August 24, 2011
Listen to the sermon here 2760789
World Changers – 2 – Charles Finney
Philippians 3:12 & 17
12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.
17 Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example.
Every Christian should live to be able to say to others as Paul did, Follow me, do as I do.
“If we have no concern for the lost, we need to put a telescope into hell.” Charles Finney
When I study the life of Finney I see the recurring theme, Power. People are doing everything they can today to have power.
Some try to find power in the position they obtain in life. Some are looking for power with physical strength. Some look for power with the things they buy. Some are looking for power in weapons they wield.
Today we are going to look into the life of a guy who tapped into a different kind of power.
DISCOVER THE PRINCIPLES OF GODS POWER :
So that you can become a world changer.
Church historians say that Charles Finney probably led more people to Christ than any person previous to his time. Finney led 100,000 people into church membership in the Rochester Revival of 1830.
Charles Finney was a world changer. There are a lot of things that happen in the life of the church today in 2011 that never happened before the ministry of Finney.
Prayer meetings – Three weeks for prayer meetings before preaching revival.
Seeker classes – Anxious meetings for those searching
Home visits – Finney started the tradition of home visits. To the sick and the unconverted.
Altar calls – 175 years ago Finney was the 1st one to give what we today call Altar Calls or invitations for people to rise up and take a public stand for Christ.
Finney discovered the power of God – “Dunamis” our word Dynamite comes from this. “Dunamis” the explosive, Miraculous Power of God.
God’s Dunamis, Gods Explosive Power is available to all who believe in Jesus Christ.
“Oh my dear, though I know you love me, yet you are terrifying when the power of God comes upon you. You stand there like a mighty angel, shouting the Gospel and wielding the flashing sword of judgment.” Lydia Finney
Finney had no religious training, not a single seminary class. He didn’t have the head knowledge that comes from an education but he had the heart power that comes from a relationship with God.
Finney never even prepared his sermons before he would go some-place to preach. But rather he would immerse himself in Prayer and the reading of God’s Word.
The Principles of POWER (Dunamis) with God
1) HUMBLE REPENTANCE.
Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’ Acts 2:38
The Holy Spirit is the power that is given to you that empowers you to live your life for God.
Finney had lots of hard questions for God – Don’t ever hesitate to take your hard questions to God.
Because of his questions, he started to read the Bible and he listened to the sermons which he admitted he did learn some things and his study brought him to this question.
“A little consideration convinced me that I was by no means in a state of mind to go to heaven if I should die… [I] was brought face to face with the question whether I would accept Christ as presented in the gospel, or pursue a worldly course of life…” Charles Finney
“The Holy Spirit descended on me…like a wave of electricity, going through and through me. Indeed it seemed to come in waves of liquid love…I remember crying out, ‘I shall die if these waves continue to pass over me.’ I said, ‘Lord, I cannot bear any more,’ yet I had no fear of death.” Charles Finney
Finney was a Lawyer and he said at that point “Christ has a retainer on my life” he quit the law practice and started to preach the gospel.
2) LIFE-CHANGING PRAYER.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8
Do you get answers to your prayers? (Bothered Finney Christians prayers weren’t answered)
Are you sincere in your prayers or are you just going through the motions? (Hard Work)
3) A PUBLIC FAITH.
Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven. Matthew 10:32-33
Finney said, “you sinned publicly before the world, now stand publicly and boldly in your faith.”
God never called anybody to be comfortable, God always calls us to get out of our comfort zone. No one in the Bible found it 2nd nature to do what it was God had called them to do.
Have you ever wondered why so many churches have what we call an invitation? This usually comes at the end of a service and the preacher will stand up front and say if anyone wants to publicly follow Christ come forward right now. As a matter of fact, there are folks who get upset when a preacher doesn’t offer an invitation to accept Christ. Some believe that Christ instituted the invitation at the end of the church service.It wasCharles Finney about 175 years ago. You won’t find it in the Bible anywhere – but that doesn’t mean it is a bad thing.
Anxious seat – He first came up with what he called the anxious seat. This was a place where anyone who was seeking answers could come sit near the preacher, as a way to say, I need answers and I am seeking.
Anxious or Inquiry Meetings – people would be asked to come the day after a service and have their questions about the faith answered.
Altar Calls – Finney then began to be so bold as to ask people at the end of a service to stand and make a bold stand for Jesus Christ.
“…I want you who have made up your minds to become Christians and will give your pledge to make your peace with God immediately should rise up…those of you who are resolved that you will not become Christians…should sit still.” Charles Finney