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4 - His Incredible Gifts

Glenn Coon
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Glenn Coon

Founder, ABCs of Prayer Crusades

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Shall we pray? Dear Lord, as we present Your incredible gifts tonight, will You just make me a nail upon the wall, fastened securely in its place. Then from this thing so common and so small, hang a bright picture of Thy face. And we thank You in Jesus’ name. Amen.


“His Incredible Gifts,” this is speaking of conditions to answered prayer. Thirty years ago, as we were studying this new kind of prayer and learning the ABC’s of prayer, I found myself burdened down with one aspect, “But aren’t there conditions?” There are conditions, my friends, and for some reason or another, as I was coming up as a young Christian, it seemed to me, probably people who presented it didn’t mean it this way, but it seemed to me like they were sort of saying this, “You, you must fulfill certain conditions. And after you have fulfilled these conditions and come up to a certain level, then you can ask the Lord. And the Lord then will hear an answer.”


Am I the only one that felt that way? Has anyone else kind of felt that way? I see, yes, quite a number here, and many who are viewing this have probably felt the same way. I must do this and this and this and this and this, and when I come up to a certain level of having fulfilled the conditions, then I come and talk to the Lord, and the Lord comes to my rescue and answers my prayer.


Now, I want you to notice, to begin with tonight, my friends, the foolishness of such a philosophy. One of the conditions to answered prayer is obedience. Jesus said in John 15, verse 7, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you may ask what you will, it will be done.” And He tells us in 1 John 2:4, “He that saith, ‘I know him,’ and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” And in 1 John, the third chapter, the twenty-[second] verse, it says, “This is how we know that He answers us, if we keep his commandments.” So there is obedience; it is a condition.


Now, notice, if I had to obey the Lord, bringing myself up to a certain level before I could expect the Lord to answer my prayer, then, my friends, if I could obey and fulfill that promise, that condition, if I could do that without asking Him for help, then I could make it all the way to Heaven without Him, right?


Can you or I obey God in our strength? No, no way. It’s impossible. So, obedience, follow me, obedience, and was I glad the day I learned that, obedience to God is a promised gift. It is absolutely a free gift. Now, it is true we grow in grace. There are many things, as we grow along, that we find, “Wait a minute, I didn’t obey like I should yesterday. I’m obeying better today.” It’s a growth. As we grow into the acceptance of this gift, obedience is a free gift. Where does the Bible say that? Anybody would know? Be free to give a text, if any of you can remember it. Where does it say that obedience is a gift?


[AUDIENCE: “Ezekiel 36.”]


Ezekiel 36:26-27, it says, “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.” So, obedience to God is a free gift of His grace! So, He doesn’t say, “Look, Glenn Coon, you must first obey Me. Then after you obey Me, you can ask Me for help.” No, not after I obey Him. I need His help to obey Him! Amen?


In fact, I need His life in mine in order to obey Him. So obedience is His free gift. This is very important because I also found that many of my fellow church members would go to some dear friend of theirs, and they would sort of zero in on this thought, “You know, you’ve got to obey God.” Now, that is true, but that’s not enough truth. If I say, “You’ve got to obey God,” and I stop there, it’s a bigger lie than though I hadn’t said anything, because to tell a man you’ve got to do something that you can’t do is to leave him, what? Frustrated and discouraged. Can you say Amen?


So, when the Lord said, “Yes, you must obey Me,” He said, “but look, I’m giving you obedience. Obedience is a free gift. I will put My Laws in your heart. I will give you the new heart, and I will put My Laws freely in your new heart. I will do it.” So, now we say, “Yes, I must obey, but I cannot obey except as I reach up and in simple childlike faith say, ‘Lord, here is a great problem in my life. I just can’t obey you in this area. But, Lord, You’ve told me that this obedience is Your free gift, so, Lord, I ask. I believe, and I thank You that I am now receiving the gift of obedience through the life of Jesus Christ.’”


So, every condition to answered prayer is a free gift. Let me give another example. When I was a little boy, I heard many preachers quoting this text, Psalm 66:18. It says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” All right, now, so I’ve got to repent. I have to repent of cherished iniquity, and if I do not repent of cherished iniquity, the Lord won’t hear me, right? That’s what it says. This is Bible.


