If you talk to family, parents or grand parents about their past, you might find a pattern within each conversation. There is a tendency for previous generations to believe they had it worse than you. While this may be true, there is something present day has in common with a specific date in time. If you research the spiritual climate of 1799, you will find a faith on the verge of collapse.
What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun, Ecclesiastes 1:9.
Although I never completed a master’s in theology due to my eye condition, I did experience a few remarkable seminary courses. One of my favorites was Revival and Revivalism, a class which studied the history of America from the perspective of the first great awakening. Beginning in 1799, I was surprised by persecution that existed at this time. College campuses had mock communions, Christians met in secret afraid of ridicule and church attendance plummeted to all time lows. If I didn’t know any better, this sounds like today.
Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come, 1 Corinthians 10:11.
Nonetheless, when the culture begins to persecute believers one of two things happen: denial or revival. In the case of 1799, the climate was ripe for revival which was ushered in through a series of concerts of prayer, tent meetings and a spirit of confession starting in 1800. Perhaps, America is prime for another awakening based upon the ongoing drama over Donald Trump’s election in November. As Inaugural Day 2017 draws near, may Christians across America take a bended knee, crying out to God in prayer for a similar outcome.
by Jay Mankus