He Forsook All To Follow Christ
1557 – At Cologne on the Rhine, printer, Thomas van Imbrock, was arrested as a God-fearing man, for the sake of the truth of the Gospel. He was imprisoned and interrogated concerning his opinions on baptism and marriage. He so skillfully answered their objections with the Scriptures they stopped the questioning and moved him to another prison. His wife wrote him and exhorted him to contend for the truth in a godly manner and remain steadfast in the truth. His conscience was clear from offense before God by forsaking his wife and child, and all earthly things to follow Christ, rejoicing that God had found him worthy to suffer for His name. Two priests debated him concerning infant baptism. One believed infants who died unbaptized to be lost, the other believed they would be saved. They vehemently urged him to repent which he did not, He said, “The Scriptures teach nothing of infant baptism; and they who will be baptized according to God’s word must first be believers.” Three times they called him a heretic and brought him to the rack, but did not torture him. He was brought before a superior authority who tried to persuade him to recant. To cause someone to recant was of greater value to the oppressors of God’s truth than the martyrdom of one of His saints. This is why so much time and torture were given to persuade someone to deny his Lord, instead of just putting him to immediate death. Faithful Believers always represent that which the satanic, immoral forces of the world hate and bring forth from them the most violent and cruel conduct. Ultimately, Thomas was condemned to death by the highest court and was beheaded on March 5, 1558. He was a faithful, preserving witness of Christ and sealed his testimony with his blood at the tender age of 25 years.
Barbara Ketay from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 91-92.
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Tag Archives: gospel
He Forsook All To Follow Christ
“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen,” Revelation 1:7.
One, hot, August day Joe sat on the porch looking down the dusty road—waiting. His dad had gone on a business trip but was due home any moment. Joe did not act very nicely while his dad was away. He disrespected his mother, terrified his sister and his mom had warned him many times to behave politely—he did not listen to the warnings and now he knew the consequences that faced him. Suddenly, he saw a cloud of dust rising from the road—daddy is coming home.
Many people are like Joe. The gospel has been preached, and they have turned a deaf ear. The Bible is made available in every form possible and yet, they do not read it. A witness of His salvation has told them personally but they mock and laugh. They must face the consequences of their choice. The clouds are gathering—Jesus is coming.
My friend, do not be like Joe. This is your warning—Jesus is coming again. Do not turn away from the message of salvation. Do not spend your Sundays, leisurely, as you please. Come to Jesus as He pleads. Do not laugh or mock when family, friends, or even strangers tell you about the only begotten Son. Believe. He is coming again, and that day will not be a happy day if you do not heed the warning.
Jesus is coming in the clouds on that day. It will be a sad, sad day for many people when their loved ones are gone and they alone remain.
The gospel chases exposes an atheist
1872 – Elder J.N. Hall was ordained to the gospel ministry on January 13, 1872. He was born in 1849. An indefatigable laborer, Hall preached an average of a sermon a day and edited several Baptist journals of his time. But most of all he excelled in debating. The infidel club of Trigg County, Kentucky had made great strides and the atheist members continually challenged the Christians to debate. The Baptist pastor in the area realized that his disregarding of the demand was being interpreted by the general population as a sign of weakness and therefore something had to be done. The atheists sought the services of the famous atheist Robert Ingersoll and the pastor invited Elder J.N. Hall to meet him in public debate. Ingersoll refused but recommended the President of the Free Thought Association of America, a certain Mr. Putnam. The terms and time of the debate was set and accepted by both men but on the evening of the debate Elder Hall did not show up. Putnam went on with his speech which lasted for two hours. At the end a lad came to the platform and explained that Elder Hall was detained but would be there the next morning to give his rebuttal. The next morning before a full house, he drew Putnam aside and asked him to give him his arguments which he did. For the next two hours Elder Hall spoke and totally decimated his opposition. Putnam never rallied again, and at the end of the second day, the atheist debater announced that he had pressing business in New York, and left. Elder Hall then turned to the multitude and preached the gospel including a sermon from the text: “What think ye of Christ?” Forty-seven came to receive Christ.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon; adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 17-18.
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First Baptist church in Illinois
1823 – James Lemen passed from this earth. Even though he was fifty years old when he was licensed by his church to preach, he was an active and zealous minister of the gospel. Lemen, along with his wife Catherine, and two others, had been baptized when they had to break the ice in Fountain Creek, to administer the ordinance in Monroe County, Illinois. James had been converted to Christ, when the first evangelical minister came into the state in 1787. However he did not receive baptism until Josiah Dodge from Kentucky came to preach in the area. John Gibbons and Isaac Enochs were the other two that Dodge baptized. On the appointed day a great multitude gathered from all parts to witness the first baptismal service in the State of Illinois. At the waters edge a hymn was sung, scriptural authority for baptism given and prayer offered. Two years later the Lemens, along with a few others, united in forming the first Baptist church in Illinois. There pastor was Rev. David Badgley.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon; adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 10-12.
