Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Man Who "Converted" Charles Spurgeon: The Story of an Unlikely Hero

Charles Spurgeon, of course, is remembered by history as the “Prince of Preachers.” The shadow of his legacy grows longer each generation as the number of believers that are influenced by his writings multiplies. 

Spurgeon published more words than any other man in history. Each sermon and book he wrote is dripping with the honey-sweet glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

One would have thought that a great man would be chosen to lead Spurgeon to Christ. But as history records the event, it was a far less spectacular beginning. 

One snowy day the young Charles Spurgeon, then just a lad, trudged to the local church. The weather was terrible. The snow was beginning to grow so fierce that Charles was forced to reroute his path and fall into a local Methodist church for shelter. There, only a handful had gathered for Sabbath Day worship. Most of the regular worshipers in that small church were not hearty enough to make it through the storm.

As God’s plan would have it, the ordained minister himself was absent that day. The snow was too thick. And so, rising to the pulpit, was an untrained and under-prepared deacon, just a layman. Obviously terrified to preach, and shaking visibly from the responsibility, this poor soul had no other recourse than to "fly by the seat of his pants," as it were. (Would you be able to preach a sermon on a moment's notice?) In any regard, he opened his Bible to a short text Isaiah 45:22, "look to me and be saved." Then, in the simplest language, this untrained pew-sitter pointed his single-digit audience to look to Jesus in faith.

Out of words and ideas after just a few short moments (impromptu speech is exceedingly difficult!) the preacher looked directly into the eyes of the young Charles Spurgeon, apparently trying to stretch the sermon out a few more minutes. He pleaded with the young boy to repent and believe. That Spurgeon did, and God used the latter vessel infinitely more than the first.

Or so, it would seem, to the human eye. 

--The above article was adapted from Matthew Everhard's book, Unknown: The Extraordinary Influence of Ordinary Christians. Matthew is the Senior Pastor of Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Brooksville, Florida. 

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