On 6 Jan, 1850, a snowstorm almost crippled the city of Colchester, England. – A teenage boy was unable to get to his church. – So instead, he made his way to a nearby Methodist chapel. – The boy had heard these people singing before – they sang so loud it made his head hurt! – But still he went in.
Only to learn that their pastor wasn’t there. – So an ill-prepared layman stood in for him. – His text was Isa. 45:22, “Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.”
For many months, this teen boy had been miserable, and under deep conviction of sin. – He’d been raised in church, and his father & grandfather were preachers. – Yet he knew he was not truly born again.
The lay preacher on that cold morning had little to say; so he kept repeating the text, “Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.” – He said, ‘A man need not go to college to learn to look. Anyone can look – a child can look!’ – Then he pointed directly at that teen boy seated in the back:
‘Young man, you look very miserable. Young man, look to Jesus Christ! I can see you are in trouble. You will never get out of trouble until you look to Christ! Look, look, look to Christ – it’s all you must do!’
And that’s what he did – on that unlikely day, that young man looked to Christ with a living faith, and was saved. – His name?…Charles Haddon Spurgeon, who became the famous London preacher. – Spurgeon later wrote of that day of his conversion:
…I saw at once the way of salvation. Oh, how I did leap for joy at that moment! I know not what else [the preacher] said, I did not take much notice of it. I was so possessed with that one thought. Like as when the brazen serpent was lifted up, they only looked and were healed. I had been waiting to do fifty things, but when I heard this word, ‘Look!’ what a charming word it seemed to me! Oh, I looked until I could almost have looked my eyes away; and in heaven I will look on still in my joy unutterable.”
That’s what John 3 is all about! – “Whoever believes” – there is life in one look – You need not perish forever, eternal life is freely offered, for any who will believe on Christ. – O that God would save a young Spurgeon in this room today!