Asbury Revival & My Many Predictions of Revival Since 2000

Asbury Revival & My Many Predictions of Revival Since 2000 February 23, 2023

I recently examined the Asbury Revival: currently occurring on at at least four campuses: Protestant Christian colleges with predominantly Wesleyan-holiness roots. I knew that I had been writing about and predicting such a revival for many years (I have documented comments since the year 2000). So I was curious, and decided to do an advanced Google search of my blog. The following comments are what I discovered.

Not that I claim to be a “prophet.” I don’t want to create any false impressions. I merely followed the lead of what I learned by reading G. K. Chesterton and having the honor and privilege of being personally taught and mentored by Servant of God Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J. If this is a true revival (and I highly suspect that it is, at least judging by the events so far), then they will be revealed as prescient “prophets.” By God’s grace, I have merely passed on their thoughts and added a few related ones of my own.

These comments amply demonstrate, I think, that “revival” and a desire and expectation for it to come is not (like the gospel and the Bible, etc.) exclusively a “Protestant thing.” In fact, probably the greatest and most rapid revival in history occurred in Mexico after 1531, when the miraculous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to St. Juan Diego. Over the following seven years, some 8-9 million Aztecs converted to the Catholic faith. By contrast, the great Wesleyan revivals in England took place from 1738 to 1791 and produced 1.25 million conversions.

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The beginning signs of coming revival are plain already, if one would simply maintain a little hope and optimistic faith that God is in control. I believe we shall see a huge revival (perhaps the largest ever) in the next century, which I will witness when I am an old man, some 30-40 years from now. History shows us that – generally – the century following one such as ours is a time of revival, reform, and rejuvenation in the Church. Revival is cyclical, and recurring. It has always been this way. The tide is turning. Signs are all around us. Times of great revival and reform can occur even while heterodox liberals and heretics remain a problem. They are merely pawns in God’s Grand Scheme, just as the Egyptians or Assyrians or Babylonians or Romans were. (2000)

Chesterton pointed out that “the Church has gone to the dogs at least five times. In each case the dogs died.” The 20th has been the worst in history, by far. So the 21st century (if history teaches us anything) will be a time of one of the greatest revivals in the history of the Church. If you want to sit around and moan and groan and cry in your beer and be a pessimist and a cynic and a doomsayer while revival breaks out all around you, go ahead. You won’t take away my excitement when I start to see it. No way! In fact, I say that the seeds of the revival are all well-planted already. We will see the growth soon, no more than 20-40 years away at the latest, I would speculate. . . . The only thing that cheers me up in such a discussion is pondering the revival that will almost certainly occur in this century. (1-21-01)

I don’t claim to understand why certain nations seemingly worthy of judgment have been spared (including my own). I can imagine, however, any number of reasons why they might be spared, in theory, in “God’s mind.” For example, they might be needed to judge other, more wicked nations, or someone might be born there who would cure cancer, or help cause a revival which would have far-reaching, positive consequences (a guy like John Wesley). Only God sees all things, and the whole of history, being out of time. (9-21-01)

One might also possibly argue (I’m basically thinking out loud and exploring this notion) that since whole nations do not usually repent unless serious calamities occur (and/or revivals), that therefore, the presence of widespread repentance and self-examination might be taken as evidence (given what history teaches us) that indeed judgment or revival had occurred. The purpose of judgment (unless it is final) is to purify a nation, so increasing moral purity in turn might lead one to reasonably suspect that the judgment that usually produces it was present. (9-21-01)

I know one thing. Revival is not genuine unless it results in changed lives and changed cultures as a result of that. When it comes, there will be no doubt that it is here. (2-29-04)

Having believed for a long time (based on historical hindsight) that spiritual and ecclesiological revival is coming in the 21st century, I think this unutterably tragic [Catholic sexual] scandal can and will – by God’s grace and mass repentance — eventually be instrumental in leading to a great movement for reform, orthodoxy, and revival (Romans 8:28). The laity will likely play a large part in the coming revival, as they often have in the past. (2005)

Reflections on Why Legal Abortion Continues and How Only a Huge Spiritual Revival Will Stop It [article title] . . . Legal abortion will only be overcome by a massive revival. It’ll take a miracle. We may change a few minds by various means, but I don’t think it’ll be any major shift until actual revival hits. It may be another 20-30 years or more. I expect to be an old man by the time I see major cultural changes take place. Abortion is not simply an intellectual matter. It’s a spiritual battle with the forces of evil. The battle will only be won, therefore, when there is a huge revival in the Church and Christians wake up. The abortion industry is here today because Christians fell asleep in the 60s and eventually caved in to many of the tenets of the sexual revolution.

