Examples of Revival in the Bible: 10 Things They Had in Common

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The concept of revival, marked by spiritual renewal and moral transformation, is deeply rooted in the narrative of the Bible. From the early patriarchs like Jacob and Moses to key New Testament figures like John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, and the Apostle Paul, these revivals represent significant turning points.

Before looking at each revival event let’s summarize what all of these revivals had in common.

10 Things Bible Revivals Had in Common

  1. Occurrence during Times of Moral and Spiritual Decline: Often, these revivals occurred during periods of moral darkness, national depression, or spiritual decline among the people.
  2. Initiation by Dedicated Servants of God: Each revival typically began through the efforts of a deeply committed and consecrated servant of God, such as prophets, judges, or apostles.
  3. Foundation on the Word of God: The revivals were grounded in a renewed focus on the Word of God. This often involved the preaching or proclamation of God’s laws and principles with renewed vigor and authority.
  4. Return to Worship of God: A key outcome of these revivals was a collective return to the worship of God, often marked by repentance, prayer, and recommitment to God’s ways.
  5. Destruction of Idols and False Worship: Many revivals involved literal or symbolic destruction of idols and a move away from idolatry or false religious practices.
  6. Separation from Sin and Renewed Obedience: These periods were marked by a conscious separation from sinful practices and a return to living according to God’s commandments and laws.
  7. Joy and Gladness in the Community: Revivals often resulted in restoring joy, gladness, and a sense of communal well-being among the people.
  8. Followed by a Period of National or Community Prosperity: After a revival, there was typically a period of prosperity, peace, or growth, interpreted as a blessing from God for the community’s faithfulness.
  9. Empowerment by the Holy Spirit (New Testament Revivals): In the New Testament, revivals were often characterized by the manifest presence and empowerment of the Holy Spirit, particularly evident from the Day of Pentecost onwards.
  10. Rapid Growth in Believer Numbers: In the New Testament, revivals were marked by rapid growth in the number of believers and the expansion of the Christian community.
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Revival Under Samuel

  • Samuel’s role as a prophet and judge
    • Samuel’s calling and dedication to God from childhood (1 Samuel 3)
    • The role of Samuel in guiding Israel and anointing its first kings (1 Samuel 9-10)
    • Samuel’s influence in restoring the Ark of the Covenant (1 Samuel 7:1-2)
  • The unification of Israel under Samuel’s leadership
    • The defeat of the Philistines and return of peace (1 Samuel 7:10-14)
    • Samuel’s role in transitioning Israel from a tribal confederation to a monarchy (1 Samuel 8)
    • Samuel’s farewell address and emphasis on obedience to God (1 Samuel 12)

Revival Under King Asa

  • King Asa’s reforms and their impact
    • Asa’s removal of idols and foreign altars (1 Kings 15:11-14; 2 Chronicles 14:3-5)
    • His reforms in Judah and the strengthening of its defenses (2 Chronicles 14:6-8)
    • Asa’s reliance on God in military victories (2 Chronicles 14:9-12)
  • The return to the worship of God under Asa
    • The revival and covenant renewal at Asa’s initiative (2 Chronicles 15:8-15)
    • The celebration of Passover and religious reforms (2 Chronicles 15:10-12)
    • Asa’s efforts to encourage religious education and adherence to the Law

Revival Under Elijah

  • Elijah’s confrontation with the prophets of Baal
    • The contest on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:20-40)
    • Elijah’s prayer and the demonstration of God’s power with fire from heaven
    • The execution of Baal’s prophets and the end of their influence in Israel
  • The impact of Elijah’s actions on Israelite society
    • The revival of monotheism and worship of Yahweh
    • Ahab and Jezebel’s diminished influence and eventual downfall (1 Kings 19-21)
    • The role of Elijah in turning the hearts of people back to God (1 Kings 18:37)
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Revival Under King Hezekiah and Others

  • Subsequent revivals under Jehoshaphat, King Hezekiah, King Josiah, etc.
    • Jehoshaphat’s religious reforms and judicial appointments (2 Chronicles 17-20)
    • Hezekiah’s restoration of temple worship and Passover celebration (2 Chronicles 29-31)
    • Josiah’s discovery of the Book of the Law and religious reforms (2 Kings 22-23)
  • Common elements in these revivals
    • The consistent theme of destroying idols and purging idolatry (2 Chronicles 34:3-7)
    • Renewed focus on the Law of Moses and covenantal faithfulness (2 Kings 23:2-3)
    • National gatherings for worship and recommitment to God (2 Chronicles 30:1-27)

Revival Under John the Baptist

  • John the Baptist’s role in preparing for Jesus’ ministry
    • John’s proclamation of repentance and the coming kingdom (Matthew 3:1-2)
    • His role in fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy as a voice in the wilderness (Isaiah 40:3, Matthew 3:3)
    • Baptizing people as a symbol of repentance and preparation for the Messiah (Matthew 3:5-6)
  • The baptism of Jesus and its significance
    • The baptism of Jesus by John and the descent of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:13-17)
    • The declaration of Jesus as God’s Son, affirming his messianic identity
    • The start of Jesus’ public ministry following His baptism

Revival Under Jesus and His Disciples

  • Key teachings and miracles of Jesus that sparked revival
    • The Sermon on the Mount as a foundation of Jesus’ teachings (Matthew 5-7)
    • Miracles like the feeding of the 5000 (John 6:5-14) and the raising of Lazarus (John 11:1-44)
    • The message of love, forgiveness, and the coming kingdom of God
  • The role of the disciples in spreading Jesus’ message
    • The commissioning of the Twelve Apostles (Matthew 10:1-4)
    • The Great Commission to spread the gospel to all nations (Matthew 28:18-20)
    • The disciples’ continuation of Jesus’ work after His ascension
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Revival on the Day of Pentecost

  • The coming of the Holy Spirit
    • The Holy Spirit’s descent on the Apostles (Acts 2:1-4)
    • The gift of speaking in tongues
    • Peter’s sermon resulting in the conversion of about 3,000 people (Acts 2:14-41)
  • The rapid growth of the early church post-Pentecost
    • The establishment of the early church community and sharing among believers (Acts 2:42-47)
    • The spreading of the gospel beyond Jerusalem and Judea
    • The role of the Holy Spirit in empowering believers for ministry and witness

Revivals in Samaria and Beyond

  • Philip’s evangelism in Samaria
    • Philip’s preaching and the great joy in the city (Acts 8:5-8)
    • The conversion of the Samaritans and Simon the sorcerer (Acts 8:9-13)
    • The apostles’ visit to Samaria to confirm the new believers (Acts 8:14-17)
  • Peter’s role in the revival in Caesarea
    • Peter’s vision and the subsequent visit to Cornelius’ house (Acts 10:1-48)
    • The first major step towards Gentile inclusion in the Christian church
    • The Holy Spirit falling on Gentile believers, mirroring Pentecost
  • Paul’s missionary journeys and their impact on spreading Christianity
    • Paul’s three missionary journeys across Asia Minor and Europe (Acts 13-21)
    • Establishment of churches and communities of believers in diverse regions
    • Paul’s role in shaping Christian theology and practice through his epistles

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