If you didn’t pay attention or if it was not covered when you went to school, the First Great Awakening took place in the early 1700's in the American colonies. It started in New England and is associated with names such as Jonathan Edwards. It was a spiritual revival that spread through the churches and molded the culture. What is called the Second Great Awakening took place around 100 years later with similar results. I have heard different people talk about the need for revival in America. I personally think it is the only hope for the country. I have heard different people mention a Third Great Awakening. I have heard some who feel it is going on now. I do not see any evidence of that, but I don’t get out much.
Be careful what you pray for. The First Great Awakening came one generation before the American Revolution. The Second Great Awakening came one generation before the American Civil War. If we have a third it might lead to that kind of upheaval.
Each revival brought to a head cultural stresses that were major issues of the times. The first revival had to do with the idea of liberty from the mother country. Were we capable of governing ourselves or had God placed special people, royalty and nobles, in a position to tell us what to do? It was not resolved and lead to war. The second revival had to do with the issue of slavery. If God had created all men and we were all created equal as the Declaration of Independence said, how could slavery continue? Eventually this lead to the most devastating war we have experienced. Currently we have a number of stresses. One has to do with abortion and whether a baby in the womb has any rights. The other has to do with the definition of marriage and the propriety of homosexuality. The government keeps pushing in to tell people what to believe. How will it be resolved? With violence? I hope not.
At least once a religious revival changed a country without violence. I speak of the Methodist revival brought about by the teaching of John Wesley. Large numbers of people were brought into contact with God and had their lives changed. This took place when Great Britain was on pins and needles over the same issues that caused the French Revolution. It also lead to the end of the slave trade in the British Empire. The Methodist revival kept a war from happening.
What does the future hold? Revival or decay. At present it looks like decay is winning but if enough of God’s people will turn to Him in repentance, there is hope. Remember the important verse about this.
(2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV) If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.The ball is in our court.
homo unius libri