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November 11, 2021 12:00 am
Hiram Johnson was destined for a life of suffering. He knew that anyone who married him would have a difficult life.
Imagine some young man wanting to marry your daughter proposal sounding like I have now to ask you whether you can consent to degradation in salt persecution. Perhaps a violent death. Can you consent to all this for the sake of him who left his heavenly home for her times God calls people into the lives of service that are difficult and even dangerous implications of those dangers go just beyond the person, family members and loved ones have to share in the hardships as well.
Today on wisdom for the heart. Stephen David continues through his series entitled legacies of light throughout the series. Stevens been looking at heroes of the Christian faith today we begin looking at the life of Judson, you're going to find his life to be both inspiring and challenging. Now here Stephen with today's lesson in John's Gospel, the Lord Jesus is speaking to his disciples and he is foretelling his death in his resurrection and his coming glory or glorification, and in the Lord is not only speaking prophetically of his own death, but of all those who surrender back to this day.
Those who surrender their lives to the following Jesus Christ. No matter what I look at verse 24. There will be the life verse lived out by the individual and introduce you to do tonight wraps it up in a little bit deeper way. But the Lord says in verse 24 John 12 truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies, it bears much fruit Jesus certainly implies here that suffering and fruit bearing go hand-in-hand. In fact, there seems to be some parallel those of their between suffering much and influencing much of the glory of Christ ever wondered why it is that people were still reading about the day and people were still studying in the Bible and church history. People who accomplished so much suffered so much.
In fact, it seems like the more they suffered.
The more they are studied.
To this day the words of our Lord as he enters Jerusalem, knowing that within days.
He's going to be crucified still echo to this day with this lasting principle, a legacy of spiritual fruit belongs to that man or woman young person who effectively says to Jesus Christ here on my bearing me if there was anybody in in church history that seem to fit this description always in modern church history of a fruitful life and surrender.
It would be the man who would become America's first foreign missionary, he would suffer incredibly, he would bury all but one of his children. He would dig graves for his first wife, and his second wife 19 years later, many of his associates would die as well from disease and difficulty long after becoming a living legend add an arm Judson would write this kind of appeal to potential missionary candidates ready for this. I quote remember a large proportion of those who come out on a mission here.
To the east died within five years after leaving their native land. So walk softly.
Death is narrowly watching your steps for recruiting strategy.
Are you willing to be a seed planted in the ground by suffering. Even Diane Barrow harvest of fruit for the gospel of Jesus Christ was I mentioned this missionary thing was at an arm Judson.
He was born into a pastor's home in 1788 in Boston, Massachusetts. By the age of three. He was already revealing that he was a rather precocious child quick learner. His mother was able to her surprise to teach him how to read in one week. My mother the same problem with me because I have to bear. It was during the week while his father was away preaching and that the arm surprises father. Upon his return by reading an entire chapter to him from the Bible. Three years of age, that wasn't me about you.
At age 3 I was climbing the stairs. The off barking dog jumped still survived that with my level of intelligence that was when he was 16. His father enrolled him in Rhode Island College now Brown University.
He did that because his father although his father graduated from Yale considered at that time Yale and Harvard to be too liberal to fully lag arm would go to Brown University the top of every class throughout college and graduate valedictorian. In 1807. However, he would keep a secret that would not be revealed for at least a year and when he revealed after his 20th birthday. It would break his parents heart admired been heavily influenced by fellow student named Jacob means Jacob games was popular brilliant artistic, and he was an unbeliever. Jacob became one of advance closest friends and he introduced an arm to what was called then freethinking, which is basically atheism, French skepticism, and that it ultimately denies the deity of Christ and in the gospel to buy the time that an arm. Judson graduated from Brown University.
