Category Archives: Charles Finney

What Must I Do to Be Saved? (January 2017)

In this sobering message, Pastor Ray identifies that salvation consists in a state of mind that is supremely happy in (and resigned to) God’s will. To be saved, we must recognize that we’ve stolen ourselves from God, return to Him, and make restitution to all we’ve injured. Doubtful actions will block us from hearing the Holy Spirit, sear our hearts, dull our fear of God, and ultimately ruin our souls. Is Christ’s yoke an iron collar of duty to you, or is your delight in the will of God? Where’s your heart with Jesus today as you listen to the sermon?

Welcome message by Sister Michelle

How to Promote a Revival

The following lecture was the third in a series preached by Charles G. Finney to his own congregation at the Chatham Chapel in New York in 1835. The editor of The Evangelist took detailed notes and published the lectures that same year.

By 1868, over 80,000 copies had been printed in English. Having been translated into French and Welsh, the lectures also spread across Europe and impacted thousands of souls. A dear brother has made all of these precious lectures available online for free, including both print and audio recordings.

 LECTURES ON REVIVALS OF RELIGION
by The Rev. CHARLES G. FINNEY
LECTURE III
HOW TO PROMOTE A REVIVAL

TEXT. —Break up your fallow ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you. –HOSEA X. 12.

THE Jews were a nation of farmers, and it is therefore a common thing in the Scriptures to refer for illustrations to their occupation, and to the scenes with which farmers and shepherds are familiar. The prophet Hosea addresses them as a nation of backsliders, and reproves them for their idolatry, and threatens them with the judgments of God. I have showed you in my first lecture what a revival is not–what it is–and the agencies to be employed in promoting it; and in my second, when it is needed–its importance–and when it may be expected. My design in this lecture is to show,

HOW A REVIVAL IS TO BE PROMOTED.

A revival consists of two parts; as it respects the church, and as it respects the ungodly. I shall speak to-night of a revival in the church. Fallow ground is ground which has once been tilled, but which now lies waste, and needs to be broken up and mellowed, before it is suited to receive grain. I shall show, as it respects a revival in the church,

1. What it is to break up the fallow ground, in the sense of the text.
2. How it is to be performed. Continue reading How to Promote a Revival

Nothing Is Hidden from God

When Achan stole and hid gold, silver, and fine clothing from God, the Lord withdrew from Israel, and thirty-six people died in battle. The Lord exposed Achan’s sin to all Israel, who stoned and burned Achan and his family. Just as the fire of judgment consumed Achan, the fires of hell will consume us if we do not allow the Holy Spirit to probe us and uncover the worst parts of our hearts. And just as Achan’s brothers died because of his sin, our fellow men are dying in sin while the Church at-large remains powerless because she refuses the work of the Holy Spirit to bring her to repentance, and brays, “We’re all sinners!” Are you still a sinner? Or do you fear sinning? Will you spread your sin before the Lord now in deep repentance and a holy fear of God, that you and those around you might be saved; or will you wait until the Day of Judgment, and be damned?

Jesus Waits for Your Decision

The parable of the prodigal son shows two responses to the gospel. In the first, the lost son comes to his senses and cries, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son!” In the second, the elder son holds onto a hard, angry heart and refuses to go in to his brother, in spite of his father’s pleading. It is easy and dangerous to think that we are responding as the prodigal son when in fact we are responding as the elder brother. Have you returned to Jesus everything that you’ve stolen, and fully consecrated yourself to him? Or, do you still reserve the “right” to deny your heavenly Father’s pleading?

A Prepared Salvation

Focusing on the parable of the prodigal son, this continuation in the study of Charles Finney’s book God’s Call sets in terrifying relief the true condition of sinners as thieves and liars towards God. Like the prodigal, we must come to our senses and see that we’ve lived in a pretend world that says, “I own my life. I can choose what I do. I decide whether, and how much, I will give to God and obey him.” In reality, everything belongs to Jesus, and anyone who walks otherwise is a thief and a liar. The gospel allows no compromise on this point–we will not enter heaven unless we are saved from all sin now!

Stolen Goods?

A deep consideration of how you have stolen yourself from God will produce great pain. We must see this before we can truly offer a full confession to God and make restitution to people whom we’ve injured. When you see that everything that you own, and are, belongs to God; and that you’ve stolen it all, and lied about it; you can then disown your life and return what you’ve stolen to Jesus Christ. These are God’s indispensable conditions for forgiveness and salvation from sin. Is this your present position before God?

What Must I Do to Be Saved?

In this sobering message, Pastor Ray identifies that salvation consists in a state of mind that is supremely happy in (and resigned to) God’s will. To be saved, we must recognize that we’ve stolen ourselves from God, return to Him, and make restitution to all we’ve injured. Doubtful actions will block us from hearing the Holy Spirit, sear our hearts, dull our fear of God, and ultimately ruin our souls. Is Christ’s yoke an iron collar of duty to you, or is your delight in the will of God? Where’s your heart with Jesus today as you listen to the sermon?

