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Wednesday, 24 October 2012

The Church the Bible Built.

Many years ago the Rev. Robert Burris, now 92 years of age, worked for four and a half years as a missionary in South China. As part of his ministry he journeyed into the mountains carrying copies of the Scriptures, in Chinese, for distribution. In this way, although he could not speak fluent Chinese, the people were given God's Word.

Toward the end of his term Mr. Burris and three companions began a 180- mile journey with 4,000 copies of the Chinese New Testament. In the first ten days about half of these New Testaments had been distributed. Then, in the remote countryside, they were stopped by five armed bandits who took everything - money, clothing, shoes - and the remaining 2,000 copies of the New Testament. Mr. Burris and friends limped home barefooted, in their shirts and trousers, glad to be alive.

Approximately 25 years later when Mr. Burris was the pastor of a church in Ohio, he and his wife attended a lecture with slides presented by a missionary to South China. Among the slides shown was a picture of the very place in which he had been robbed by the bandits."Now," the missionary said,"we come to the most important slide in my collection. I call it The Miracle Church."

The picture on the screen showed a large rough empty building. "This is The Miracle Church," the missionary continued,"because no one knows who started it, or how it is that, every Sunday, 400 people attend, each with a copy of The New Testament in Chinese. No one knows were they got these New Testaments. So far as is known, no missionary or distributor ever went into these mountains, that are infested with bandits and robbers. Yet today, the church is there, and the people have God's Word".

Mr. Burris smiled in gratitude. God's Word, taken from him that day by bandits had been building its own church in China for 25 years.

Through the prophet Isaiah, Almighty God says: "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return not thither but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it." (Isa. 55:10-11; RSV).   Jesus said: "... I will build My church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it." (Matt. 16:18; RSV).

1 comment:

Unashamed Arminian said...

Really encouraging! We think we need strategies, buildings, programs etc etc when all we really need is the Word of God!