He had abandoned the Bible. He learned how to read the age of three and he also abandoned the gospel. After informing his parents of his unbelief with their hearts shattered. He attempted the tutor for a year. That didn't work out, and so he set out to tour New England on horseback. He eventually joined a group of actors in New York City where he lived what he called a reckless vagabond life he would write that they would find lodging in and in one of the score and then slip out of the middle of the night without paying any other bill but after only a few weeks in New York City with these actors. He kinda grew tired of their undisciplined lifestyle and he struck out on his own again roaming without any purpose, without any meaning. Searching one night he he has stopped to spend the night at an inn he'd never stated before and the innkeeper apologized to him when he arrived that he would more than likely have his sleep interrupted by a young man next door the in the room next to him who was violently ill. Sure enough during the night moaning and the crying and the groaning of the young man in the next room kept him awake. The man seemed to be on the brink of dying his moaning and groaning and lamenting and crying Dad and arm lying awake on his bed almost all night at an iron wondered about this young man's soul, where we spend eternity. What was his hope after death, and in fact he realized he should be me asking those kinds of questions because he did believe that anymore. Vicki would work out later that he himself lay there thinking the same thoughts about his own soul if he were that young. Eventually the moaning stopped and admirers slipped off to sleep early the next morning Adam got up and he asked the innkeeper about the young man's health, the outcome, the innkeeper confirmed that the young man had indeed died hours earlier and I asked him do you know who he was in the innkeeper said oh yes, his name was Eames Jacob being an admirer could hardly move. He would stay at that in four hours pondering the death of his friend. He would later tell a friend that I quote to think that hell should open up in this country in and snatch Jacob games my dearest friend and died from the next room. This could not simply could not be pure coincidence, and of course it wasn't the sovereign grace of Christ that Gardner realize that God was on his trail. He said he immediately returned home and to the joy of his parents. A few months later trusted Christ for his personal salvation and devoted himself to the Lord would be marked forever by that event, the God so dramatically use two years later he was wrapping up some seminary studies and he applied for missionary status with the Congregational church a Congregational mission board as a student he had heard a sermon that illustrated the mission fields of Burma China, India, and he determined to give his life to serve Christ and that that part of the world which is then interesting again that his parents who were thrilled with his conversion were not happy with his desire for missionary service over reason effective. It offered a faculty position at Brown University, which he declined much to the frustration of his father. He was offered a paid pastoral position in a church nearby is family home, which he declined to his mother's tears on the same day he presented himself to the Congregationalist mission board, he met a young woman named and hassle time in over the next few weeks.
They quickly fell in love and I was clear about his life goal, he told her and everybody else was heading for Burma that's located between southern India and and China. A land that we now call me Omar. She turned out to be just as committed to the gospel as he was so one month after meeting her. Yet this is not what you want your children to hear about one month after meeting her.
He asked her father if he could marry is a letter to Ann's father is revealing to read some of it to you because it reveals his passion for the lost and and it's almost prophetic in detail the letter reads.
By the way dad's imagine some young man wanting to marry your daughter, and his proposal sounding like 1800 and I quote I have now to ask you whether you can consent to part with your daughter early next spring to see her no more in this world is a. Think about it. Listen whether you can consent to her departure for a heathen land.
Her subjection to the hardships and sufferings of the missionaries life whether you can consent to her exposure to the dangers of the ocean to the fatal influences of the southern climate of India to every kind of wanted to stress to degradation insult persecution and perhaps a violent death.
Can you consent to all this for the sake of him who left his heavenly home and died for her and for you, for the sake of perishing immortal souls for the sake of heaven and the glory of God.
Can you consent to all this in the promise of meeting your daughter in the world of glory with a crown of righteousness brightened by the exclamations of heathen now save through her means who will there be praising her Savior as ever proposal man.
Imagine I'd like to take your daughter away from you to heathen land which will probably suffer every deprived nation and more than likely a violent death you can see tension in this young man no holds barred. This is one of them to do so. What were going to go with what matters most. Ann's father said yes and so that she and away and father mother really were all saying the same thing to God, just in different ways.
Here am I very mean two weeks after their wedding, they are on a ship bound for India. The voyage would last four months and I want to bring up one thing because it creates problems that he can show you little bit other character is to create problems with her Congregationalist supporters back home and her family.
Remember, his dad is a Congregational pastor see during during this voyage. They spent a lot of time ransacking the book of acts the Gospels studying the word on on subjects related to church planting and they came to the conclusion that salvation should precede baptism and they also concluded that baptism correctly understood, literally translated, could only mean immersion in that voyage they change their entire view and their affiliation so which means about her. This is no small thing. They departed from America as Congregationalist and landed in India as Baptist.
Another problem was there was no American Baptist missionary board. He's the first missionary from America so they effectively declined walked away from all of their support and their supporters bring that issue because it reveals something about them early on both of them. Their willingness to confront the religious past their willingness to potentially up to their families, their willingness to lose all their financial support.
All for the sake of biblical conviction reveals quite a bit about the metal their character that we put an arm and and Judson were baptized by immersion.
Soon after landing in Calcutta India by the son of William Carey.
Felix was his name with whom they stayed when they arrived they trust God frankly never look back. Now the good news was when news reached America of their changed position Baptist churches rallied without a little slower than the congregation listen. They created the American Baptist missionary union and probably began reporting there are other changes ahead for them. They expected to settle in an area where they were not allowed when they arrived they do move several times and eventually they settled on an area known as Rangoon, Burma, just north of Thailand. There they would spend the next 10 years of their lives attempting to learn the Bernie's language they had to learn it without a teacher without a grammar without a dictionary without any other believers without a church without any help. I had to learn and his wife and by literally creating his own Burmese grammar God wired him at three to prepare him for what he would be doing a 23 so he would spend several years creating his own grammar. Learning the language it would take six years of study before he was able to preach his first sermon finally seven years after arriving at an arm led the first Bernie's individual faith in Jesus Christ, think about seven years before one cover the correct way that doesn't really sell all that well the supporters back home. They stayed with part of the problem was in Burma converting from Buddhism was punishable by death. Little wonder it would take Judson 12 years before he had 18 people baptized in the church 12 years.
