The gospel is…the word about Jesus Christ and what he did for us in order to restore us to a right relationship with God. – Graeme Goldsworthy

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Forgotten Field of Evangelism (Part 2 of 3)

The child that I referred to yesterday – who would one day grow up and be world-renowned for his pulpit prowess – was none other than Charles Haddon Spurgeon. To give you some helpful background leading up to the story, the young Spurgeon spent a significant span of his early life living with his grandparents. His grandfather, James, was a pastor who lived in a large mansion in a village called Stambourne. While there one summer, a preacher briefly visited who took evangelistic interest in Charles’ little soul. That’s where the story picks up…

(Be encouraged as you read it, for whether your life impacts a child who is a future Christian leader or future unknown disciple of Christ – that impression is eternal. There aren’t many things that can match such joy, brethren.)

Another fascinating event occurred in the summer of 1844 on one of Charles’ visits back to his grandfather’s [mansion] in Stambourne. Charles was ten years old at the time and the incident quite profoundly affected his future life. A well-known preacher by the name of Richard Knill traveled through the Fens on deputation for the London Missionary Society. He went from town to town during the summer of 1844 and, as providence would have it, he spent a little time in the Stambourne parsonage. He was an outstanding preacher with a tremendous passion to win people to faith in Christ. Spurgeon called him “a great soul-winner.” Richard Knill could tell fascinating stories that captivated young Charles …

Knill took considerable time with young Charles. During his visit he said to the boy, “Where do you sleep? I want to call you in the morning.” Charles showed him the little room where he slept, but the preacher’s inquiry puzzled the lad. At six o’clock, Knill woke up Charles. In the yard of the parsonage, there were two arbors made of yew trees, cut in sugar loaf fashion. Knill led Spurgeon to the right side of the arbor and there, as young Spurgeon expressed it, “in the sweetest way,” he shared with the ten year old boy the love of Christ and the blessedness of trusting him as Savior and serving Him even in childhood. He shared many touching stories as he presented Christ. He told Charles how good God had been to him and how wonderful it is to serve Him. Then they kneeled down and prayed that Charles would soon come to know Jesus Christ as Savior and serve Him as Lord. As they knelt together, he fervently prayed with his arms around the boy.

The two became inseparable. For three successive days, Knill shared with Charles the great truths of the gospel and prayed for him.” – taken from Spurgeon: Prince of Preachers by Lewis Drummond (pp. 90-91)

To hear the profound conclusion to this story, subscribe to Gripped by the Gospel and find out how Richard Knill’s burning evangelistic heart for the young Spurgeon would also prove to be prophetic concerning the boy’s illustrious future.

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