In his message at TGC’s 2021 National Conference, John Yates teaches on the successes of The Great Awakening of the 1700s to1800s and what this historical revival can show us.
Yates explains five things that made the ministry and revival of the early awakeners so effective:
1. Their message always started with man’s lostness and inability to live up to the standard of God. It always ended with the atonement of Christ and a call to new birth and true faith that brings assurance of salvation.
2. Their delivery was filled with a great sense of duty and responsibility to bring others to Christ.
3. Their community was set up from the beginning to have small groups with high commitment where honesty and accountability for Christian living were the focus.
4. Their emotions, flowing from their devotion to Christ, had a place, and the awakeners used them in their music and writings.
5. Their leaders were well trained and educated.
Yates closes with encouragement and urges us to pray for revival now as we rely on the Holy Spirit to move.
The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy.
glad you are here today, whether you’re here, watching, you know through the internet somewhere or listening on a car, radio or wherever you are, I’m glad we can be together here today. Thank you for joining me today to talk about something important. I wish I had the time to talk to you about the whole idea of spiritual awakening, and how these have taken place over the centuries. By God’s work. I don’t really have time to do that today, though. I also wish that I had time to tell you in detail just how bad life was in England 300 years ago, just before the great English awakening began. I don’t have time to do that either. All I can say is around 1700. In England, life was just awful. For about 98% of the people. It was a time of great immorality, a time where alcoholism was spread throughout the country. Working conditions were very, very difficult. They had a very poorly developed legal system, no police. People could be hung on the gallows for things as simple as stealing somebody’s sheep. And Thomas Carlyle, the great literary giant of 18th century wrote about England, and the early 18th century, he described it as England was stomach well fed, Soul extinct. And England was a land whose soul was extinct, the church was pretty dead. And it was not a happy time for people who live there unless you were in the top 1% of society. I want to tell you what God did, and the impact of what God did on English society because I think it’s really encouraging for us in our day. I’m John Yates. I’m not a historical expert. I’m just really interested in how God works. And I’ve been giving thought to this topic for some time. And the very first years of the 1700s a truly extraordinary group of men and women who became the first of the awakened errs were born John Wesley, Charles Wesley, George Whitfield, Celina Hastings, the Countess of Huntington, William Grimshaw, William Romain, and a small handful of others. They were all born within just a few years of one another. And almost all of them were unusually converted to Christ in separate circumstances, but within just a few months of one another, from various parts of the country, they were drawn together and used by the Holy Spirit to bring the fire of revival down on England. How did it begin? Around 1730, a handful of men who were students at Oxford became close friends, and they began to meet together because of their common desire to live worthwhile lives before God. And this in itself made it pretty unusual given the times in which they lived. They read what good literature they could find they challenge one another to care for their fellow man. And this serious way of life mark them out is quite unusual on the campus. Other students at the university, were preparing for the ordained ministry, but very few of them were really focused on Christian thinking or living. But the earnestness of these few men eventually drew them into the study of Christian writings. When George Whitfield joined the group in 1733. It brought the number to an even dozen, they were called the Holy Club. And all these men were familiar with the teachings of the Christian faith and the biblical story, but they knew almost nothing about the grace of God, which had been rediscovered by Luther 200 years earlier. The literature they read was moralistic, legalistic, they, they were religious, they took communion frequently they fasted they shared much of what they had with the poor, they visited the sick, they wanted to live righteous lives, they sought to refrain others from doing bad things and to go to church. And most of the other students simply disregarded them or made fun of them as religious fanatics. They were not having Gela calls. Their approach to religion was basically moralistic, and intellectual and their worship consisted mainly of just outward ritual. And they couldn’t get any lasting satisfaction from these practices. Because even though they had, they had the hands of the Christian life, they didn’t have the heart. They were focused on works of piety, self discipline, but they didn’t know the Lord. They hadn’t really been exposed to good biblical teaching. of the reformers in the Puritans and their religion was based on human effort. And in their later years, they all looked back and spoke about how empty their souls had been as young men together. Now eventually, most of these young men were ordained as clergyman in the Church of England, and John and Charles Wesley when his missionaries to southern Georgia, and their experience there was almost a complete