Summary: The Body of Christ in America needs to be revived in the New Year of 2005. They need to follow the example of King Hezekiah and do the two crucial steps common to all revivals.
Revive In 2005 (part 1)
Thesis: The Body of Christ in America needs to be revived in the New Year of 2005. They need to follow the example of King Hezekiah and do the two crucial steps common to all revivals.
I am the New Year.
I am an unspoiled page in your book of time.
I am your next chance at the art of living.
I am your opportunity
to practice what you have learned during
the last twelve months about life.
All that you sought the past year
and failed to find is hidden in me;
I am waiting for you to search it out
again and with more determination.
All the good that you tried to do
for others and didn’t achieve last year
is mine to grant-- providing you have
fewer selfish and conflicting desires.
In me lies the potential
of all that you dreamed but didn’t
dare to do, all that you hoped
but did not perform.
All you prayed for
but did not yet experience -
these dreams slumber lightly,
waiting to be awakened by the touch
of an enduring purpose -
I am your opportunity
to renew your allegiance to Him who said,
"behold, I make all things new."
I am the new year.
Author Unknown: "Behold, I make all things new."
Rev 21:5 Jesus
We today are entering into a New Year a chance at a new start a new beginning with our lives. It’s a new chapter in our book of life. So what are you going to write about in this new chapter? You hold the pen to this chapter in your life it is yours to write. Will it be chapter filled with hopelessness and despair. Will it be a chapter filled with repentance and revival of your heart. Will it be a chapter filled with the same ho hum life of the previous chapter. Will it be an exciting chapter in your life or a sleeper chapter. Will people get excited when they read this chapter about your life or will they think this is boring! Will it be a chapter filled with the awe of miracles and revival like the ones written about Charles Finney the father of American revival!
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.
4. Christians will have their faith renewed…they will see things in that strong light which will renew the love of God in their hearts. This will lead them to labor zealously to bring others to him.
5. A revival breaks the power of the world and of sin over Christians.
6. When the churches are thus awakened and reformed, the reformation and salvation of sinners will follow…
Charles Finney brought revival and the presence and the life transforming power of God to America in the early 1800’s and it forever changed the hearts of 100,000 of people. Finney reminds me of another revivalist. This man’s name and story is found in the Old Testament.