The Gospel at the Racecourse (excerpt)

Posted: August 20, 2013 by revivalbiblestudy315 in Bible Study
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There are people who think that the Gospel is wonderously out of place on a racecourse – and, indeed, in any other place where the devil holds carnival; and yet assuredly where the disease is raging, there the remedy is most wanted. The Word will not be faithfully preached in any great concourse of people without trophies being won by it; and there is reason to believe that the impression made even on racecourses is frequently deeper than ordinary observers would suppose. Some of the people who go to races are in the condition to receive good impressions, and they are thankful to such as look after them. Many, though not old in years, are worn out in vicious service of the world; and, knowing that their end cannot be far off, they are led to think of death, whether they will or not. ‘ I’ve seen twenty-five Derbys, but I don’t think that I shall see another,’ said one such, who was too ill to be out, and yet was found on the course. ‘There are only two things I want now: the grace of God in my heart and a coffin,’ he added, thus showing that he was well aware of his sad condition. Others are met with who are quite as needy, but are not quite so well aware of their extreme need – prodigals who have run to great lengths in waste and riot, who, nevertheless, are occasionally awakened at an open-air service to pray with the publican – ‘God be merciful to me a sinner.’ Take this example – a sporting-man’s own confession: –
‘Some time back I was a betting man, a reckless sort of man, not caring for anything except to get money either for drink or betting.
I had been on the racecourse, and had lost £ 165, and came away penniless. Wandering from the course into Epsom town, I saw a mob of people, and went, and went to see what was the matter. I found that it was a preacher of the Open-air Mission who was speaking. It seemed as if God spoke through this man to me, and showed me that I was a lost and ruined sinner. My whole sinful life came up before me, and I thought to myself, if I die I shall be lost; and I began to think what I could do. As I listened further to the preacher, I found I could do nothing, but that god in His infinite love had given His Son to die for me. John iii. 16 was repeated, with other texts, till I felt I could stand it no longer, so I prayed God to have mercy upon me as I stood in the crowd, and I there and then accepted Christ as my Saviour; and oh, what a blessed peace came to my poor troubled heart! I had lost £ 165; but, friends, I went home richer than I came, for I had found Christ to be my Saviour. Since then I have been a happy man. My wife and children are happy too; and, although the devil tempts me, God gives me grace to overcome.’

Pike, Godfrey Holden (2013-08-06). Beneath The Blue Sky: Preaching in the Open-Air by Godfrey Holden Pike (Kindle Locations 1119-1121). . Kindle Edition.

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