And then years later I learned this. Do you know how I can keep from cherishing iniquity? Do you know how I can repent of cherished iniquity? It does not come from me. It comes as a free gift from the Lord. Here’s the promise: Acts, chapter 5, verse 31. Listen to this, “Him,” that is Christ, “hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance.” Repentance over cherished sin is a gift of the Lord, beloved. So, every time that you and I try to shame anyone into repentance, we’re not using God’s methods. Instead of trying to shame people into repentance, instead of trying to belittle them into repenting, we’re to say, “Oh, Lord, send Your Holy Spirit, and may I so represent the uplifted Christ that the promise will be fulfilled.” “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Savior,” He gives repentance and forgiveness.


And let me say this, beloved, if, right now during this service, or any meeting this week, if the Holy Spirit speaks to you, and as He’s speaking, something seems to be within you saying, “I’m sorry for the life I’ve lived,” remember, that did not come from me. That was the gift of the Lord. The Lord was saying, “I’ll give you repentance. I’m right now trying to fill your heart with sorrow for that thing you did.” All you have to do is reach up and say, “Thank You, Lord. I take this repentance. Thank You, Lord. I am sorry I’ve done that.”


So, repentance isn’t something we work up; it’s something that God gives us free of charge: repentance from cherished sin. Aren’t you glad for that?


Somebody else comes to me and says, he says, “Brother Coon, the problem that I have is I don’t have enough faith. And the Bible says without faith, it’s impossible to please Him. What am I going to do? How can I expect any answers to my prayer when I don’t have any faith?”


And I said, “Ah, listen. Did you know when you’re born, you are born in a package of which faith was a part?” Romans, the twelfth chapter and the third verse says, “God hath dealt to every man a measure of faith.” Every person who is sitting here tonight has faith. Did you know that? God gave us this when He put us in the world. Do you know how much faith we have? We have a lot more faith than we have any idea. If you hadn’t had faith, do you know you wouldn’t have walked into this building tonight? It was because you believed the building would be here that you came. You have faith the building would still be here, that some cyclone or tornado wouldn’t have taken it away. You believed it would be here.


You believed the door would be unlocked. You believed the lights would be on. You believed the pews would still be here, right? How many say Amen? You believed we would be here. You believed the pianist would be here. You believed the organist would be here. Look at all the faith you had. You believed you would be warm enough.


God has given to every single one of us a measure of faith already. We’re just to use the faith He’s already given us. Faith is a gift. Obedience is a gift. Repentance from cherished sin is a gift. The new heart is a gift, Ezekiel 36:26. Victory is a gift, 1 Corinthians 15:57, “Thanks be to God, that giveth us the victory.” Every single condition to answered prayer is a free gift from the hand of God. Whatever one of these conditions you find yourself weak concerning, look up in the face of God and say, “Lord, You promised me that this is a free gift.” My friends, doesn’t that take the legalism away? Aren’t you glad that we aren’t expected to try to lift ourselves by our bootstraps and say, “Now, let’s see, when I can be good enough, God will love me”?


God loves us as we are! Jesus died for us while we were yet sinners, while we were still His enemies, Romans 5:8 and 10. He loves us with an everlasting love, Jeremiah 31:3. With lovingkindness He’s drawn us, “I will give you repentance. I will give you forgiveness. I will give you the new heart. I will give you eternal life.” Romans 6:23, “The gift of God is eternal life.”


Thirty years ago, as I went through those things, I said, “Oh, Lord, help me to get this into a book somehow, someway, by which people everywhere I go will realize that we don’t have to do this and this and this and this and this before God begins to answer our prayers. It’s an answer to prayer that God gives me obedience. It’s an answer of prayer that He gives me freely, absolutely freely, repentance of cherished sin.


And then I said, “Lord, you mean this thing that I like so well, you will give me a hatred for the thing I like? Lord, I ask you to give me a hatred.” Genesis 3:15, “I will put enmity,” Jesus said to the devil, “I will put enmity,” He said, “between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed.” In other words, He was not merely telling the devil and Adam and Eve that the Messiah would come, but He was telling the mission of the Messiah. The Messiah would make it possible, Jesus Christ would make it possible, for you and me to hate the thing that we naturally love. Don’t you thank the Lord for that, brother? Don’t you thank the Lord?


