The greatest revivalist since the apostolic times (to the mind of this writer) was Jonathan Edwards.  There were several outbreaks of revival during his lengthy stay at Northampton.  How could Edwards, who read his sermons and preached sermons (today they would be considered academic sermons) without much expression, be God's instrument for revival?  In one of his post-revival sermons, Edwards said,  "When any professing society is as a city set on a hill 'tis a great obligation upon them to honor religion in their practice."  The obligation comes from TRUTH.  It is the opinion of many that God granted revival because Edwards was an expositor of BIBLICAL TRUTH.  It is the recovery of biblical truth (Reformation) that leads to the practice of biblical truth (Revival). 

What truth does the church need to recover?  First and most important they need to recover (or for some it may be a discovery) the authority upon which doctrinal or theological assertions may be debated.  Martin Luther called it "sola scriptura" which is a Latin phrase meaning "by Scripture alone."  Scripture is the final authority to teach the human race what they must believe about God and what God expects of them.  We are standing on the precipice of a neo-dark age because "Scripture alone" is no longer the final authority in the Protestant church.  The liberal theologians teach their students one gospel while the fundamentalists another gospel.  The antinomians preach one gospel, while the legalists preach another gospel.  The Calvinists preach one gospel, while the Arminians preach another gospel.  The list of differences between evangelicals is endless!  Then ask the question:  What is your authority to preach this gospel?  The answer is the Bible!

Until the differences are resolved, reformation will never take place and therefore revival will not take place.  First, the individual Christian must resolve any internal struggles with the truth of the gospel (the gospel is the whole counsel of God).  Once the truth of the gospel is recovered to the mind of an individual Christian, then reformation and revival may spread throughout the church.

This process is not easy.  Ministers will be the most resistant to reformation and revival.  It takes work, hard work, to draw out biblical truth.  Then it takes conviction, an abundance of it, to preach biblical truth especially when one has been saturated by tradition and has not studied classical Christianity.

Will reformation and revival come to our churches?  Yes, when we draw near to God, He will draw near to us (James 4:8).  Search the Scriptures and pray that God will illumine your understanding of biblical reformation and revival.