failure. They came home tired, discouraged, empty, and certain that they did not know Christ, others who had been at university with them, like William Grimshaw, William Romain, they found employment in churches, but they had no conception of the gospel or how to minister effectively. George Whitfield stayed behind he continued his studies seeking a closer walk with God. Most of the others, that original group either pursued academics or went into the ordained ministry. But the remarkable thing is that each of these men was radically converted to living faith in Christ right about the same time right around 1736. The Wesley’s you may know this and encountered a group of German Evan Jellicle Christians on their way to America, who really impacted them greatly. And it was while they were meeting with these Moravian Christians, after returning to London that the Wesley’s had their hearts open to the Gospel, Whitfield have found in his studies a handful of Puritan books that began speaking to his soul, and he had a personal experience of conversion, walking alone at Oxford, they didn’t know quite how to describe what had happened to themselves. They had been like Luther living under the fear of God. Seeking the knowledge of God they lived under a cloud of guilt. Charles Wesley had written written in his journal, I longed to find Christ, that I might show him to all mankind. Aren’t my endeavors, a sufficient ground of hope? I had nothing else to trust. sometime in May 1738. However, Charles Wesley experienced the miracle of free grace, and he wrote a hymn of that title. We know it today. It’s and can it be that I should gain an interest in the Savior’s blood? died he for me, who caused his pain? For me, who hemmed to death pursued? Amazing Love. How can it be that that my God should die for me? Charles Wesley’s a personal rebirth led him into prolific years of handwriting, and his hymns were born out of his own spiritual experience
is personal study of the Bible. His songs and his hymns are loaded with biblical phrases. They’re filled with vibrant emotion. He had huge poetic gifts and the 1000s 1000s of hymns that he wrote during his life became the songs that buoyed the spirits and, and live and the worship of the 1000s of new believers in the new awakening, you can only say that the Holy Spirit of God was moving among the lives of these young men, Oxford graduates at the same time in various places, to bring them to an awareness of the gospel, to open their eyes to the truth of justification by faith, through the grace of God in Christ. And in each of them experienced in his own way, coming to the end of his own human resources, realizing that there was nothing they could do to find salvation. But it was at that point that each of them in a variety of ways, cast their souls on the mercy of God, and were given the assurance of the Holy Spirit that Christ was with them. And in them. George Whitfield described his experience in these words, he said, God was pleased to remove the heavy load, to enable me to lay hold of his dear Son by a living faith, and by giving me the spirit of adoption, to see to me even to the day of everlasting redemption. Oh, with what joy joy, unspeakable joy that was full of and big with glory was my soul filled, and the weight of sin went off, and an abiding sense of the pardoning love of God, and a full assurance of faith broke in upon my disconsolate soul. My joys were like a spring tide and overflowed the banks. These young men had needed something more than simple intellectual faith. They needed assurance and forgiveness and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, to give them an abiding sense of the reality of God’s presence. And when that happened, then justification by faith and Atonement by the blood of Christ and forgiveness of sins. All these essential articles of the Christian faith were made real to them and prayer cynnal by the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit, they experienced the presence of God in their lives. And this gave them a a spiritual dynamic that resulted in great zeal for Christ. As far as I can tell, all or nearly all the members that original holy cub had such experiences of conversion. They all describe this as a new birth. And they had an irrepressible desire to tell others what had happened to them the reality of Christ. Whitfield was the first really recognized preacher of the awakening. He was 23 years old when he first began to preach and by all accounts, from the very beginning, his preaching was like nothing anybody had ever heard. And within a few weeks of his first sermon, word spread of this unexpectedly powerful boy preacher, and people began coming out by the 1000s. To hear him so that he was forced to begin preaching out of doors in the field. It’s hard to describe the spiritual hunger of the people of that day. These people as I said, they had little to hope for and they had never encountered preachers who believed or proclaim so boldly a radical message of new life. Sometime later, a bishop of the Church of England wrote, describing what most of the clergy of that day were like he said, the vast majority of them were sunk in worldliness, and neither knew nor cared anything about their profession. They hunted they shot they farmed, they swore they drank, they gamble. They seem determined to know everything except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. They preached as seldom as they possibly could. And when they did preach, their sermons are so unspeakably and indescribably bad, that it is comforting to reflect that they were generally preached to empty pews.
However, the the wealthiest of the wealthy and the poorest of the poor, came out to hear Whitfield, and soon after, to hear the Wesley brothers and preaching out in the open was unheard of. But there was no other way to accommodate the crowds. They preached in the fields in the outskirts of London and moved on to Bristol and other cities, and nearly everywhere they went, the doors of the churches were closed to them, because of their unorthodox message and style. They were too enthusiastic for the church of that day. But people couldn’t be kept from coming to hear them when they were preaching out the doors. When and when we read their sermons today. They don’t seem to be really extraordinary in any particular way. They’re biblical, they’re doctrinal, they’re practical, their sermons emphasize the sinfulness of human beings, the hopelessness of our condition before God, they preached the atoning death of Christ, the possibility of justification before God through faith in Christ and the necessity of a new birth. Why were they so powerfully effective? Well, it grew out of their own personal experience. They had known utter misery, and their sense of separation from God. So now when they spoke about God’s loving offer of a new beginning of forgiveness of new life with Him forever, they spoke with such personal sincerity and enthusiasm, that the people who heard them said that it was as though these men were on fire when they preached. So people in that day were either starving for this message, or they were scandalized. By this was the case for the next 30 or 40 years, Whitfield Wesley’s and the others who they trained, preached all over England, and they often experienced opposition and painful life threatening persecution. But that was overcome by the massive response of so many people from town to town and village to village. from very beginning, each of these leaders saw the importance of training up local lay pastors and teachers to organize the converts into small groups, and they were known as societies or bands of men and women. And this follow up training was important, as the evangelistic preaching continued, it was as important as the preaching really, but years later, by the time the movement had matured, there were 1000s and 1000s of people in these little small groups, where they learned the basics of the Christian faith and life. In these groups, they were strongly encouraged to be as honest and open as they possibly could be about their own lives. And it was in these groups they learned to encourage and to help and to hold one another accountable for honest Christian living. And in these groups They learned the necessity of integrity of forgiveness of reconciliation of self discipline of Thrift, charity, moral restraint, self control. Many of them didn’t even know how to read, they learned to read in these groups. Understand the Word of God and, and gradually through these little groups, they began to take a genuine interest in the well being of one another. And they began to take care of one another in practical ways. And then these men and women began to care deeply about their neighbors. They began to look at their society, the communities with new eyes, and eventually they realized that things were in terrible shape in their country and things needed to change. I’ll say more about that in just a minute. The first generation of the Great Awakening, which was led by Whitfield in the Wesley’s what it was largely about evangelism and follow up discipleship. Whitfield was the greatest preacher of the group, John Wesley who possessed possessed enormous administrative ability, assumed the primary role of leadership and especially because Whitfield died at age 56. This awakening carried on over at least three generations, and the impact carried on to the fourth and fifth generations. And I’m not I’m not aware of any other such phenomenon. Since the first century AD, in which the church grew in depth and numbers as it did in England. Maybe maybe the Great East African revival of 100 years ago, equalled it. So under the tireless leadership of John Wesley scores of other men were trained as evangelistic preachers and teachers. And eventually, they began systematically visiting all parts of England preaching and overseeing these burgeoning fellowship and accountability groups that they had established. And over time, as time went by many of these evangelists eventually settled down in towns and villages as local pastors. And the impact of their work in these communities frequently was was frankly phenomenal. For instance, when Samuel Walker arrived in the Town of Truro in 1746, he soon began to see people converted, and after five years he had seen about 800 people converted, that was half the population of the village. When he died after 15 years of ministry in Truro. It was said to be the most Christian town