The thing that I naturally love, that I find myself clinging to and not wanting to give up, He said, “Look, you look to Me. I will give you a hatred for it.” How many times have I prayed that prayer? Never as a boy. I never knew anything about it as a boy. I would just say, “Oh, Lord, help me to stop doing this, Lord. Now, I’m going to stop it. Lord, I’m going to stop it!” But I couldn’t stop it. After I learned this, I said, “Lord, I can’t even hate it, but, Lord, You said, ‘I will put in Glenn Coon’s heart a hatred for that thing that he likes.’ Lord, I ask You to give me a hatred for that. Lord, I believe you’re giving me a hatred for it. You promised, and You cannot lie. Lord, I do hate it, in Jesus’ name.” Try it, friends. Tell Him again and again and again, and you’ll be astonished at the gifts that God will bestow upon us.


I found also that we can do that for others. We can ask God to deliver other people. In Matthew, chapter 18, verse 19, you remember we quoted it at another study. Jesus said, “If two of you shall agree…as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.” You know what the context before that was dealing with? Somebody, somebody who had lost his way, and two people could meet together and could ask God to deliver that person. And the Lord would deliver. Two of you shall agree.


Oh, I have some wonderful favorite authors. One of my favorite authors has written a book, and this book states a very strong conviction, and it says this, and this comes from the Word of God, “People can come and claim God’s promise and say, ‘Lord, I must have this soul converted to you.’” It’s a book entitled Medical Ministry, I believe it is, page 244. “Dear Lord, I must have this soul converted to You,” and do you know what it was referring to? To souls that have no desire, apparently, to do right. Two agree (or more), saying, “Lord, here’s a soul. This soul knows nothing but the joy of the world. This soul doesn’t know anything about the joy and the beauty of fellowship in Jesus, but, dear Lord, you promised to give me this soul. You said You will deliver them where all their lifetime were subject to bondage. Lord, I must have this soul.” And the Lord said, “I will give it to you.” Don’t you love it?


And you know what the Lord does then? He sends angels of light to beat back the angels of darkness, and that soul that is a victim of the devil, the will is released. The will is released, and many people come me, and they say, “But does God force a backslider to be saved?” No, He doesn’t! And I return this. I say, “Did you know something? In my 50 years in preaching, I have never yet met a backslider who chooses to burn in hellfire. No one has ever come to me and said, ‘Pastor, I can hardly wait to get in hellfire.’” Men and women don’t choose to be burned in hellfire. They choose to be happy, and the devil presents the world in all of its light.


He puts on the TV screen some of these beautiful faces, and they get several hundred dollars just to smile, and they can hardly wait to get home to commit suicide. But all we see is the smile, and the man and the boy and the young people look at those smiles, and they say, “Oh, my, I’d like to be happy like they are.” And then they take a look at many professed Christians, and what do they see on the professed Christian’s face? [Scowl] And why would you expect them to go? You would expect them to go where they can be happy. They don’t say, “Oh, I’d like to be lost, so I’m going to watch these horrible TV’s.” No, “I want happiness, and these people seem to be happy, and the people at church…” [scowl], which tells us something, doesn’t it? It tells us, my friends, it’s up to you and me to let men and women know that we found the joy of Jesus Christ. What do you say?


Now then, this person for whom we are praying, put it out of your mind, friend, that this person chooses to be lost. Nothing of the kind. He chooses to be happy. He doesn’t see the happiness in his Christian friends, and he is obsessed with the desire to be happy, to be happy, to be happy. And we come along, and in addition to giving a picture of unhappiness, we then scold him for trying to be happy. May God forgive us, what do you say? What he needs is to see dramatized in the life of us Christians a joy and satisfaction that we will really realize after the study on the blessed assurance. Don’t miss that service.


That’s what the Christian needs to be able to convey to the world this message, “I found what I wanted.” To convey to the world the message found in Psalm 16:11, “In His presence there is” (what?) “fullness of joy.” If we haven’t found a joy, even in our perplexities, if we haven’t found a general joy in Jesus Christ, my friends, as we start praying for somebody out of Christ, let’s pray that the Lord will help us, “Give us the gift of joy.”


