Gospel Suffering & Witness

Hugh Latimer was famous as a preacher. He was Bishop of Worcester (pronounced WOOS-ter) in the time of King Henry, but resigned in protest against the king’s refusal to allow the Protestant reforms that Latimer desired. Latimer’s sermons speak little of doctrine; he preferred to urge men to upright living and devoutness in prayer. But when Mary came to the throne, he was arrested, tried for heresy, and burned together with his friend Nicholas Ridley. His last words at the stake are well known:

“Be of good cheer, Master Ridley, and play the man,for we shall this day light such a candle in Englandas I trust by God’s grace shall never be put out.”

Does this candle burn in your heart? Are the flames intense enough to carry on the work of those before us that have been martyred for their love of Christ, the truth of God’s Word and the refusal to bow before sinful men?

Today around the world there are many dear believers persecuted each day for their faith in Christ. How can we honor the memory of those who would not yield in their faith? How can we continue to glorify our heavenly Father? How do we keep this “candle” lit?

First and most important we must continually pray and trust in God’s righteousness, then we must proclaim the truth of the Gospel in every way the Lord opens.

“….others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect” (Hebrews 11:35-40).

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds ” (Hebrews 12:1-3).

– Wylie Fulton

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