Sunday, July 22, 2018

          THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST                        CLEANSES US FROM ALL SINS                          By Charles G. Finney

" 'Stop, I need your help!'
It was in Detroit, Michigan, several years ago.
It was early evening and I was about to walk into the building where I was holding revival meetings. A man walked up to me and said, 'Are you Mr. Finney?'
" 'Yes,' I replied.
"'Please, when you get through tonight, —will you come home with me. I need to talk to you. ' " 'All right, I will. You wait for me. ' I walked inside—and some of the men stopped me.
" 'What does the man want?"
" He wants me to go home with him after the meeting tonight. "
" 'Don't do it. He's known to be dangerous. '
" I’m sorry, but I promised and I shall go with him.'
"When the service was over that evening, I went with the man three blocks down the street and then into an alley, and stopped. The man unlocked the door and said', 'Come in.' Walking into the room, I found the man locking the door behind me, and then reaching into his pocket he pulled out a revolver and held it in his hand.
" 'I don't intend to do you any harm,' he said. 'I just want to ask you a few questions. Did you mean what you said in your sermon last night?'
" 'What did I say? I have forgotten. '
" 'You said, 'The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin.'
" 'Yes, God says so. '
"Then he said to me, 'You see this revolver? It has killed four people. It is mine. Two of them were killed by me, two of them by my bartender in a brawl in my saloon. Is there hope for a man like me?'
" 'Yes. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin. Christ can forgive you and help you obey the Commandments of God. '
"Then the man said, 'Brother Finney, another question. In the back of this partition is a saloon. I own it, everything in it. We'll sell every kind of liquor to anybody who comes along. Many times I have taken the last penny out of a man's pocket, letting his wife and children go hungry. Many times women have brought their babies here and pled with me not to sell any more booze to their husbands, but I have driven them out and kept on with the whiskey selling. Is there hope for a man like me?'
" 'God says, "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son, cleanseth us from all sin." [1 John 1:7].
" 'Another question, brother Finney. In back of this other partition is a gambling joint and it is as crooked as sin and Satan. There isn't a decent wheel in the whole place. It is all loaded and crooked. A man leaves the saloon with some money left in his pocket, and we take his money away from him in our gambling hall. Men have gone out of that gambling den to commit suicide when their money, and perhaps entrusted funds, were all gone. Is there any hope for a man like me?'
" 'God says, "The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin.'
" 'One more question, and I will let you go. When you walk out of this alley you turn to the right and you'll see a brown-stone house. It is my home. I own it. My wife is there, and my eleven-year old child, Margaret. Thirteen years ago I went to New York on business. I met a beautiful girl. I lied to her. I told her I was a stockbroker, and she married me. " 'I brought her here, and when she found out my business it broke her heart. I have made life a hell on earth for her. I have come home drunk, beaten her, locked her out, made her life more miserable than that of any brute beast. About a month ago I went home one night drunk, mean, miserable. My wife got in the way some how, and I started beating her. My daughter threw herself between us. I slapped that girl across the face and knocked her against a red-hot stove. Her arm is burned from shoulder to wrist. It will never look like anything decent. Brother Finney, is there hope for a man like me?'
"I took hold of the man's shoulders, shook him, and said, 'Oh, son, what a black story you have to tell! But God says, 'The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin!'
"The man saw it. He looked at me a long moment and then said, 'Thank you, Brother Finney. Thank you very much. Now I know. Pray for me. I am coming to church tomorrow night. And I am going to do some changing.'
"I left that back room and went home. The next morning, about seven o'clock, the saloon man finally got finished with his business at his office and leaving it headed across the street to his home. His necktie was awry. His face was dusty, sweaty, and tear­stained. He was shaking as though he were drunk.
"But let's go back to that room. That night he had taken the swivel chair in the office and smashed the mirror, the fireplace, the desk and the other chairs. He had smashed the partition on each side. Every bottle and barrel and bar mirror in that saloon was shattered and broken up. The sawdust was swimming ankle deep in a terrible mixture of beer, gin, whiskey, and wine. The stench that rose from that rotten mess was terrific. In the gambling establishment on the other side the tables were smashed. The dice and cards smoldered in the fireplace.
"And then he had cried for hours there alone on his knees with God.
"And so with it all over, he staggered across the street as the sun arose, walked up the stairs of his home, and sat down heavily in the chair of his room. His wife called the little girl, 'Maggie, run upstairs and tell daddy breakfast is ready.' The girl walked slowly up the stairs. Half afraid, she stood in the door and said, 'Daddy, Mamma said breakfast was ready; to come down.'
" 'Maggie, darling, daddy doesn't want any breakfast. ' "That little girl didn't walk; she just flew down those stairs. 'Mamma, daddy said, "Maggie, darling, and he didn't—.' "Maggie, you didn't understand. You go back upstairs and tell daddy to come down.' Maggie went back upstairs with the mother following her. The man looked up as he heard the child's step, spread his knees and said, 'Maggie, come here.'
"Shyly, frightened, in a tremble, the little girl walked slowly up to him. He began crying as he lifted her up, placed her on his knee, pressed his face against her chest and wept. The wife, standing in the door, didn't know what had happened. After awhile he noticed her standing there and said, 'Wife, come here.'
"He sat her on his other knee, threw his large arms around those two whom he loved, whom he had so fearfully abused, lowered his face between them, and sobbed until the room almost shook with the impact of his feelings.
"After some minutes be began to control himself, looked up into the faces of his wife and girl, and said to them:
" 'Wife and daughter,—you needn't ever be afraid of me any more. God has brought you a new man, a new daddy home today.'
"That same night that man, his wife, and child, walked down the aisle of the church, gave their hearts to Christ and joined the church. He spent the remainder of his life trying to help other people. Many were the young people that he warned to flee from liquor and cigarettes and gambling—for he well knew the terrible hole that they would bring a man into." —Charles G. Finney.