Did you know joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit? The fruit of the Spirit is love – joy! Let’s ask the Lord for the Holy Spirit, what do you say? Dear Lord, right now, oh, we claim the promise of the Holy Spirit and the fruit of love and joy and peace, so that these people who are losing their way, Lord, out in the world, and do not see joy reflected in our countenances, may they see a joy, Lord, around us, no matter what problems we have, because we believe in Jesus Christ. Thank You for hearing us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Now then, these gifts, every condition of answered prayer is a gift. Aren’t you glad? Aren’t you glad, brother? Obedience is a gift. The new heart is a gift. Repentance is a gift. Forgiveness is a gift. Eternal life is a gift. Salvation is a gift. Jesus is a gift. Victory is a gift. So, what do we do? We ask, we believe, and we say, “Thank You, Lord, I am receiving.” That’s what prayer is.


Prayer is like a radio tuning into a broadcast that’s already going on. The beams of the broadcast, the waves, are beating against that radio all the while, aren’t they? But not until it tunes in does it receive. That’s why they say, “How’s the reception?” We’re talking about the prayer of reception. We tune into the life of Jesus Christ in the form of obedience. We tun into the life of Jesus Christ in the form of repentance, our hatred for that which is evil, because, as we tune into Jesus, we see a satisfaction found in Him that there’s not in the world. Tuning in, “Lord, I ask You, You’ve promised to give me this hatred for this sin that I love. I really love it, Lord. You promised. You cannot lie. So, Lord, I believe. Lord, I believe. Heaven and Earth shall pass away; Your Word will not pass away. Lord, I’m receiving. It’s coming through, Lord.” Try it. Will you do it? Pray that way. Really do it. Don’t just sit. Don’t just go home. Try it. It’s amazing what will happen. Every condition is a free gift. His gifts are incredible.


Now then, we ask God to give the gift of repentance to someone else. Let me give you an illustration. Not long after my wife and I began to learn to this new kind of prayer, and we’re thrilled with it for God had done some wonderful things. What I presented to you under the 6,000-dollar answer to prayer, my friends, was just a tiny bit of the experience through which we passed. If I were to tell you the whole experience, you will say, “Surely God has worked miracles for Glenn Coon.” Miracle after miracle after miracle, I’m a living miracle today, not of myself but through the gift of God.


And we said, “Lord, You know what?” I kept thinking about how He gives us these conditions; they are free gifts. And I did a little book entitled God’s Choicest Gifts. Everything that I put in that book is now in our little red book entitled God’s Promises Solved My Problems. And I put down that hatred for sin is a gift. It thrilled me because I had never heard it. It’s a gift! So I did one page: God gives me hatred for sin. And one of the texts that I placed there was Genesis 3:15. God says, “I’ll put enmity,” or I’ll give you a hatred, “for sin.” And I said, I’m going to use this as a workbook, so that anybody that’s worried about conditions can know that every condition to answered prayer is a free gift.


It wasn’t long after that, I had just barely gotten this little book out, and I learned that there was a young man in our church. He had a wife and two lovely children. He was working at a hospital about 15 miles away, but he was a member of my church family. And I learned that he had become infatuated with a 19-year-old girl. She was working at the same hospital. And when I heard about it, someone told me, they said, “A couple deacons went to see him just the other day.”


 And, you know, I kind of called them 1898 deacons, 1898 deacons, not modern deacons; 1898 deacons would be the kind of deacons that said, “Listen here. Do you realize what you’re doing?! You have fallen in love with that girl. Shame on you! Shame on you!” You know, because if I can shame him enough, maybe he’ll straighten up. That isn’t the gospel. The gospel is not the power of God to shame people. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation, which is a free gift. Amen?


And when they got through, they hadn’t gotten anywhere, and I got hold of a young minister, and I said, “Will you go with me down to see this young man?” I didn’t know that he had become infatuated. He was ready to divorce his wife. And the young minister said, “Yes, I’ll go.”


