Back in the mid-19th century, many Welsh missionaries travelled across the globe to bring the gospel to the ends of the earth. One such missionary travelled to Assam, India, where he preached the gospel and ministered to the locals. After listening to the missionary’s teaching, an Assamese man along with his family decided to follow Jesus Christ. When the village chief heard about this, he was furious. He rounded up this man and his family, and called them to renounce their newfound faith or face execution. Moved by the Holy Spirit, the man replied, “I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back.”
Enraged, the village chief ordered his men to execute the man’s children. As both his children lay lifeless on the ground, the village chief once again asked the man to renounce his faith or lose his wife. The man replied, “Though none go with me, still I will follow. No turning back.”
The village chief was furious and gave the order for the man’s wife to be executed as well. This man was now all alone, and the village chief asked him to renounce his faith once more or face death. In the face of death, the man replied, “The cross before me, the world behind me. No turning back.”
With that, he was executed and lay dead with the rest of his family. But with the death of this family, a miracle took place. The village chief struggled to comprehend this family’s faith and conviction, that they would be willing to die for someone they had never even met. Spontaneously, he declared that he too wanted to know the being behind such conviction and faith, and decided to follow Jesus. Through this, the entire village came to know the name of Jesus Christ.
As many of us know, this is the story behind the well-known hymn and I think it’s apt for us to remember this hymn as we embark on our new sermon series “Come Follow Jesus”. In his life, this Assamese man did not just meet Jesus. He followed Jesus and experienced God’s work in his life. That’s why he was able to make such a great sacrifice.
Church, I pray that as we continue through this sermon series, we will have a greater hunger and thirst for Jesus. I pray that we will not be satisfied with the status quo of our lives but have a longing for God’s work in us. I pray that we won’t just meet Jesus, but will follow Him and become just like Him.
“God loves you just the way you are, but He refuses to leave you that way.
He wants you to be just like Jesus.” - Max Lucado
- Deputy Senior Pastor Daniel Khong