Do We Need Another Great Awakening

This is a

 “Clarion Call”

“Blow the trumpet in Zion;

    sound the alarm on my holy mountain.”(Joel 2:1)

It’s time for all people to awaken from their slumber. 

This is a time to see clearly the signs of the times.

No.14  JudeoChristianClarion.Com  “Does America Need Another Great                 Awakening”

America has seen four Great Awakenings, starting back in the early 1700’s with people like John Calvin and Jonathan Edwards.

Calvin  taught about faith and predestination, and the grace of God. Edwards taught that man was a sinner and God was an angry God.

 It was the “Age of Reasoning”. It was the 1st awakening. The basic doctrine was: 

Sin without salvation sends people to hell. 

People can be saved if they confess their sins to God, and seek forgiveness, and accept God’s grace.

A person can have a direct and emotional connection to God.

Religion shouldn’t be formal, and institutionalized, but casual and personal.

When the 2nd Awakening came in 1790 and lasted till 1840, religion spread  through revivals like in Kentucky and Tennessee and emotional preaching by those preachers who would cry and quiver and shake as they preached.  It also led to an emphasis on salvation by institutions which led to the start of several known colleges and seminaries and mission societies. People were encouraged to make a personal connection with God, instead of relying on a minister. Many new denominations had their beginning in the 2nd Awakening, but there was a divide between the people, for many people did not agree with all of the doctrine that was being preached. One in particular was the Baptist teaching that found its way to America  which is “Once saved, always saved.” This 

 was a Calvinistic teaching, one of many that the Baptist Church has had over the last 400 years.

Then came the 3rd Awakening in 1855 which was part of the “Romantic Religious Movement” of the second awakening that was sweeping across England, Scotland and Germany. This time also brought religious activism and it continued as the people entered into the 20th Century. The church saw strong social activism along with the belief of the Second Coming of Messiah which would occur after the entire world was reformed. This began the “Social Gospel Movement” which applied social issues to Christian faith.  Again many new denominations were born, and many moral issues were taken up by Christians. The church did not only grow in numbers, but also in wealth. An intellectual writer named Josiah Strong  advocated for what he called a “Muscular Chrisitanity” and that gave way to outreach to the unchurched not only in America but around the world. This era saw the beginning of the Salvation Army and the start of many orphanages and missions. And then came the Civil War, but after the war things picked up where they left off and the “Progressive Era” continued. Different denominations started colleges and the YMCA became popular in promoting that Muscular Chrisitanity as it reached the young men on campus.

Then in 1960 came the 4th Awakening and it lasted till the 1980’s. Many people do not think that this time was an awakening, but many changes did occur. As the mainline protestant churches weakened in membership and influence, the conservative denominations grew rapidly. There arose great internal theological battles and schisms in many churches and the church became politically powerful. Evangelical and fundamentalist denominations grew rapidly and at the same time secularism grew dramatically and more conservative churches saw themselves battling issues such as gay rights, abortion and creationism. There was a shift to having a personal relationship with the Savior. “Non-denominational” churches and “community faith centers” began. Megachurches, (why have 200 hundred members when you could have 2,000?) and non-traditional churches with conservative theologies and parachurch organizations all began at this time. In the early 1960’s came the awakening of the “Charismatic Movement”, and more so in 1967 when the Catholic Church was beginning its ecumenical beliefs, and the church was putting more emphasis on lay spirituality than on conventional institutional ways. The Charismatic Movement began in 1906 when a group of people in Los Angeles, California had been seeking God fervently  as they met in a little place on Azusa Street were overcome by the Holy Spirit, and revival broke out and that led to the “Pentecostal Movement”. This was a time of religious leaders like Billy Graham and his crusades and civil rights activist, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This was the time that organizations like the Moral Majority and the Chrisitan Coalition saw many Chrisitans get involved in politics.

So the question is, “Does America need another awakening?”

To that answer I say “NO,” not if  it is like  what we have seen over the decades, which has had nothing to do with God’s Word, nor with salvation. It has nothing to do with people drawing closer to God. Just the opposite. We have seen Chrisitans become more and more like the world. Today there are more people than ever, who do not belong to a church, nor do they consider themselves Christians, and even pastors, who do not even believe in the tenets of  the faith of Chrisitianity. Instead of new souls coming to the Lord increasing, believers have fallen away. We have seen the Word of God diluted and polluted. We have substituted activism, social and political, in place of prayer. We do not know how to fight the spiritual battle, which is the source where all social and political problems start, for we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12). We do not contend for the faith, nor do we even know what it means to fight the good fight.  We are to be strong and put on the lifestyle of the Armor of God, along with prayer, (Ephesians 6:10-18). Today believers do not even read God’s Word, let alone know it. But  if believers would read God’s Word, and let the Word of God, which is the sword of the Holy Spirit, teach us, for Scripture always explains Scripture. People who have taught us over the decades have taught us  to the point  that the people of God do not even look like God, nor live like God’s children should live, but instead we look like the world.  We have been taught to disregard the majority of God’s Word, which is the foundation to all the rest of the knowledge that’s in the Bible. Our lives are to be an example, a light to the world. We are set apart and made holy when we keep the commandments of God, and here are a few examples,  in 1 John 3:17, “But whoever has worldly goods and sees his brother or sister in need, and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God remain in him?” 

James 1:27, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”

 John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, that a person will lay down his life for his friends.”

Our Constitution says that we can protest peacefully, but God’s Word tells us this in Philippians 4:6-7,“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and pleading with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Messiah Yeshua.” 

We have had a so-called great awakening four times in this country and every time we have gone through one of these periods we have not been drawn closer to God, but we have drifted further and further from the truth. Yeshua is our example and we need to follow in His footsteps. He never got political, he never fought for social issues. He came to do the work of His Father and that was to save souls and to bring truth, and light into the world. He called out sin and He spoke of repentance and He spoke of the kingdom. And He said this in John 15:1-11, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.  Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.  You are already clean because of the Word which I have spoken to you.  Remain in Me, and I in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself but must remain in the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in Me.  I am the vine, you are the branches; the one who remains in Me, and I in him bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not remain in Me, he is thrown away like a branch and dries up; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.  If you remain in Me, and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I also have loved you; remain in My love.  If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love.  These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”

What happened to the commandments? What happened to the shed blood by which we are saved? What happened to repenting from sin? What happened to hell? What happened to holiness and godliness? We now have a social gospel, and a seeker friendly church, and none of it has to do with salvation, repentance and prayer, and fighting the spiritual battle. The world is not our home, and if we love one another we will fulfill God’s commandments, but the truth must stay the truth, and the light must be the true light, and we must be the children of God, and to do so, we must not only walk like our Master Yeshua, but we must look like Him, and talk like Him, and to do that we must be one with Him.

No we do not need another man- made change to our religious beliefs, what we do need is a true revival of the Holy Spirit in our lives, for He is the Spirit of truth and He will lead us in all truth. He will make us godly and holy. Let’s begin to seek God out fervently, and ask God to bring us back to truth and light. What we need is a move of God. The Holy Spirit who will wake us up, and cause us to repent. We must ask God to send the Holy Spirit and revive us once again.

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