It’s Memorial Day weekend in the U.S.A., a holiday we observe to commemorate those who died while serving in our country’s armed forces.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about believers who have died while serving in the Lord’s army – those who have been killed for their faith in Christ. And more specifically, those who have paid the ultimate price to see that the Bible, the Word of Christ, is preserved and made available to everyone.
One such man is William Tyndale.
Yesterday I read a compelling account of his life’s work. In the early 1500’s, he translated the Bible into English and was martyred for that.
I had heard of him, but didn’t know much about him. Today I am thanking God for raising up men and women like Tyndale, people so committed to God and His truth that they would die for what we take for granted: having the Bible in our own language.
The life of William Tyndale is a testimony to the grace of God and the power of His Word. In 1536 he was convicted of heresy and executed by strangling, his body burned at the stake. He died at 42 without a burial.
What did he believe that was so heretical?
Salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.
He was also damned by the church for believing that the Bible should be available to everyone in their own language – in this case, English. He had translated the New Testament from Greek into English, but the church banned the publication of his work. Believe it or not, to possess or even read an English Bible became a crime punishable by death.
There’s much more to the story of this great man of faith. He was one of many who died so you and I could have the Bible in English.
After reading this story, never again will I take my English Bible for granted. So I encourage you to read this 10-page story of courage in the face of persecution and unshakable faith in the God of the Scriptures.
I don’t know what else you’ve got planned for today or tomorrow, but I’m urging you, make time and take time to read this account of William Tyndale’s life and work. You’ll be blessed, you’ll be encouraged, and you’ll be thanking God for what he did and why he died.
Click Here to access the story of William Tyndale in both audio and print formats.
It’s presented by John Piper of www.DesiringGod.org.
As always, I love feedback, so if Tyndale’s story helps you in any way, please leave your comments below.