When a place is without a church or a message of hope and redemption, moral conditions will inevitably decline. Today, we are in the midst of severe cultural, moral, and spiritual decline in America. Is it possible that God will bless us again with awakening?
That was also the case in the America west of the mountains in the early 1800’s. By 1800, nearly a million people moved west to the area beyond the Blue Ridge mountains, settling in Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, the Northwest, and in Indian Territory.
Churches were scarce. America needed and received a second Great Awakening that began in the early 1800’s and continued until 1830.
Many people place the beginning of the revival in 1799 in Logan County, Kentucky, where Methodist and Presbyterian preachers joined forces. Those attending the revival would camp out for two or three nights. The revival in Cane Ridge, Kentucky, in 1801 drew as many as 15,000 to 20,000 people. Between 1800 and 1803 more than 10,000 new believers were swept (by the Holy Spirit) into the Kentucky churches.
The Methodists (with their methodical way) led the movement. The Methodists established districts of churches which were ministered to by circuit riding preachers. The circuit riders came from among the people and spoke the language of the frontier. One of their innovations was the establishment of “Sunday Schools” to teach the children the three R’s.
The Second Great Awakening resulted in thousands of people being saved. Their personal deliverance encouraged a public deliverance as well. Many people believe that this spiritual awakening had more of a profound influence on American society than any other. This revival caused Christians to become passionate about needed changes, including prison reform, temperance, women’s voting, and the abolition of slavery.
Charles G. Finney, one of America’s greatest preachers, strongly supported giving freedom to the slaves and encouraged the Underground Railroad. Finney held revivals in Boston in which 50,000 people put their faith in Christ in one week. Finney asked the question: “What will you do with Jesus Christ?” and demanded a decision.
“Perhaps that is a fitting description of what happened across America through the Second Great Awakening. Hundreds of thousands put their faith in Christ and went on to exert a profound spiritual and social impact in their day.”
May God do so and more in our own day. What is it today that is bringing a blight on America? What would happen with a profound spiritual revival?
Is this possible in America? This is what God says: “If my people, who are called by my name, will 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).
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