Category Archives: Heroes

We Need Heroes (Part 3)

 

John Nelson Hyde was born in 1865. His father, Smith Harris Hyde, was the pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Carthage, Illinois.

John Hyde graduated from M’Cormick Seminary in 1892. He was not an impressive student until the death of his eldest brother who had volunteered for the foreign mission field. It was then that Hyde prayed: “I’ll go wherever you want me to go, dear Lord.”

In a short while, Hyde discovered a newfound passion for prayer. His soul seemed to be set aflame. Prayer ended up being his pathway to greater things and the foundation of his life and ministry.

In 1892, at the age of twenty-seven, John Hyde departed by ship for India to preach in the Punjab region. After being at sea for a few days, Hyde remembered a letter from a family friend. He opened it and read: “I shall not cease praying for you, dear John, until you are filled with the Holy Spirit.”

The letter angered Hyde because he felt he had everything he needed. He crumpled it up and tossed it on the deck. A few minutes later, he humbled himself and asked the Lord to fill him with the Holy Spirit, no matter what it might cost him.

At that moment, John Hyde became Praying John Hyde.

Hyde was not a good missionary at first. He was slow of speech, somewhat deaf and struggled at learning the language. To the dismay of his missionary mentors, he instead spent most of his time studying the Bible, rather than language. Hyde felt he needed to learn the “language of heaven” first before he learned how to speak to the people. (He eventually became an easy and correct speaker in Urdu and Punjabi.)

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

God used discouragement and fruitlessness to drive John Hyde to spend days and nights fasting and praying for India and its people. His co-workers called him a fanatic and the “man who never sleeps.” Hyde ignored their words because he felt sustained by the Spirit, even though he had little sleep for weeks and hardly any food.

At the end of seven years, he had one solid convert. His missionary friends considered him unsuccessful, but once again, Hyde paid no attention to them. He continued to fast and pray, “Father, give me these souls or I die.”

Praying John Hyde persevered through his early years until he witnessed thousands of converts and revival break out in the second half of his twenty-year ministry as a missionary to India.

Hyde died in 1912 at the age of 47. Interesting enough, Hyde’s style of praying – intense travail – took its toll on his body. His heart moved out of its natural position on the left side of his chest to a place over on the right side.

Today, Praying John Hyde is known as the Apostle of Prayer.

I believe in the days ahead, we will see God raise up hundreds of prayer fanatics like John Hyde.

(Continued in Part 4)

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We Need Heroes (Part 2)

 

The historian Josephus stated that the Apostle Paul was four feet six inches tall. Chrysostom wrote that Paul’s body was crooked, his head bald and that he had a hook nose. The Corinthians said about Paul:

“For Paul’s letters,” they say, “are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.” (2 Corinthians 10:10)

Okay, Paul was not a hunk!

Saul (Paul) was born in Tarsus, the capital of Cilicia (in modern southern Turkey). He was circumcised on the eighth day, a son of a Pharisee and from the tribe of Benjamin. He was brought up in Jerusalem under the teaching of a noted Pharisee named Gamaliel. Paul later described himself as a Hebrew of Hebrews.

As far as zeal for the Law, Saul of Tarsus hunted down believers of the Way. He tortured them, threw them into prisons, forced them to blaspheme and consented to their deaths. He had letters of authority from the chief priests allowing him to  carry out his vendetta against believers of Jesus, even in foreign cities.

Without a doubt, Saul of Tarsus was the most feared man by followers of Jesus.

Then, in one of the most remarkable experiences in the Bible, Saul encountered a light from heaven and fell to ground. He heard a voice say, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”

Paul replied, “Who are You, Lord?”

The voice replied, “I am Jesus.”

In this short exchange, Paul was turned around 180º, converted and became willing to suffer and die for the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. He wrote almost two thirds of the New Testament before he was beheaded outside the gates of Rome.

In the days ahead, the Lord is going to shine His light on numerous individuals who hate Christianity and its believers. These enlightened individuals will come out of leadership positions in abortion, LGBT, porn, Hollywood, transgender, media, politics and other professions.

And just like Saul of Tarsus, these enlightened individuals will rise up and become zealots for the faith, willing to die for their Lord.

(Continued in Part 3)

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We Need Heroes (Part 1)

 

Most people have seen the movie, Titanic, and its fictional love story about a poor boy, Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio), and a rich girl, Rose (Kate Winslet), on an ill-fated ocean voyage. The movie won the 1997 Oscar for Best Picture. Its box-office sales of over $1.8 billion rank it as the second most successful movie of all time, behind Avatar.

Hollywood created its own fictional heroes for the movie script, but on April 14, 1912, there were many real heroes. One of them was named John Harper.

John Harper, a thirty-nine year old widower and a Baptist preacher, was traveling to Chicago aboard the R.M.S Titanic on its maiden voyage with his six-year old daughter, Nana. He was scheduled to preach some evangelistic meetings at the Moody Church.

At 11:40 p.m., the Titanic hit an iceberg on the starboard side of the ship. As soon as Harper realized the ship was going to sink, he took his daughter to a lifeboat and placed her aboard. “Nana, I’ll see you again someday,” he said to her.

Then, while flares lit up the sky, he marched up and down the decks yelling, “Women, children and unsaved into the lifeboats!”

At 2:20 a.m., a rumble arose from deep within the ship as it broke in half. Hundreds of people, including Harper, jumped into the 28-degree (-2 C) water as the Titanic slipped into its watery grave.

As soon as Harper hit the surface, he frantically swam from one person to the next, leading them to Jesus before the people succumbed to the icy waters and hypothermia. He asked one young man who clutched a piece of wood, “Are you saved?” The young man answered that he was not.

Harper tried to convince the young man, but the man refused to listen. Harper took off his life jacket and threw it at the man. “Here then, you need this more than I do,” said Harper as he swam off to other people.

A few minutes later, Harper returned to the man and successfully led him to Christ. Then, Harper attempted to swim to other people, but the icy waters were too much for him. “Believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved,” he shouted before he sank under the waters.

Of the 1528 people that went into the icy waters that night, lifeboats rescued only six. One of them was the young man who later recounted how Harper had led him to Christ.

Declaring the end and the result from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure and purpose (Isaiah 46:10)

Maybe some will believe John Harper ran into some bad luck by being on the Titanic, but don’t believe that for even a second. You see, our loving Father looked into the future and knew the Titanic would sink on that fateful night. He could have stopped Harper from being aboard that ship by any number of ways if He had wanted to do that. But instead our Father used John Harper as His representative in the midst of a terrible tragedy. A man willing to fight the good fight, finish the race and keep the faith all the way to his last breath.

I truly believe John Harper represents the type of hero the Lord will be raising up in the days ahead as our nation seemingly heads toward its disastrous finish.

(Continued in Part 2)

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