Welcome message by Sister Michelle

Pardon, or Permission?

In the American church and most of the western world, comfortable theologies of the sinning Christian have obscured the truth about God’s law and his atonement. A powerful illustration by Charles Finney, drawn from Ecclesiastes 8:11, demonstrates the intention of God to persuade sinners to give up their spirit of rebellion, and the great guilt of sinners who refuse obedience and abuse God’s mercy. Does the crucifixion of the Son of God melt your heart and fill you with intense desire to never sin again? Or, do your actions and heart say, “Jesus doesn’t have the power to save me from sinning. I can’t stop, and God loves me so much that even though I continue to abuse and insult him, he won’t send me to hell?

The Testimony of Righteousness

In this vulnerable testimony, Pastor Ray shares his experience of entire sanctification. Entire sanctification is not some mystical experience: it is simply a covenant confirmed with Jesus that, “I disown my life, and I will receive from Jesus only what he chooses to give me.” As we deny ourselves the right to provide for ourselves, the Holy Spirit leads us down a path of suffering that eradicates selfishness and produces real righteousness. Have you made this covenant with Jesus? Are you living by faith that, if you seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, everything will be added to you? Or is your life still filled with what you’ve created?

Union with Jesus

Are you in union with Jesus? Rees Howells’ testimony illustrates the need to abandon selfishness, which is sin, in order to enter and stay in union with Jesus. The gospel is designed to eradicate selfish motives and draw one’s heart into pure benevolence. On the nature of this change, Charles Finney writes, “If you love God, you cannot reflect that you have wounded his feelings, without pain. You would not complain that you could not repent: The truth is, that if you were in the exercise of love for God, you could not help repenting[…]Christian, is this your experience?

The Date of Your Execution

Jesus said, “Do not begin to think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I came not to abolish but to fulfill.” Weaving in Charles Finney’s allegory about parents pleading for the pardon of their condemned son, Pastor Ray shows that the new covenant does not abolish the requirements of the moral law. In the new covenant, God writes his law in our hearts so that we become righteous now. Has the law, by faith in Christ, been totally fulfilled in your heart? Are you, like the parents, pleading with God for the guilty–or, like the son, will you come to the date of your execution in rebellion and proud disdain, protesting your innocence?

(Note: There is no video for today’s broadcast.)

The Liquid Love of God

Charles Finney described his conversion as, “I felt myself justified by faith…I was in a state in which I did not sin. Instead of feeling that I was sinning all the time, my heart was so full of love that it overflowed…I could not feel that I was sinning against God. Nor could I recover the least sense of guilt for my past sins.” Does this describe the condition of your soul? Like Finney, each of us must enter this state by faith: not an intellectual decision, but a voluntary trust in specific promises of God. Will you, this Christmas, receive God’s gift to us in Christ, and allow the Holy Spirit to take possession of your soul?

(Note: The first part of the video had audio problems and has been deleted.)

Consider Yourself Dead to Sin (Encore)

In today’s encore broadcast, Pastor Ray encourages us to look at the cause/effect relationship of sin. This cause/effect nature of sin has been clouded by our feelings. God’s grace enables us to say no to sin. Do you want to live a new life in Jesus free of sin? That’s what was Jesus wants to give you through His power, although we must be crucified with Christ. Be encouraged to give Him everything!

No More Fiat Christianity! (Encore)

Using a reading from the great revivalist Charles Finney, Pastor Ray asks the question if we have a “fiat” Christian life, that is not backed by anything other than religious gibberish and wishful intentions. We must must all face the great white throne of judgment and our actions will be judged. Have you thought your intellectual information, even if true, would true would save you? Will you honestly come before God and hungrily search after Jesus?

What Is the Driving Motive of Your Heart? (Encore)

Why do we sin whatever that sin may be? Most of us sin simply because we hope to get something good out of it. Sin is when we place our own desire over our duty to serve the living God of heaven.  We must lay down this quid pro quo attitude, where we view God in a totally utilitarian way.

Failure to do this will leave you in a half-converted state. Make an unequivocal decision to give yourself totally to Jesus, you can leave your sin!

Can you actually be saved in the midst of your selfishness? The Holy Spirit always examines our motives to determine why we do what we do. The selfishness of our hearts must be utterly exposed and transformed by the power of the blood of Jesus. What is your motive in following Jesus? 

The True Gospel in the Early Church and Scripture (Encore)

In this encore presentation, Ray gives a brief historical background of the true doctrine of living without sin before proceeding to Biblical texts. For the first two centuries, the teaching that Christians could live without sin by the power of Jesus Christ, dominated the church. By the third century, the heresy of the sinning Christian flooded the church, where it remained virtually unchallenged for nearly thirteen centuries. This isn’t merely an academic question: it is a question of personal agony for those who truly desire freedom from sin. Do you believe in the fallacy of the sinning christian?