The Words of the Stephens Family
What To Repent For In Preparation For Amnesty Ceremony
January 25, 2007
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I was discussing the upcoming Amnesty Ceremony with someone the other day and I mentioned a book I had read back in 1991 by the greatest evangelist in American history. In that book, he had one whole chapter on 28 areas that we all need to repent for.
It was a powerful chapter that I never forgot. In fact, some years later I transcribed that chapter. It is now on our BFD website in the section for the Prayer in Action Ministry. You can find it in the right hand column. Or just use this link to go directly to the page. www.familyfed.org/bfd/Finney-Revival.html. Here is the introduction to Charles Finney from the book:
Charles Grandison Finney was unquestionably the most impressive religious revolutionary that America has ever produced. Ö
Everywhere he went, for some forty years, the tumult spread. Thousands found peace in believing. Thousands more hated him with a perfect hatred. They detested his methods, deplored his message, and denounced his successes.
In spite of all opposition, he became the most successful evangelist our nation has ever seen.
He was pre-eminently the nineteenth-century apostle of Revival. It is estimated that over 250,000 souls were converted as the result of his preaching.
Reading through just a few of the sections has always put me in the mood to repent very quickly.
I'm going to share a few sections with you below but not all of them. Please go to the website for that: www.familyfed.org/bfd/Finney-Revival.html
Below are 8 out of the 28 points in the book, but 8 should be enough to fully give you the feeling. Prepare yourself for heavy duty judgment because he tries to hit you like a sledgehammer right between the eyes.
Eventually, when you are doing your personal preparation for the Amnesty Ceremony I really encourage you to print out the full list and take it to your prayer place and go through it while you pray. I believe it will really deepen your experience of the ceremony and help with your spiritual cleansing so that you can get the rush of God's love that He wants to give you.
Pray too for all of the rest of us to get the full benefit of the experience as well.
Excerpts from Chapter 3 of the book Finney On Revival by Charles Finney
...A revival consists of two parts: as it respects the Church, and as it respects the ungodly. I shall speak on this occasion 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 received grain.
If you mean to break up the fallow ground of your hearts, you must begin by looking at your hearts: examine and note the state of your minds, and see where you are. Many never seem to think about this. They pay no attention to their own hearts, and never know whether they are doing well in religion or not; whether they are gaining ground or going back; whether they are fruitful, or lying waste. Now you must draw off your attention from other things, and look into this. Make a business of it. Do not be in a hurry. Examine thoroughly the state of your hearts, and see where you are: whether you are walking with God every day, or with the devil.
Self-examination consists in looking at your lives, in considering your actions, in calling up the past, and learning its true character. Look back over your past history. Take up your individual sins one by one, and look at them. I do not mean that you should just cast a glance at your past life, and see that it has been full of sins, and then go to God and make a sort of general confession, and ask for pardon. That is not the way. You must take them up one by one. It will be a good thing to take a pen and paper, as you go over them, and write them down as they occur to you.
Go over them as carefully as a merchant goes over his books; and as often as a sin comes before your memory, add it to the list. General confessions of sin will never do. Your sins were committed one by one; and as far as you can come at them, they ought to be reviewed and repented of one by one. Now begin, and take up first what are commonly, but improperly, called Sins of Omission.
1. Ingratitude. Take this sin, for instance, and write down under that head all the instances you can remember wherein you have received favors from God for which you have never exercised gratitude. How many cases can you remember? Some remarkable providence, some wonderful turn of events, that saved you from ruin. Set down the instances of Godís goodness to you when you were in sin, before your conversion, for which you have never been half-thankful enough; and the numerous mercies you have received since. How long the catalogue of instances, where your ingratitude has been so black that you are forced to hide your face in confusion! Go on your knees and confess them one by one to God, and ask forgiveness. The very act of confession, by the laws of suggestion, will bring up others to your memory. Put down these! Go over them three or four times in this way, and see what an astonishing number of mercies there are for which you have never thanked God.
2. Want of love to God. Think how grieved and alarmed you would be if you discovered any flagging of affection for you in your wife, husband, or children; if you saw another engrossing their hearts, and thoughts, and time. Perhaps in such a case you would well nigh die with a just and virtuous jealousy. Now, God calls Himself a jealous God; and have you not given your heart to other loves and infinitely offended Him?
3. Neglect of the Bible. Put down the cases when for perhaps weeks, or longer, Godís Word was not a pleasure. Some people, indeed, read over whole chapters in such a way that they could not tell what they had been reading. If so, no wonder that your life is spent at random, and that your religion is such a miserable failure.
4. Unbelief. Recall the instances in which you have virtually charged the God of truth with lying, by your unbelief of His express promises and declarations. God has promised to give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him. Now, have you believed this? Have you expected Him to answer? Have you not virtually said in your hearts, when you prayed for the Holy Spirit: "I do not believe that I shall receive"? If you have not believed nor expected to receive the blessing which God has expressly promised, you have charged Him with lying.
5. Neglect of Prayer. Think of the times when you have neglected secret prayer, family prayer, and prayer meetings; or have prayed in such a way as more grievously to offend God than to have omitted it altogether.
6. Neglect of the means of grace. When you have suffered trifling excuses to prevent your attending meetings, have neglected and poured contempt upon the means of salvation, merely from disrelish of spiritual duties.
7. The manner in which you have performed those duties. That is, with want of feeling and want of faith, in a worldly frame of mind, so that your words were nothing but a mere chattering of a wretch who did not deserve that God should feel the least care for him. When you have fallen down upon your knees and "said your prayers" in such an unfeeling and careless manner that if you had been put under oath five minutes after you could not have said for what you had been praying.
8. Want of love for the souls of your fellow men. Look round upon your friends and relatives, and remember how little compassion you have felt for them. You have stood by and seen them going right to hell, and it seems as though you did not care. How many days have there been in which you failed to make their condition the subject of a single fervent prayer, or to evince any ardent desire for their salvation?
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