On this day in 1698, British missionary, Thomas Bray, and four laymen founded the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, also known as the S.P.C.K. The purpose of this organization was “to advance the honor of God and the good of mankind by promoting Christian knowledge both at home and in the other parts of the world by the best methods that should offer.” The SPCK has been seeking to find ways to communicate the basic principles of the Christian faith to a wider audience, both in Britain and overseas.
Bray was an individual who passionately believed in the power of the printed word. In the eighteenth century, the SPCK was the leading producer of Christian literature in Britain by far. They produced specific literature such as tracts and pamphlets aimed directly at farmers, prisoners, soldiers, seamen, servants, and slave-owners. They also produced literature on a broader scope such as literature on baptism, confirmation, Holy Communion, the Prayer Book, and private devotion.
What a great example of individuals, both goers and senders, working together to reach the world with the good news of Jesus Christ. These people had a burden to spread the gospel around the world. They printed countless pieces of information and made the gospel readily available to people in many different areas. How willing are we to use the means that we have available us to further the gospel? We see a group of people using a common, every day, machine and using it to change the world. What do you do or what do you have that you could use for the work of the kingdom? What means do you have to reach the world with the good news of Jesus Christ?
On this day in 1740, , Gilbert Tennent, an evangelical preacher, preached a message that would challenge and push the leaders of the religious circles with which he was a part of. He said, “To trust the care of our souls to those who have little or no care for their own, to those who are both unskillful and unfaithful, is contrary to the common practice of considerate mankind, relating to the affairs of their bodies and estates; and would signify, that we set light by our souls, and did not care what became of them. For if the blind lead the blind, will they not both fall into the ditch?”
While individuals in the ministry criticized Tennent for holding services that we too emotional, he made the argument that many of the individuals preaching the gospel at the time were not emotional enough. He said, “For I am verily persuaded the generality of preachers talk of an unknown and unfelt Christ; and the reason why congregations have been so dead is, because they have had dead men preaching to them.”
Tennent takes a stand for true religion which is a relationship with the living God. There are people all over the world who believe that they can go to heaven when they die. However, these people have never trusted the true and living God. These people range from individuals who have never heard of Jesus to individuals who have grown up under the teaching of the Bible and even teach it today.
Is Christ unknown and unfelt to us? There is a dying world that does not know and has not felt Christ. Are you sure that you have a relationship with the living God? Trust Him today, and live. If you have trusted Him, will you take a stand against false religion and tell the good news of the truth of Jesus Christ? There is a world that is dying to hear it.
*Entry submitted and written by Edward de los Reyes
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