in all of England. Most of the local pastors extended their ministry to the neighboring farming communities and settlements and over time, these communities, which had been godless, became Christianized and civilized. William Grimshaw minister for 20 years up in Yorkshire travelled relentlessly. He had a church, he ministered to those people, but he covered a broad swath of land at least 50 miles wide, riding on horseback walking, evangelizing pastoring he might preach up to 30 times a week. Those who responded in faith, as in other places were grouped into little classes, small groups to study and grow. So the first generation of a revival extended through the 1770s or 1780s. Then in the second generation, a whole host of God loving reformers grew up. And they they devoted their lives not just to evangelism, but to seeing to it that the poor and the mistreated and the suffering in their neighborhoods were protected. This was the generation of John Newton and William Wilberforce and his crusade to bring about the abolition of slavery. And Hannah Moore, the literary giant, his passion to educate children, and especially young women to convert the hearts and reformed the manners of the rich and famous led to a massive Christian output of poetry and plays and books that swept the nation. Wilberforce book on real Christianity, and Hannah mores creative, sparkling writing, did more to change the thinking and habits of Englishmen than one could have ever foreseen, people began thinking more Christianly about home life and society. That second generation saw the development of Bible Societies that produced and distributed the scriptures to the poor. And in just 10 short years, the British and Foreign Bible Society had more than 100,000 subscribers, and within 20 years, the Bible Society had over 1300 Different supportive groups around England. One scholar said England became drenched with Bible knowledge. Missionary societies began to be organized and to take the gospel into the heart of the inner cities where life was really wretched. Hundreds and 1000s of men and women were trained to visit the poorest of the poor, where they saw firsthand in the cities, the people’s need, not just for Bibles in the gospel, but for the most practical kind of help they needed sanitation and shelter and health care and education. And it was with this awareness, then that a third generation of reformers developed in the 1820s and 30s. The best known was Lord Ashley, the Earl of Shaftesbury, and he served in parliament for over 50 years. And he, along with many others, led this generation into a major era of national reform, not just through voluntary agencies, but through unprecedented parliamentary legislation. Between 1830 and 1870. England experienced massive reform through parliamentary action, reform of the judicial system, health laws, laws regarding children’s education, the age and conditions at which children would be allowed to be employed, factory work laws,
improving the conditions in the minds aid for the poor housing, transportation, all of these things became pressing concerns throughout the nation, the nation had begun to confront the suffering of so many of her people and began to take responsibility for their care. The thing is, it was the Evan Jellicle ‘s who were at the heart of this not just social reform, but moral reform across England as well. And throughout this movement, the evangelistic edge of the Awakening was never lost, not for 100 years. So in the late 1700s, people like William Wilberforce and the little Christian community he helped establish, in the village of Clapham began to pray not just for the Abolition of the Slave Trade, and the improvement of life for their fellow man, but they committed their lives to work and pray for the conversion of the nation’s leaders. And they began to pray for what they called a reformation of manners, a reformation of the way people treated each other. And the men and women who compose this little clap um, a group called the Clapham sect were members of the highest levels of English society. And they committed themselves to evangelizing the British aristocracy who exercised powerful influence across the land. They were wealthy and educated and they had access to the royal court and national and literary leaders of the land. So they were uniquely equipped to impact those whose thinking and ways of living impacted everyone. You can count about 20 leaders from the highest levels of business, church, literary life and government and politics, who were a part of this little small neighborhood in Clapham. And they all operated with the centers of cultural influence. They were all nearly nearly all educated at Cambridge. And their influence was certainly like a, a powerful and sophisticated leaven throughout English society. They brought about the end of slavery and the slave trade, but