That Support My Bold Hope for an American CHRIST Awakening—
Sooner Than Later
People love to make jokes about the field of statistical analysis. Maybe you’ve heard some of them, such as (feel free to chuckle):
- 3 out of 4 Americans make up 75% of the population.
- Death is 99% fatal to laboratory rats.
- A statistician is a person who draws a mathematically precise line from an unwarranted assumption to a foregone conclusion.
- A statistician can have his head in an oven and his feet in ice, and he will say that, on the average, he feels fine!
But recently, I discovered a surprising combination of solid statistical data not so easily dismissed. To the contrary, these numbers have greatly increased my conviction that God’s people nationwide can be stirred up around God’s reigning Son in a way that brings healing and wholeness to our land.
Not only is this prospect more probable than I first believed but also much nearer than one might predict.
In ways I had not calculated before, these numbers suggest that the Holy Spirit has been at work putting dynamics into place that are favorable for a wholesale spiritual revolution—for an American CHRIST Awakening.
You’re about to see how dry statistics can become spiritually edifying!
Five findings brought together for the first time
Individually, each finding below offers me a measure of hope. But combined, the potential they represent for an American CHRIST Awakening is remarkable!
- 80% — They may have a wide variety of reasons, but that is the percentage of Americans who agree that our nation is moving in the wrong direction. That equals around 280 million of us.
- 75% —Including all segments of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, virtually three-fourths—231 million—believe that the very survival of our democracy is in such peril that it could result in the loss of our fundamental freedoms.
- 67% — Recent studies also reveal that of our 335 million fellow citizens, approximately 225 million self-identify as Christians. Think about that for a moment. This is huge!
- A majority of the active base of the Republican party self-identify as Christians, primarily drawn from the evangelical/Pentecostal streams of the Church. Did you know that?
- A majority of the active base of the Democratic party also self-identify as Christians, primarily drawn from Black/African American denominations. Are you aware of that?
These statistics offer a bold hope for the renewal that
a politically and socially ruptured America needs to hear.
Sidebar: These findings should caution us that a vast majority of our fellow citizens may be far less consumed with fighting for doctrinaire political agenda than the algorithm-driven posts, tweets, and news feeds would lead us to believe. Biblically speaking, Jesus followers know there are other overarching priorities to focus on and better approaches for moving a nation forward in the purposes of God.
Many of our citizens are far more concerned with defining and securing better prospects for our children and our communities—ones that cause our democratic republic to be renewed and refortified for generations to come. The host of Christians among us know that in Jesus resides the spiritual foundation for ensuring lasting freedom.
Yes, the majority of us who confess the Savior may not agree on precisely what the shape and future of our nation should look like or how to achieve it. But at the same time, surveys indicate that there IS a broad consensus that the status quo is no longer acceptable or viable. We all sense that something has to change somehow—sooner than later. We’re all searching for a way out and a way forward—to come from somewhere, through someone.
Thankfully, an army of Jesus followers in our land shares the confession that Christ’s kingdom provides the promising solution everyone is looking for.
In other words, there’s one thing that a substantial majority of our population—self-identified Christians—does agree on and about which we’re of one accord. It is this:
Already 225 million of us confess that “Jesus is Lord!”
Romans 10:9 succinctly states: “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Whatever nuances each may bring to that confession, Jesus followers acknowledge that we have a Savior who rules above all earthly dominions and all their leaders—queens, kings, emperors, sultans, prime ministers, and including congresses and presidents.
As King of kings, he is the head over all denominations and faith communities—both theological liberals and theological conservatives agree on this much.
Regardless of whatever political camp one inhabits, whether Right, Left, or Center, all self-proclaimed Jesus followers simultaneously assent to the fact that as he sits at God’s right hand, Jesus must occupy the most crucial consideration in all our deliberations and policymaking—simply by virtue of who he is, where he is headed, what he is doing, and how his kingdom holds sway in the universe.
Here’s more good news. Once believers are settled on the supremacy of Christ—which is fundamental to every Christian life in America—what follows quite naturally is a whole host of additional unifying outlooks among 225 million Jesus followers that serve as a mighty counterweight to the seemingly intractable social and political polarization that grips our culture and continues to pull our citizens apart from each other.
In other words, Americans who are Jesus followers should be able to join together in serving and saving our nation—because the fact is, by embracing the lordship of Jesus, we can rally around him and all he brings to the table.
Of the seventy-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II, one British commentator recently observed: “She helped bind together a fractious people. She gave them a sense of shared identity.” If that can be the legacy of an earthly sovereign, how much more—immeasurably more—should the spectacular, saving supremacy of God’s Son be able to unite God’s people from coast to coast! As he prayed in John 17, “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one.”
