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R.A. Torrey (1856 - 1928)

Read freely text sermons and articles by the speaker R.A. Torrey in text and pdf format. An American evangelist, pastor, educator, and writer. Called by D. L. Moody to head Bible institute in Chicago (now Moody Bible Institute). Dean of Bible Institute of Los Angeles. Pastorates included Chicago Avenue Church (now Moody Memorial) and Church of the Open Door, Los Angeles. Worldwide evangelistic meetings with Charlie Alexander. Founded Montrose Bible Conference, PA. Wrote more than forty books.

Torrey held his last evangelistic meeting in Florida in 1927, additional meetings being canceled because of his failing health. He died at home in Asheville, North Carolina, on October 26, 1928, having preached throughout the world and written more than 40 books. Torrey-Gray Auditorium, the main auditorium at Moody, was named for Torrey and his successor, James M. Gray. At Biola, the Torrey Honors Institute honors him, as does the university's annual Bible conference.

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      THERE is one man who is pictured to us in the Bible who appears to be more like Christ than any other man of whose life we have an account. That man is Stephen, the first deacon in the Christian church, and the first Christian martyr. There is no fairer l ... read more

A Deacon Who Went Fishing on Sunday
      One night when I arose to preach in the Chicago Avenue Church I saw sitting just to my left in the front seat underneath the gallery one of my deacons and side by side with him a flashily-dressed and hard-looking man. I at once concluded that he was a spo ... read more

A Prophet Mighty in Word and Deed Before God and All the People.” Mark 1:21–35
      (See also Matthew 8:14–17; Luke 4:31–41) DISCOVERY OF THE FACTS 1. Jesus’ Power as a Teacher, vv. 21, 22 What do we find Jesus doing on the Sabbath, in the first verse of this lesson? Did He often do this? (Luke 4:16.) Was the synagogue wor ... read more

A Solemn Question for Those Who are Rejecting Christ That They May Obtain the World
      “What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the world, and lose his own soul?” — Mark viii. 36 That question ought to set thinking every man and woman here tonight, who, because of love of the world is refusing Jesus Christ. I. Will you pleas ... read more

Abiding in Christ
      "If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." (John 15:7) The whole secret of prayer is found in these words of our Lord. Here is prayer that has unbounded power: "Ask WHAT YE WILL, and it shall ... read more

Always Praying and Not Fainting
      In two parables in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus teaches with great emphasis the lesson that men ought always to pray and not to faint. The first parable is found in Luke 11:5-8, and the other in Luke 18:1-8. "And He said unto them, Which of you shall have ... read more

An Infidel Converted Beside a Coffin
      A YOUNG lady in the Bible Institute, Chicago, started to call upon every family on a certain street in the poorer quarter of the city. One day she pushed open a door and found a man lying ill in bed, dying with consumption. When she began to speak to him, ... read more

Anecdotes and Illustrations - Part 1
      Do You Believe That, Sir? One night when I was speaking in a hall on the ground floor in Washington Avenue, there staggered into the room a man very much under the influence of liquor. He had once been prominent in his home town, postmaster of the town, ... read more

Anecdotes and Illustrations - Part 2
      First Sober Christmas in Ten Years One afternoon a wild looking Scandinavian rushed into the office in Minneapolis. My assistant, Mr. George Sanborn, was in the office. Mr. Saborn is not a large man, and the Scandinavian was a big, burly fellow. He rushe ... read more

Anecdotes and Illustrations - Part 3
      Won by a Smile As a Sunday-school worker hurried down the streets of Chicago one day on his way to Sunday-school, he noticed a little baby being held at the window by some one in the family. He turned towards the baby and smiled. The baby smiled back. Th ... read more

Anecdotes and Illustrations - Part 4
      A Lost Diamond A QUAINT preacher of the olden days in our country, the Rev. Dan Baker, puts the danger of delay in the way of a story. He tells of a man who was crossing the ocean. He was leaning over the side of the vessel; it was a bright sunny day, an ... read more

Are You Criticizing God?
      THESE WORDS ought to awaken anyone who is not utterly beyond hope. Notice the first two words and the last word. "0 man" and "God." "0 man, who art thou that repliest against God?" Here God and man are put in sharpest contrast, God in His infinite greatne ... read more

Before Abraham Was, I Am.” John 8:48–59
      DISCOVERY OF THE FACTS 1. “If a Man Keep My Word He Shall Never Taste of Death,” vv. 48–52 What two slanders against our Lord did the Jews utter in v. 48? To what extent was the word “Samaritan” a term of opprobrium in that day? (4:9.) D ... read more