much, much more. God brought about the conversion of key national figures in the first few decades of the 19th century. And gradually their influence had a huge impact on the thinking and patterns of home life and English society. It’s hard for us to appreciate nowadays how such a thing could happen. But the outlook of the 19th century Englishman was so radically changed that family life, integrity, morality, Christian faith, a deep sense of personal duty and responsibility. These became qualities that characterize what we now know as Victorian England, when young Victoria became queen and 1837. church worship, charity, family prayer Bible reading in the homes, visiting the poor had become typical, even fashionable English citizens, we’re becoming known for decency and moral uprightness. Now I know, you know, no nation will ever be fully righteous, but the soul of England by mid 19th century, the soul had become very much alive, something that no one had ever dreamed could possibly happen, historians and history sociologists as far apart philosophically As you can imagine, all agree that the spiritual revival that took place in 18th century England, was responsible for the massive moral and social reformation of the 19th century. And they all agree had the spiritual awakening not occurred in 18th century, England likely would have experienced its own version of the bloody French Revolution that took place in the 1790s. So since I first learned about the phenomenal impact of the 18th century, awakening in England, I’ve just wondered what specifically, were the characteristics and initiatives and activities of the awakened errs that led to such overall moral and social reform? I’ve wondered if we could discern and analyze the ingredients, the the fundamental priorities of the awakened errs, and then maybe we could learn practical lessons for our own day. An awakening a spiritual revival is it’s purely the work of the Holy Spirit, not something you can organize. And yet surely as we pray for the reviving work of the Holy Spirit and our own day, we would be wise to apply in our own ministries and lessons learned from the awakenings and their awakenings in their day. And so, in concluding, I want to share with you some lessons that we can take away from the the Holy Spirit anointed work of these early awaken errs. And first, the message, the message that was central that to their preaching, there were at least four consistent points, first man’s lostness and inability to live up to God’s righteous standards. They didn’t normally begin their preaching with the love of God, God loves you and as a wonderful friend for for your life. They started with the law. They did this because it was their conviction, that until someone realized his inability to live up to God’s standards, one could never realize his need for a Savior. And this quote from an early revival sermon says it will, quote, you will never be truly awakened till you’ve heard the law proclaiming this alarming sentence to your conscience, you are falling from God, you have broken his covenant and transgressed His laws, you have not a rag to cover your nakedness. This preaching of the law, it seemed to leave people spiritually stripped with nowhere to hide. And then secondly, the message, the centrality of the Atonement of Christ, who died for our sins, we can do nothing to earn God’s favor. Favor with God is purely and simply the result of God’s grace. Third, they call people to the new birth, new life in Christ is God’s great gift, which is ours to repentance, and faith in Christ, and results in the indwelling presence of God in our lives. And finally, true faith in Christ brings us the assurance of eternal life. And then if once faith is genuine, draws us here and now into a life of holiness and good works here on Earth. That was a vital part of the message. This message was preached consistently and fervently up and down throughout England. The preaching was heartfelt, utterly sincere, seriously, passionately delivered, like, like dying men preaching to dying men, calling, urging people to come to Christ, and their courage and their persistence to preach. In the midst of mocking mocking Gere’s and taunt, physical attacks was very impressive. And to those who came to listen, it wasn’t unusual for any of these men to preach 15 to 20 different times in different places every week. And so great was the impact of the Holy Spirit’s presence on those who came to listen that sometimes they would weep, cry out, fall down. They were so overcome. It didn’t always happen. But it happened frequently, especially during the early years of the revival. And awakenings didn’t quite know what to make of it, but they didn’t worry about it. They just kept preaching. These early leaders at the awakening they were evangelist seeking every opportunity to bring others to salvation.
