Well, it is always great when someone comes forward to profess their faith in Jesus Christ when you are giving the invitation and have everyone close their eyes and lead them in a prayer. And then you feel someone grab your hand — you always get excited.
But when you open your eyes to find a 9-year-old boy standing there, you feel elated, but also anxious because you know you have not spoken with the child’s parents.
With your hand resting on his shoulder you continue with the invitation, asking the praise team to lead in singing.
When you kneel down and ask, “Son, why are you coming forward,” you hear him reply, “I want to become a child of God.”
You then ask about the reason he feels this is needed, and he responds, “Because I’m a sinner and I need Him to save me.”
I am on shouting ground, and I ask about his experience of salvation. I wondered if it was during the VBS we had about 3 weeks earlier, and he said, “No, Preacher, it was after you preached and told us if we wanted to be saved, and that God loved us and died on the cross for our sins. So, I prayed and asked Jesus to come in my life.”
Then, as if to make me eat my own words, this 9-year old says, “Preacher, you said if I would ask Jesus to forgive me for my sins and ask Him, he would come and live in my heart. So Preacher, I prayed asking Jesus to forgive me and come live in my heart.”
I am on my knees with tears in my eyes. This young man reminded me that Jesus is still in the business of saving souls. It seems that we have gotten away from understanding that it is God, through the leading of the Holy Spirit, that draws lost people to Him regardless of their age. Thank God that I am still able to see people respond to the preached word of God, and not for some good personal feeling, but for the salvation of their souls.
I, like the famous London Preacher C.H. Spurgeon, will never apologize for giving an invitation. Notice what was written in the Sword and The Trowel:
“C.H. Spurgeon earnestly exhorted those who had accepted Christ as their Saviour to come forward amongst his people and avow their attachment to His person and name.” — The Sword & The Trowel Magazine, 1865, pg. 70.