Category Archives: Biography

Don’t Waste Your Life – Octavius Winslow

Life is too short guys!  Whether you are young or old, read this story and it will do your soul great good for you will be reminded of the fleeting and elusive nature of worldly pursuits on one hand and the permanence and definiteness of the glories of heaven in Christ!  Pass around and keep someone you know (a friend; a son or daughter; a grand-son or grand-daughter; a husband or wife, etc) from wasting his or her life.

The story below comes from Octavious Winslow who lived from 1808-1878 and is entitled “And Then?”Psalm39vs4

A young man, whom he had known as a boy, came to an aged professor of a distinguished continental university, with a face beaming with delight, and informed him that the long and fondly-cherished desire of his heart was at length fulfilled – his parents having given their consent to his studying the profession of the law. As the university presided over by his friend was a distinguished one, he had repaired to its law school, and was resolved to spare no labor or expense in getting through his studies as quickly and ably as possible. In this strain he continued for some time; and when he paused, the old man, who had been listening to him with great patience and kindness, gently said, “Well! and when you have finished your career of study, what do you mean to do then?” “Then I shall take my degree,” answered the young man. “And then?” asked his venerable friend. “And then,” continued the youth, “I shall have a number of difficult and knotty cases to manage: shall attract notice by my eloquence, and wit, and acuteness, and win a great reputation.” “And then?” repeated the holy man. “And then!” replied the youth, “why then there cannot be a question- I shall be promoted to some high office in the state, and I shall become rich.” “And then?” “And then,” pursued the young lawyer, “then I shall live comfortably and honorably in wealth and respect, and look forward to a quiet and happy old age.” “And then?” repeated the old man. “And then,” said the youth, “and then- and then- and then I shall die.” Here his venerable listener lifted up his voice, and again asked, with solemnity and emphasis– “And then?” Whereupon the aspiring student made no answer, but cast down his head, and in silence and thoughtfulness retired. This last “And then?” had pierced his heart like a sword- had darted like a flash of lightning into his soul, and he could not dislodge the impression. The result was, the entire change of his mind and course of his life. Abandoning the study of the law, he entered upon that of divinity, and expended the remainder of his days in the labors of a minister of Christ. 

“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.  For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace” (Romans 8:5-6).

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The T. B. Joshua Appeal! Who Is T. B. Joshua Anyway and Why Does He Matter?

I have been greatly overwhelmed and encouraged at the same by the responses that I have received to the post which I entitled Exposing T.B. Joshua’s Patch-Work Prophecies.

T. B. Joshua 2I am overwhelmed at the number of people who truly seem to be behind T.B. Joshua and his teachings.  I am encouraged, because in this, I see a great and wonderful opportunity not only to expose the errors and flaws in T.B. Joshua’s doctrine and that of others like him – I hope and plan to do that.  But more than that, I am encouraged or should I say excited (as my American friends are fond of saying) – I see this as a great opportunity of bring to light what the Word of God teaches in the hopes that by His grace and by the working of His Holy Spirit, the LORD’s will and purposes might be fulfilled in my own heart and life and in the life of everyone who is following these discourses.  Furthermore, I pray that when it’s all said and done, we will all come out of this far better Christians, more knowledgeable of what the Bible actually teaches of the matters to be discussed – and above all – more like the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior!  That’s my hope and prayer!  Will you please join me in that?  Thank you.

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The People Who Actually Make A Difference

The people who make a difference are those who are different.  The non-conformist type, you know!  Those whom everyone hates and loves at the same time.  They thrive best when swimming against the stream NOT when they are simply going with the flow.  Do you know anyone like that?   Continue reading

Listen to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Speaking at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Martin Luther King Jnr. 1

Listen to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Julius B. Gay Lecture at Southern Baptist Seminary here, and listen to his lecture to a Christian Ethics class here.

Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners[1] – A Book Review

John Bunyan is best known around the globe for his classic work, Pilgrim’s Progress ($0.99 on Amazon Kindle) which is deservingly the most popular and influential book in Christendom (aside from the Bible).  However, a sad consequence of this, is the fact that Bunyan’s other works have been greatly eclipsed by the popularity that Pilgrim’s Progress has enjoyed over the centuries.  Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners (Bunyan’s spiritual autobiography) is one such work.  In my view this book (just like Pilgrim’s Progress) is a must-read for all Christians.

Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners (FREE on Amazon Kindle) gives the reader some insight into the life abandoned to the saving and sanctifying grace of God.  One is impressed by the graciousness of the grace of God and how He relentlessly pursues His children.  In this autobiography, Bunyan does what should be natural for every child of God.  He sincerely diminishes himself and gratefully magnifies the grace of God reminiscent of John 3:30, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”  One cannot help but see 1 Timothy 1:15 written all over his life.

Bunyan is not ashamed to talk of his former life of sin and rebellion against God, but he does not celebrate it.  On the contrary, he mourns and grieves over that and reaches for grace of God for his soul’s salvation, sanctification and solace.  He clings to the LORD even as He clings to him.  I personally find Bunyan’s view of sin very convicting.  I am ashamed that I do not loathe my sin as I should.  Bunyan saw sin for what it really is, “any want of conformity unto, or transgression of the Law of God” (Westminster Shorter Catechism Q & A 14).  Sin is a direct offense against the holy God!  I wonder if this is your view of sin.  May the Lord be merciful to us!

Another thing that stands out in Bunyan’s life after he became a Christian is the account of his spiritual struggles.  He struggled so much with getting assurance of his salvation.  While some have dismissed this as merely a result of too much introspection, I think it is an indictment on all of us in the Church of Jesus Christ today.  While we may have a high view of God and of the efficacy and sufficiency of His grace, we have a low view of sin.  As a result, our thoughts and lives are often in danger of gravitating towards and bordering on antinominianism.

However, the Lord graciously minister’s to Bunyan’s need for assurance through His holy Word as He always does.  In Bunyan’s life, this came through the instrumentation of Martin Luther’s commentary on Galatians.  Regarding this, Bunyan writes:

The God in whose hands are all our days and ways one day brought into my possession a book by Martin Luther.  It was his commentary on Galatians.  It was so old that, if so much as turned it over, it was ready to fall to pieces.  I was so pleased that such an old book had fallen into my hands that when just a few pages into it, I found my condition so comprehensively described by Luther’s experience, it was as if his book had been written from my own heart (p. 72-73).

He further writes, “apart from the Holy Bible, I consider this commentary on Galatians by Martin Luther to be the best of all the books that I have ever seen for a wounded conscience” (p. 73).

Reading Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners will truly open your eyes to the depth of your sin and the immeasurable greatness and abundance of the saving, sanctifying and comforting grace of God through Jesus Christ.  You will better understand what Paul understood when he wrote, “It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15).  I am yet to come across another autobiography of the soul-searching, soul-nourishing candor and stature as Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners.  I hope that you will get your own copy soon (if you don’t already have one) and that you will read and re-read this wonderful story of the abounding grace of God in the life of John Bunyan.

For those who may be interested to delve into Bunyan’s other writings, I recommend The Complete Works of John Bunyan, published by the Banner of Truth Trust (ASIN:  B0007F9CPM).  Soli deo Gloria!


