The Great Awakening

The 2016 Men Who Rocked the World Conference was September 23–24, 2016 at Grace Community Church. Dr. Steve Lawson’s theme throughout was The God-Centered Pursuit of the Revivalists.

Session 1: The Great Awakening (Overview)

Session 1 – The Great Awakening from Grace Community Church on Vimeo.

Session 2: Jonathan Edwards (Part 1)

Session 2 – Jonathan Edwards I from Grace Community Church on Vimeo.

Session 3: Jonathan Edwards (Part 2)

Session 3 – Jonathan Edwards II from Grace Community Church on Vimeo.

Session 4: George Whitefield (Part 1)

Session 4 – George Whitefield I from Grace Community Church on Vimeo.

Session 5: George Whitefield (Part 2)

Session 5 – George Whitefield II from Grace Community Church on Vimeo.

Quotes of George Whitefield

Whitefield2Come poor, undone sinner, come just as you are to Christ.

True conversion means turning not only from sin but also from depending on self-made righteousness. Those who trust in their own righteousness for conversion hide behind their own good works. This is the reason that self-righteous people are so angry with gospel preachers, because the gospel does not spare those who will not submit to the righteousness of Jesus Christ!

Congregations are lifeless because dead men preach to them.

Other men may preach the gospel better than I, but no man can preach a better gospel.

The Lord Jesus sits in heaven, ruling over all, and causing all things to work for his children’s good.

God has condescended to become an author, and yet people will not read his writings. There are very few that ever gave this Book of God, the grand charter of salvation, one fair reading through.

I was honored today with having a few stones, dirt, rotten eggs, and pieces of a dead cat thrown at me.

If one evil thought, if one evil word, if one evil action, deserves eternal damnation, how many hells, my friends, do every one of us deserve, whose whole lives have been one continued rebellion against God!

You blame me for weeping, but how can I help it when you will not weep for yourselves, though your immortal souls are on the verge of destruction.

As for the extraordinary operations of the Holy Ghost, such as working of miracles, or speaking with divers kinds of tongues, they are long since ceased.

I believe I never was more acceptable to my Master than when I was standing to teach those hearers in the open fields. I now preach to ten times more people than I would if I had been confined to the churches.

Man is nothing; he hath a free will to go to hell, but none to go to heaven, till God worketh in him” and “you dishonour God by denying election. You plainly make salvation depend, not on God’s ‘free grace’ but on Man’s ‘free will.’

Come away, my dear brethren, fly, fly, fly for your lives to Jesus Christ; fly to a bleeding God, fly to a throne of grace; and beg of God to break your heart; beg of God to convince you of your actual sins; beg of God to convince you of your original sin; beg of God to convince you of your self-righteousness; beg of God to give you faith, and to enable you to close with Jesus Christ.

Works? Works? A man get to heaven by works? I would as soon think of climbing to the moon on a rope of sand!

Let my name die everywhere, let even my friends forget me, if by that means the cause of the blessed Jesus may be promoted. Let the name of Whitefield perish, but Christ be glorified.

George Whitefield Bio

and appears not to have prospered in business; at any rate, she never seems to have been able to do anything for her son’s advancement in life. Whitefield’s early life, according to his own account, was anything but religious; though, like many boys, he had occasional prickings of conscience and spasmodic fits of devout feeling. He confesses that he was ‘addicted to lying, filthy talking, and foolish jesting’, and that he was a ‘Sabbath-breaker, a theatre-goer, a card-player, and a romance reader’. All this, he says, went on till he was fifteen years old.

Poor as he was, his residence at Gloucester procured him the advantage of a good education at the Free Grammar School of that city. Here he was a day-scholar until he was fifteen. The only known fact about his schooldays is this curious one, that even then he was remarkable for his good elocution and memory, and was selected to recite speeches before the Corporation of Gloucester at their annual visitation of the Grammar School.

At the age of fifteen Whitefield appears to have left school, and to have given up Latin and Greek for a season. In all probability, his mother’s straitened circumstances made it absolutely necessary for him to do something to assist her in business and to get his own living. He began, therefore, to help her in the daily work of the Bell Inn. ‘At length’, he says, ‘I put on my blue apron, washed cups, cleaned rooms, and, in one word, became a professed common drawer for nigh a year and a half.’ This, however, did not last long. His mother’s business at the Bell did not flourish, and she finally retired from it altogether.

An old school-fellow revived in his mind the idea of going to Oxford, and he went back to the Grammar School and renewed his studies. At length, after several providential circumstances had smoothed the way, he entered Oxford as a servitor at Pembroke at the age of eighteen. Whitefield’s residence at Oxford was the great turning-point in his life. For two or three years before he went to the University his journal tells us that he had not been without religious convictions, But from the time of his entering Pembroke College these convictions fast ripened into decided Christianity. He diligently attended all means of grace within his reach. He spent his leisure time in visiting the city prison, reading to the prisoners, and trying to do good. He became acquainted with the famous John Wesley and his brother Charles, and a little band of like-minded young men. These were the devoted party to whom the name ‘Methodists’ was first applied, on account of their strict ‘method’ of living.

At one time he seems to have been in danger of becoming a semi-papist, an ascetic, or a mystic, and of placing the whole of religion in self-denial. He says in his Journal, ‘I always chose the worst sort of food. I fasted twice a week. My apparel was mean. I thought it unbecoming a penitent to have his hair powdered. I wore woollen gloves, a patched gown, and dirty shoes; and though I was convinced that the kingdom of God did not consist in meat and drink, yet I resolutely persisted in these voluntary acts of self-denial, because I found in them great promotion of the spiritual life.’

Out of all this darkness he was gradually delivered, partly by the advice of one or two experienced Christians, and partly by reading such books as Scougal’s Life of God in the Soul of Man, Law’s Serious Call, Baxter’s Call to the Unconverted, Alleine’s Alarm to Unconverted Sinners, and Matthew Henry’s Commentary. ‘Above all’, he says, ‘my mind being now more opened and enlarged, I began to read the Holy Scriptures upon my knees, laying aside all other books, and praying over, if possible, every line and word. This proved meat indeed and drink indeed to my soul. I daily received fresh life, light, and power from above. I got more true knowledge from reading the Book of God in one month than I could ever have acquired from all the writings of men.’

Once taught to understand the glorious liberty of Christ’s gospel, Whitefield never turned again to asceticism, legalism, mysticism, or strange views of Christian perfection. The experience received by bitter conflict was most valuable to him. The doctrines of free grace, once thoroughly grasped, took deep root in his heart, and became, as it were, bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. Of all the little band of Oxford Methodists, none seem to have got hold so soon of clear views of Christ’s gospel as he did, and none kept it so unwaveringly to the end. Continue reading

Whitefield and the Wesleys

From the 8th Annual conference of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies “George Whitefield and the Great Awakening”, that took place between October 21-22, 2014, here is Stephen Nichols’ session entitled “George Whitefield and the Wesleys.”

Andrew Fuller Conference 2014: Session 3 – “George Whitefield and the Wesleys” by Stephen Nichols from Southern Seminary on Vimeo.

From the same conference, here is a session entitled “Preaching George Whitefield” by Steve Lawson.

Andrew Fuller Conference 2014: Session 4 – “Preaching George Whitefield” by Steve Lawson from Southern Seminary on Vimeo.

George Whitefield

Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones and C. H. Spurgeon both considered Whitefield England’s greatest ever preacher. Dr. Steven Lawson begins to explain why that might indeed be the case in a message entitled “the power of God in George Whitefield’s life.”

Many decades ago, J. C. Ryle wrote the following biography of Whitefield (10 short videos – a great resource):

Continue reading