At the beginning of 2015 we wondered if we might be seeing the dawning of the “Third Great Awakening.” The previous year had brought some exciting spiritual news.
2014 had been called the “Year of the Bible at the box office,” with at least four major releases on Bible topics: “Son of God,” “Mary Mother of Christ,” “Noah,” and “Exodus.”
Two other hit movies with Christian themes were also released during the year: “Heaven is for Real,” and the remarkable story, “God’s Not Dead.”
There had been a surge of evangelicalism and significant growth of the number of churches in New York City.
There were numerous reports of Muslims turning to Christ after having dreams about Jesus in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Syria and the West Bank of Israel.
Christian radio and television had made great advances in the number of people being reached with the Gospel.
In spite of these encouraging signs, spiritual warfare was intense in 2015. Revelation predicts the intensification of this battle in the End Times:
Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” — Revelation 12:10-12
The Christian majority of the U.S. was stunned, though not completely surprised, when the Supreme Court decided in favor of same-sex marriage. In the wake of this historical departure from biblical standards, persecution of Christians began against those who felt they could not assist in enabling such unions.
Timid pastors ignored the subject. In fact, many pulpits ceased to stand against immorality in general; choosing to be politically correct instead of courageous “watchmen on the wall,” warning the nation to repent of its sin.
Abortions continued to be tolerated, even after it came to light that Planned Parenthood was selling aborted baby parts.
A flawed “Iran nuclear deal” was adopted by the U.S. and other weakening world powers. Terrorism continued to spread, affecting numerous targets in Europe and the United States.
However, against this negative backdrop, there are still many encouraging signs. In spite of the struggle, we who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ are still on the winning side. Remember His promise to build His Church:
I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. — Matthew 16:18
In the “Revival” section of Prophecy Central, we have documented many positive signs that the Lord was mightily at work in 2015. Here are some of the highlights:
There were more amazing Christian Movies. On Easter Sunday, a television follow-up series to “The Bible” began. It was called “A.D. – The Bible Continues.” The series, produced by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, focused on the reaction of witnesses to the death and resurrection of Jesus.
“War Room,” a story of the power of prayer, was the surprise #1 box-office phenomenon in September. It was followed by another hit—“Woodlawn” in October. It was a true story from the inspiring Jesus People Movement in the 1970’s. It depicted a high school football team in Birmingham Alabama that overcame racial tensions when most of the players accepted Christ and sparked a city-wide revival.
The popularity of faith-based movies has given rise to a new provider of movies on demand via the Internet. Pure Flix offers more than 2,000 faith and family movies, inspirational titles, TV shows, documentaries and biblical based educational programs.
Many of the 16 Republican candidates for the presidential race are strong evangelical Christians. One of them is Dr. Ben Carson who is a famous brain surgeon and a dedicated, outspoken Christian. Speaking at a rally of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, he said. “It’s high time for those of the faith to get in the game and put God back in charge of America.” In early polls he held a close second place to front-runner Donald Trump, actually passing him for a short time in popularity, but now hovering in 4th place. One of the planks of Carson’s campaign is “Revival,” and it is encouraging that such an overt position would be popular. Current second place-holder is Ted Cruz, and third is Marco Rubio. Both of them are also bold evangelical Christians. This phenomenon could be a sign of a coming revival in the nation.
Toward the end of the year a new survey from the American Bible Society and the Barna Group revealed that 75% of Protestant American teenagers (13 to 17) have their own Bibles and read them weekly. Some 37 percent read their Bible several times a week. About 95 percent of them either hear or read the Bible at least weekly.
There is also great news for the early part of the New Year as well. The sequel to God’s Not Dead will be released in April, and, on April 9, the 110th anniversary of the great Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles, a massive multi-ethnic, multi-denominational, multi-generational assembly will take place in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Free registration is open now, and more information is available about prayer involvement for 100 days leading up to the event.
The question arises, “If these are the end times, would God send a revival when He has already predicted apostasy and spiritual decline?”
The answer is “Yes!” He gave opportunity to Noah’s family, Lot’s family, and the believers in Jericho and Nineveh to repent and be spared. Why wouldn’t He give an opportunity, especially to the young people of our generation who have never really understood the Gospel?
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. – 2 Peter 3:9
Revival must come through God’s Holy Spirit. But His people must really want it.
If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. – 2 Chronicles 7:14