Saturday, April 4, 2009

John Bunyan – A Great Example of Doing Right

by Ron Livesay

John Bunyan, best-known as the author of Pilgrim’s Progress, was a man who set a tremendous example of standing for right, an example from which all Christians can certainly learn. In 1655, Bunyan became a deacon and began preaching with great success. In 1658, he was indicted for preaching without a license. The authorities were fairly tolerant of him for a while, and he was not imprisoned until November of 1660, when he was taken to the county jail and there confined (with the exception of a few weeks in 1666) for 12 years. After his release, Bunyan became a pastor and was again imprisoned for preaching publicly without a license, this time for six months.

John Bunyan was married with children to support, and he could have walked out of the jail a free man at any time if he simply promised to stop preaching publicly without a license. He adamantly refused, recognizing that His calling and authority were from God, not from the government. He chose to do right, regardless of the consequences.

When the Lord Jesus Christ was on the earth, He did not seek permission, approval, licensing, or accreditation from those in power at the time. He did not ask permission to preach from the Jewish religious leaders, the Jewish king, or the Roman government.

After His ascension into heaven, the apostles began the great work of evangelizing, and they likewise did not ask for anyone’s permission, approval, licensing, or accreditation. When confronted, they gave that classic answer, “We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29)

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