Beginning Right
      There is nothing more important in the Christian life than beginning right. If we begin right, we can go on right. If we begin wrong, the whole life that follows is likely to be wrong. If anyone who reads these pages has begun wrong, it is a very simple m ... read more

Christ Again Foretelling His Death and Resurrection and Discoursing on Humility Matthew 17:22 to 18:14
      (Compare Mark 9:30–35; Luke 9:43–50) DISCOVERY OF THE FACTS 1. The Shekel in the Fish’s Mouth, 17:22–27 What does our Lord now announce to His disciples (vv. 22, 23)? What was His purpose in telling them so often in these days of His comi ... read more

Christ Exposing the Scribes and Pharisees Matthew 23:1–36
      DISCOVERY OF THE FACTS 1. Warning Against Seeking the Praise of Men, vv. 1–12 To whom were the words of the lesson spoken? Why not spoken to the Pharisees themselves? Why spoken to the multitudes? To His disciples? (1 Tim. 5:20.) Why was it nece ... read more

Christ’s Teaching Concerning Civil Government Matthew 22:15–22
      DISCOVERY OF THE FACTS 1. The Pharisees and Herodians Conspiring Against Christ, vv. 15–17 Who were the Pharisees? Who were the Herodians? Were they friends to one another? What had they in common? Was this the first occasion upon which these tw ... read more

Conditions of Discipleship Luke 14:25–35
      DISCOVERY OF THE FACTS 1. The First Condition of Discipleship, vv. 25, 26 How was the popularity of our Lord at this time shown? Did the multitudes realize what was involved in a true following of Him? What did the sight of the multitudes and the ... read more

Did I Miss God's Will for My Life?
      I recently received a letter from one who is evidently an earnest Christian woman but who was in a condition of great depression because some years ago, when in college, she felt that perhaps she was called to go to China but did not want to go but became ... read more

Discourse on the Bread of Life John 6:22–51
      DISCOVERY OF THE FACTS 1. Seeking the Food that Perisheth, vv. 22–34 What is the multitude represented as doing in the opening verses of the lesson? Was it really Himself they were seeking? Is there any of that sort of seeking today? What notice ... read more

Eternal Life: What It is, What It Cost, and Who Can Have It John 3:1–21
      DISCOVERY OF THE FACTS 1. Eternal Life Man’s Greatest Need, vv. 1–13 Why did Nicodemus come to Jesus at all? Why did he come by night? (John 12:42, 43.) How many times is he spoken of in the Bible as “he that came to Jesus by night”? Is th ... read more

Every Man's Need of a Refuge
      “And a man shall be as an hiding-place from the wind and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place; as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” — Isaiah xxxii. 2. I have a very precious old testament text to-night. I love t ... read more

      “And they all with one consent began to make excuses.” — Luke xiv. 18. In these words our Lord Jesus Christ sets forth the manner in which God’s invitation of love and grace and mercy would be received, and that is precisely the way in which Go ... read more

Found Wanting
      “TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.” — DANIEL v. 25. Any one who loves the drama should read the Bible, for the Bible is the most dramatic book that was ever written. There is nothing to compare with it in Eschylus or ... read more

Further Thoughts for the Comfort of Jesus’ Disciples During the Absence of Their Lord John 14:15–27
      DISCOVERY OF THE FACTS 1. “If Ye Love Me, Ye Will Keep My Commandments,” vv. 15–24 What change does the R. V. make in v. 15? What is the one proof of love to Jesus? How many of His commandments will we keep if we love Him? If we know some co ... read more

       “The fool hath said in his hearts there is no God” — Psalm xiv. 1. I have taken, or rather God has given me, for my text tonight a very short one. I do not think you ever heard a sermon from a shorter text. I will not tell you where to find t ... read more

      "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go; I will guide thee with mine eye." Ps. 32:8. "But if any of you lacketh wisdom, let him ask God, who giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But le ... read more

      OUR subject this morning is God's keeping and how to make sure of it. How to enjoy or make sure of God's keeping will come out when we come to a consideration of whom God keeps. The Bible, both the Old and New Testaments, is full of passages on this impor ... read more

Heroes and Cowards
      “The fear of man bringeth a snare.” — Proverbs xxix. 25. I have a long text to-night, in fact three texts. The text is the best part of the sermon. If a sermon is better than the text it is a poor sermon. A good sermon is simply an exposition of ... read more

Hindrances to Prayer
      We have gone very carefully into the positive conditions of prevailing prayer; but there are some things which hinder prayer. These God has made very plain in His Word. 1. The first hindrance to prayer we will find in James 4:3, "Ye ask and receive not ... read more

Holding Him to the Scriptures
      (as told by Faris Daniel Whitesell) One time I received a letter, a very heartbroken letter, from a father who was a Presbyterian minister. He wrote that he had a son who was in awful spiritual darkness. The son thought that he had committed the ... read more

