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"Backsliding starts in such a subtle way that most of us are not aware of it, and many of us may be backslidden and may not realize it."
Finney coined the following thoughts about revival from his lectures and book called "Revivals of Religion" (1835):
“A revival always includes the conviction of sin on the part of the church…In a true revival, Christians are always brought under such convictions, they see their sins in such light , that often they find it impossible to maintain a hope of their acceptance with God…Backslidden Christians will be brought to repentance. A revival is nothing else than a new beginning of obedience to God. Just as in the case of a converted sinner, the first step is a deep repentance, a breaking down into the dust before God, with deep humility, and forsaking of sin…Christians will have their faith renewed…A revival breaks the power of the world and of sin over Christians. It brings them to such vantage ground that they get a fresh impulse towards heaven. They have a new foretaste of heaven, and new desire after union with God; and the charm of the world is broken, and the power of sin overcome…When the churches are thus awakened and reformed, the reformation and salvation of sinners will follow, going through the same stages of conviction, repentance, and reformation. Their hearts will be broken down and changed” (pages 15-17).
DON'T FORGET ABOUT GROWING
In N. Ireland, during the troubles there, some of those caught up in paramilitary violence would be converted, and no sooner were they saved than they were paraded from church to church sharing their testimony as an ex-paramilitary. Such events often drew large crowds, but you know what it did for many of the men concerned? It caused them to shrivel on the vine. These were often new believers. They needed to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus, but because they were so often ministering, and so rarely ministered to many of them soon grew weak, cold, and backslidden. That’s a real danger.
Christian History Issue 20 stated, “Charles Grandison Finney is considered America’s greatest past revivalist. Church roles swelled in the wake of Finney’s revivals. Though it is hard to gather accurate statistics, he is often directly, or indirectly credited with conversions of around 500,000.” The time frame was in the 1830’s. It is said that his revival meetings transformed entire towns. It is said that in some towns after the meetings the bars would close down because there was no business for them and churches would spring up in their place. He stated in his message that he was to show what revival is.
Charles Finney made a significant impression upon the religious life of 19th century America, and his influence is still evident today. Called the “father of modern revivalism” by some historians, he paved the way for later revivalists like Dwight L. Moody, Billy Sunday, and Billy Graham. He constructed a theology that harmonized with the ideals of the Jacksonian era; if President Andrew Jackson was the political folk-hero of early l9th-century America, Charles Grandison Finney was its religious folk-hero. Just as the American frontier was being widened and common folk were getting the vote, Finney gave the public an opportunity to cast their votes on the matter of salvation. Charles Grandison Finney19th Century Giant of American Revivalism: Christian History, Issue 20, (Carol Stream, IL: Christianity Today, Inc.) 1997.
He stated the following about revival: The following is taken from Christian History page 31, 32:
1. A revival always includes the conviction of sin on the part of the church.
2. Backslidden Christians will be brought to repentance.
3. A revival is nothing else than a new beginning of obedience to God. Just as in the case of a converted sinner, the first step is a deeper repentance, a breaking down of the heart, a getting down into the dust before God, with deep humility, and a forsaking of sin.
The boy scout was really excited about going on the annual winter camperee. With a couple feet of snow on the ground, the setting was perfect for a great weekend.
His was one of the first troops to hike in and set up camp. The boy scout, along with his troop, forged into the wilderness. Upon arrival, they set up camp and prepared for their weekend adventure.
After pitching his tent, the boy scout realized that he had left something in the bus. So, he proceeded to take the long walk back to the bus which was a few miles away. Feeling confident in his "retriever skills," he did not take care to look for the important landmarks which would show him the way back to camp.
Coming back from the bus proved to be an unplanned adventure. The confusion from other scouts setting up their own camps caused him to question which paths to take. After awhile, every path looked the same. To say that he was getting worried would be an obvious observation. "How could I have missed it? If only I could find something (or someone) familiar."
The backslider is a lot like this confused boyscout. They forget to set familiar landmarks in place to keep themselves on track. What are those landmarks? Regular t...