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Discussion Forum : Revivals And Church History : GOD CANNOT PLEASE SINNERS (Charles G. Finney)

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RobertW
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 Re:

God Cannot Please sinners (Part 19)
Charles G. Finney

IV. God, so speaks and conducts, as to commend himself to every man's conscience. The sinner's heart is entirely opposed to God; but God pursues such a course, as not to leave himself without a witness in the sinner's breast. Conscience will testify for God. Now, it is certain, that the sinner's heart must be reconciled to God, or he is eternally miserable; his judgment and conscience, will always bear witness that God is right; and unless the heart is brought over to take sides with conscience, it is self-evident that the sinner must be damned.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/2/28 11:02Profile
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 Re:

God Cannot Please Sinners (Part 20)
Charles G. Finney

V. Ministers and Christians should take the same course that God does;--should so live and speak, as to commend themselves to the sinner's conscience.

If we live so as to have the sinner's conscience on our side, however much he may hate us now, it is certain, that he must love us, or he must be damned. If we have done that which his conscience approve, he must be reconciled to us, or God will never be reconciled to him.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/2/28 13:33Profile
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 Re:

God Cannot Please Sinners (Part 21)
Charles G. Finney

VI. You see from this subject, why it is that where persons are converted, they often manifest the greatest attachment to those Christians whom they most hated, previous to their conversion. Those Christians that lead the most holy lives, are most apt to be hated by impenitent sinners; and it often happens, that the more they reprove and warn and rebuke them; the more sinners will hate them. But if those sinners become truly converted, you will always see that they have the most confidence in those very persons; the reason is, their hearts are changed. Their conscience took part with the faithful Christian before; and now they are converted, both heart and conscience approve his character.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/3/1 8:06Profile
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 Re:

God Cannot Please Sinners (Part 22)
Charles G. Finney

VII. You see from this subject, why it is that when persons are converted, they manifest the least attachment for, and least confidence in, those professors of religion with whom they were most intimate while in their sins. Those persons with whom they were most pleased, while in a state of impenitency; were agreeable to them, not because they had so much piety, but because they had so little,--not because they did their duty to them so faithfully, but because they neglected it. Now, when they are converted, they cannot have much confidence in the piety of those professors with whom they used to have this kind of worldly intimacy. They cannot, for their lives, help suspecting that they have no piety. In some cases a husband or wife, who was a professor of religion, has so lived, and so concealed their light as to please their unconverted companion. If, in such a case, the husband or wife becomes truly converted, rest assured, there will be but little Christian confidence between the young convert, and the old professor in this case. In some cases, husbands have said, after their conversion, that they have very little confidence in their wife's religion, because she never manifested religion enough to disturb them in their sins.


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Robert Wurtz II

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 Re:

God Cannot Please Sinners (Part 23)
Charles G. Finney

VIII. You see, from this subject, that temporising with sinners; letting down, concealing, or evading the claims of the Gospel, can do them no good. To attempt to please them, while in their sins, is but to ruin them, if we succeed. Their hearts must be changed; and the only way to effect this, is by taking the deepest hold upon conscience, that is possible. Instead of expecting to change the heart, by concealing the offensive features of the Gospel, we need only expect to change it, by spreading out before the conscience, the claims of God, in all their length and breadth. The heart is to be brought over, through instrumentality of conscience, and the more fully the claims of God are represented to the conscience, the more likely the sinner is to be converted.

To conceal the truth from conscience, and attempt to win the sinner over by a lovely song; is but to lull him with a syren's[sic.] voice, until he plunges into eternal death.


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Robert Wurtz II

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 Re:

God Cannot Please Sinners (Part 24)
Charles G. Finney

IX. You see from this subject, why it is that convicted sinners often manifest the greatest opposition, just before they submit to God. It is often the case, that the more conscience is pressed, the more the sinner is fretted, and the more he will rebel; and when the conscience is thoroughly enlightened, and has obtained a firm footing, so as to exert its utmost power upon the heart; a desperate and outrageous conflict often ensues; and in the madness of his exasperated feelings, the sinner is sometimes almost ready to blaspheme the God of heaven. And it is often observed, that sinners will be the most high-handed in the outbreakings of their enmity, while conscience is taking its most thorough lessons, from the truth and Spirit of God. But when feelings has in a measure exhausted its turbulence, the power of truth, presented by the Spirit of God, exerts upon the heart such tremendous power, through the conscience, as to make the sinner quail--throw down his weapons, and submit to God.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/3/2 8:36Profile
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 Re:

God Cannot Please Sinners (Part 25)
Charles G. Finney

X. From this subject, you can see the long-suffering of God in sparing sinners. How amazing it is, that he spares them so long, notwithstanding all their unreasonable fault-finding and rebellion. Nothing that he does pleases them, and nothing that he can do would please them. What would you think of your children, if they should conduct in such a manner towards you. Suppose they had never obeyed you, and had never so much as meant to obey you. When you have conducted in such a way as to commend yourself to their consciences, their hearts opposed you; and when you have commended yourself to their hearts, their consciences opposed you; so that upon the whole you have not, and cannot please them. They are always displeased, and murmuring at whatever you do. O how little patience would the kindest earthly parents have with their children, when compared with the long-suffering of the blessed God.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/3/2 10:46Profile
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 Re:

God Cannot Please Sinners (Part 26)
Charles G. Finney

XI. You see that it is of no use for God to try to please you, sinner, while you are in your sins. He cannot please you if he would, and he would not please you if he could, while you remain in sin. Sinners often seem to imagine, that if God was such a being, as they would have him, they should love him. They do not realize, that if they framed a God to suit their hearts, they would fail of appeasing their consciences. Sinner, your conscience approves of the character of God as it is. If his character could be altered in any conceivable degree, it would upon the whole please you no better than it does now, while you are in your sins; for if you could alter his character so as to satisfy your heart, you would only outrage your conscience; and the only possible way for you to be happy is, to change yourself, instead of expecting or desiring that God should change.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/3/2 12:12Profile
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 Re:

God Cannot Please Sinners (Part 27)
Charles G. Finney

XII. The necessity of a change of heart is self-evident. It is a fact of universal experience that the consciences and hearts of sinners are opposed to each other; and this is true even where the light of the Gospel has never shone. That men in following the inclination of their hearts, have violated their consciences, is known and acknowledged by every nation under heaven. This they have acknowledged in the most public manner by the expiatory sacrifices which they have offered to appease their offended gods. However absurd and foolish their ideas of God have been, yet their sacrifices show that they have violated their consciences; and there is probably not a man on earth who can honestly say, that in the indulgence of his heart he has not violated his conscience.

An enlightened conscience will never change. Its testimony will be louder and louder in favour of truth forever. There must be a change or there can be no inward peace; and this change must plainly be in the heart, and not in the conscience.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/3/2 15:03Profile
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 Re:

God Cannot Please Sinners (Part 28)
Charles G. Finney

XIII. It is in vain for sinners to wait for God to use means that suit them better, before they are converted.

Most sinners are waiting to hear some different kind of preaching; and sometimes they will pass through one revival after another, because the means, as they think, are not adapted to their case. Sometimes they hear preaching that pleases their hearts, but then their consciences are not enough impressed, to do them any good. And then again, they hear preaching that impresses their consciences: but their hearts rise up in rebellion.

Now if they could only hear some preaching, or God could use some means that they would please both their conscience and their heart, they think they should be converted. But such means cannot possibly be used while the heart and conscience are opposed to each other. Sinner, there is no use in your waiting. To expect God, or any body else, to satisfy you before you are converted, is vain; and if you wait for such an event you will wait until you are in the depths of hell.


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