Be Faithful

Several decades ago an English pastor by the
name of Francis Dixon revealed the remarkable story
of a gentleman who faithfully witnessed for Christ.
In fact, after first telling this story, I received an
email from another pastor in South Wales, Australia,
who not only confirmed this man’s testimony, but
told me of his friendship with this faithful witness.xix
The story begins at the Crystal Palace Baptist
Church in Southern London. A man asked if he
could give his testimony to the assembly. The pastor
said, “Sure.” The man said, “I’ve just moved to this
area from Sydney, Australia. After just a few
months, I visited some relatives in Sydney. I was
walking down George Street and as I passed one
shop, a little, white-haired man stepped out in front of
me. He handed me a tract and asked, ‘Are you saved,
and if you died today would you go to heaven?’”
The man continued, “I walked away, but was
dumfounded. No one had ever asked me that
question before. On the flight all the way back to
Heathrow in London, I was puzzled as I read the little
tract. I called a friend who was a Christian and he
told me how to accept Christ. I just wanted to share
with you friends that I am now a Christian.” Of
course the church was excited to hear this testimony
of a man who would become a part of their church.
The pastor of this London church then flew to a
three-day series in Adelaide, Australia. During the
series of meetings, a woman came to him for spiritual
counseling and he, of course, wanted to know where
she stood with Christ. She said, “Well, I used to live
in Sydney. A couple of months ago, I was doing
some shopping on George Street . . .” She told the
same story of the white-haired man, and then said,
“After I walked away, I visited this church where you
are speaking today, knowing they believed what the
gospel tract talked about. The pastor here led me to
Christ.”
Twice in a few days, this pastor had encountered
someone impacted by a little, white-haired man on
George Street.
A few weeks later, this pastor flew to Perth,
Australia, where he preached in an evangelical
church. After one of the services, the leading elder of
the church took him out to dinner. While they were
eating, this pastor asked his fellow elder when he had
come to faith in Christ. This lay elder said, “I grew
up in this church until the age of fifteen, but never
made a commitment, and grew up to a place of
influence. I was in Sydney three years ago on
business, when a little, white-haired man accosted me
with a tract and asked me if I was saved and on my
way to heaven. I tried to tell him that I was a Baptist
elder in a Baptist church, but the little man did not
care. I was so angry that when I arrived back in
Perth, I told our pastor what had happened. My
pastor told me, ‘You know, for years I’ve wondered
if you were truly born again.’ Then, my pastor led
me to genuine faith in Christ.”
This pastor flew back to the United Kingdom and
was speaking in the Lake District at a Christian
conference. He told these three testimonies to his
audience. After the meeting, three pastors, unknown
to one another in this regard, came to this pastor and
said that they had all come to faith in Christ – about
thirty to thirty-five years ago – after receiving from
this same man on George Street, a simple gospel
tract.
This pastor was absolutely astounded.
The following week the pastor flew to a Keswick
Convention in the Caribbean to speak to a group of
missionaries that had gathered. He was so excited
about the fruit of this one little man’s testimony that
he shared it with his audience. At the close of his
teaching session, three missionaries came up and said
that they had been saved fifteen to twenty years ago
through the initial testimony of this same man on
George Street.
At the end of this meeting, the pastor flew back,
by way of Georgia in the USA, to speak at a Naval
Chaplain’s convention. He spent three days revving
1,000 chaplains about being a witness for Christ. At
the end of the conference, the Chaplain General took
him out to dinner and he asked him, “How did you
come to faith in Christ?” The Chaplain General said,
“Well, it really was miraculous. I was in the Navy
and lived a terribly immoral, profligate life. We were
doing exercises in the South Pacific and we ended up
on a brief leave in Sydney. I partied in downtown
Sydney that night, got on the wrong bus, and it took
me to George Street. As I got off the bus, an elderly,