Now, before I went, I was so thrilled with this new kind of prayer that I took several promises in my heart. Maybe you will be interested. You may want to take a note because you’ll be visiting people in a like situation, and you don’t have to call on me to do it. You can be used as an instrument. I took Genesis 3:15 as a promise. “Lord, I ask You to give this young man and this young woman a hatred, not for each other, a hatred for the sin,” Genesis 3:15. “I believe You are doing it, and I thank You for it. And, Lord, I’m claiming the promise of 1 John 5:16, if any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death,” that’s the unpardonable sin, “he may ask, and You will give him life. I ask You to give this young man and this young woman life.” What’s the “B”? “I believe You are giving them life.” What’s the “C”? “I claim it, Lord, by thanking You that You are giving them life,” 1 John 5:16.


“Now, in order to be used, Lord, I ask You to give me wisdom.” James 1:5, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.” “Lord, I ask You to give me wisdom to present it in the right way. I believe You are giving me wisdom to present Jesus Christ in the right way. I thank You. You are doing it.”


And then I claimed the promise of Luke 11:13 for the Holy Spirit, for, friends, it’s not what I say, it’s what the Holy Spirit says through me and directly, right?


So I claimed those four promises, as I recall now. I got hold of the young minister, went down to the young man’s home; he was in the garden just in back of his house, working in the garden. The sun was just setting, and in the country where I was, between the time that sun sets and dark is only a few minutes. There he was working in the garden, and the sun was setting, and it was already getting dark quickly. And we looked into the house from the backside, and there was the kitchen, and we saw the light come on in the house, and his wife was working in the kitchen. The kitchen was so situated that as she was working in the kitchen, she looked through the window, and she could see us. And where we were walking, we could see her there in the kitchen.


And how now are you going to go to a person? Are you going to say, “You obey,” or are you going to say, “God will give you obedience,” “God will give you repentance,” “God will make it possible for you to hate the life you now love”? See, what a difference, right? You don’t fulfill these conditions except through the mighty power of God. They are His free gifts. So I came to him, and I was enthusiastic. Shouldn’t we be enthusiastic over a soul that’s going to be saved in God’s Kingdom, what do you say?


You go out on the baseball diamond, and you know what? Somebody gets a stick, and they find a little round something about three inches in diameter, and some great, tremendous, powerful set of muscles hits that little thing with a stick. Bingo!! It goes 450 feet, and lawyers and merchants and doctors and what have you, whoa! They roar because he was able to knock that little ball 400 feet. And then we come into the church of the living God, and we say, “Jesus died on Calvary, so I must act like a corpse.” “I must be just as dead as possible because somebody may then think I’m religious.” “The more dead I appear, the more sanctimonious I appear, the more righteous they will think I am.”


Away with that thought! I was going with enthusiasm. I said, “Brother, I have something wonderful for you. I haven’t come to scold you a bit. I am not going to scold you at all, but I said I’ve learned about the promises of the Bible. The Bible is full of promises, and all of these promises are given us, we can ask, and we can believe, and we can thank God we have received, and you can fall right out of love with that girl.” I said, “You know I’m not coming to scold you at all, don’t you?”


He said, “I know it, and I appreciate it.” He said, “But, Pastor,” he said, “I don’t want to give her up.”


But you know, what does God promise? He promises to make it possible for us to hate the thing we love. That’s the gospel, beloved. Amen? I said, “Look, brother,” and as I was trying to think for a minute, just for a moment, just for a moment, I thought, “What are you going to do? Are you going to break the law of choice?” And the Holy Spirit flashed this text in my mind: Philippians 2:13, “It is God that worketh in you both to will and to do.” And the Lord said, “Coon, I’ll make him willing, and I’ll give him the power to break up.”


And I was so thrilled, I said, “Brother, look. I know, as you say, I take you at your word, I know you are not willing to break up. Are you willing to be made willing?”


And he blinked three times, I think. It might have been four. “Yes, I’m willing to be made willing.”


And in my heart I said, “Lord, thank You. You’re giving him the gift of hatred for sin. You’re giving him free of charge hatred for this life. You said You would do it in Genesis 3:15.” Oh, I was singing in my heart, looking at him just like this, just like that, darting the prayer to Heaven. Oh, it’s fun when you know that God hears and answers. Inside of five minutes, he looked me full in the face, and he said, “Pastor, I am willing to break up.”


