John Wesley - (1703 - 1791)
During the 18th century, England was experiencing economic and political difficulties. There was a prevalence of lawlessness, unbelief, immorality; gambling, drunkenness and prostitution. In London, one in every six houses was a brothel. The Church was in an unhealthy state and spiritually cold. The chapels were empty and there was a sense of desperation and hopelessness. But God, in his infinite goodness, will always responds by raising up those who will refuse to conform to such a situation and begin to cry out for a visitation of the Lord. It was in such a time that God raised up some students in Oxford, amongst them being one named John Wesley.
John Wesley was born on June 17, 1703, in Epworth, Lincolnshire, England. At the age of seventeen he began studying theology at Oxford College, he went on to receive his bachelor's degree in 1724 and his doctorate in 1727. He was ordained as a minister of the Anglican Church in 1724. John continued in Oxford College where he was a member of the Lincoln College Council and a professor of Greek.
In 1729 Charles Wesley, John's brother, and two other students began a small group that met for prayer, Bible study, and mutual encouragement. John soon became the leader of the group, which was called the "Holy Club". They used a methodical system of self-examination and self-discipline, and for this reason they were called 'Methodists' by some. The group never grew much, ranging from 10 to 15 members, with a maximum of 25. Another young man named George Whitefield joined the group after a few years, becoming a close friend of John Wesley.
In October of 1735 John and Charles Wesley traveled to America as missionaries, but stayed there for a little more than two years. John returned to England, in February of 1738, preoccupied with his own salvation.
"I went to America to convert the Indians," he lamented, "but, oh, who will convert me?" Soon after he met Count Zinzerdof and saw that salvation does not depend on works but on the grace of God A few months later, on May 24, John had an experience in which he was assured of his salvation by faith. A few years later, John, along with other members of the Holy Club had a powerful experience of filling with the power of the Holy Spirit , since then the churches no longer wanted to have it him their pulpits.
On New Year's Day, 1739, John and Charles Wesley, George Whitefield and four other members of the Holy Club held a feast of love in London. About three in the morning, while they were praying, The power fell tremendously upon us, to the point that many shouted for joy and others fell to the ground (overcome by the power of God). As soon as they recovered some reverence after being surprised by presence of His majesty, they began to sing with a loud voice: "We praise you, O God, we recognize you as Lord”. "We praise you, O God: we acknowledge you as Lord". This event was called “Pentecostal movement”.
This was the start of the Great revival. Within a month and a half, George Whitefield, only 22 years of age, was preaching outdoors to crowds of thousands. John Wesley was doing the same within three months.
The crowds increased daily to twenty thousand listeners. The wealthy people sat on their cars and others on their horses. Whilst others sat in the trees and wherever they could, gather to hear Whitefield preach. The people were sometimes brought to tears, as the Spirit of God fell upon them.
Whitefield continued to urge Wesley to go to Bristol and help him. In April, Wesley stood beside Whitefield in Kingswood, still wondering whether it was appropriate to speak outside the church building. That night Whitefield preached on the Sermon on the Mount. Suddenly he realized that Jesus had also preached in the open air. Whitefield returned to London and the next day, Wesley preached outdoors to three thousand in Kingswood. He stayed in Bristol for two months, busier than ever. His 7am Sunday morning services usually had five thousand to six thousand listeners.
There, much to Wesley's surprise, he began to watch the Holy Spirit powerfully convicting people of their sins as he preached. Well dressed, mature individuals would suddenly cry out as if in agony.
Both men and women, inside and outside the church buildings, trembled and fell to the ground. When Wesley interrupted his sermon and prayed for them, they soon found peace and rejoiced in Christ.
With John Wesley and George Whitefield preaching to crowds at every level of society, there was a great awakening in Great Britain through the simple preaching of the Word of God on the streets and in the open air, which became the main feature of this Great move of God throughout the nation. This struck the whole of the Country and saved England from a Revolution, and averted a great bloodshed, similar to what was happening in France at that time.