The battle won’t be won with intellectual arguments. For this diabolical evil of institutionalized abortion to end, the entire ethos of the country will have to change, and that requires supernatural revival. It takes spiritual and personal revival to remain in the faith, and to remain on-fire with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and progression in the spiritual life. It takes prayer, it takes penance, it takes the Mass, and the Eucharist, and confession, and constant seeking of advancing in the spiritual life; good works, charitable acts, etc. It’s a spiritual battle.

Fr. Hardon was fond of stating: “Unless we recover the zeal of the early Christians, the days of America are numbered.” It will probably, sadly, take much blood and suffering. That has always brought about revival in the past and it will again. We can only pray at this point that it is not too late to require martyrdom for our unimaginably great sins of omission. Perhaps a revival alone without persecution can accomplish the paramount goal of a culture that again respects life. (1-23-07)

History shows that most revivals don’t and won’t begin (due to human rebelliousness) until things get very dark and bleak. That is probably (almost certainly) the case today. Revival itself is supernatural and spiritual in origin, not just a change of opinion and behavior. We will have to experience some profound suffering in this nation in order to wake up and enter into (by God’s grace) spiritual revival. (1-16-09)

Revival always starts slowly and picks up speed and grows, like a snowball rolling down a hill. (7-22-11)

My main point was to deny that the Church is “merely a shell of its former glory.” The Church is indefectible. It goes through cycles of corruption and decadence, followed by revival. Fr. Hardon always used to say that the worst centuries in the Church are followed by centuries of revival. It’s coming. It may take a few more years. I expect to be an old man before it becomes truly manifest and undeniable. (7-22-11) 

Church history moves at a geological pace. But it does assuredly move, and revival follows corruption and decadence and massive loss of faith and truth. (7-22-11) 

All we need is a real Catholic revival to bring about some profound change: and the possibility of that happening and huge societal changes that would result is evident throughout history. If it doesn’t come, I agree, things look very bleak, but who’s to say it won’t? God’s hands aren’t tied. I’m not convinced we are beyond all hope. I’ve said for years that I believe that revival will come, or start to, anyway, when I am an old man (which will be in about 20 years).

If you look at everything apart from God’s providence and His supernatural power, I agree, there would be little hope on a human level. But blessedly, we serve and worship a God Who brings about revival. He did it with the ancient Jews; He can even with us, too. It requires faith to believe and see this.

God ultimately grants whether revivals and societal transformation are to occur or not. We have a long, long way to go, but there is hope. There always is with God. I don’t follow a gloom-and-doom pessimistic scenario because I believe in a God Who can do anything, and has done so in the past. It’s not just a pipe-dream because we can point to past occurrences where there was extraordinary revival and change. It could be that some horror like a nuclear war or complete economic collapse unlike anything ever seen will bring about the revival. The fact that we have not yet been wiped off the face of the earth for our unspeakable sins is testament to the extraordinary mercy and lovingkindness of God. I think the fact of non-judgment is itself an indication that God has in store for us a huge supernatural revival. (3-24-12)

To defeat darkness, you turn on the light and pray against it; you don’t just endlessly proclaim or warn or preach about it, as if that alone is sufficient. The long-term solution is prayer for revival. (9-12-13)

Every revival has to start with things still being pretty bad. But it doesn’t follow that no good things are happening, just because lots of garbage remains to be cleaned out. If you don’t exercise faith and take the long view all you will see are bad things. But if you look back at past revivals, you can see that another is coming in the future, just as it always has in Church history; so you exercise faith and get beyond the gloom-and-doom, “oh woe is us” mentality. (4-25-14)

Revival is coming, for those who have the eyes of faith to see it. (8-17-15)

I don’t think legal abortion will ever end, anyway, without a huge societal religious revival. I expect to be an old man or dead when that arrives (I’m 57). When it finally comes to an end and the holocaust stops, and we mop up all the blood that is up to the horse’s bridle by now, the society will have become pro-life due to the revival that took place and the dying of the generation that was so rabidly pro-abort. So it will proceed smoothly by the will of the people, with the remaining pro-abort stragglers protesting till their own lives (that their mothers all graciously granted to them) come to an end. It’s like Moses in the wilderness: the entire generation had to die out before progress could be made, and they could enter the promised land. So the baby boomers will likely have to die out. (2-7-16)

