation and in our own lives. But the fact is revival often explodes when there is calamity.

Remember the third great awakening happened after the stock market crash. I once asked Chuck Smith if he ever thought there would be another Jesus movement. And his answer was, well people were desperate for revival back then. And I am not sure people are desperate enough right now.

That may be true. How desperate are we? Pastor Greg Laurie, pointing out how revival is the answer for the ills we see in our world today. And we will talk about how revival can start when this message continues here on A New Beginning. It is a study Pastor Greg has titled, Can We Have Revival in Our Time?

Part 1. You know Pastor Greg, I think I have heard you say that God never wastes our pain. When we face painful times, it is not for nothing. God can use it sometimes in pretty miraculous ways.

And we have a resource available right now that discusses that, don't we? Dave, that is true. God has a purpose in the things that he either does or allows in our life. And I know there are times when things don't make sense.

Hey, I have had those times too. Like, Lord, what are you doing? Why did you allow this to happen?

What is the purpose of this? And frankly, there are some things that I don't have an answer on that. You know, when I look back on our son going to be with the Lord 13 years ago, I still question that. I still wish that had never happened. But having said that, I can look back on the time since then and I can see how God has changed me and he has changed my wife and he has changed our son. Our son was actually not walking with the Lord. And that event of his brother going to be with the Lord just woke him up spiritually and he's committed himself to Christ.

In fact, now he's a pastor at our church. I can look at how Kathy and I were willing to go and do things we'd never done before and take risks we'd never taken before and tried things we'd never tried before. So I've said, man, I wish I could have all these good things that happened without my son dying.

I wish he could have been here with us for this. But there are some questions that will never be answered this side of heaven. But look, don't waste your pain. You can take your pain and you can use it as a tool to help others.

You know, the Apostle Paul says that he comforts with the comfort that he himself has been comforted with. And I found that I am able to bring words of comfort and assurance to others who've lost loved ones. And speaking of losing loved ones, we have a very special book that has just come out, a brand new book that we want to offer to you that will bring comfort to you in your times of difficulty. It's written by the whole Tony Evans family.

Now, you know, Tony Evans, he's on the radio with this program, Urban Alternative, and he's a prolific author. But he wrote this book along with his daughters, Crystal and Priscilla, and his sons, Anthony and Jonathan. This is a wonderful, godly family. And a lot of that is due to the powerful influence of their mother, Lois.

And Lois went to be with the Lord recently. So the whole family got together and wrote about the impact of this event on their life. And this book they call Divine Disruption, subtitled Holding Onto Faith When Life Breaks Your Heart. I want to send you this book. It's gonna be an encouragement to you or someone you know.

And maybe you don't feel like you need a book like this right now. Well, you may need it sooner than you realize. Let me send it to you for your gift of any size and whatever you send in return will be invested by us so we can reach new people in new places with the hopeful message of the gospel. So whatever you can do is greatly appreciated. Now, some of you can send a lot.

Be generous if you can. Some of you maybe can only send a little. But whatever you send, I'll send you back a copy of this brand new book, Divine Disruption. And we have your copy waiting for you right now. Let us get this on its way to you.

What a healing resource for you or for someone you know who's in pain right now. What a great personal ministry on your part to get this book and gift it to them with your prayers. We'll send you the book Divine Disruption to thank you for your donation.

It's an investment in helping us bring the hope of the gospel each day here on A New Beginning. So get in touch today. You can find us online at harvest.org. Or write us at A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, California 92514. Or call us anytime 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 1-800-821-3300. Again, that's 1-800-821-3300. Are you receiving Pastor Greg's daily devotions each day via email?

If not, let's take care of that right now. You can sign up today free of charge at harvest.org. And you'll receive a daily inspirational thought from God's word each day in your inbox. Again, go to harvest.org. Well, next time, the importance of revival in our time and the part God wants each of us to play. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. The preceding podcast was made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God. Learn how to become a Harvest Partner, sign up for daily devotions, and find resources to help you grow in your faith at harvest.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-03 12:10:11 / 2023-06-03 12:20:18 / 10

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