"Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always." Psalm 105:4
Lifelines Outreach shares the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ,
and by making disciples in the greater Nashville area.
Charles Finney was and American evangelist in the 1900’s. And he came to fill the pulpit of 3rd Presbyterian Church in Rochester, New York. The church was in danger of disbanding. At first, Finney declined the invitation believing that the fighting between the churches in town, the lack of a pastor, and the low moral climate of the city did not make for a promising mission field. He had many other opportunities that were more promising fields of labor.
He wrestled in prayer for a whole night with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit said to him, “What are the reasons that would deter you from going to Rochester?” Finney spoke to God and gave Him his reasons. The Spirit of God responded, “Are these good reasons?” The Spirit said, you are certainly needed in Rochester because of these.” Finney surprised his two helpers the next morning and told them that we are packing up and going to Rochester. David Nash and Mr. Clay and he immediately went to begin a new work.
His strategy was always powerful prayer and powerful preaching. When they arrived in Rochester, Nash and Clay went out to find a room to begin a prayer meeting. When they found the room, they immediately shut themselves up and began to intercede for the city of Rochester. Intercession was their main work. Prayer became the tipping point for Finney’s ministry, and they began to see some success. Finney began preaching each night and three times on Sunday in a wood building that had been constructed for that purpose on the property of 3rd Presbyterian Church.
During the day, he was meeting with people who had concern for their own souls. One of the first conversations was an infidel woman in the city with great money and power who began promoting their meetings. People were coming up from over a hundred miles away to hear him preach. Finney began using a thing called an anxious seat in his meetings. When a person became broken and repentant, they came forward and sat in the anxious seat, and people further explained the Gospel to them. We would call this today and alter call. People from all over began to criticize him for his methods but the results spoke for themselves. During this time in Rochester, over a hundred thousand people came to Christ. He believed in the power of prayer. He believed in asking people to make a decision to follow Jesus.
One of the things lacking today in modern day evangelism is asking people to make a decision to follow Jesus after they have heard to Gospel. Warm weather is just a few weeks off and the prayer stands will be in full operation. We will be asking hundreds of people to make a decision to follow Jesus. They will understand what that means after they hear the Gospel. They will be asked to repent, believe and receive Jesus, follow Jesus, and die to self and take up their cross daily for the rest of their lives. Could we see something like the Finney revival in the 1900’s in Rochester, here in Nashville? Begin praying and working toward that end. It is a great day to be serving the Lord, sharing Jesus and making disciples! Thank you for your prayers and your financial support. Remember to pray and to read your Bible every day! -Richard Gay
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