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Charles Spurgeon on evangelism


Jesus said, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest, that He will send out laborers into His harvest” (Matthew 9:37-38).

Our world is filled with people searching for hope, purpose, and peace, as well as freedom from addictions, depression, confusion, anxiety, fear, and loneliness. Only the transformative message of the gospel brings rebirth and the "abundant life" Jesus promised to all who genuinely repent and put their trust totally in Him and His finished work on the Cross. In this rebirth, we can clearly see two forces at work: the sovereignty of God in calling, and the responsibility of mankind to respond.

Charles Spurgeon, a towering spiritual figure often called the Prince of Preachers, was once asked how he would reconcile the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man. He smiled and said he never tried to reconcile them because they were "friends." In other words, both are essential although the accent is always on the initiative of God. 

Scripture reminds us, "How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: 'How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring good news of good things!'" (Romans10:14-15).

Four insights on evangelism from Spurgeon

1. Prioritize evangelism

Spurgeon stated unequivocally, "Soul-winning is the chief business of the Christian minister; indeed, it should be the main pursuit of every believer. If you are eager for real joy, such as you may think over and sleep upon, I am persuaded that no joy of growing wealthy, no joy of increasing knowledge, no joy of influence over your fellow creatures, no joy of any other sort, can ever be compared with the rapture of saving a soul from death and helping to restore our lost brethren to our great Father’s house."

Intentionally living the adventure of lifestyle evangelism topped Spurgeon shortlist. He didn’t delegate evangelism to the "gifted," rather he engaged in missional living with passion and built it into the culture of his church.

2. Pray for and engage the lost

"If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies," Spurgeon declared. "And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and un-prayed for!"

I encourage Christians to slow down and enjoy the adventure of evangelism. Many opportunities to share Christ come disguised as unwelcome interruptions. Some people miss divine appointments because they’re always looking for the shortest lines in stores and avoiding conversations with people in their workplace, school, and neighborhood. Time to reset and re-calibrate as "ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us" (2 Corinthians 5:11).

3. Cultivate motivation

Charles Spurgeon used his book The Soul Winner to equip and inspire people to share their faith. He kept the vision before his people and sprinkled sermons with his gospel-sharing activity.

We all benefit from fresh testimonies that remind us of what Jesus told us: "There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous men who need no repentance" (Luke 15:7).

Billy Graham, perhaps the greatest evangelist of our generation said, "My one purpose in life is to help people find a relationship with God through Jesus Christ." Graham and Spurgeon would be quick to remind us, "The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). They encouraged us to be intentional and proactive in not just saving, but also seeking.

4. Design and distribute tracts

Spurgeon said, "When preaching and private talk are not available, you have a tract ready. This is often an effectual method. The gospel tract may be the seed of eternal life, so don’t go out without your tracts!"

Martin Luther and the Reformers made great use of tracts. Missionary legends Hudson Taylor and George Whitefield were converted through tracts. Mitsuo Fuchida, air commander of the Pearl Harbor attack, came to Christ through a tract from a prisoner of war. Moishe Rosen, founder of "Jews for Jesus," was converted through a tract. 

Here’s the deal: God is calling us to recapture our evangelistic and missionary zeal for our nation and abroad. Remember Founding Father Robert Hunt’s prayer upon landing at Jamestown in 1607: "We do hereby dedicate this land, and ourselves, to reach the people within the shores with the gospel of Jesus Christ, and to raise up godly generations after us, and with these generations take the kingdom of God to all the earth…"

When Billy Graham died, abundant prophetic words were resurrected to call believers to the end-time harvest that Jesus said was the "end of the age" (Matthew 13:39). Both Billy Graham and Charles Spurgeon are now part of the "cloud of witnesses" (Hebrews 12:1) cheering us on from heaven’s grandstand as we seek to reach the lost.

The Send event

On February 23rd at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, a free event called "The Send" will take place. The Send is a collaborative gathering of major ministries, servant leaders and 60,000 passionate people believing we are at a serious tipping point in America and a new era of evangelism is God's solution to the crises. 

Christians from across our nation will converge in this stadium to encounter God, be equipped and receive an impartation that will mark them to go forth with compassion, boldness and heaven-sent zeal! As a Christian and full-time evangelist of almost 50 years, I wouldn’t miss it for the world. 

Will you pray about joining us?

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