2000-01-25 - Revival
The Revival Series, Part 5
Psalm 85:7 Show us Thy lovingkindness, O Lord, and grant us Thy salvation.
The greatest revival in the world was the Reformation. The Reformation can be traced back to Wiclif, in the fourteenth century, Hus in the fifteenth century, and Luther and Calvin in the sixteenth century. The Reformation was a special dispensation of the Spirit of God when superstition and clerical error were overcome with the Scriptures and a greater reliance upon the Word of God.
In the Reformation the truth of Christ and the Gospel of salvation were re understood. One of the key reasons for this was because the Bible was now in the hands of the common person. In the past the Bible was only in Latin and only kept in the church, but in the Reformation, Luther's common German Bible was available to everyone. The Bible in the common tongue was one of the great introductions, into common life, that the Reformation brought.
So many converts to the Gospel of Christ were won in the Reformation that persecution sprung up, but it did so in vain. So many were converted in Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Great Britain, France, Spain, and Italy that the fires of persecution could not stem the tide. The Reformation was the greatest revival of religion the world has seen and its influence still reaches to today.
In Scotland, under the leadership of John Knox, the revival of the Reformation was so pervasive that one historian explained it by saying, "The whole nation was converted by lump." The Holy Spirit came to Scotland in such power, and people were so mightily affected that all the ministers in Scotland were said to renew their relationship with the Lord with, "sighs and groans, and tears."
Similar scenes were witnessed all over Scotland. In 1630, under the preaching of Robert Bruce, the Spirit added over 500 souls to the household of faith in just one day. This was again seen in Edinburgh, in 1638, when the whole nation signed a national covenant of dedication to Christ. It was the blessing of God and the outpouring of His Spirit led to the flowing of tears of repentance and faith in an entire nation.
It would be easy to call these items of history, simply things that happened long ago and things that are far distant from our present experience. It would be sad to do so. For the same Spirit who worked in the past is the Spirit who lives and moves today. Revivals in the past were His doing and He is ever capable of bringing a new Reformation or a new revival today. Let us be faithful to pray that we might have such a visitation soon.
Soli Deo Gloria,
If you would like information on how to acquire a sermon preached at the last national revival in the United States (1858) send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.