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August 20, 2020 1:00 am
The city of Chicago felt the mighty wind of the Spirit during the days of D.L. Moody, the founder of The Moody Church. We’re learning about those special times when God comes to church, and in this message, we’ll remember God’s work in Chicago.Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)
Let us run with endurance, a race with a set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecta of our faith.
The city of Chicago felt the rushing mighty wind during the days of D.L. Moody, the founder of Moody Church. We're learning about those special times when God comes to church. And today we'll relive those days that happened right here where this broadcast comes from.
From the Moody Church in Chicago. This is running to win with Dr. Irwin Luser, who's clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line.
Pastor Luser, you're a student of revival. So you know of once you speak.
Well, you know, Dave, even though I am a student of revival in the sense that I have read books about revival, I've experienced some revival in some churches.
We've seen God work mightily at times, even here at the Moody Church. But none of us ever are able to comprehend all that goes into a revival because it is really of God. Of course, I love the life of deal, Moody, needless to say. And everyone should read The Life of Moody to be encouraged how God used this man. And so even as we listen to the broadcast today, I hope that it is very inspiring. It's so important for people to hear this. Perhaps there are those who are listening. Pick up the phone and call someone and ask them to listen to running to win. And for those of you who are blessed as a result of this ministry, that can only take place because someone else has sacrificed hits because of the gifts of others. Maybe it's your turn. Would you consider becoming an endurance partner? That's someone who stands with us regularly with prayers and gifts so that other people can be blessed. Check it out. Go to Endurance Partners, dot org. That's endurance partners dot org or call us said one eight eight eight two. One eight. Ninety three. Thirty seven. That's one eight eight eight two one eight nine 23 37. And now let us listen carefully, as we recall, what God is able to do. And may he do it again.
This is the Chicago Tribune of March 25th, 1858, the noon permitting at Metropolitan Hall.
I have to pause here. I wanted to go to Metropolitan Hall to see where these prayer meetings were held. Day after day after day at noon where people could not get in. And I discovered it no longer exists today. It's across the street from the Thompson Center. And there's a different building there now. But some of us, five or six of us actually went there anyway. We said we want to be approximately where the Metropolitan Hall once was. Now, listen. It was the largest and most interesting that has yet been held. The body of the house, the gallery were filled considerably before 12 noon. And at the time, for beginning the exercises, the platform, the stairways, the aisles, the entry were all occupied by persons standing up during the whole hour, the stairs leading down to the streets were filled with persons arriving or retiring on, able to gain entrance for a noon permitting that took place every single workday. In fact, I'm sorry I didn't get the quote, but when I was reading it over in the Historical Society, I discovered that one newspaper said that if women wouldn't wear skirts with whoops, I hope that that's the right word. I didn't check on this before more people could get into Metropolitan Hall to pray.
John Wentworth, the mayor of Chicago at the time, stood near the rear of the hall and listened with great attention to all. And a later said the effect of the present religious movement are to be felt in every phase of society that is in Chicago newspapers. Someone else says it was the perfect union of all evangelical churches. The Chicago Daily Journal of March 20th, 1858 reported that the revival was universal and not limited to a single city or even state, but is spread like fire in every direction.
Such an outpouring of religion has not been seen since before the days of Edwards that happened here in the city of Chicago. And what took place is in May of the year. Eighteen fifty nine. The prayer meetings disbanded, but they went into the churches. The estimate was that one thousand eight hundred people were meeting for prayer at noon and 5000 in various churches were meeting for prayer in the evening. Now, let's do the math. Let's remember our chronology. In 1856, Deal Moody came to the city of Chicago. That's two years before the Awakening. One of his biographers said that it was this awakening that thrust D.. L. Moody into his revival ministry deal. Moody, of course, began. He rented pews in the Plymouth's church and they kicked him out because they said that these boys that you're bringing in are so rowdy. So he had to begin his own church. But he says to his mother, during this great awakening, there is a great revival of religion in this city. I go to meeting every night, remember Deal Moodies English and needed a little bit of help. It is said that he was able to pronounce the word Mesopotamia in one syllable. All right. There is a great revival of religion in the city. I go to meeting every night all how I enjoy it. It seems if God himself is present. Oh Mother, pray for us.
Pray that this will go on until every knee is bowed.
And so it is that deal. Moody received his thrust into ministry through this great awakening. This prayer revival that took place here in the city of Chicago. Now, I need to comment that D.L. Moody was asked to no longer come to the Plymouth Church. He began a Sunday school in a beer hall. Abraham Lincoln stopped by as president elect. That's how well known D.L. Moody was for his children's ministry. And the president elect didn't want to speak. But Moody says I'm sure that he will have something to say. So he spoke briefly to the children. Then he went to Washington to become the president and deal Moody. Then began a church called the Illinois Street Church. This is the fourth location of the Moody Church since 1864 when it was founded.
