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

Friday, June 14, 2013

A Forgotten Field of Evangelism (Part 3 of 3)

I believe we see so few conversions in our churches today because there’s so little of the power of God in our lives and congregations. As I reflect on the first eleven chapters of the book of Acts – which I’ve preached through in the last year – I’m struck by the providential power of the Holy Spirit in the conversion stories Dr. Luke relates. Whether it’s one individual or a massive crowd, the Holy Spirit moved both tangibly and circumstantially in such a way that men, women, boys and girls were converted in the first century. The need for such power is just as vital in our own century if we are to see conversions. But while we know the Spirit’s power is needed in our evangelism of adults, we often forget that same power is just as essential for children to repent and believe that Jesus is the only way to be eternally washed from the guilt of sin and reconciled to God.

Let the profound and prophetic conclusion to this story give you new eyes this summer for those neighborhood kids that God has brought to your backyard, the children playing little league alongside your own youngsters, and the year-round mission field found in the children’s ministry at your local church.

And now, for the amazing conclusion to this week’s story from Gripped by the Gospel

Just before Knill left, all the family gathered together for morning prayers. Then, in the presence of them all, Knill took little Charles on his knee and said, “This child will one day preach the Gospel, and he will preach it to great multitudes. I’m persuaded that he will preach in the chapel of Rowland Hill where I am now the minister.” Spurgeon later wrote, “Knill spoke very solemnly and profoundly this prophetic word. He called all those who were there to witness to what he said.” Then he gave little Charles a sixpence as a reward if he would learn the hymn, “God Moves in Mysterious Ways, His Wonders to Perform.” Knill made Charles promise that when he preached in Rowland Hill’s Chapel, that hymn would be sung. The prophecy powerfully moved Spurgeon…

Sometime after Charles became pastor of the New Park Street Baptist Church in London, Dr. Alexander Fletcher was engaged to deliver the sermon to the children in Surrey Chapel, Rowland Hill’s church. But he was taken ill, and Spurgeon preached in his place. Spurgeon consented on one condition, “Yes I will, if you will allow the children to sing, ‘God Works in Mysterious Ways.’ I have made a promise long ago, so that hymn should be sung.” Thus the prophecy came to fruition. Rowland Hill’s chapel rang out with the hymn and the preaching of Charles Spurgeon. Spurgeon said, “My emotions on that occasion I cannot describe, for the word of the Lord’s servant was fulfilled.” – taken from Spurgeon: Prince of Preachers by Lewis Drummond (pp. 91-92)

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