And it’s hard to imagine any opportunity being lost for telling another one person of Christ on the part of these men and women, William Grimshaw, who was a local pastor, a real remarkable man in the north of England. He described how he shared Christ with a neighbor and I want to read you what he said, my friend, my heart lungs over you, your manner of life is openly such that it will shortly terminate in Your inevitable eternal ruin and destruction. Allow me therefore to persuade you to repent and turn to the Lord while He may be found. There is no repentance, no mercy, no salvation in hell. Don’t be angry with me. Please don’t be angry with me. It’s because I love you that I address you. In this way. Love will not allow me to see you perish, or for me to be silent. It’s not my advantage I seek he says, I want you without delay to repent of your sins, acquaint yourself with God Be at peace with him through his blood, that thereby good may come to you. Pardon and peace, grace, heaven, glory, glory forevermore. They awakened. They were just like the apostles, they had a great sense of their duty and responsibility to bring others to Christ. It seems as though they all of them had a very sensitive conscience before God. They they, they not only preached God’s law in order to demonstrate our great need of a Savior, but they believed fervently and our responsibility to live in obedience to God’s laws. The Sermon on the Mount made it very clear to them that Christ was calling them not just to a life of faith, but a life of obedience as well. So they’re preaching second characteristic. Although the leadership of the revival movement was mostly in the hands of godly men, from the very beginning, women were involved and extremely influential, some because of their teaching ability, others because of their vision, giftedness and leadership. And that was true, for instance, of Salina Hastings, the Countess of Huntington, and Hannah Moore, the great writer, and many others. That thirdly, community from the first converts are gathered into small groups in order to encourage instruct, stimulate one another in faith and good works. And many studies had been done of these little bands of men and women. They were high commitment groups, they read, studied, learned both from the Bible and Christian literature, which was produced from the earliest days of the revival. And they were required to examine and hold accountable one another for serious Christian living. It was in these groups that they learned about honesty and integrity. They learned to help one another along the way of Christ. They were they were babes they didn’t know anything. And it said that here in these groups, they quote, watched over one another in love. And a major part of the curriculum was simply the state of a person’s spiritual life and, and the goal to grow deeper in holiness and heart and life. It was about transformation. Sanctification was the end goal, the prayer, these small groups that were generally separated into men’s groups and women’s groups, there were larger gatherings known as classes made up of both men and women. And they tried to get people of diverse age and social standing, and maturity. A major purpose of these classes, which were often led by women was to provide a place for the believers to build relationships with those from various social backgrounds that were trying to break down the rigid class structures of 18th century England. So these groups emphasize the vital importance of full orbed Christian living, they emphasize the head, the heart, and the hands they they awaken is believed in the integration of the intellect, the emotions and the work of service in society. John Wesley wrote, frequently analyzing matters of science and medicine and literature, psychology and the arts. He wanted His people to be educated. It wasn’t a one dimensional faith, they wanted their disciples to be broad minded and thoughtful citizens. Now for the place of emotions, they were not afraid of the emotional side of faith. This was particularly expressed in their creative use of music, of songs and hymns that express the truths of Christian scripture and the challenges and blessings of life in Christ. That was revolutionary at that time. The music they’re taking seriously the the fact that if you’re gonna, you might be emotional about something without being devoted, but if you’re devoted to Christ, your emotions are going to be involved. So much more I could say, but I’ve talked about the preaching, the role of women, role of community the appreciation of emotion five their leadership was extremely well trained. The early awakened errs were almost all universally, university educated. And they had been serious academics. John Wesley produced a 50 volume collection of the writings of Christian literature over the centuries, He wanted His people to be well educated. They started schools for children, wherever their revival took root. At first, they were simply classes organized on Sundays, the one day children didn’t, didn’t have to work. But eventually, they started canvassing bump homes in the communities and they began asking parents to let their children come to school during the week. So much more I could say about this can’t understand the impact of the revival unless we see another major characteristic. And that is from the outset, there was at the heart of the revival, a deep seated sense that every human being is created in the image of God, and therefore every person is of infinite worth. And this meant that there was a particular concern for the poor. John Wesley consistently sounded the trumpet on behalf of the poor, the ragged, the dirty, the hungering, the despised, are every bit as important as the wealthy and the influential. The clap and people founded a society, they call it the Society for bettering the condition and increasing the comforts of the poor, better known as the bettering society. And out of that initial society, nearly 500 different societies, voluntary societies were organized, and caring for every different sort of person, you can imagine who was in need from a prostitute to a chimney sweep. I think there’s something extraordinary about the way these Evans articles paid such close attention to their conscience and their care for their fellow human beings. So many great stories, I would love to tell.