[1] Bunyan, John, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, Evangelical Press, Auburn, 2000

FREE SERMON DOWNLOADS FROM THE MARTYN LLOYD JONES TRUST

Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones

This morning, the Martyn Lloyd Jones (MLJ) Trust made a big announcement:  All of the Doctor’s 1,600 recorded sermons will now be available for FREE with effect from tomorrow, Thursday, April 12, 2012.  I am so excited!  Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones’ preaching was, is and will continue to be a tremendous gift to the Church of Jesus Christ around the world because he faithfully and passionately preached the Everlasting Gospel of God’s salvation for sinners through the sacrifice of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Here is part of the announcement:

Dear Friend,

This is probably the biggest announcement the MLJ Trust will ever make. Starting from tomorrow, April 12th, all 1,600 recorded sermons by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones will be available to download, at no cost, to anyone who wants to listen to them! There are no exceptions, so the Ephesians sermons, Romans sermons, etc. will all be available (it will take a few days to make sure that they are all included in the library). All one has to do is join the MLJ Library (membership is free of course) and start to download! Simply go to our newly updated site at http://www.mljtrust.org and click on “MLJ Library”.

This is a decision that the UK Board has been wrestling with for a long time, because by moving away from the sale of MP3 discs (and tapes before that), which has kept the Recordings Trust in existence for 30 years in God’s grace, they will become completely dependent (as we are in the United States MLJ Trust ministry), on the voluntary donations of brothers and sisters who feel called to support the ministry while downloading sermons….[Continue reading here]

For more on Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones, check out these links:

Biography of John Bunyan

John BunyanJohn Bunyan had very little schooling. He followed his father in the tinker’s trade, and he served in the parliamentary army from1644 to 1647. Bunyan married in 1649 and lived in Elstow until 1655, when his wife died. He then moved to Bedford, and married again in 1659. John Bunyan was received into the Baptist church in Bedford by immersion in 1653.  In 1655, Bunyan became a deacon and began preaching, with marked success from the start. In 1658 he was indicted for preaching without a license. The authorities were fairly tolerant of him for a while, and he did not suffer imprisonment until November of 1660, when he was taken to the county jail in Silver Street, Bedford, and there confined (with the exception of a few weeks in 1666) for 12 years until January 1672. Bunyan afterward became pastor of the Bedford church. In March of 1675 he was again imprisoned for preaching publicly without a license, this time being held in the Bedford town jail. In just six months this time he was freed, (no doubt the authorities were growing weary of providing Bunyan with free shelter and food) and he was not bothered again by the authorities.

John Bunyan wrote The Pilgrim’s Progress in two parts, of which the first appeared at London in 1678,which he had begun during his imprisonment in 1676. The second part appeared in 1684. The earliest edition in which the two parts were combined in one volume came out in 1728. A third part falsely attributed to Bunyan appeared in 1693. The Pilgrim’s Progressis the most successful allegory ever written, and like the Bible has been extensively translated into other languages.

John Bunyan wrote many other books, including one which discussed his inner life and reveals his preparation for his appointed work is Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners (1666). Bunyan became a popular preacher as well as a very voluminous author, though most of his works consist of expanded sermons. In theology he was a Puritan, but not a partisan. He was no scholar, except of the English Bible, but that he knew thoroughly. He also drew much influence from Martin Luther’s Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians.

Some time before his final release from prison Bunyan became involved in a controversy with two theologians of his day: Kiffin and Paul. In 1673 he published hisDifferences in Judgement about Water-Baptism no Bar to Communion, in which he took the ground that “the Church of Christ hath not warrant to keep out of the communion the Christian that is discovered to be a visible saint of the word, the Christian that walketh according to his own light with God.” While he agreed as a Baptist that water baptism was God’s ordinance, he refused to make “an idol of it,” and he disagreed with those who would dis-fellowship from Christians who did not adhere to water baptism

Kiffin and Paul published a rejoinder in Serious Reflections (London, 1673), in which they set forth the argument in favor of the restriction of the Lord’s Supper to baptized believers. The controversy resulted in the Particular (Calvinistic) Baptists leaving the question of communion with the unbaptized open. Bunyan’s church permitted pedobaptists (those who baptize children, such as the Calvinistic Presbyterian Church) to fellowship and eventually, Bunyan’s church even became a pedobaptist church.

On a trip to London, John Bunyan caught a severe cold, and he died at the house of a friend at Snow Hill on August 31, 1688. His grave lies in the cemetery at Bunhill Fields in London.