Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Little History Lesson

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. 2 Chronicles 7:14

The Need for Spiritual Awakening – A Little History Lesson
America was settled by people looking for religious freedom. Our founders had a strong desire to be pleasing to god and to do his will.  They proclaimed that they had come to the new world for "the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith." Other nations, for the most part, came into existence by conquest for selfish and ambitious motives. But it was primarily in the atmosphere of God, not gold, that America was born.

One Hundred and Fifty years passed by from the time of the earliest settlers to the beginning of our nation and we're not very proud of some of the things that happened during those years. After the original settlers died off, many of their descendants were more concerned with increasing their wealth and comfort than being faithful to God and His Word. 

Wave after wave of immigrants arrived; many of them came for other reasons and with entirely different motives than those earliest settlers.  England dumped "undesirables" out of its prisons and sent them as "indentured servants".  Slavery was introduced and men began to exercise their power.
The Salem witch trials began in Massachusetts. The spiritual atmosphere deteriorated rapidly.  Churches were dying and many who had sought religious freedom for themselves became intolerant of others. In 1730, only 10% of the people in the colonies attended church.  That which had begun "for the glories of God and the advancement of the Christian faith" had almost disappeared from our land. 

But then something amazing happened!  In the 1730's and 40's, America experienced "The Great Awakening."  Great crusades and revivals spread throughout the 13 Colonies bringing so many people to Christ. A handful of preachers - Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, John Wesley, and others - began to preach in the churches and in the streets and in the fields. Tens of thousands dedicated their lives to Jesus Christ and were baptized. By the end of the 1740's openly-devout Christians made up 50% or more of Americans.

Why am I telling you all this? Because this spiritual revival was a precursor to the American Revolution.  Our Founding Fathers, the signers of the Declaration of Independence, those who wrote our Constitution and the Bill of Rights, those who put their lives on the line, who fought and died that we might be free - all these grew up and came into leadership while this "Great Awakening" was engulfing the land. The generation that experienced the "Great Awakening" became the leaders of the American Revolution!

Today the only hope we have as a nation is just such an act of God across America. We need to turn back to Him and the principles and morals our country was founded on.  We have turned away from the standards of long ago and too many live recklessly and selfishly.  For many Americans, God is not even a part of their life.  As a country we desperately need to put God in His right place before we have to experience the wrath of His judgement. 

Scripture to Claim:

Things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.    Psalm 78:3-4

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