How can you be a witness during the Christmas season? How can you exalt the Lord Jesus Christ in all that you say and do? No doubt, you will be meeting with unbelievers this Christmas. No doubt, there will be people in your family who need the gospel. No doubt, there will be friends of yours who do not know Christ. How can you seek to be an eternal blessing to their souls this Christmas?
In his sermon, Going Home — A Christmas Sermon, Charles Haddon Spurgeon gives us helpful advice on how we can be soul winners at Christmas. This sermon is an exposition of Mark 5:19: “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” To encourage you in your personal evangelism, I will draw heavily from the evangelistic wisdom of C. H. Spurgeon.
I. THE OPPORTUNITY
Do you see Christmas as an opportunity to spread the gospel? Spurgeon exhorts the Church to be evangelistic in their approach to Christmas. Seek to be a witness in your gatherings! Spurgeon writes the following:
“For my part, I wish there were twenty Christmas days in the year. It is seldom that young men can meet with their friends; it is rarely they can all be united as happy families; Come, then; I will try and argue with you, to induce you to do so, that I may send you home this Christmas-day, to be missionaries in the localities to which you belong, and to be real preachers, though you are not so by name. Dear friends, do tell this story when you go home.”
“Be sisters of mercy to your own sisters; go home to your friends; take care of your aged parents; turn your own houses into convents; do not sit here nursing your pride by a disobedience to Christ’s rule, which says, “go home to thy friends.” “Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.”
- THE CHALLENGE
What is one way we can testify to the glory of the gospel this Christmas? In this sermon, Spurgeon tells his congregation to tell their friends and family what Christ has done for your soul. Spurgeon writes:
“First, then, here is what they are to tell. It is to be a story of personal experience. “Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.” … Not what great things you have read, but what great things the Lord hath done for you; not alone what you have seen done in the great congregation, and how great sinners have turned to God, but what the Lord has done for you. And mark this: there is never a more interesting story than that which a man tells about himself. He says nothing about his own doings, or willings, or prayings, or seekings, but he ascribes it all to the love and grace of the great God who looks on sinners in love, and makes them his children, heirs of everlasting life. Go home, you man, and tell the poor sinner’s story; go home, young woman, and open your diary, and give your friends stories of grace. Tell them of the mighty works of God’s hand which he hath wrought in you from his own free, sovereign, undeserved love. Make it a free grace story around your family fire. Tell them it is a great story, and if they cannot see its greatness shed great tears, and tell it to them with great earnestness, and I hope they may be brought to believe that you at least are grateful, if they are not. May God grant that you may tell a grateful story.”
“It must be a tale told by a poor sinner who feels himself not to have deserved what he has received Oh! when we tell the story of our own conversion, I would have it done with deep sorrow, remembering what we used to be, and with great joy and gratitude, remembering how little we deserve these things.”
“You love Jesus, young man! I put it to you, then, will you refuse to tell the tale of his love to you? Shall your lips be dumb, when his honor is concerned? Will you not, wherever you go, tell of the God who loved you and died for you? This poor man, we are told, “Departed and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him, and all men did marvel.” So with you. If Christ has done much for you, you cannot help it—you must tell it.”
III. THE METHOD
Now that we know what we ought to do this Christmas, how should we deliver the gospel? Spurgeon, being a good pastor, does not leave his congregation hanging. Great care and thought must be given to the delivery of the gospel among friends and family. Spurgeon reminds us of the following:
We Must Speak Truthfully:
“First, tell it truthfully. Do not tell more than you know; do not tell John Bunyan’s experience, when you ought to tell your own. Do not tell your mother you have felt what only Rutherford felt. Tell her no more than the truth. Tell your experience truthfully; for mayhap one single fly in the pot of ointment will spoil it, and one statement you may make which is not true may ruin it all. Tell the story truthfully. In the next place, tell it very humbly. I have said that before. Do not intrude yourselves upon those who are older, and know more; but tell your story humbly; not as a preacher, not ex-cathedra, but as a friend and as a son.”
We Must Speak Earnestly:
“Next, tell it very earnestly. Let them see you mean it. Do not talk about religion flippantly; you will do not good if you do. And then, tell it very devoutly. Do not try to tell your tale to man till you have told it first to God. When you are at home on Christmas-day, let no one see your face till God has seen it. Be up in the morning, wrestle with God; and if you friends are not converted, wrestle with God for them; and then you will find it easy work to wrestle with them for God. Seek, if you can, to get them one by one, and tell them the story. Do not be afraid; only think of the good you may possibly do. Remember, he that saves a soul from death hath covereth a multitude of sins, and he shall have stars in his crown for ever and ever. Seek to be under God—Saviours in your family, to be the means of leading your own beloved brethren and sisters to seek and to find the Lord Jesus Christ, and then one day, when you shall meet in Paradise, it will be a joy and blessedness to think that you are there, and that your friends are there too, whom God will have made you the instrument of saving.”
We Must Rely Upon the Power of God:
“Let your reliance in the Holy Spirit be entire and honest. Trust not yourself, but fear not to trust him. He can give you words. He can apply those words to their heart, and so enable you to “minister grace to the hearers.”
So, now we can come back to the first question I began with: How can you be a witness during the Christmas season? Spurgeon has given us some helpful advice on his matter. In simple terms, tell those around you what Christ has personally done for your soul. Speak of His gracious love, His tender mercy, His power to save and transform the utmost that comes to Him! Tell them how He has personally met you with grace. Urge them to come to know Christ, who is the friend of sinners! May God bless you in your endeavors to win souls to Christ!
 Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Going Home – A Christmas Sermon, New Park Street Pulpit, vol 3, Dec. 21, 1856.