He Forsook All To Follow Christ
1557 – At Cologne on the Rhine, printer, Thomas van Imbrock, was arrested as a God-fearing man, for the sake of the truth of the Gospel. He was imprisoned and interrogated concerning his opinions on baptism and marriage. He so skillfully answered their objections with the Scriptures they stopped the questioning and moved him to another prison. His wife wrote him and exhorted him to contend for the truth in a godly manner and remain steadfast in the truth. His conscience was clear from offense before God by forsaking his wife and child, and all earthly things to follow Christ, rejoicing that God had found him worthy to suffer for His name. Two priests debated him concerning infant baptism. One believed infants who died unbaptized to be lost, the other believed they would be saved. They vehemently urged him to repent which he did not, He said, “The Scriptures teach nothing of infant baptism; and they who will be baptized according to God’s word must first be believers.” Three times they called him a heretic and brought him to the rack, but did not torture him. He was brought before a superior authority who tried to persuade him to recant. To cause someone to recant was of greater value to the oppressors of God’s truth than the martyrdom of one of His saints. This is why so much time and torture were given to persuade someone to deny his Lord, instead of just putting him to immediate death. Faithful Believers always represent that which the satanic, immoral forces of the world hate and bring forth from them the most violent and cruel conduct. Ultimately, Thomas was condemned to death by the highest court and was beheaded on March 5, 1558. He was a faithful, preserving witness of Christ and sealed his testimony with his blood at the tender age of 25 years.
Barbara Ketay from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 91-92.
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He Forsook All To Follow Christ
Other missionaries followed him
1798 – William Ward was appointed to serve as a printer, along with William Carey in India. Dr. Carey had translated the Bible into many languages in the area, and now was interested in a Javanese New Testament when he invited Gottlob Bruckner, a German, to come to India. Rev. Bruckner, with his two sons, made the journey in 1828. Little did he know that he would return to his wife three years later with only one son, having buried the other with a tropical fever. When the task was completed the missionary and his son boarded the ship with 2,000 Javanese Testaments, twenty thousand tracts, and a set of type faces with Javanese letters. Their ship was almost sunk in a typhoon, then arriving home soldiers seized all but a few of the Testaments, but he would not quit. Gottlob was born in 1783 on a farm in Germany. At age 20 he went to Berlin to seek his fortune and heard a gospel preacher and was saved. Through incredible trials he finally reached Semarang, Java in 1814 and became the pastor of a Dutch church and married his wife. While there Rev. and Mrs. Thomas Trowt, Baptist missionaries from England arrived, and they became great friends. It was Trowt that convinced Bruckner of believer’s baptism and when he immersed him the church folks turned him out of his pulpit. It was only six months later that Trowt died of a tropical fever. Bruckner died in 1857 and saw few direct results from his preaching, but other Christian missionaries followed him, and today there are more professing believers in Java than any place on earth where Islam is the strong majority religion. [S. Pearce Carey, William Carey (London: Hodder and Stoughton Limited, 1924), pp. 177, 410. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. 566-68.] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon