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Love Never Fails

Judson Cornwall, an American Pentecostal preacher who, after World War II, was invited to speak at a renewal conference in Germany. But Cornwall had a deep seated grudge against the Germans and simply threw the invitation into the bin. It haunted him for days as he shuffled around it. Finally the Spirit won and he reluctantly agreed to go. 

Arriving in Germany he was not relieved of his spite and the Conference Center turned out to be in the former headquarters of the SS, Hitler’s elite guard, which aroused all sorts of images and old hatreds in him. He spent two days before the conference praying and fasting and preparing and avoiding the Germans.

On the first night of the Conference he went down to speak and took umbrage at his translator, a somewhat stereotypical Aryan Uberfrau giant, buxom, blonde hair in a bun. He spat out his sermon, so it was no surprise that it was badly delivered, badly received and died a death.  He returned to his room and decided to go back to America the next day. 

Full of humiliation and emotion he cried himself to sleep. In the night, he awoke to demons screaming in his mind, “You don’t belong here! You have no authority here! Go home!” Experienced in spiritual warfare, Cornwall recognized the attack and figured it had to do with the demonic history of the SS in the building, and immediately rebuked the demons in Jesus name. 

Three times the demonic voices woke him; three times he rebuked them. After the third time he got up and asked God what was happening and why his prayers weren’t sufficient and the demons kept returning. He sensed The Lord dealing with his heart: “The demons are tormenting you because you really don’t have any authority here. You have no authority here because you don’t love these people. Your authority to minister is related to your love for those to whom you minister. Now you can go on hating these people, pack up and go home tomorrow or you can let Me love them through you.

Cornwall acknowledged his deep racism and prejudice. Too embarrassed to go home, he confessed his sin and asked God to love through him the Germans who he loathed.  He knew he needed a miracle of grace.  Immediately he was overwhelmed by the Spirit of God and filled with Christ’s love for the Germans.

Having spent two days avoiding the Germans and refusing to eat with them, he could not wait for breakfast.  He rushed downstairs for breakfast and greeted and hugged everyone in the food line. When he got to his translator he gave her a big kiss and hugged her.  Immediately she pulled back and barked, “You hate us!”  No, no, he replied, “That was yesterday. Today I love you.”  Judson Cornwall preached that morning and the power of God was on his words. 

At the end of the sermon there was a huge line of people wanting to speak with him personally, something he usually avoided, but he sensed God wanted him to be attentive to the people individually. One by one, people came and thanked him for helping them to forgive the Americans, whether because they had lost loved ones in combat against them or in the bombing raids. Cornwall saw pain and resentment cut both ways but the obedience to the Spirit of Christ heals historic hurts and unites us in the love of God!  (This entire blog is a copied article).