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Missionary and Missionary’s wife
1845 – Eliza Johnson’s son, W.C. Johnson, wrote the following of his mother: “For seven long weary months she patiently plodded her way across mountains and plains, reaching Oregon City, December 7, 1845.” Here she was the missionary and, the missionary’s wife. With hands, head, and heart she labored, that her husband might preach the pure Gospel in the valleys and settlements of Oregon until she died. Miss Eliza S. Harris married Hezekiah Johnson in Dec. of 1826. On the journey to the Northwest Territory through rivers, and over mountains the family suffered severely with camp fever, and was constantly on the alert for attacks by raiding Indians. After they arrived, Eliza shirked from no duty whether it was reaching the lost, guide to the new convert, companion to the older believers, aiding the sick, or comforting the distressed and needy. She herself was laid up for a long period of time, but used that period rather, for a prayer ministry. She said that she “could live to pray.” The wives of the pioneer preachers, like Sister Johnson, had to rear their family, if their husbands were to give much time to preaching, because of how much time they were away. They often had to handle most of the domestic affairs of the home, including the gardening, chores and farm work. They not only lacked comforts but necessities. Eliza said that they were often without coffee, tea, or sugar to save a trifle for missions. At times they only had calico dresses, and every dress was patched. While their father carried the “bread of life” to the spiritually hungry, often his own children went shoeless, chilled, and hungry. [This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 669-70. C.H. Mattoon, Baptist Annals of Oregon Vol I (McMinnvill, Oreg.: Telephone Register Publishing Co., 1905), p. 49.)]
First woman missionary to India.
1800 – Hannah Marshman wrote in the mission journal that her outreach proved successful, for “The women appeared to have learned more of the Gospel than we expected. They declared for Christ at once.” She noticed when going to the bazaar’s that she never saw any women because of the Eastern culture. She knew that they would never be reached unless she visited them in their homes, so she tirelessly went house to house with the gospel. Hannah was the wife of Joshua Marshman, who along with William Carey and William Ward, have often been called the “triumvirate” in reference to the mission in India. In a letter to Andrew Fuller, Carey described Mrs. Marshman as “a prodigy of prudence.” She was certainly a Proverbs Chapter thirty-one woman. She was also the first woman missionary to India. She was born in 1767 in Bristol, England, but her parents died while she was an infant and she was reared by her grandfather, Rev. John Clark, a Baptist minister. Hannah was converted to Christ during her teen years and was baptized. She married Joshua Marshman in 1792, and he taught in the Christian school at the Broadmead Baptist Church in Bristol. Marshman studied Hebrew and Syriac under John Ryland and when William Carey appealed for a linguist the Marshmans sailed for India in 1795 with eight adult missionaries and their children. In Serampore they lived in a compound and it was Hannah’s duty to manage it. The Marshmans established a boarding school which also provided an education for the missionaries children. Hannah served for fifty years in India, taking one furlough. She died in 1847.
[This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 667-68. Nesta B. Shoddy, Great Baptist Women (London: Carey Kingsgate Press, Ltd. 1955), p.42.] Prepared by Dr. Greg Dixon
He was also a patriot
1762 – Martin Ross, who was born in Martin County, North Carolina, was greatly used of the Lord in spreading the gospel, guiding the churches in the proper order, and exhorting them to support their ministers and worldwide missions. He was also a patriot who had answered the call of his country as a soldier in the continental army. He received Jesus Christ as Savior in 1782 and was baptized by Elder John Page. He was licensed to preach in 1784 and was ordained pastor of the Skewarkey Baptist Church in 1787. He was an outstanding church planter and able leader in the Kehukee Association of Baptists even though he ministered in an area of rude and often fierce people. He fell into disfavor with many of his brethren when he wrote a circular letter in 1790 on the subject of “The Maintenance of the Ministry.” There had been such a reaction against the state clergy, who had received their salary from taxation of the people and had become corrupt, that for many years Baptist preachers had preached against receiving anything for preaching the gospel. However, Ross believed that there should be a balanced position based on the scriptures, such as not muzzling the ox. (I Cr. 9:9). The division also involved the missionary and anti-missionary movement among Baptists. Ross of course led the fight for the cause of missions. The Baptist Philanthropic Society began as the first organized missionary work among North Carolina Baptists and expanded under his leadership and continued for twenty-five years, when it became the Baptist State Convention of N.C. What a great debt of gratitude we owe to men like Martin Ross. [This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 649-50. George Washington Paschal, History of North Carolina Baptists (Raleigh, N.C.: Edwards and Broughton Co., 1930), 1:509.] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
