History Bit for January 6: A Surprising Conversion


A bit of a detour today. I’ve considered including historical bits in the blog since long before it was a blog, and have been collecting ideas. I just found one for January 6th the other day and decided to make it the first, given the timing. This one is quoted from Warren Wiersbe’s “Be Alive” commentary on John 3:14.

“On January 6, 1850, a snowstorm almost crippled the city of Colchester, England, and a teenage boy was unable to get to the church he usually attended. So he made his way to a nearby Primitive Methodist chapel, where an ill-prepared layman was substituting for the absent preacher. His text was Isaiah 45:22 – “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.” For many months this young teenager had been miserable and under deep conviction, but though he had been reared in church (both his father and grandfather were preachers), he did not have the assurance of salvation.

The unprepared substitute minister did not have much to say, so he kept repeating the text. “A man need not go to college to learn to look,” he shouted. “Anyone can look—a child can look!” About that time, he saw the visitor sitting to one side, and he pointed at him and said, “Young man, you look very miserable. Young man, look to Jesus Christ!” The young man did look by faith, and that was how the great preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon was converted.”[1]


[1] Wiersbe, Warren.  Be Alive (John 1-12) (1986).  P. 55.

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