The Church has been through many dire, decadent, disgraceful periods (read your Church history folks!), and a revival always improved them in the next century. We’re only 16 years into this new century. Unless Jesus comes first, a profound revival is virtually certain in this century, given what we know about past Church history. (3-2-16)

Only a true, vast, deep spiritual revival of historic proportions will fundamentally change this trajectory, and we’re so far gone that this will only come as a result of a spectacular catastrophe. It may not be far away. God loves us too much to not allow a catastrophe to wake us up. So it’s coming. There’s no doubt whatsoever. Ever-encroaching secularism is doing incalculable damage to what little moral capital we have left. That’s not helping things, either. (9-4-17)

England in the 17th century is a very striking example. John Wesley brought about a revival that caused huge changes for the better to take place. And that’s not even Catholic revival. But it was Christian and very real in substance and effect. Likewise, the First Great Awakening (1730s-1740s) and Second Great Awakening in America (roughly 1800-1840s) brought about tremendous changes for the better in American society. These things happened, and they can occur again. Thus, we pray for revival and pray that large numbers of people will start closely examining the deep-rooted and long-term causes for where we are today. (10-5-17)
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The Church had gone through several recurring cycles of decadence and decline, followed by spiritual revival and reform. “Bad centuries” were inevitably followed by much better ones (which gives me much hope for this 21st century). (10-31-17)

I have contended that, ultimately, only a spiritual revival will end legal abortion. I think if we took a poll of “old” [i.e., mostly politically conservative] pro-lifers and asked them whether they thought a spiritual revival would be necessary to end abortion, probably at least 90% would agree. (4-19-18)

I think if we truly got rid of this scourge in the Church [sexual scandal] once and for all, God would honor that and bring us a profound revival, with society-changing results. (8-18-18)

History shows that terrible periods in the Church are followed by massive revival. That is how this mess will be overcome (as always before, in the past). (10-30-18)

I have said for many years that to totally eradicate abortion, a massive societal spiritual revival will have to occur. (5-15-19)

I have long since argued that the ultimate solution as to ending legal childkilling will be a huge society-wide spiritual revival. I don’t expect that to happen till I am a very old man, or even after I’ve departed this mortal coil (I’m 58). But it will happen eventually, because history shows us that this is the case. America will either be destroyed as a civilization (as Rome was) or there will be a sea-change societal revival, as in, for example, the Wesley revivals in England in the 18th century. (5-19-19)

Only revival can turn the tide now. Let’s all pray for persecution or for God’s judgment to begin, so that Christians can wake up and start doing their job right. (6-15-19)

Christianity asserts that evil begins in corrupt human hearts, and can only be vanquished by God’s grace and spiritual revival. . . . The human heart (of every single one of us) has to be transformed. . . . We can pass laws and do “reform” and weed out murderers and other corrupt people from our institutions (just like so many “corrupt cop” movies and shows get rid of them and all live happily ever after), but the only lasting change will come from spiritual revival. We desperately need it. (6-4-20)

Only Spiritual Revival Will Stop Abortion [article title] . . . I am contending here that it never will in fact be made illegal again unless and until we experience a huge spiritual revival in this nation. (1-25-21)

Things take time. The pessimist always concentrates on present miseries, while the optimist, idealist, or person exercising faith look at the good things that will come in the future, as the present decadent cycle comes to a close and the new revival starts to gradually pick up momentum. We need only look back at Church history to see what is coming next (excepting Christ’s return, of course). If the Second Coming isn’t imminent, then it is almost certain that major revival will come in this century. (3-9-21)

The history of the human race is a record of continual flourishing, decay and corruption, and then revival. Christians do this just like everyone else does, because we are fallen sinners like everyone else. (5-12-22)

It will take a spiritual revival to complete the legal work of enshrining the value of all lives in the Constitution (I’ve been saying this for probably over thirty years). We need the vast majority of people to be pro-life to accomplish that goal, . . . revival comes through prayer and profoundly Christian lives that bear witness to the surrounding dying and rapidly secularizing culture. Do you want to transform your culture and help bring about revival? Then live your life in total dedication to God. (6-24-22)

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Photo credit: Servant of God Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J. (1914-2000) [Bellarmine Forum]

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Summary: After pondering the Asbury Revival currently taking place, I searched for and collected my many writings (since 2000) concerning a predicted massive societal revival.

 

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