Summary: In a book entitled “Revival Fires and Awakenings” Mathew Backholer describes thirty moves of the Holy Spirit that produced revivals or Awakenings (big revivals) in various parts of the world over the last 300 years.
Which brand of Christianity do I follow, man’s or God’s?
1 Pet 1:15 But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct
In a book entitled “Revival Fires and Awakenings” Mathew Backholer describes thirty moves of the Holy Spirit that produced revivals or Awakenings (big revivals) in various parts of the world over the last 300 years. He quotes extensively from the writings of many of the highly esteemed leaders of those revivals as well as some of the most widely respected Bible Teachers of recent Church history. A significant portion of these quotes, six of which are given below, relate to the contrast between the authentic on fire Christianity that always follows a revival and the lukewarm counterfeit Christianity that often precedes it. It is the sad opinion of Mr. Backholer, shared by some, that the Church today closely resembles that which preceded many of these great revivals and reflects the urgent need for a new and great re-awakening of those who profess to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Charles Finney: Mr. Backholer notes that before Charles Finney began his crusades, roughly over the period 1825-1835, Church membership in America stood at about 200,000 people. After Finney’s crusades, resulting in America’s second great awakening, Church membership stood at 3 million or close to half of the adult population of America. Concerning the results of one particular crusade in Rochester, New York in 1830 Mr. Backholer quotes from a book “Finding the reality of God” by Paris Reidhead :-
“Finney was in Rochester New York where a blue ribbon committee of outstanding citizens was appointed by Henry Ward Beecher to study the converts who, a decade earlier, had come to Christ under Finney’s preaching. It was found that 85% of those who had made professions of faith under Finney’s preaching were still faithfully living for Christ. (160 years later Reader’s Digest identified Rochester as the kindest city in America and its residents attributed this to Jesus Christ and the Finney crusade of 1830).
In contrast It is reported that only one half of one percent who make decisions for Christ in our evangelistic meetings today will be living as Christians two years from now.” “This is how far we have strayed from the word of God” (and preaching God’s whole counsel).
In this connection Mr. Backholer then quotes Charles Finney himself as saying: “Away with your milk and water preaching of the love of Christ that has no holiness or moral discrimination in it, away with your preaching of Christ not crucified for sin”.
Heb 12:14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:
Andrew Murray the highly regarded Bible Teacher, is quoted as having written: “It is comparatively easy to win people to a cross, but to a cross that leaves them un-crucified”.
Gal 5:24 And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Duncan Campbell the principal leader of the 1949 Revival on the Island of Lewis is quoted as saying: “Oh beware, beware of the cross that leaves you un-crucified; we sometimes say that in the natural world we “live to die”, but in the spiritual world we “die to live” that’s the answer, that’s the secret.”
Luke 9:23-24 Then He (Jesus) said to them all, "If anyone desires to come after Me,
let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it”.
A W Tozer, Pastor and widely respected Bible Teacher from the Christian and Missionary Alliance group of Churches in the 20th century is quoted as saying “ It is my opinion that tens of thousands of people, if not millions, have been brought into some kind of religious experience by accepting Christ and they have not been saved”. (The root meaning of the word “saved” is “to be made safe”, so to have “not been saved” means to have “not been made safe”. Made safe from what? In this present life this means to have been made safe – or saved - from all my enemies, namely, my own flesh, the world and the devil. Such safety or salvation comes only as I believe that I am crucified with Christ, risen with Him and currently living in Him. And to be made safe with respect to eternity, and not, because of my enemies, to lose my heavenly election, comes by my dying now to myself and for my life to remain hidden with Christ in God. And so my calling and election can be made sure – 2 Pet 1:10).
Luke 1:71-75 That we should be saved from our enemies…that we…might serve Him (God) without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.