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What are the largest Biblical Revivals in world History?

Largest Biblical Revivals in World History

Biblical revivals are times when God stirred the hearts of His people to repentance, faith, and a renewed commitment to living according to His Word. Here are some of the largest Biblical revivals in world history:

1. The Revival of King Josiah (c. 622 BC)

  • Background & Context: King Josiah ruled Judah when it had strayed far from God. Idolatry and corruption were rampant.
  • Events:
  • Josiah ordered the repair of the Temple.
  • During the repairs, the High Priest Hilkiah found the Book of the Law (likely the Pentateuch).
  • After reading it, Josiah tore his robes and ordered the nation to repent.
  • He renewed the covenant with God and cleansed Judah and Israel from idolatry.
  • Biblical Reference: 2 Kings 22-23
  • Results:
  • The people recommitted to following the Law.
  • Idolatry was eradicated, and proper worship was restored.
  • Key Verses:
    • “The king stood by the pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the Lord—to follow the Lord and keep his commands, statutes and decrees with all his heart and all his soul, thus confirming the words of the covenant written in this book.” (2 Kings 23:3)

2. The Revival under Nehemiah and Ezra (c. 445 BC)

  • Background & Context: The Israelites returned to Jerusalem from the Babylonian exile.
  • Events:
  • Nehemiah led the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls.
  • Ezra read the Book of the Law to the people.
  • The people were moved to tears and repented.
  • They celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles and confessed their sins.
  • Biblical Reference: Nehemiah 8-10
  • Results:
  • A renewed commitment to God’s Word.
  • The people separated themselves from foreign influences.
  • Key Verses:
    • “All the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.” (Nehemiah 8:3)

3. The Pentecost Revival (c. AD 30)

  • Background & Context: After Jesus ascended to heaven, the disciples were praying together in Jerusalem.
  • Events:
  • The Holy Spirit descended on the disciples, enabling them to speak in various languages.
  • Peter preached boldly to the crowd.
  • Over 3,000 people were converted and baptized.
  • Biblical Reference: Acts 2
  • Results:
  • The early church was formed.
  • Believers met daily for prayer, fellowship, and the breaking of bread.
  • Key Verses:
    • “Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.” (Acts 2:41)

4. The Reformation (16th Century)

  • Background & Context: The church was mired in corruption, with practices like indulgences distorting the gospel.
  • Events:
  • Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses in 1517, criticizing church practices.
  • The printing press helped spread Reformation ideas rapidly.
  • Other reformers like John Calvin and Huldrych Zwingli contributed to the movement.
  • Documents:
  • Martin Luther’s 95 Theses 【10†source】【9†source】
  • John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion
  • Results:
  • Rediscovery of salvation by faith alone.
  • Division between Protestantism and Catholicism.
  • Growth of the Protestant church.
  • Key Verses:
    • “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

5. The Great Awakening (18th Century)

  • Background & Context: Spiritual decline was pervasive in the American colonies and Europe.
  • Events:
  • Preachers like Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield emphasized personal salvation and the sovereignty of God.
  • Their emotional, convicting preaching led to widespread repentance and conversion.
  • Documents:
  • Jonathan Edwards’ Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God
  • Results:
  • Significant increase in church attendance.
  • Strengthening of evangelical movements and missions.
  • Key Verses:
    • “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

6. The Second Great Awakening (19th Century)

  • Background & Context: The United States saw widespread immorality and spiritual decay.
  • Events:
  • Charles Finney led emotional revival meetings, advocating for social reforms like abolitionism.
  • Revival meetings, camp meetings, and prayer meetings swept the country.
  • Results:
  • Many were converted, and social reform movements grew.
  • New denominations like the Disciples of Christ emerged.
  • Key Verses:
    • “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16)

Three Main Takeaways

  1. Repentance and God’s Word Lead to Revival: Throughout history, revivals often began with people rediscovering God’s Word and genuinely repenting.
  2. Revival Transforms Society: Spiritual revivals can lead to significant social change, often improving societal morality and justice.
  3. God’s Sovereignty in Revival: God initiates and sustains revival by His Spirit, often through unlikely people and situations.

These revivals teach us that God’s power is transformative when His people humble themselves and return to Him wholeheartedly.


  • Greg Gaines

    Father / Grandfather / Minister / Missionary / Deacon / Elder / Author / Digital Missionary / Foster Parents / Welcome to our Family https://jesusleadershiptraining.com/about-us/

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