How God Guides
      "Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory." Psalm 73:23-24 There are no promises in God's Word more precious to the man who wishes to do His will, and who re ... read more

      "Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden my right hand. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory." Ps. 73 : 23, 24. TWO weeks ago this morning we considered the question of God's guidance and how to o ... read more

How God Rewards His Servants Matt. 19:27 to 20:16
      (Compare Mark 10:28–31; Luke 18:28–30) DISCOVERY OF THE FACTS 1. The Reward of Sacrifice for Christ, 19:27–30 What occasioned Peter’s question? (vv. 21, 22, 23–26.) What did Peter say they had done? Was that true? (Luke 5:11, 27, 28.) W ... read more

How to be Inexpressibly Happy
      I have here a beautiful text, a text that you all know, but I wonder how many of you have ever pondered it enough to take in all its wonderful wealth of meaning. A young woman in England many years ago always wore a golden locket that she would not al ... read more

      One of the most difficult points in personal work is beginning. It is comparatively easy to go on after one has got an opening. I. FIND THE ONE TO DEAL WITH. The first thing is to find the one to deal with. As has already been said, we should p ... read more

      I. ROMAN CATHOLICS. 1. Very few Roman Catholics have assurance of salvation, indeed very few understand that it is our privilege to know that we have forgiveness of sins and eternal life. A good way then to deal with a Roman Catholic is to ask him ... read more

      I. THE HOPE OF BEING SAVED BY A RIGHTEOUS LIFE. 1. This is the most common of false hopes. Even among those who profess to be Christians, there are many who are really depending upon their lives as Christians for their acceptance before God. Those ... read more

      "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and y ... read more

      The largest class of men and women are those who have little or no concern about their salvation. There are some who contend that there is no use dealing with such, but there is. It is our business when a man has no concern about his salvation to go ... read more

      We come now to the question of how to deal with individual cases. We begin with those who realize their need of a Savior, and really desire to be saved. We begin with these because they are the easiest class to deal with. I. SHOW THEM JESUS AS A S ... read more

How to Find Honor Here and Recompense Hereafter Luke 14:7–14
      DISCOVERY OF THE FACTS 1. The Path to Honor, 7–11 What in v. 7 indicates that we are to look for some deeper spiritual meaning in the following verses than the mere teaching as to our conduct in social life that lies on the surface? To whom were ... read more

How to Pray So As to Get What You Ask
      “The church was earnestly praying to God for him.” Acts 12:5 Our Subject is, “How to Pray So As to Get What You Ask.” I can think of nothing more important that I could tell you. Suppose it had been announced that I was to tell the business men of this c ... read more

I Am the True Vine, and My Father is the Husbandman.” John 15:1–17
      DISCOVERY OF THE FACTS 1. Abundance of Fruit by Abiding in Christ, vv. 1–8 Under what figure did Jesus set forth His relation to His disciples? What is the central thought of this figure? What is the relation of the Father to the vine and its br ... read more

      The Bible differs from every other book in its history. 1. The Bible lias been hated as no other book. No book has ever aroused the animosity of men of all classes as the Bible has. The Bible has been hated by rich men and it has been hated by poor me ... read more

      In the third place the Bible differs from all other books in its power. There is perhaps no other place where the supremacy and solitariness of the Bible shines out as in its power. Col. Ingersoll once said in Chicago that the money expended in teaching t ... read more

      "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." Matt. 24: 35. SOME weeks ago I preached on this same text, but we are going to approach it to-night from a different standpoint. The question before us is, is the Bible in danger? O ... read more

Jesus and Bartimeus Luke 18:35–43
      (Compare Matt. 20:29–34; Mark 10:46–52) DISCOVERY OF THE FACTS 1. Blind, by the Wayside, Begging, vv. 35–39 How do the three accounts of this miracle differ from one another? (Compare Matt. 20:29, 30; Mark 10:46.) Can these differences be r ... read more

Jesus and Zaccheus Luke 19:1–10
      DISCOVERY OF THE FACTS 1. Zaccheus Seeking Jesus, vv. 1–4 Whither was Jesus journeying as He passed through Jericho? For what purpose was He going to Jerusalem? How much was He taken up with the object of that journey? (Mark 10:32; Luke 12:50.) ... read more

Jesus Appears to Two Disciples on the Way to Emmaus Luke 24:13–35
      DISCOVERY OF THE FACTS 1. The Two Disciples Opening Their Hearts to the Risen Christ, vv. 13–24 Who were the two who were going to Emmaus? Was either of them an apostle (v. 33)? Were either of them very notable personages? Is there anything sign ... read more

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