Whitefield continued to preach to thousands in England and the United States until his death at age 56 in 1770. He and John Wesley had a difference in theology, with Whitefield becoming a Calvinist and associating with the Presbyterian Church, but the two remained great friends. Knowing their doctrinal differences, someone asked Whitefield if he thought he would see John Wesley in the heaven. "I fear not," he replied, "he will be so close to the eternal throne, and I so far away, might not be able to see him."
Wesley's ministry of evangelism continued to grow, and he began to create "revival societies" in the places where he ministered. These small groups gathered for prayer, encouragement, and Bible study. At first Wesley encouraged groups to remain in the Church in England, but differences with the church regarding their style of outdoor preaching, their message of salvation by faith, their use of lay people as preachers and leaders of societies led to the establishment of the Methodist church.
The Great Revival of the years 1739 - 91 is often called Wesleyan Revival. Although God had used George Whitefield, the two Wesley brothers, and dozens of lay preachers to light the fire of revival. It was John Wesley who preached in more places to more people and for a greater number of years than the others. He also did more to preserve the fruit of the revival. John Wesley was clearly the leader chosen by God for this awesome spiritual awakening.
John Wesley traveled extensively in England and America, and the revival fire spread rapidly. In August 1770 there were 29,406 members, 121 preachers and 50 zones in England and 4 preachers and 100 chapels in the United States. When Wesley died on March 2.1791, there were more than 120,000 Methodists in their societies.
"I consider the whole world as my parish, wherever I am; I consider it right correct and my sacred duty, to declare to all who are willing to hear the good news of salvation." - John Wesley.
Avivamentoja.com – Pr Paul David Cull
On Earth as it in Heaven – Stephen L Hill
O fogo do avivamento – Wesley Duewel
REVIVAL IS NOT:
Note: Some items related here may even happen during the revival, but isolated is not revival.
. It is not a movement...
WHAT PRECEDES REVIVAL:
. A time of darkness in society
. Hopelessness in people’s hearts
. Coldness in the churches
PURPOSE OF REVIVAL
To carry out Great Commission
The Great Commission is carried out as the fruit of the revival...
WHAT HAPPENS DURING REVIVAL:
. The Holy Spirit of God is always in control.
. The fear of the Lord come to rests upon all.
. A state of brokenness.
. Unlimited Worship.
. A Strong conviction of sins with confessions
. A State of Repentance.
. A Deep desire for Holiness.
. Many miracles, signs and wonders.
. End to social injustice, violence and crimes.
. Profound impact on society...
RESULTS OF REVIVAL:
- The Church arises (for the Great Commission) in boldness to speak of the love of God to the lost.
- There is extraordinary numerical growth in the Church, membership multiplies supernaturally.
- Society now respects the Church as the Divine Institution it is.
- This revival does not come to liberals, mystics, syncretists and the merely religious, but to a people desperately longing for the presence of God.
- The final phase of revival is the restoration of society to the standards of the Word of God, bringing justice, righteousness, compassion and blessing that should continue through generations.
Revivals, Great Awakenings and visitations from God in the United Kingdom over time
This timeline is to help you get to know and understand God's moves within the UK from when God used a humble man in Ireland (in the 5th Century), Saint Patrick, through many other men and events up until modern times. These men defied the circumstances of their times and made history, being hungry and desperate for the presence of God. Many of them were not understood in their day, but today are examples of people who dared to obey God and in doing so, changed the course of history. Here in the United Kingdom, there were many visitations from the Lord which touched generations both here and around the world, writing chapters of the history of the Church. These amazing accounts demonstrate God's great love for Britain. You will know all or some of the following ‘brave hearts’ for God. We believe that there were many others whom history did not recognise, but they are eternally recorded by the Lord.
We are the next generation that will make history in the UK; WE who are here now on this site, wanting to know more about revivals and about God's next move in the nations of Great Britain.
... If you agree, say Amen!!
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