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  • Writer's pictureNigel Williams

Spurgeon and the art of evangelism

Updated: Mar 2

I came across a great devotional by Charles H Spurgeon that I really think applies to evangelism efforts.

Spurgeon on Evangelism
Spurgeon's wish for others to be saved

It's always good to study Spurgeon and the art of evangelism, as he had many great things to say on the subject.

The following is taken from the morning of October 8th:

"Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught." Luke 5:4

We learn from this narrative, the necessity of human agency. The draught of fishes was miraculous, yet neither the fisherman nor his boat, nor his fishing tackle were ignored; but all were used to take the fishes. So in the saving of souls, God worketh by means; and while the present economy of grace shall stand, God will be pleased by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. When God worketh without instruments, doubtless he is glorified; but he hath himself selected the plan of instrumentality as being that by which he is most magnified in the earth. Means of themselves are utterly unavailing. “Master, we have toiled all the night and have taken nothing.” What was the reason of this? Were they not fishermen plying their special calling? Verily, they were no raw hands; they understood the work. Had they gone about the toil unskilfully? No. Had they lacked industry? No, they had toiled. Had they lacked perseverance? No, they had toiled all the night. Was there a deficiency of fish in the sea? Certainly not, for as soon as the Master came, they swam to the net in shoals. What, then, is the reason? Is it because there is no power in the means of themselves apart from the presence of Jesus? “Without him we can do nothing.” But with Christ we can do all things. Christ’s presence confers success. Jesus sat in Peter’s boat, and his will, by a mysterious influence, drew the fish to the net. When Jesus is lifted up in his Church, his presence is the Church’s power—the shout of a king is in the midst of her. “I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me.” Let us go out this morning on our work of soul fishing, looking up in faith, and around us in solemn anxiety. Let us toil till night comes, and we shall not labour in vain, for he who bids us let down the net, will fill it with fishes.

Spurgeon holding a Gospel tract
Spurgeon and evangelism

My thoughts on the above.

Spurgeon certainly underlined the need for our own efforts in evangelism. I wanted to add that evangelism requires a Christian to be humble. We see this in the text replected upon above. Why? The fishermen were skilled and already knew how to fish. For the Lord to tell them to have another go, after spending all night fishing would have been quite a knock on their pride I would guess. We need to walk by faith and not by sight - that is not human wisdom, but trusting the Lord with our work and not leaning on our own understandings.

Remain faithful, even if you don't see results!

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