The first one was on Illinois Street, and then that one burned in the great Chicago Fire of 1871 when Mrs. O'Leary's cow hit that lantern and the fire began. By the way, a few years ago, I was actually where the barn supposedly was and discovered it's right next to a fire station. So I don't think they want that to happen again. So you'll have the first one is the Illinois straight to the second one is a tabernacle at Ontario and Wells, which no longer exists. And that was used almost as a clearinghouse to help all the people as a result of the fire. Then you have a church where Moody Bible Institute is today. We have pictures of it. A large church held about 15 hundred people and it had to be torn down when Lascelle Street was widened. And by the way, widening Lascelles Street eventually also affected this building. But that's another story. And then you have them coming one mile north of Moody Bible Institute. And that's why we are here today. But all of that as a result of the Great Awakening, when God was doing unusual things in the city of Chicago, when people were crying up to God and multitudes were converted, you say, well, Pastor Luser, how big was the impact of this revival? It was huge, as secular historian called it, the event of the century. The historian J. Edward or wrote, because this went to California and Portland, Oregon and Denver and all over.
Look at this paragraph. The influence of the awakening was felt everywhere. The nation, it first captured the great cities, but it also spread through every town and village and country and Hamlet.
It swamped schools and colleges that affected all classes without respect, a condition. There was no fanaticism. There was a remarkable unanimity of approval among religious and secular observers alike, with scarcely a critical voice heard anywhere.
It seemed to many that the fruits of Pentecost had been repeated. Hundreds of thousands of people were converted during the period of about two or three years. God sometimes uses visible people, and he did in the first two Great Awakenings. But this awakening was a movement of the Holy Spirit of God. It was a prayer movement. What are some of the characteristics when God comes to town? What what are the distinguishing marks? First of all, you have a strong awareness of the presence of God like Dale Moody wrote to his mother. It seems as if God himself were present. My prayer often for the Moody Church is that when people come into this sanctuary, I pray that they may have an awareness of God. I want you to leave today saying surely God is in that place and awareness of God. Secondly, along with that, of course, is deep conviction of sin, deep conviction of sin.
There were people during these awakenings who could scarcely function. They could scarcely do their business because so heavy was that sense of conviction over issues in their life that they had not dealt with.
You say, well, revival must be a very, very sad time. No, it's a very, very happy time, because once they were able to get beyond that and not only to understand their sin, but the marvels of God's grace and confess what God brought to their attention and got their personal relationship straightened out between members of the family members in business and asked one another's forgiveness. Once all that began to happen, the indisputable mark.
Of the work of the Holy Spirit is always joy.
And that overflowed revivals unite and they divide and they unite true believers. But they also divide us from the world. You say, well, can we insist on a revival now? I don't think we can insist. It's not as if God has to give us one. But I always say let's set the sails in such a way that we can catch the breeze of what God wants to do. What if God wanted to do this in Chicago again? It might look very differently than it did in the past. But isn't God? God, can't we trust him to do it again? The Bible says in First Thessalonians, and I'm only going to underline certain words and versus twelve to the end of the book, First Thessalonians five, what do we do when we're waiting for revival? Well, we have to be faithful. But look at words like this. Verse 12, respect those who labor among you. Verse 13, regard them highly in love. You think of respect, love, admonish. Be patient to verse 14. See that no one repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. The healing of personal relationships is always necessary. All of these revivals, by the way, were preceded by prayer. Jonathan Edwards was the beginner of the concerts. A prayer. We think today or a concert of prayer is something new. Edwards began at. And then rejoice always there you have the joy, pray without ceasing. If you've taken the commitment to pray for a special hour on a special hour every week, in addition to your regular devotion time, seek God. On behalf of your family, on behalf of your church, on behalf of this nation, who knows? But that God may forgive our sins and come in great power and show up and begin to attend church. So rejoice. Always pray without ceasing. Give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the spirit. And we certainly grieve the spirit because of sin. And God may want to do something unusual. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything to be sure. Don't be gullible just because somebody says I have the gift of prophecy and and then give some kind of a prophetic statement. No, no, no test. That's not being done today. There are those who claim prophecy, but they are not testing everything, abstain from every form of evil. Now, there's something we can do as we wait for revival to come. And then what a lovely prayer. May the God of peace himself sanctify you completely and may your Holy Spirit and Solen body be kept blameless of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful. He will surely do it. I conclude today by saying God is not intimidated by the city of Chicago.
Did you know that?
He's not intimidated because of our many evils. He's not intimidated because of racism and because of corruption. If God wills it.
And if we are available to it, God could show up.
And begin to change everything. Let's go together for prayer. Father, we thank you today that we'd been able to recount. At least in summary form, what you did.
Thank you, Father God, for your blessing upon this city.
That at one time, Metropolitan Hall could not contain all the people who came to noon prayer meetings.
Thank you, Father, that we have statistics that show that the churches in Chicago increased converts and membership across the whole evangelical spectrum. We pray, Father God, and we're not sure that we're ready for this, but we pray, Father. Sincerely.
Do it again. Just do it again.
In this congregation and others choose those to whom you give a burden for an awakening and may they seek you, and may we all seek you and pray and say, God, let us seek your face. That we might be available for a mighty work of your blessed spirit, for those who are here today, never trusted Christ as savior.