Now, friends, a caution. I’ve come to the conclusion that one of the reasons why it takes us so long to win people to the Lord is because we use devilish methods. We think our scolding will do it. It won’t. We think if we belittle them a little, it will do it. It won’t! It is God that works in them, both to will and to do. And I have found, my friends, the great thing that you and I should plead with God for is that we shall represent the good news of the gospel as we work for souls rather than acting like the devil who goes around accusing them. The devil has already been accusing them, right? He is the accuser of our brethren, and when we start accusing a man because the man has done wrong, we’re using whose methods?


Like we spoke a little earlier, like the man who came to me at the close of the meeting, one meeting, not here. He said, “I see what’s wrong with me now.” He said, “I’ve been working for the Lord like the devil. Accusing the sinner, that’s what the devil does. There’s a world of difference between accusing and convicting. The Holy Spirit convicts; the devil accuses. God kept me from accusing him in any way, shape or manner. Why? Because God says, “I’ll give him repentance. That’s not for you to do, Coon. You claim my gift of repentance. I’ll give him the gift of repentance. I will make it possible for him to hate sin. I’ll give him a different attitude. You represent My love, and you let him know that you have brought him the good news, the power of God.”


But then he turned to me, and he said, “But she’ll not break up.”


I said, “Why do you say that?”


“Well,” he said, “I know she won’t.”


I said, “But she will. I’m claiming a promise that she will.”


He didn’t know anything about the promises. “Claim a promise that somebody will hate what they love?” It wasn’t him that she loved. It was sensuality that she loved, and she that it was he.


I said, “She’ll break up.”


He said, “No, she won’t. No, she won’t.”


I said, “Why do you say it?”


He said, “We talked it over the other day, and she told me if we broke up, she would commit suicide.”


You know, I knew she wouldn’t commit suicide for two reasons. One was, no man is worth committing suicide over. Sometimes young people come to me in academy and at college, usually in academy, and they say, “Listen, Pastor, what promise can I claim? I found a boyfriend. He’s just the one I want. I’m in the tenth grade. What promise can I claim that no girl can get him away from me?”


I said, “There’s no promise.” I said, “In fact, you don’t have to worry about hanging onto him.”


“Oh, but I don’t know what would happen if I lose him.”


“Don’t worry.” I said, “They’re just like a bus. If you lose one, another will be along in 30 minutes.”


No man is worth committing suicide over, so I knew she wouldn’t. And the second reason was, and the real reason was God says, “I will give you hatred for sin,” and God is true. God keeps His word. What we need to believe as fellow Christians is to know that God will keep His word. Amen? We don’t have to scold. We don’t have to belittle. We don’t have to pick. We don’t have to shame people. The gospel is good news of what God does, and we just share Him.


I said, “She won’t commit suicide. She will break up.”


Now, listen, another caution. Don’t ever give God a deadline, but I did. I’ve done it, I think, five times in 50 years. Once every ten years, and only then when I had such a special message from the Holy Spirit that it was going to happen, and the Lord conveyed to me that night that she would break up that night. It was as clear as a bell. I said, “She will break up tonight. We’re going down to see her, and she will break up.”


He said, “I know she won’t.”


I said, “I know she will,” and I wasn’t arguing. I was persuading. Paul said, “I persuade men.” You don’t persuade them with your head bowed down like a bulrush, bullying people into God. God is keeping His word. God is true. I said, “She will break up tonight.”


He said, “What will you do if she doesn’t?”


“I’ll take all the blame.”


“Okay, so I’ll go then,” but he said, “Remember, she won’t do it.”


I said, “And remember she will,” and I was smiling.


He jumped in the car, the young preacher jumped in, drove down the 15 to 18 miles. By the time we got there (these people were early sleepers), every one of them had gone to bed. The lights were out, and this was the first sign I had that the young man was weakening. When he saw the lights out, I could see that he was happy. And I could see, the way he said it, he said, “Ah, they’ve gone to bed.”


I said, “They’ll wake up.” What are the ABC’s of prayer? “A” is what? Ask. “B” is what? Believe. “C” is what? [Claim] When you claim your baggage, do you go away without it? She was our baggage for the Lord! We’re going to claim it and go home without her? Not at all. You take it with you. I said, “She’ll wake up.” And, you know, faith without works is what? [Dead] So I knew I had to give them the works. So, I bounded out of the car right up to the front porch. I knocked at the door. I knocked as though I meant business.


