I am convinced that America's greatest days and the church's greatest days are still in our future. I know this is contrary to the popular notion that our best days are in the past and that we are in an irreversible, downhill slide into oblivion. This was my view until one summer day in 2010 when I was unexpectedly arrested in my car by the Holy Spirit who showed me a different way to look at the future.
Being a passionate student of revival and having seen so many hyped, man-made revivals in the previous two decades, I had given up hope that America would ever see another great, national spiritual awakening that would revive the churches of our land, impact our culture and stem the tide of false religion, secularism and immorality. But all this changed that hot July day in 2010 while driving from Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Kingfisher, Oklahoma.
I had been invited to speak at the Church of God in Kingfisher pastored by my friends, Gary and Helen Barnhart. As I pulled onto the highway to begin my 2-hour-or-more journey, and without expecting any such thing, my mind suddenly began to be flooded with exciting thoughts of hope and faith that America could see another great spiritual awakening. God's presence seemed to fill my vehicle and I was hardly aware of my surroundings as I drove for the next 2 1/2 hours with these thoughts of spiritual awakening flooding my mind.
When I arrived at my hotel I could hardly wait to get settled in my room and begin writing down the thoughts and concepts that were continuing to inundate my heart and mind. This visitation continued far into the night and out of that experience came my book, America's Revival Heritage.
There were two things that were highlighted to me in that experience. First of all, I received the assurance that America can see another Great Awakening. Biblical eschatology, which is doctrine of the end times, does not preclude great revivals as many today assume. The same Bible that speaks of perilous times and the love of many waxing cold at the end of the age, also speaks of the last days as being the time of a great universal outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all flesh (Acts 2:17).
Secondly, I saw for the first time that there was a direct bearing of the First Great Awakening on the founding of this nation. I had studied and written about this revival that had transformed colonial America, but now I saw, for the first time, that there was a direct link between this Awakening and the founding of the nation. This is documented in my book, America's Revival Heritage.
Through a series of providential events this past fall, I created a "Revive America" PowerPoint presentation in which I document America's overt Christian beginnings. I then began doing "Revive America" events in which I present this evidence for America being birthed out of spiritual awakening and also present a call to God's people to pray for another Great Spiritual Awakening in our land. Interestingly, the first "Revive America" event was held in the Capital District of Albany/ Schenectady, New York, the area that George Barna recently identified as the most post-Christian area in America.
Yes, I know that new challenges await us in 2015. I am not oblivious to the world in which we live. Nonetheless, I also know that God is still on His throne, Jesus is still at His right hand and the Holy Spirit is being poured out on all flesh. There is, therefore, no reason why we should not pray and expect God to send another Great Awakening in our day.
Dr. Eddie L. Hyatt is an author, historian and Bible teacher. His books, including America's Revival Heritage, can be found on Amazon and at his website at eddiehyatt.com/bookstore.html.
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