One of the greatest authorities on revival, Leonard Ravenhill (1907–1994) declared that “America is in Danger yet America is Too young To Die….This is the most critical time in American history.”
“For the last fifty years I have watched Great Britain decay during her lingering agony of alternating fits of sanity and of stupefaction. Today England is no longer considered a world power. Most say that she is both morally and spiritually decadent. Must the United States follow her? I pray not. We are considered by most folk to be on the skids. Our dollar is sick.
Our morality is sick. At two o’clock one morning a man called me and tearfully sobbed, “Ravenhill, I am just reading Why Revival Tarries, and I found out three things: my Nation is sick, my church is sick, and I am sick.”
Just the other day Ron Paul described what is happening to America:
If Americans were honest with themselves they would acknowledge that the Republic is no more. We now live in a police state. If we do not recognize and resist this development, freedom and prosperity for all Americans will continue to deteriorate. All liberties in America today are under siege. It didn’t happen overnight. It took many years of neglect for our liberties to be given away so casually for a promise of security from the politicians. The tragic part is that the more security was promised — physical and economic — the less liberty was protected.
With cradle-to-grave welfare protecting all citizens from any mistakes and a perpetual global war on terrorism, which a majority of Americans were convinced was absolutely necessary for our survival, our security and prosperity has been sacrificed.It was all based on lies and ignorance. Many came to believe that their best interests were served by giving up a little freedom now and then to gain a better life.
The trap was set. At the beginning of a cycle that systematically undermines liberty with delusions of easy prosperity, the change may actually seem to be beneficial to a few. But to me that’s like excusing embezzlement as a road to leisure and wealth — eventually payment and punishment always come due. One cannot escape the fact that a society’s wealth cannot be sustained or increased without work and productive effort. Yes, some criminal elements can benefit for a while, but reality always sets in.
Reality is now setting in for America and for that matter for most of the world. The piper will get his due even if “the children” have to suffer. The deception of promising “success” has lasted for quite a while. It was accomplished by ever-increasing taxes, deficits, borrowing, and printing press money. In the meantime the policing powers of the federal government were systematically and significantly expanded. No one cared much, as there seemed to be enough “gravy” for the rich, the poor, the politicians, and the bureaucrats.
Michael Snyder echoes the same thing:
The country that our forefathers founded is dying. Now, individuals and organizations that attempt to restore the values that our founders once believed in so strongly are regarded as dangerous “extremists” that need to be watched carefully. In the name of fighting “terrorism” or “extremism”, our government is constructing a Big Brother police state control grid all around us.
Sadly, most Americans don’t even realize what is happening to this nation. As long as they are fed a constant diet of mindless entertainment, most Americans are perfectly content to let “the experts” do their thinking for them. We are steamrolling toward oblivion, and most of the country is dead asleep.
“Revival or Perish!”
When God sent revival or a Great Awakening in Britain in the eighteenth century, He saved her from the bloodshed that had happened in France during the time of the French Revolution. This awakening was truly a reformation of the heart. The impact that this Great Awakening through both George Whitefield and John Wesley had on this country and its people was unfathomable; it had far-reaching effects and lasted well over a hundred years. In four waves, it crossed the Atlantic and brought conversion to of 20% of the population in America.
The urgent message echoing from coast to coast today in America and Britain is “Revival or Perish!” Revivalist Jonathan Edwards best known for the First Great Awakening and his sermon “Sinners in Hands of Angry God” once declared that:
The wrath of God is like great waters that are dammed for the present. They increase more and more, and rise higher and higher, till an outlet is given, and the longer the stream is stopped, the more rapid and mighty its course, when once it is let loose.”
The work of the Holy Spirit went beyond convicting the sinner of the need for repentance and Christ. Edwards wrote that for the people it was a “dreadful thing” to think of being outside of Christ when hell awaited them daily.
The Spirit also burrowed into the hearts of believers. An example of the powerful work of the Holy Spirit is the story of an elderly woman in her 70s, who had spent most of her adult life under the teaching of Solomon Stoddard, who was Jonathan’s grandfather.
Reading his scripted sermon, about Christ’s suffering for sinners, she seemed to see it for the first time. She wondered how Stoddard could have missed such a wonderful concept, and then realized she had heard it from him many times. She understood how ungrateful she had been to sin against God and such a loving Saviour, even though everyone vouched for her as one of the most pious and good women in the town. But she was so overcome with this conviction in her heart through the Holy Spirit that her family thought she was dying.
Another eyewitness observed, “Before the sermon was done – there was a great groaning and crying out through the whole house.” Edwards warned: Let everyone that is out of Christ now awake and fly from the wrath to come.”
Indeed they awoke. The most noted sermon in American history caused a tidal wave throughout the colonies known as the First Great Awakening. Tens of thousands fell on their faces in repentance. Christians were revived. Pagans were converted. The hearts of the people were being prepared for the conflict just ahead that would determine destiny…the Revolutionary War. There is no more devastating judgment than war. Most of the great revivals in history came before the judgment, not during or after.
The first great awakening in America preceded the Revolutionary War, which terribly devastated the cities and countryside of America. The Second Great Awakening preceded the Civil War, which was the most devastating war in America’s history. The Welsh Revival, which greatly impacted the whole world, but especially Europe, preceded World War I.
Frank Bartleman (1871–1936) was one of the key players in the Azusa Street Revival. He wrote many articles for Pentecostal magazines and his extensive research became one of the most important sources in understanding the events surrounding the Pentecostal revival. In July 1905 he wrote an article for the Wesleyan Methodist in which he said:
Mercy rejected means judgment, and on a corresponding scale. In all of the history of God’s world, there has always been first the offer of divine mercy, then judgment following. The prophets ceased not day and night to faithfully warn Israel, but their tears and entreaties for the most part proved in vain. The awful destruction of Jerusalem, in 70 A.D., which resulted in the extermination of a million Jews and captivity of multitudes more, was preceded by the offer of divine mercy at the hands of the Son of God Himself. In 1859 a great revival wave visited the United States, sweeping a half a million souls into the fountain of salvation. Immediately the terrible carnage of 1861–1865 [the Civil War] followed. And so, as we anticipate the coming revival, which is already assuming rapidly world-wide proportions, we wonder if judgment will follow mercy, as other times. And judgment in proportion to the mercy extended.
What Should We do?
We need to repent, humble ourselves and seek God’s mercy and grace in this impending distress. Holy Spirit Prayers can make a huge difference. It doesn’t matter what those in power are trying to do. Remember we are not fighting against flesh and blood. We are fighting demonic powers that strengthen and guide human beings. It’s only the persistent and prevailing prayers, fasting and intercession of faithful men and women that will defeat the enemy. As Christians we have the authority from God to cast out and overcome these demonic forces through prayer and intercession in the name of Jesus Christ.
Yes, prayer does work. John Knox was a man famous for his power in prayer, It is not a surprise that Queen Bloody Mary is said to have feared the prayers of John Knox more than the trampling feet of the armies of Europe. And events showed that she had reason to do it. John Knox used to be in such agony for the deliverance of his country, that he could not sleep. He had a place in his garden where he used to go and pray.
One night he and several friends were praying together, and as they prayed, Knox spoke and said that deliverance had come. He could not tell what had happened, but he felt that something had taken place, for God had heard their prayers. What was it? Why, the next news they had was, that Bloody Mary was dead!