And while I knocked, I claimed a promise, “Knock, and the door will be opened.” And, you know, a lot of people knew just what you’ve been doing. They think, “What?! You mean you claim the promise for a practical need?” Well, that’s what the promises are for. They’re for whatever door needs to be opened to save a soul, whether it’s a metal door, a wooden door, or any other door. “Knock, and the door will be opened.”


As I knocked, I heard a gruff voice. The man was scared because I knocked a little stronger than most preachers. I had something to knock over. He said, “Who is there?”


I thought I’ll make him at peace. I said, “Two preachers,” then he’d know we weren’t going to hold him up. “Two preachers,” and I said, “we’ve come to straighten things out with your daughter.”


He said, “She’s gone to bed.”


I said, “She’ll get up.” What’s the “C” of prayer? Thank the Lord that you have received. You come to claim the baggage, and then you say, “I ask, believe, and I claim, and I leave the baggage there.” That’s not the way to pray. “Lord, I ask, I believe, I claim, and I’m taking the answer with me. In Jesus’ name. Hallelujah!” What do you say?




I said, “She will wake up.”


I heard him call through, “Alice, are you willing to get up?”


She said, “Yes.”


I said, “Thank You, Lord.” So far so good.


She got up, dressed, came out, walked right down with me to the car, and got right into the car with us. Now, talk about the miraculous power of God, friends. Talk about a God who gives repentance. Got in the car, and then I claimed these promises all over again. For Wisdom, James 1:5; for the Holy Spirit, Luke 11:13; for the soul of these people, 1 John 5:16; Genesis 3:15.


In my heart, very quickly, you dart the prayer to Heaven, see. You don’t have to pray Magellan prayers all the while. You know, there are a lot of people who go to church, and they’ll pray Magellan prayers. Did you ever hear people pray in public Magellan prayers? Magellan, they told us in school, was the first man to sail around the world. I learned recently he didn’t get around the world. Magellan prayers are people who pray all around the world in public, while others pray they’ll put into port somewhere. They do all their praying for the week. You don’t have to pray Magellan prayers when you’re before the public. And in a situation like that, you don’t pray a Magellan prayer.


You dart a prayer to Heaven, “Thank You, Lord. You’re giving her repentance.” All in your heart, see. “Thank You, Lord. It’s taking place. Thank you, Lord, the gift is in the promise.” And I turned to her, and I said…And the Lord impressed me as I claimed the wisdom again, “Treat her like a princess.” Treat her like a what?! Her?! Isn’t it amazing, you know how sanctimonious we are, aren’t we? You know, we say to other people something like this, “You better sin the way I sin, or you better stop sinning.” The Lord said, “She my princess.”


Was she? Was she God’s princess? Absolutely. Was he God’s prince? Yes! They were just trapped. When a cat is trapped, doesn’t it still belong go the owner?


Back home in Tennessee, once in awhile I get there, and when I do, I find the groundhogs have taken over. One groundhog comes right up out of his hole, right there in my lawn, and looks at me, and we kind of have an ESP conversation, you know. I looked at him, and I said, “What are you doing on my property?”


He said, “But I built my own home here.”


“I built mine here before you did, Mr. Groundhog,” you know.


He said, “But I’m here to stay.”


I said, “No you aren’t,” and I went down and bought four nice big steel traps. You’re here to stay, but you’re going to stay under the ground in a different way. “You’re going to be a dead hog.” I put those four traps there. I came over a couple days later to find my groundhog. You know what I found? One paw in one trap, another paw in another trap (I wish I had known there was a better way to take of groundhogs), another paw in another trap, and the fourth paw in the fourth trap. And it was no groundhog at all. It was my neighbor’s cat. I want to tell you, I was sick.


I walked up, and I said, “Kitty, kitty, kitty.” She said, “Mrrrrrahh.” Now, listen, friends. The reason I am telling you this right in the middle of this story is this: Before that cat was trapped, it belonged to my neighbor. After it was trapped, who did it belong to? Same neighbor.


