Faith Chronicles: The Mad Evangelist Charles FINNEY

Faith Chronicles: The Mad Evangelist Charles FINNEY

The Mad Evangelist Charles FINNEY

There was drought in America many years ago, the churches agreed to pray that God may show mercy and send rain. 

The meeting was set for 9.00am and the prayers will last for just 2 hours. 

Charles Finney got there half past 8 with an umbrella, he started praying, when the other preachers and Christians saw him as they gathered to pray, they asked him, what will you be doing with this umbrella.

He replied, we have come here to pray for rain and it shall rain. They started laughing, mocking and looking at him as a fanatic.

They have not prayer for 10mins when the rain started, CHARLES FINNEY was the only one not beaten by the rain.

Charles Grandison Finney has stood out as one of the most widely known revivalists from pre-civil war America. There are many dimensions to the spirituality of this leader; passion for God, passion for prayer, and passion for revival. Few ministers in history have borne so much spiritual fruit and have ministered with as much raw spiritual power as this man.

Just as he was called, a fanatic, his preaching style would have been legalism as some of us are being termed today.

Let me share some few things with you here:

Finney never made an altar call, he didn’t preach the love of God. 

He… didn’t say “you’re a sinner, God loves you.” He said “God is angry with the wicked every day” (Ps 7:11) which the Word of God says. He didn’t preach grace, he preached Law. 

He didn’t preach love, he preached judgment. He didn’t preach heaven, he preached hell. He didn’t say “you’re a wonderful person” he said “you’re a rebel”. But he got results. 64% of D. L. Moodys converts backslid, 72% of the converts Finney got stood because he knew how to attack the human will, not just the emotions.

Don't let me bore you, let me roundup with this remarkable experience in Charles Finney ministry.

One of Finney’s revivals broke out in the city of Antwerp. Upon arriving there, he learned that the local Presbyterian church consisted only of a few members and these members, apparently, did not meet for services. Finney engaged himself in serious prayer, and made arrangements to preach in the schoolhouse. This resulted in him ministering in a series of well-attended meetings.

At some point during this time, an elderly man requested Finney to come preach in a schoolhouse in his neighbourhood. 

Although tired, Finney agreed and, upon arrival, found the schoolhouse crowded full.

As was his custom, Finney had not selected a text ahead of time. After some moments of prayer, the Lord impressed a scripture upon him and Finney began preaching on the following text; “… Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. …” (Genesis 19.14). 

He expounded upon the story of the righteous man, Lot, who lived in the exceedingly wicked city of Sodom. God had announced to Lot that he would destroy Sodom. 

However, God had previously agreed that, if only ten righteous persons within the city could be found, He would spare it. It was found that Sodom had less than ten righteous persons and God rained down judgment upon it. 

As Finney was preaching on these events, his audience was becoming visibly angry. 

As soon as he had finished the narrative he  turned upon them and said, that he understood that they had never had a religious meeting in that place; and that therefore he had a right to take it for granted, and was compelled to take it for granted, that they were an ungodly people. He pressed that home upon them with more and more energy, with my heart full to bursting.

In the following moments something amazing occurred. 

I had not spoken to them in this strain of direct application, I should think more than a quarter of an hour, when all at once an awful solemnity seemed to settle down upon them, and a something flashed over the congregation a kind of shimmering, as if there was some agitation in the atmosphere itself. 

The congregation began to fall from their seats; and they fell in every direction, and cried for mercy. If I had had a sword in each hand, I could not  have cut them off their seats as fast as they fell. 

Indeed nearly the whole congregation were either on their knees or prostrate, I should think, in less than two minutes from this first shock that fell upon them. Everyone prayed for himself, who was able to speak at all.

After waiting a few moments, Finney began praying individually with those who were seeking God, leading them to Christ. 

He found out afterwards that the reason many in the crowd were so visibly angry, at first, was because that area had been nicknamed Sodom, because of the exceeding sinfulness of its citizens. 

The man who had invited him there was the only known pious person of that area, and he had been nicknamed Lot. The people had thought that Finney had known this ahead of time, although he had not.

To be continued....

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