Terry R Baughman is Lead Pastor for LifeChurch in Gilbert, AZ. See his complete bio at trbaughman.com
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The 2020 Awakening!
Terry R. Baughman
“For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:39).
The promise of the Spirit and call of God continue to reach across the centuries and is more relevant today than it has ever been. There is an urgency in our day for hope, for spiritual renewal, for a new awakening. It is time to arise, to shine, for the Lord has come!
The prophet Isaiah predicted darkness on the people similar to what we witness in our day, a day of darkness, a time of despair, and a promise of restoration. He wrote, “Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising” (Isaiah 60:1–3).
In a study of renewal history, there is a time prior to the revolution and the Declaration of Independence referred to as, “The Great Awakening.” It spans the years from 1730–1755. The eighteen century was also seen as the “Age of Enlightenment.” It is interesting that while society was caught up in their superior self-sufficiency and celebrated an age of reasoning, there was also a spiritual hunger growing among the people. Art can never feel the spiritual void of the soul. Science, philosophy, or logic will never satisfy the hunger of the heart. While some celebrated the advancement of humanity, those who sought the Creator found the light of life and began to proclaim the Glory of God in their generation.
Jonathan Edwards was a minister from Yale who avoided the formal conventions of the Church of England and began voicing his opposition to the worldly manners he saw around him in the New England colonies. He is most famous for his sermon addressing the sins of his generation, “Sinners in the hands of an Angry God.” He read his sermon to those who gathered in his congregation and conviction gripped the hearts of those who heard his words.
George Whitefield was a British minister who preached among the colonies with great passion; “He would shout the word of God, weep with sorrow, and tremble with passion as he delivered his sermons” (https://www.ushistory.org/us/7b.asp). Thousands of colonists would gather to hear his sermons and religious fervor began to spread. It was time for an awakening!
Across the pond, John and Charles Wesley began to seek to understand the difference between formal profession of Christianity and the inward experience of conversion and transformation that they begin to witness. The Methodist movement began as an outgrowth of this Evangelical Revival they experienced and proclaimed in the British Isles.
Again today, we find ourselves in an age of incredible advancements in science and technology, but unfortunately, we find our society increasingly void of spiritual pursuits and moral values. It is time for another awakening. Through international pandemics, national injustice, overwhelming societal problems of homelessness, uncontrolled immigration and global challenges, there is a spiritual vacuum that cries for renewal and spiritual demonstration. This is the hour for Pentecostal power, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the declaration of God’s plan for restoration. This is our day! … This is our time for a New Awakening, the LAST Awakening! This is our promise.