Put simply, if thousands or millions of people come into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ then there should be an effect on the world around them.
I define revival as when multitudes of people come into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ – his person; his power; his presence and his principles. Central to revival is the salvation of many.
My definition of reformation is that the whole of a society, regardless of their relationship to Christ, comes under the influence of the person, the power, the presence and the principles of Jesus Christ.
Ezekiel describes a rushing river. It is a picture of revival where many are jumping in into increasing depth, healing and nourishment. A revival such as this must result in societal transformation. If it doesn’t then there is something missing. Even if it results in large churches, that is not the biblical outcome where the whole earth is full of the knowledge of the glory of the Lord. (Habbakuk 2:14)
One of the greatest examples in history of this revival/reforming principle is the effect which the Wesleyan Revival of the eighteenth century had on England. Wesley himself spoke out strongly against the slave trade and encouraged William Wilberforce in his anti-slavery crusade. The revival resulted in an era of Christian social reformers & reforms. Anti-slavery societies, prison reform groups, and relief agencies for the poor were started. Numerous missionary societies were formed and hospitals and schools multiplied.
The connection between revival & reformation is clear to me. Reformation is an essential characteristic and outcome of revival. Personal revival should result in personal reform and therefore multitudes being “revived” must result in a “reform” of the world around them.