The gospel invades the South
1755 – A small group of Baptists, including Shubal Stearns, his brother-in-law Daniel Marshall, and Joseph Breed invaded the South with the gospel. Until that time little progress had been made by the Regular Baptists but God used these men to change the spiritual climate in that entire territory. The little group totaled sixteen when they arrived at Sandy Creek, North Carolina, but in one year’s time they had 606 members. Almost beyond belief, the Sandy Creek Baptist Church in seventeen years spawned forty-two churches and produced 125 preachers. Stearns was born in Boston, Mass., on Jan. 28, 1706. He had been a Presbyterian but in 1745, through the preaching of George Whitefield, Stearns joined with that group called the “New Lights” or “Separatists.” Though his education was limited he gave himself to reading extensively and became convinced of believer’s baptism and left the pedobaptists, and on May 20, 1751 was baptized by Rev. Wait Palmer, a Baptist pastor in Tolland, Conn. Several months later he was ordained and began to travel and preach. He moved to Berkeley County, Virginia, in 1754 but was not satisfied with the results when he was invited to come to N.C. In 1758 Rev. Stearns visited the nine Baptist churches that had already been founded, and he invited each church to send messengers to form an association of churches which resulted in the Sandy Creek Association coming into existence for the purpose of preaching, singing and reporting as to what God was doing throughout the area. Revival often fell. After 12 years there were 3 associations in N.C., S.C. and VA. [George W. Purefoy, A History of the Sandy Creek Baptist Association (New York: Sheldon and Co., 18590, pp. 292-93. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 622-24.] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
We need submission to His commission
1844 – Dr. Jonathan Going went home to be with the Lord. Dr. Going, along with Rev. John Mason Peck founded the American Baptist Home Mission Society in 1832, whose goal was to promote the preaching of the gospel in North America. Going served as the corresponding secretary of the mission from 1832 to 1837. In 1838 he assumed the position of President of Granville College in Ohio. Jonathan was born to Jonathan and Sarah Going of Reading, Vermont, on March 7, 1786. He entered Brown University in 1805. As a student there he fell under deep conviction over his sins and received the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior and was licensed to preach by the First Baptist Church of Providence, Rhode Island, while Stephen Gano was the pastor. This was during the time that the missionary fires were first beginning to burn hot in America. William Carey had gone to India in 1793. The Judsons and Luther Rice along with other Congregational missionaries had left our shores in 1812. The Judsons and Rice were converted to Baptist views on the ship as they sailed for Burma, and then Rice returned to create the first Baptist mission agency in 1814. Going had returned to Vermont to pastor and then to Worcester, Mass. where he had great success before his health broke. He took a leave of absence and with Peck went on a buggy trip through Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri before returning with the burning desire to evangelize the west. Someone has said concerning the Lord’s command that “There is no such thing as foreign missions or home missions. The real concern is submission to His Great Commission. [William Cathcart, The Baptist Encyclopedia (Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts, 1881), 1:457. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 612-13.] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
“For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard,” Acts 4:20.
Often persecution is the main difference between those who witness for Christ and those who do not. In Acts 5:40-42, the apostles were beaten for disobeying the laws of the council to stop preaching the gospel in Jesus name. “And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name” (Acts 5:41).
Here we see people joyful to suffer for Christ, strange behavior. They put their feet down and obeyed God instead of people. That felt good inside, even though outside it hurt something awful.
In Revelation 6:9, souls under the altar are martyred for two things, the Word of God and for the testimony which they held. Millions of Gentile Christians die in the last half of the Tribulation Period for two things—the witness of Jesus and for the Word of God (Rev. 7:9, 14; 20:4). In Acts 8:4, after the great persecution against the church, “they . . . went every where preaching the word.”
It appears that, when a Christian has nothing of the world left to attract his attention, his heart turns to Jesus and he does what he was saved to do (Heb. 2:4; 12:1, 2). Jesus was crucified for the joy that was set before Him because He was bringing many sons to glory. Watching Jesus suffer on the cross was enough for the apostle John to quit worrying about his position in the kingdom and become a soul-winner.
All of the apostles were martyred in heinous ways for two things, their witness and for the Word of God. Are we compelled? Jesus said to the apathetic Laodicean church, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten” (Rev. 3:19).
JUST A THOUGHT - It seems the things of earth must grow strangely dim before we can see the souls of mankind running pell-mell down the broadway to hell.
Robert A. Brock