Archive for the ‘zeal in evangelism’ Category

Think you’re zealous for the Lord?

August 25, 2014

“I cared not where or how I lived, or what hardships I went through, so that I could but gain souls for Christ.”—David Brainerd

“Lord, give me souls or take my soul.”—George Whitefield

“Here let me burn out for God.”—Henry Martyn, on the shores of India

“I am very tired, but must go on … A fire is in my bones … Oh God, what can I say? Souls! Souls! Souls! My heart hungers for souls!”—General William Booth of the Salvation Army

“I would rather win souls than be the greatest king or emperor on earth. My one ambition in life is to win as many as possible.”—R. A. Torrey

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The Titanic’s Last Hero – John Harper

October 19, 2011

John Harper was born to a pair of solid Christian parents on May 29th, 1872. It was on the last Sunday of March 1886, when he was thirteen years old that he received Jesus as the Lord of his life. He never knew what it was to “sow his wild oats.” He began to preach about four years later at the ripe old age of 17 years old by going down to the streets of his village and pouring out his soul in earnest entreaty for men to be reconciled to God.

As John Harper’s life unfolded, one thing was apparent…he was consumed by the word of God. When asked by various ministers what his doctrine consisted of, he was known to reply “The Word of God!” After five or six years of toiling on street corners preaching the gospel and working in the mill during the day, Harper was taken in by Rev. E. A. Carter of Baptist Pioneer Mission in London, England. This set Harper free to devote his whole time of energy to the work so dear to his heart. Soon, John Harper started his own church in September of 1896. (Now known as the Harper Memorial Church.) This church which John Harper had started with just 25 members, had grown to over 500 members when he left 13 years later. During this time he had gotten married, but was shortly thereafter widowed. However brief the marriage, God did bless John Harper with a beautiful little girl named Nana.

Ironically, John Harper almost drowned several times during his life. When he was two and a half years of age, he almost drowned when he fell into a well but was resuscitated by his mother. At the age of twenty-six, he was swept out to sea by a reverse current and barely survived, and at thirty-two he faced death on a leaking ship in the Mediterranean. Perhaps, God used these experiences to prepare this servant for what he faced next…

It was the night of April 14, 1912. The RMS Titanic sailed swiftly on the bitterly cold ocean waters heading unknowingly into the pages of history. On board this luxurious ocean liner were many rich and famous people. At the time of the ship’s launch, it was the world’s largest man-made moveable object. At 11:40 p.m. on that fateful night, an iceberg scraped the ship’s starboard side, showering the decks with ice and ripping open six watertight compartments. The sea poured in.

On board the ship that night was John Harper and his much-beloved six-year-old daughter Nana. According to documented reports, as soon as it was apparent that the ship was going to sink, John Harper immediately took his daughter to a lifeboat. It is reasonable to assume that this widowed preacher could have easily gotten on board this boat to safety; however, it never seems to have crossed his mind. He bent down and kissed his precious little girl; looking into her eyes he told her that she would see him again someday. The flares going off in the dark sky above reflected the tears on his face as he turned and headed towards the crowd of desperate humanity on the sinking ocean liner.

As the rear of the huge ship began to lurch upwards, it was reported that Harper was seen making his way up the deck yelling, “Women, children and unsaved into the lifeboats!” It was only minutes later that the Titanic began to rumble deep within. Most people thought it was an explosion; actually the gargantuan ship was literally breaking in half. At this point, many people jumped off the decks and into the icy, dark waters below. John Harper was one of these people.

That night 1528 people went into the frigid waters. John Harper was seen swimming frantically to people in the water leading them to Jesus before the hypothermia became fatal. Mr. Harper swam up to one young man who had climbed up on a piece of debris. Rev. Harper asked him between breaths, “Are you saved?” The young man replied that he was not.

Harper then tried to lead him to Christ only to have the young man who was near shock, reply no. John Harper then took off his life jacket and threw it to the man and said, “Here then, you need this more than I do…” and swam away to other people. A few minutes later Harper swam back to the young man and succeeded in leading him to salvation. Of the 1528 people that went into the water that night, six were rescued by the lifeboats. One of them was this young man on the debris.

Four years later, at a survivors meeting, this young man stood up and in tears recounted how that after John Harper had led him to Christ. Mr. Harper had tried to swim back to help other people,yet because of the intense cold, had grown too weak to swim. His last words before going under in the frigid waters were, “Believe on the Name of the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.” Does Hollywood remember this man? No. Oh well, no matter. This servant of God did what he had to do. While other people were trying to buy their way onto the lifeboats and selfishly trying to save their own lives, John Harper gave up his life so that others could be saved.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends…” John Harper was truly the hero of the Titanic!

Author Unknown. Sources for this article: “The Titanic’s Last Hero” by Moody Press 1997,” John Climie, George Harper, & Bill Guthrie from “Jesus Our Jubilee Ministries” in Dallas, Oregon

 

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May 18, 2011

Nothing is colder than a Christian who does not care for the salvation of others.