Let me just skip on and, and draw to some conclusions, because I’m going to run out of time here, if I’m not careful. Things are quite different in present day America. Compared to England of the 18th century, there were only 6 million people in England and 1700, only 9,000,018 100. And it’s no bigger than the state of Alabama. At the same time, travel and communication are incredibly easier now in our day, and getting through to people everywhere is much more possible than it’s ever been. The misery and poverty and sense of hopelessness in England and 1700 was massive. Life was ugly, and painful. It’s not that way in our life today, Americans are probably not they probably not so disappointed with life, or they’re certainly not so spiritually hungry as they were at the time of the awakening in England. But I don’t think Americans are truly happy either and life may need to get harder at perhaps it will. The great majority of evangelicalism today, has lost that sense that the revival is had of man’s utter lostness from God, and of the seriousness of our sin. In our preaching, do we really possess the passion of the awakened nurse? Are we as concerned as they were like, preaching as dying men to dying men? Are we so fearful of appearing not to be tolerant? That we’re now afraid of evangelism? Do we have that same sense of overwhelming Flemming gratitude to God for His love, rescuing us from the hopelessness of being prisoners condemned for our sin? Do we really believe that we really believe as they did that unless a life of good works, and sanctification grows out of faith in Christ? Our faith is a sham. On the other hand, there is in our day a powerful hunger for community and probably a growing realization that Facebook and Twitter don’t equate to close relationships. people I think are hungrier for community and the opportunity to communicate through mass media a greater than anyone could have imagined nowadays. It’s very encouraging also nowadays that like with the Awakener we’re seeing an increase in Pastor theologians many call to the ministry of see In their need for better training, more thoughtful education in order to be able to better address the skepticism and the sloppy thinking of our age. And similarly, more and more seeing the need to minister to opinion shapers, the so called Media cultural elite of our day, we’re seeing missionaries and Hollywood believers going into journalism and the arts a huge increase in the effectiveness of college and university campus ministries. We’ve witnessed a dramatic increase of young Christians who are realizing the need for our faith to comprehend not just the head and not just the heart, but also the hands. There’s a brand new book out here titled gospel bound, that tell story after story illustrating this point, the dramatic increase of young believers and of churches showing greater and greater concern to be serving the poor, and actively caring for the needy. And just think of Gary Haugen in groups like the International Justice Mission, it does seem that the consciences of Christians are being significantly touched and heightened, and our day I believe awakening can come again. And I hope you’re praying for God to do this in our day. I believe God could bring an awakening that could touch the whole of our nation. And even though you know, the US is about 100 times larger than England, we’ve certainly got many, many more people in our country, but God is a big God. And he can do big things. Awakening can come again. And I hope you’re praying for God to do it. I don’t really believe it will be my generation that ushers it in. But it can begin with yours. I want to pray with you about this. And I hope that I have stimulated you to go back and study these men and women who were leaders in this great movement of the work of the Holy Spirit. Just go online and look up a biography of somebody like George Whitfield, or William Grimshaw, or the Countess of Huntington or Hannah Moore. Just read about these folks and let their stories the transformation that took place in their life. thrill your heart, and encourage you with what God’s Holy Spirit can do in our day. So will you pray with me? Let me lead us in prayer. Dear Lord God, you see us, you see that the soul of America is not great. Perhaps it’s not extinct, as it was in the days of Whitfield and Wesley, but the soul of our nation is certainly not strong. Please, Dear Lord God, purify us. Please, Holy Spirit, do it again. Change us. Oh, God, change us Oh Lord, and send awakening again. We pray in the mighty name of Jesus Christ. Amen.