Sobering visit at the John Bunyan Museum in Bedford
While in the U.K. I had a chance to visit the John Bunyan museum in Bedford. Although the John Bunyan Museum is small and unassuming, it holds a powerful testimony, and that is: the Word of God is dangerous and powerful.
John Bunyan spent twelve years in prison because he refused to compromise the preaching of the Word of God. In those days, one could not preach without a license to preach from the Church of England; receiving a license meant adhering to the doctrines of the Church of England. This John Bunyan was not willing to do, and he paid a heavy price; twelve years in Jail.
The Word of God is felt to be dangerous by the religious systems of the day, the Word of God is felt to be dangerous to the political powers that be.The Word of God is powerful to save and set men free. The Word of God is powerful to deliver men from darkness.
Although John Bunyan came from a poor background and had a very limited education, he went on to write, in prison, one of the most popular and influential books of all time in the English language, "Pilgrim's progress."
Of him Spurgeon wrote: "I would quote John Bunyan as an instance of what I mean. Read everything of his, and you will see that it is almost like reading the Bible itself. He had studied our Authorized Version, which will never be bettered, as I judge, till Christ shall come; he had read it till his very soul was saturated with Scripture; and, though his writings are charmingly full of poetry, yet he cannot give us his Pilgrim’s Progress—that sweetest of all prose poems—without continually making us feel and say, “Why, this man is a living Bible!” Prick him anywhere; his blood is Bibline, the very essence of the Bible flows from him.
Archibald Brown was “a student, friend, and associate of Charles Spurgeon; and from 1908 to 1911, pastor of the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London, the church earlier pastored by Spurgeon” (1)
In 1988 he wrote a book titled, “The Devil’s mission of Amusement”, in it, there is an article titled: “Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats.” In it, Archibald warns of an evil that had crept into the Church; that is of providing amusement instead of the preaching the Word of God.
He wrote: “Were the disciples persecuted because they amused the people, or because they refused? The Gospel of Amusement has no martyr roll! Providing amusement is in direct antagonism to the teaching and of Christ and His apostles. What did He say? ‘Ye are the salt,’ – not sugar-candy.” (2)
These words are as true today as they were in Archibald Brown's day.
Of ministers: "Little is that ministry worth that never chides you. If God never uses his minister as a rod, depend upon it he will never use him as a pot of manna, for the rod of Aaron and the pot of manna always go together, and he who is God’s true servant will be
both to your soul.
"Faithful preachers are among God’s best gifts. Cherish them, and be obedient to their
admonitions. I have known persons become offended when a minister is “too
personal;” but wise men always prize a ministry in proportion as it is personal to
themselves. He who never tells me of my faults, nor makes me feel uneasy, is not
Likely to be the means of good to my soul. What is the use of a dog that never barks?"
Oh, dear friends and fellow pray-ers, are you not moved to pray for a mighty revival of the Word of God in the Body of Messiah, in the Church?
- Let us pray for a mighty conviction to fall upon the ministers of God, the preachers of the Day of the importance of the Word of God, first in their lives, then in their ministry.
- Let us pray together for fire in the pulpits of the land
- Let us pray together for the Word of God to go forth in a life-giving, soul-searching, spirit-reviving way.
- Let us pray for the people of God, that they might turn away from mere amusements to feed on the Word of God.
- Let us pray for the Lord to pour upon the Body in the land and upon the Church world-wide a fresh hunger for the Word of God.
- Let us pray that the Word will be eaten as manna from heaven
Let those of us who preach the Word, do so faithfully
Jer. 23:25-29 I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart; Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal. Jer. The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD. Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?
I remain deeply moved and challenged by the testimony of Buyan's lif regarding the Word of God. I left the museum strengthen and resolved to, more than ever, love, read, study, obey, teach, and preach the Word of God as it is, for all that it is, to all who will hear.
Let us pray together a mighty revival of the Word of God in the Church and in the Land.