white-haired man suddenly appeared, who I thought
was a ghost, and asked me, ‘Sailor, are saved and if
you died do you know you’d go to heaven?’ That
confrontation shocked me so much that when I got
back to the battleship, I sought out my chaplain and
he led me to Christ. I soon began to prepare for the
ministry under my chaplain’s guidance and now, here
I am in charge of leading 1,000 chaplains to share
Christ with others.”
This same pastor, six months later, flew to India
to do a convention for 5,000 missionaries in an
eastern area of the country. At the close of the
meeting, a humble Indian missionary took him home
for a meal. The pastor asked him, “How did you, a
Hindu, come to faith in Christ?” The missionary
pastor responded, “I was in a very privileged
position, working for the Indian Diplomatic Mission
and traveling the world. One of my diplomatic trips
took me to Sydney, where one night I was doing
some last minute shopping on George Street, carrying
packages. A courteous man stepped out and asked
me . . .” – and he told a similar story of the
white-haired man. He continued, “I thanked him, but
this disturbed me. I sought out my Hindu Priest, who
didn’t have an answer but actually suggested I take
my questions about Christ to a local mission station
nearby. I did, and the missionary led me to Christ. I
left Hinduism and began to prepare for the ministry.
Now, I’m leading these missionaries and we’re
winning thousands of Hindus to faith in Christ.”
Eight months later, this pastor of the Crystal
Palace Baptist Church, whose travel schedule, by the
way, I would not want, had meetings in Sydney. He
asked the pastor there, “Do you know a little man
who hands out tracts on George Street?” The pastor
said, “Sure I do – he’s done it for years. His name is
Mr. Jenner, but I don’t believe he does it anymore
because he’s now old and very frail.” The visiting
pastor said, “I’ve got to meet him.” His colleague
said, “Not a problem, I know where he lives.”
Two nights later, they went to a small apartment
and knocked on the door. A tiny, frail little man with
a head of white hair answered the door. He invited
them in, sat them down, and made some tea for
them – serving them even though his hands trembled
with age.
As they sat together, this London pastor told Mr.
Jenner all the encounters he had had over the past
three years. He told him of all the Christians he had
met from England to Australia to India to America
who had come to faith in Christ because of his gospel
witness on George Street.
This little man sat there with tears running down
his cheeks. He said, “I made a commitment that I
would attempt to share Christ with someone every
day – up to as many as ten a day – if I could.
Sometimes I couldn’t do it – I was sick or whatever –
I wasn’t paranoid about it, it was just my desire.”
The man continued, “When I retired from the
military, I decided that I would devote my time to
witnessing. For the past several decades, I’ve been in
one place. I believed that the busiest and best place
in Sydney to pass out tracts was George Street. Now,
for forty years, I’ve passed out tracts on that busy
avenue. I’ve had a lot of rejections, but many people
have been courteous and they’ve accepted my gospel
literature.”
“However, I must tell you,” he said with tears
coursing down his face, “that until today, I have
never had one person respond favorably to my
question. Until today, I knew of not one person who
had accepted Christ from my witness all these years.”
This pastor eventually did a rough count, as best
as he could determine, and came to the conclusion
that at least 146,000 people were influenced to faith
in Christ because of this man’s consistent,
unfruitful – to him – testimony. And this was only
the tip of the tip of the tip of the iceberg.
Mr. Jenner died two weeks after these pastors
visited him.
Imagine, only a few Baptists in southern Sydney
even knew about Mr. Jenner. However, heaven knew
about him. And I cannot imagine the fanfare when
this man arrived home.
Dear flock, I do not know about you, but a
testimony like this deeply challenges me. It both
encourages me and convicts me regarding my own
witness.
The old spiritual asks the question, “Who’ll be a
witness for my Lord?” And the answer we must
return is, “I’ll be one. I’ll be one. Here am I, send
me. I’ll be a witness for my Lord.”

This manuscript is from a sermon preached on 11/9/2008 by Stephen Davey.

 

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