That young woman was trapped. Before she was trapped, whose child was she? The Lord’s. After she was trapped, whose child was she? The Lord’s. The young man was trapped. Before he was trapped, whose child was he? The Lord’s. After he was trapped, whose child was he? The Lord’s. And so the Lord sent another child of his to be used by the Holy Spirit to un-trap, just like I let the cat.


I put a board between the cat and me, and I let one paw up and then another and another. When I let up the fourth paw, that cat went like a shot of lightening. A few days later I found it in my neighbor’s house. But, my friends…I felt awfully sorry.


But, my friends, God led me, and He will lead you if You let Him. He led me to that couple that by the power of God they could be released. It’s a gift of God. So I turned to her, and I treated her like a princess. How would you treat a princess? You’d bow, and you’d modulate your voice. It’s a princess. I said, “We have come in the interest of this young man’s home. He has a lovely wife and a couple of lovely children, and we wondered if in the interest of his home if you would be willing to break up.”


I no sooner got those words out of my lips then she said, “Yes, sir. Yes, sir, I’m ready.” And I think I turned in the direction of the young man and saw his mouth open just like a trap door. It was so sudden. I looked in the direction of the young minister, and his lovely mouth opened. And they looked in my direction, and I had a hard time not to do the same. It had happened so suddenly.


He turned to her, and he said, “Listen, but I love you. I’ve loved you for a long while.”


She said, “I know it, but we’re through.”


He said, “But I have love you sincerely.”


She said, “I know it, but we’re through.”


And he began to whimper. Isn’t it a sad thing to see a man whimper? You know? It’s like a rooster who can’t crow anymore. It’s an awful thing to see a rooster cackle like a hen, you know. He said, “If you ever need me, let me know.”


“I don’t need you. We’re through.”


And I turned to her, and I said, “Would you mind telling me…I’m so happy. Would you mind telling me why you say this so quickly?”


She said, “Pastor,” and to the best of my knowledge, the hour that she pointed out was the very hour that we were in the back yard with that young man claiming the promise of God that God would give them hatred for the life that they lived. How about that? She said, “A tremendous something swept over me and said, ‘You break up!’ And the Lord told me to break up, and I said, ‘Lord, I’m going to break up.’”


“You mean that?”


“Yes,” she said, “I was decided before you ever came tonight that I was through.”


Oh, my friends, thank God that every condition to answered prayer is God’s free gift. Let’s reach up and say, “Lord, I ask for repentance. You know, Lord, the sin that I love. I’m like a slave to that sin, but, Lord, you said that You will give me a hatred for it. I’m not worthy, but Jesus shed His blood on Calvary for me. I am His purchased possession, and, Lord, as Your purchased possession, You’re going to fulfill every promise.” This is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Thank God for His incredible gifts.


We went back home, called his wife, she came out, and we dedicated the home. A little after that, my wife and I began our traveling ministry. Got a long-distance call, “Pastor Coon?”




“Would you find it possible to speak to the young people of this church of which you are a pastor about such-and-such a time?”


I said, “Who is this?”


And he was the same young man who had become infatuated, and God had used us as instruments of the gospel. Now he was a youth leader. He said, “I’m the youth leader.” I felt like hugging him by long distance. That’s rather difficult. He was the young man who had been tearing down lives. Now he was building lives, and if any many be in Christ, he is a new creature.


Friends, let’s reach up and ask Him to do what He wants to do. Let’s ask Him for His incredible gifts. This is the gospel.


Dear Lord, as our heads are bowed in prayer, and our eyes are closed, I want to thank You personally for Your wonderful love. Dear Lord, none of us deserves any of the gifts, but thank You, the blood of Jesus has purchased them all for us. We thank You, Lord. They were purchased 2,000 years ago. All we have to do is take them. If there is one here tonight, Lord, who finds himself or herself in love with some special infatuation of evil, thank You just now that the repentance is being brought to that heart, and that heart can just reach up and say, “Lord, I take the hatred for that sin, which You give me. I take the free gift of obedience, which You offer as freely as You offer it.”


While our heads are bowed, and our eyes are closed, is there anyone that came in tonight without this assurance, and you will take hold of this free gift of eternal life, the hatred for sin and the love of Christ, would you lift your hand high? Thank You, Lord. We thank You in Jesus’ name. Amen.


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