Some additional ways the Lordship of Jesus
unites hundreds of millions of Americans already!
As self-confessed Christians, the majority of Americans should find it quite natural to stand side by side and enthusiastically affirm out loud the following statements. Whether most of us currently recognize it or not, already there’s a Heaven-ordained esprit de corps built into multitudes of US citizens because, as avowed Jesus followers, we are bound together in these ways:
- We affirm the good news that those who put their faith in Christ inherit eternal life (whether we’ve fully grasped all it means yet).
- We accept the Bible as an ultimate authority. Some say it is the Word of God. Others say it contains the Word of God. But all Christians consider it holy and take it seriously.
- We confess historic creeds, whether the Apostles’ Creed or the Nicene Creed. Think of this fact: Millions of us from coast to coast assent to the most profound, Christ-focused themes found anywhere outside Scripture.
- We turn to the Lord’s Prayer, which most of us know by heart. It leads believers everywhere in our land to pray around six major expressions of Jesus’ reign over our lives.
- We recite Psalm 23 or John 3:16, memorized by millions of us.
- We sing “Amazing Grace”—sometimes called America’s “national hymn.” It is all about what Jesus accomplishes for those who come to him.
- We endorse 1 Corinthians 13—the great biblical chapter on love, read at thousands of Christian weddings every year.
- We celebrate Christmas, recalling that Jesus has come into the world as one of us—that “In the city of Bethlehem a Savior is born for you, which is Jesus Christ the Lord.”
- We carol verses of “Joy to the World” and “O Come, Let Us Adore Him,” magnifying the praises of Jesus every year by a multitude of voices, whether at midnight services, office parties, or caroling door to door.
- We affirm that Jesus died on the cross for our sins on Good Friday—and that Jesus rose again victoriously from the dead on Easter morning.
- We acknowledge the importance of prayer, such as the congressionally mandated “National Day of Prayer” (on the first Thursday of every May) or in times of national tragedies (like 9/11). We know this is important because we believe deeply that the prayers of believers are essential for God’s purposes to prevail in our nation.
- Whether we attend faithfully in person or not, self-identified Christians admit that regular Sunday worship events are extremely valuable because God is worthy of regular seasons of corporate praise.
- We confirm the vital necessity of maintaining local church fellowships as a focal point for Christian development and traditions—whether we gather in living rooms, gymnasiums, megachurches, rural chapels, or magnificent urban cathedrals.
- We hold high regard for anyone who is authentically “Christlike”—who makes Jesus the pattern of living for believers. We honor and aspire to acts of compassion, humble service, the pursuit of justice, a forgiving spirit, financial generosity, other-centeredness, and a righteous lifestyle—all ways of being more like him.
- Expecting the judgments of the Lord, we testify that we will all be held accountable to the Triune God—whether in this life or the life to come—and that we all will be fully involved in the day of the glorious return of our Savior and King.
- Similarly, despite all our differences and disagreements, political or otherwise, we anticipate and declare that we’re destined to spend all the coming ages together in each other’s presence, sharing equally in the inexhaustible riches of God’s grace that come through the Son of God.
- We confess that in the Consummation, everything that now divides us and threatens us and even incites hostilities among us will be exposed for the folly it was, turned to dust, and then forgotten forever—even as the glory and love of God saturates the company of the saints “as the waters cover the seas.”
- Whether then or now, Paul declares the paramount reality that automatically binds together hundreds of millions of Christians in America today, when he writes in Colossians 3:11 (my paraphrase): “(In the Church) there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, or Republican, Democrat or Independent—BUT Christ is ALL and in the midst of us all.
Considering how much the Lord Jesus Christ
already unites a majority of Americans in himself,
how can we not have bold hope that
an American CHRIST Awakening is really possible!
Remember, I mentioned at the beginning how it appears that the Holy Spirit has been preparing the ground for the holy harvest and righteous revolution that would come out of an American CHRIST Awakening. Based on these findings, don’t you think it’s beginning to feel more and more imminent—that it may be sooner than later?
The miracle of a Christ Awakening can be defined as “the whole Church becoming wholly alive to the whole vision of the whole Christ.” When that happens (as it has throughout the history of the Church, in many times and places), that arguably becomes the most profound ministry the Holy Spirit gives to believers, as he pours into us fresh encounters with the supremacy of God’s Son—with all that he is to us, for us, over us, before us, within us, through us, and upon us.
It’s the kind of eye-opening work Paul prays for in Ephesians 1:15-23 or Ephesians 3:14-21. It’s the kind of Spirit-driven manifestation of Jesus promised in John 16:13-15 and celebrated in Matthew 11:25-27.
It’s the kind of uprising described in the great “awakening chapter” of Isaiah 60, which begins “Arise and shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you”—and then closes with this promise as a result (emphasis added):
Then all your people will be righteous,
and they will possess the land forever.
