Play the man, Master Ridley….
August 1, 2012
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As the 2012 London Olympics are underway, there are a couple of Christian mission groups traversing the landscapes of the beautiful City of London preaching the gospel. I am greatly encouraged by their zeal and passion. I am also encouraged by the stories of those coming to embrace Jesus Christ from all walks of life. Looking at the history of Christianity, England was instrumental in being the first place through which the Reformation came to the English speaking world. Many lost their lives for believing in the Authority of Scripture over the authority of the Papacy.
Nicholas Ridley and Hugh Latimer are some of the examples of Reformers in England. Hugh was a British clergyman, Bishop of Worcester, and Protestant martyr during the reign of the Catholic Queen Mary I of England. He was burnt at the stake as a “heretic” in Oxford (1555). Hugh’s memorable last words to his friend Nicholas as they were burnt were:
Play the man, Master Ridley; we shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out. ~ Hugh Latimer
Times and seasons come and go. Olympics are here in London today but will be gone tomorrow. How I pray that God will indeed raise up a people with a zeal for the Authority of Scripture in our days too. For the time is soon coming and may probably be here now when men will not adhere to sound doctrine even in the church. A time is coming and is already here when holding Christian beliefs will be tantamount to being “intolerant” and “bigotted”.
A time is coming and we may well be there now when some may be led to their deaths because they are called Christians.
I pray you all have the boldness that Latimer had to encourage yourselves in that hour to be brave enough to “play the man…by God’s Grace.”
Remember and pray for the persecuted Church and do not forsake the preaching of the Gospel of Grace. SDG [Picture above is of a metal cross in a cobbled patch laid at the spot where Ridley and Latimer were burnt to death]