We pray that they may do that, knowing that you are available and you will not turn them away if they come in the name of Jesus.
We pray a man a will.
This is Pastor Luther. As you know, it's been my privilege to be a pastor here in the city of Chicago.
And I actually investigated the various places where people met for prayer way back in the eighteen fifties. Most of those places have now been renovated and they are buildings downtown. But I wanted to be where God worked mightily. Let me ask you something. Have you been blessed as a result of these messages? I believe that they say something to the church that is very, very important when God comes to church. Would you like to have those messages for yourself so that you can listen to them again and again and share them with your friends? I sure hope so, because I believe that they have something to say to the Church of Jesus Christ today. Here's what you can do for a gift of any amount. You can go to RTW offer dot com. That's RTW offer dot com. Or you can call us at one eight eight eight two one eight nine DS3 thirty seven. That's one eight eight eight two one eight nine DS3. Thirty seven. Thanks in advance for helping us because we are interested in spreading the news of revival, encouraging the Church of Jesus Christ to continue on and to seek God's face. Ask for the series when God comes to church. Go to RTW, offer dot com or call us said one eight eight eight two one eight nine DS3 thirty seven. Remember, we exist to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and thanks so much for being a part of this ministry.
It's time now for another chance for you to ask Pastor Luter a question about the Bible or the Christian life. Some of the great leaders of the past have skeletons in their closets. This has come to light for a listener named Dean who says I'm thankful for moody radio and listened to it all the time, especially running to win. I do have one concern, however, in some of your sermons, you quote Martin Luther and seem to hold him in high regard. I read Luther's book The Jews and Their Lies and have to say that his suggestions of dealing with Jews were parallel to Hitler's and the Nazi Party's methods. It's very hatefilled, an anti Christian on the basis of what I read. I don't think I could attend a Lutheran church again. I've been told by my friends that this is a knee jerk reaction and isn't relevant today, although I'm not a Lutheran. My mother and mother in law are and I occasionally attend church with them. I feel it necessary to tell them about Luther's writings and opinions lest they follow false teachers no matter how well intended they seem. Before I make a final decision, I thought I should contact you and see what you had to say. As this is very important to me.
Well, my friend, first of all, let me thank you so much for your question. And that's exactly why we exist here on running to win is to respond to your needs through the preaching of the word and the answering of questions to the best of our ability. So thanks so much. I am acquainted with Martin Luther. I'm acquainted with these terrible things that he says about the Jews. I've written a book entitled Hitler's Cross and in Hitler's Cross. I also deal with some of the things that Martin Luther said about the Jews. And they are a very awful things and they are totally unjustified. That said, let me make a couple of comments. First of all, Scheier, in his rise and fall of the Third Reich, said that there could have never been a Hitler unless there had first been a Luther. And then he quotes Luther's words, but that actually is unfair. Hitler believed that the Jews should be exterminated and said some awful things because he believed that they were an inferior race. It was a racial issue. Luther made these terrible comments based on theological issues. The Jews were the Christ killers. So there's that difference. The other thing you need to understand is that before he wrote that terrible tract, Luther said some very nice things about the Jews. As a matter of fact, he said, how can we expect them to be converted unless we are kind to them? But here's what happened. Martin Luther, as he became an old man, became a very bitter old man. He believed that because he had uncovered the gospel that the Jews would believe on Christ when they didn't. He turned against them. And that's when he wrote those awful words of condemnation. Now, I do quote Luther and I do admire Luther, but not because of those terrible things, but because of other things he's written because of his courage, because he did uncover the doctrine of justification by faith alone, which had been lost in many respects. He was a very remarkable man. Now, the question is, should you attend a Lutheran church? I need to tell you that many Lutherans have publicly apologized to the Jews for the things that Luther said. So my response would be, yes, of course, you can attend because we must recognize that human beings have a great deal of flaws and weaknesses. And certainly Luther had he is and he had others, too, besides what you have simply uncovered. And yet at the same time, we can learn from these people. We can admire these people for their strengths, reject them for their weaknesses, and we can move on from there. And I know one thing is certain that all the Lutherans who are alive today, I'm sure. I hope all of them would totally repudiate what Luther had to say about the Jews. So to give a specific answer to your question, there is much in Lutheranism with which we disagree. But if your mother invites you to go with her to church, I would say go. And just remember, we must always keep her eyes on Jesus and not on man.
Thank you, Dean, for your question. Thank you, Dr. Lewis, sir, for taking the time to give him that detailed answer. If you'd like to hear your question answered, go to our Web site at RTW, offer dot com and click on Ask Pastor Luser or call us at one eight eight eight two one eight nine two three thirty seven.
That's one eight eight eight two one eight nine 23 37.
You can write to us at running to win 16 35. North Lascelle Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois, six oh six one for Running to Win comes to you from the Moody Church in Chicago to help you understand God's roadmap for your race of life. Many of us have investments, funds we hope will grow next time. A series on investing for eternity and how our giving is seen by God as an act of worship.
Thanks for listening. For Dr. Irwin Loser, this is Dave McCalister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.