John Chrysostom

Brethren, we must plead

September 11, 2010

The class requiring logical argument is small compared with the number of those who need to be pleaded with, by way of emotional persuasion. They require not so much reasoning as heart-argument – which is logic set on fire. . . . Argument must be quickened into persuasion by the living warmth of love. Cold logic has its force, but when made red hot with affection the power of tender argument is inconceivable. . . . When passionate zeal has carried the man himself away his speech becomes an irresistible torrent, sweeping all before it. A man known to be godly and devout, and felt to be large-hearted and self-sacrificing, has a power in his very person, and his advice and recommendation carry weight because of his character; but when he comes to plead and to persuade, even to tears, his influence is wonderful, and God the Holy Spirit yokes it into his service. Brethren, we must plead.

Charles Spurgeon, Lectures to My Students, Volume 3, Lecture 10: “On Conversion as our Aim.”

There is nothing colder than a Christian who does not seek to save others

April 25, 2010

There is nothing colder than a Christian who does not seek to save others. You cannot plead poverty here; the widow putting in her two small coins will be your accuser. Peter said: Silver and gold I have not. Paul was so poor that he was often hungry and went without necessary food. You cannot plead humble birth, for they were humbly born, of humble stock. You cannot offer the excuse of lack of education, for they were uneducated. You cannot plead ill health, for Timothy also had poor health, with frequent illnesses. Each one can help his neighbor if only he is willing to do what is in his power.

John Chrysostom, Homily 20 on the Acts of the Apostles, quoted N.R. Needham, 2000 Years of Christ’s Power : Part 1, Grace Publications 2002, p.256

He did earnestly urge us, in plain and simple language, not to put off the consideration of eternal things. He did entreat us to look to Christ

February 6, 2010

‘In a little while there will be a concourse of persons in the streets. Methinks I hear someone enquiring, “What are all these people waiting for?” “Do you not know? He is to be buried to-day.” “And who is that!” “It is Spurgeon.” “What! the man that preached at the Tabernacle'” “Yes; he is to be buried to-day.” That will happen very soon; and when you see my coffin carried to the silent grave, I should like every one of you, whether converted or not, to be constrained to say, “He did earnestly urge us, in plain and simple language, not to put off the consideration of eternal things. He did entreat us to look to Christ. Now he is gone, our blood is not at his door if we perish.” God grant that you may not have to bear the bitter reproach of your own conscience! But, as I feel “the time is short,” I will stir you up so long as I am in this Tabernacle.’

Spurgeon, at the close of his sermon, on Lord’s-day evening, December 27, 1874

Now is the day of salvation

February 4, 2010

…a lad, who was just going to sea, came to the Tabernacle, and was converted; and a few hours after was in heaven. He wrote to tell his parents that he had found the Saviour; and, just as they were reading his letter, they received news that the vessel in which he sailed had been in collision, and that he was drowned.

Spurgeon

Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you are not saved yourself. Be sure of that

January 30, 2010

“Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you are not saved yourself. Be sure of that. The saving of souls, if a man has once gained love to perishing sinners and his blessed Master, will be an all-absorbing passion to him. It will so carry him away, that he will almost forget himself in the saving of others. He will be like the brave fireman, who cares not for the scorch or the heat, so that he may rescue the poor creature on whom true humanity has set its heart. If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. 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 unprayed for.”

Spurgeon

these men are great disturbers of the peace, they cannot meet a man upon the road, but they must ram a text of scripture down his throat

January 12, 2010

On the 4th of June, 1768, John Waller, Lewis Craig, James Childs, &c. were seized by the sheriff and hailed before three magistrates, who stood in the meeting house yard, and who bound them in the penalty of one thousand pounds, to appear at court two days after. At court they were arraigned as disturbers of the peace; on their trial, they were vehemently accused, by a certain lawyer, who said to the court, “May it please your worships, these men are great disturbers of the peace, they cannot meet a man upon the road, but they must ram a text of scripture down his throat.

Robert Baylor Semple, History of the Rise and Progress of the Baptists in Virginia, Richmond, Virginia, 1810, p. 15.

Before you criticise their methods, perhaps you ought to pray for a tenth of their zeal!

Wherever these flaming messengers of Jesus Christ came, they disturbed the false peace of the lukewarm, awakened the conscience of the sleeping sinner, and gave him no rest until he surrendered his heart to Christ

January 12, 2010

The preachers of the Great Awakening were described in this manner:

It was, indeed, this very devotion, this diligence, these zealous efforts in the cause of their divine Master, which provoked much of the opposition which they had to encounter. The lukewarm clergy were aroused to indignation at seeing themselves rivaled by those whom they affected to despise on account of their erratic habits and inferiority in point of literature and science. And as these zealous itinerants made their pointed appeals to the consciences of sinners, denounced the just judgments of God upon hardened offenders, their ire was often kindled against those who thus “reproved them in the gate.” Wherever these flaming messengers of Jesus Christ came, they disturbed the false peace of the lukewarm, awakened the conscience of the sleeping sinner, and gave him no rest until he surrendered his heart to Christ. They not only “preached in the great congregation” “in the city full,” but “into whatever house they entered,” they addressed themselves personally to its inmates, urging them to be “reconciled to God;” and they accompanied all their efforts by earnest prayer, both public and private, that God would sanction their labors by sending upon them the energies of the Holy Spirit.

Nathan Bangs, source