18 people on one occasion had an iron and another missionary travel to see the Emperor of Burma to petition for freedom to preach and for people to convert without losing their lives or were being threatened of the loss of their lives in.
He not only disregarded the request but he threw the gospel track that added iron had written to the ground after reading only a few line in the meantime, Roger William Judson their little boy died at eight months of age. Back in their home region and Judson continued serving along with her husband. She had been able to befriend the wife of the political leader in Rangoon for like the governor in our culture and and begin to make inroads before long the printing press arrived and materials that added iron to translate in the Bernie's work now being printed by the thousands. Still no real fruit, but they were now coalescing into printed materials that they could distributed they were being distributed in it included a full and complete translation of the gospel of Matthew.
Eventually added iron would complete the entire New Testament in into Bernie's. By the time he finishes this translation work.
War breaks out between England and Burma and all of the English missionaries are immediately suspected of being spies for the British government. There was trouble in the air five years after baptizing their first convert on June 8, 1824 Burmese officials suddenly broke into their home through added iron to the ground, tied him up and dragged him away to prison.
He was placed in a prison building with 100 other inmates, male and female. They were all lying on the floor of their feet in stocks and iron chains weighing 14 pounds. In fact, at arm would wear the scars of those chains for the rest of his life at night. He records a bamboo pole was passed between the prisoners shackled feet and then hoisted up by pulleys to the prisoners, literally hung upside down at a height, which allowed their shoulders to rest on the ground while their feet were pulled above their heads all night long. After some time at an iron was moved to a cage that once housed the lien not high enough to stand not broad enough to lie down during this time and delivered their daughter Maria. She would walk to the jail every day bringing at an arm food she would drag the jailer to pass along to you because the prison supplied no food. Inmates simply starve to death since she became ill and unable to nurse the baby. Finally, if you can imagine this, the jailer had mercy on them and actually let out an iron take the baby. Each evening into the village and begged for some nursing mother to give their baby milk. Finally, suddenly at it. I was released from prison almost 2 years and there he was evidently needed to translate between the English and the Burmese without a use for him. By the time he returned home and was dead a few months later, there little Maria died a few months after that he received news that his father had also recently died as well is crushed vital just all bore down. He entered deep depression would last nearly 3 years. He dropped this translation work.
He retreated from anything that might promote any sense of happiness or pleasure.
He refused to eat with those outside the mission station. He renounced his honorary doctorate that he'd been given from Brown University. He gave all of his savings away to the Baptist mission board and asked that his salary would be reduced. He then built a hot some distance from his mission compound deep in the jungle, dangerous in the loan where he moved in.
Even dog next to the heart and open grave where she expected Barry that he would sit in that grave for hours contemplating decaying of his own flesh, he would write in his journal, though one occasion during this time he wrote these words about her spiritual desolation, he said and I quote God is to me the grades unknown I believe in him, but I cannot find is impossible God and his timing waited until the scene true died organist stop right here for today will resume this lesson on tomorrow's broadcast Bible teacher Stephen Devi is working his way through a series entitled legacies of light is examining the lives of some Christian heroes who provide a godly example to us today. There are 16 biographies in total and I hope you'll be able to join us for all of them before we end our time together.
I want to make sure you know about two resources we have for you. The first is the book that's based on this series. Stevens taken the content of this current series legacies of light and turned it into a beautifully bound hardback book.
Each one of the biographies were studying is a chapter in the book. It's a wonderful addition to add to your library of Christian resources. What a gift to a friend.
Our supply of this book is limited so order soon to get yours. I also want you to be aware of a book that we have in our children's collection written by Stephen son, Seth. It's called Marvel at the mystery. It gives children an insightful look at the incarnation of Jesus with Christmas approaching.
You might have some children in your life who would enjoy this book. Both of these resources. Legacies of light and marvel at the mystery are available today and we can give you information if you call us at 86 648 Bible. That's 866-482-4253. You'll also find both of these resources on our website which is wisdom online.org while you're there, be sure and explore all the other resources we have available, including the complete archive of Stevens Bible teaching. As always we enjoy hearing from you. It's a delight to get cards and notes from those who listen to our broadcast if you'd like to write to Stephen address your card or letter to wisdom international PO Box 37297 Raleigh, NC 27627 well as I mentioned a few moments ago to bring you the conclusion to this lesson on tomorrow's broadcast right here on this