[anzac] REVIVAL IN SODOM - Finney

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From: "ANZAC Prophetic List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Sat, 21 Feb 2004 19:02:51 -0600
ANDREW STROM WRITES:  Before we get to the amazing 
piece written by Finney, I just want to thank all of you who 
have been praying for us. We are now safe in Kansas City 
and running this List from the USA. Our NZ house was 
rented out literally the day before we left - praise God! And
we arrived here to find that people had been filling our new
house with free furniture. Even yesterday someone gave 
us three brand-new dressers and more. We cannot believe 
how God has been blessing this move to America. Two 
nights ago I preached here for the first time, and it felt 
like God may already be on the move.

Lately I have been working on a book that modernizes
Charles Finney's writings about his most powerful Revivals.
It has been such a joy to work on. The book is absolutely
loaded with John-the-Baptist type preaching and agonizing
prayer - that produced the most extraordinary results. I 
have never heard of such powerful Revivals - and every one 
of them is true and documented. I am hoping to have
the book finished within two weeks. Below is just one
example of the kind of thing that happened in his ministry
all the time:
*****************
"Revival in Sodom"
-by Charles Finney.

An aged man came to me and asked if I would go and 
preach in a schoolhouse in his neighborhood, saying that 
they had never had any services there. He wished me to 
come as soon as I could. I appointed the next day, 
Monday, at five o'clock in the afternoon. 

At the appointed hour I found the schoolhouse full, and 
I could only get a standing-place near the open door. I 
read a hymn, and I cannot call it singing, for they seemed 
never to have had any church music in that place. 
However the people pretended to sing. But it amounted to 
this: each one bawled in his own way. My ears had been 
cultivated by teaching church music, and their horrible 
discord distressed me so much that, at first, I thought I 
must go out. I finally put both hands over my ears, and 
held them with my full strength. But this did not shut out 
the discords. I stood it, however, until they were through; 
and then I cast myself down on my knees, almost in a 
state of desperation, and began to pray. The Lord opened 
the windows of heaven, and the spirit of prayer was 
poured out, and I let my whole heart out in prayer. 

I had taken no thought with regard to a text upon which to 
preach. But as soon as I had finished praying I arose from 
my knees and said: "Up, get you out of this place; for the 
Lord will destroy this city." I told them I did not recall 
where that text was, but I told them very nearly where they 
would find it, and then went on to explain it. I told them how 
exceedingly evil Sodom became, and what abominable 
practices they fell into. I told them that the Lord decided 
to destroy Sodom, and visited Abraham and informed him 
what He was about to do; God promised him that if He 
found ten righteous people in the city He would spare it. 
But it was found that there was only one righteous person 
there, and that was Lot. And the angels said to Lot, 
"Whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this 
place... because the cry of them is waxen great before the 
face of the Lord; and the Lord hath sent us to destroy it." 

While I was relating these facts I observed the people 
looking as if they were angry. Many of the men were in 
their shirt sleeves; and they looked at each other and at 
me, as if they were ready to fall upon me and chastise me 
on the spot. I saw their strange and unaccountable looks, 
and could not understand what I was saying that had 
offended them. However it seemed to me that their anger 
rose higher and higher as I continued the narrative. As 
soon as I had finished, I turned to them and said that I 
understood they had never had a religious meeting in 
that place, and therefore I was compelled to take it for 
granted that they were an ungodly people. I pressed that 
home upon them with more and more energy, with my 
heart full almost to bursting. 

I had not spoken to them in this strain of direct application 
for more than a quarter of an hour, when all at once an 
awful solemnity seemed to settle down upon them. The 
congregation began to fall from their seats in every 
direction and cry 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 in less than two minutes from 
this first shock that fell upon them. Everyone who was able 
to speak at all, prayed for himself. 

Of course I was obliged to stop preaching; for they no 
longer paid any attention. I saw the old man who had 
invited me there to preach, sitting about in the middle of 
the house, and looking around with utter amazement. I 
raised my voice almost to a scream to make him hear, 
and pointing to him said, "Can't you pray?" He instantly 
fell upon his knees, and with a stentorian voice poured 
himself out to God; but he did not at all get the attention 
of the people. I then spoke as loud as I could, and tried 
to make them listen. I said, "You are not in hell yet; 
Now let me direct you to Christ." For a few moments I 
tried to hold forth the Gospel to them, but scarcely any 
of them paid any attention. My heart was so overflowing 
with joy at such a scene that I could hardly contain 
myself. It was with much difficulty that I refrained from 
shouting and giving glory to God. 

As soon as I could sufficiently control my feelings, I 
turned to a young man who was close to me and was 
engaged in praying for himself, laid my hand on his 
shoulder to get his attention, and preached in his ear 
Jesus. As soon as I got his attention to the cross of 
Christ, he believed, was calm and quiet for a minute 
or two, and then broke out in praying for the others. I 
then turned to another, and took the same course with 
him, with the same result; and then another, and another. 

In this way I kept on, until I found the time had arrived 
when I must leave them, and go and fulfill an appointment 
in the village. I told them this, and asked the old man 
who had invited me there to remain and take charge of 
the meeting, while I went to my appointment. He did so. 
But there was too much interest, and there were too 
many wounded souls, to dismiss the meeting; and so it 
was held all night. In the morning there were still those 
there that could not get away; and they were carried to 
a private house in the neighborhood, to make room for 
the school. In the afternoon they sent for me to come 
down there, as they could not yet break up the meeting. 

When I went down the second time, I got an explanation 
of the anger of the congregation during my introduction 
the day before. I learned that the place was called 
Sodom, which I did not know; and that there was but one 
pious man in the place, and they called him Lot. This 
was the old man that invited me there. The people 
supposed that I had chosen my subject and preached 
to them in that manner because they were so wicked as 
to be called Sodom. This was a striking coincidence, but 
so far as I was concerned it was altogether accidental. 

Although revival came upon them so suddenly, and was 
of such a powerful type, the converts were sound, and 
the work permanent and genuine. I never heard of any 
disastrous reaction as having taken place.