They are the shoot I have planted,
the work of my hands,
for the display of my splendor.
The least of you will become a thousand,
the smallest a mighty nation.
I am the LORD;
in its time, I will do this quickly.”
NOTICE: A God-initiated spiritual awakening can impact a whole land. It can produce rapid multiplication of transformed believers. In God’s timing, it comes about quickly.
In principle, this is God’s promise to his people in any generation—including our generation residing in a country desperate for solutions for survival at this crisis hour.
Here is the principal message of these surprising statistics:
“Come, for everything is now ready.”
The survey we’ve made should convince us that most Americans hold a whole lot more in common than we realize. Literally, there is infinitely more that unites us as American Christians than the daily tweets that try to divide us.
But this matters only IF together we go back to the beginning—to the one truth we claim to hold as prime, back to the one person we declare to be preeminent: Jesus Christ as Lord of all.
First of all, as Lord of all, Jesus unites us in himself, under his crown. In fact, his kingdom forges us together for higher purposes than being citizens of an earthly realm.
Looking at the research, one might say, “Already the kindling has been set in place, ready to ignite a bonfire.” Now all that’s needed is the fire from the Spirit through the Word—a gracious, pervasive, widespread, enduring “wake-up call” among God’s people, rising out of a thorough reintroduction to the full extent of the glorious greatness of God’s reigning Son today. Once that fire falls, no one will be able to hold back a fulfillment of Isaiah 60 right here in the United States of America.
I realize there are many movements and causes, often lethal, that broil in our land at the moment, any one of which could tear us apart permanently.
But Jesus is far greater!
Our proactive Savior-King is the head of a great company of disciples—a host of self-identified Christians of unprecedented numbers and untapped potential—perhaps unlike anything he’s had to work with before in any nation in the entire history of the Church. Therefore, there’s no limit to the blessings of healing and justice, reconciliation and restoration, and truth and love that he is ready to spread across our land once this Christ-focused mobilization begins.
Three caveats: (1) Of course, we recognize America is meant to be a secular nation with a separation of Church and state, ensuring that no one religion is given preference. The unification I’m exploring here involves Christians coming together for the sake of the gospel of Christ in our nation.
(2) Also, nothing I’ve written here should suggest I’m taking a single step toward what’s often called “dominion theology,” nor should I be interpreted as providing an ounce of justification for imposing Kingdom values on the public square by force of numbers.
But what IS inescapable is that as an American CHRIST Awakening impacts our nation’s majority Christian population, “One nation under God” will necessarily take on a whole new Christward dimension. And the meaning of “In God we trust” will quite naturally be expanded in its meaning, focused more on Christ who brings us back to God.
(3) Finally, I realize that out of the 225 million self-identified Christians, any number may be more or less nominal Jesus followers. However, none of us has any way to ultimately determine where a person’s relationship to Christ stands at any given moment. As Jesus said, “Those who are not against me are for me” and “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” That means all we can do is take each other at our word when we confess to be “for” Jesus and that Jesus is “Lord” and leave it in the hands of the Holy Spirit to take us along from there.
Bottom line: The good news for America is that if the believers in our land give Jesus his proper place among us as God’s people—so that we are increasingly living in his presence, focused on his kingdom, and passionate for his name and fame and reign—we will be transformed into a “blessing to the families of the earth,” beginning with the healing and reconciliation and hope we demonstrate first within the Body of Christ and then bring to the citizens of our nation, including those who have another faith or no faith at all.
The numbers don’t lie. They proclaim an unprecedented opportunity like that provided by the nobleman in Jesus’ parable, who prepared a great banquet, then sent messengers to his invited guests to tell them, “Come! For everything is now ready” (Luke 14).
Even so, by bringing our attention to these surprising statistics with their stunning implications, I believe the Spirit of God is saying to Christians across America:
“COME! FOR EVERYTHING IS NOW READY!”
We have every reason to hold to the hope of an American CHRIST Awakening and to do so boldly. Everything is now ready. In its time, the Father will do this quickly!
In my next blog post—Part 2—I want to share ways we can start taking action to encourage this marvelous moment of promise for America to find its grand fulfillment in Jesus.
About the Author
Over the past 45 years, David Bryant has been defined by many as a “messenger of hope” and a “Christ proclaimer” to the Church throughout the world. Formerly a minister-at-large with the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, president of Concerts of Prayer International (COPI), and chairman of America’s National Prayer Committee, David now provides leadership to ChristNow.com and Proclaim Hope!, whose mission is to foster and serve Christ Awakening movements. Order his widely read books at DavidBryantBooks.com. Enjoy his regular CHRIST TODAY podcast.