Sodom and Lot?

While studying law in Adams, New York, Charles Finney purchased a Bible and, for two or three years, weighed its message. One fall morning in 1821, walking to his office, he suddenly detoured to a nearby forest and ventured into the woods. There between fallen trees, he tried to pray. At first, he was troubled that someone might see him. But finally an overwhelming sense of my wickedness in being ashamed to have a human being see me on my knees took such possession of me that I cried to the top of my voice that I would not leave that place if all the men of earth and all the devils in hell surrounded me.

Finney prayed until the peace of Christ filled his heart.
In the days following, almost everyone Finney met was stricken with conviction of sin and converted. A revival swept through Adams, and soon Finney found himself preparing for the ministry.

One of his more unusual sermons was preached some time later in a village near Evans Mills, New York. During the service, Finney, who seldom prepared his sermons in advance, asked God to give him a text. Suddenly he remembered the story of Sodom, city of Lot. Genesis 19:14 rushed to mind : “Get up, get out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city!”

In his sermon, Finney painted the condition of Sodom before God destroyed it. I had not spoken in this strain more than a quarter hour when an awful solemnity seemed to settle upon them; the congregation began to fall from their seats in every direction and cried for mercy. If I had had a sword in each hand, I could not have cut them down as fast as they fell. Everyone prayed who was able to speak at all.

Only afterward Finney learned the village where he preached was known as Sodom, and the man who had invited him was called Lot.

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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