John G. Paton: You Will Be Eaten By Cannibals! by John PiperIt wasnt until 1606 that Spanish explorer Fernandez de Quiros discovered a chain of eighty islands stretched across 450 miles in the South Pacific. Later named the New Hebrides, the islands were inhabited by peoples whose existence had been unknown to the rest of the world for centuries.
It would be another 230 years before two London missionaries made the first earnest attempt to bring the gospel to these unengaged and unreached peoples in 1839. But they were killed and eaten by cannibals only minutes after going ashore.
John G. Paton and his wife set sail to the islands in 1858. But this decision didnt come without criticism. On one account before leaving, a respected elder chided the couple, You will be eaten by cannibals! To which Paton responded,
Mr. Dickson, you are advanced in years now, and your own prospect is soon to be laid in the grave, there to be eaten by worms; I confess to you, that if I can but live and die serving and honoring the Lord Jesus, it will make no difference to me whether I am eaten by Cannibals or by worms.
Paton didnt play. He was a courageous man who understood how to do missions when dying is gain. God is sovereign, and Paton knew it. He endured one threat after another and put it all on the line for the glory of Christ.
Originally a message delivered at the 2000 Conferecne for Pastors, John Pipers biography of Paton is now available as the eBook, John G. Paton: You Will Be Eaten by Cannibals!
And so John Piper avers that not only is suffering a consequence of evangelism, but that it is also the means to evangelism. And I am left with some thought that I cannot sort out completely. How do you demonstrate suffering if you are rich? I am not saying that you do not suffer if you are rich, but to those who do not know your life or the gospel, how can they see that you have suffered for the sake of the gospel. I think that we suffer. And I believe that this suffering is done for the sake of the gospel. I am not sure the people in town know it.
Advanced Search Tips. LEVEL 2. John Piper delivers a remarkable call to missions while urging listeners to give up the presumption of comfort and security. In light of the words of Christ, it is shocking how many of us insist that, if we serve God in some official ministry capacity, He should provide us with creature comforts and safety for our families. But, what we want and will for our lives may not be what the Lord calls us to do. We are to go where He leads no matter what the cost. To follow Christ in taking the gospel to the unreached often involves leaving behind all earthly security and venturing into uncertain circumstances.
They are asking not only for the sermon title, but also for a brief testimony of how God used the sermon to impact your life. For me, there are three messages that stand out. They are messages that proved to be spiritual watersheds in my own life, and they are still impacting me today. I first heard John Piper preach in The sermon was on a cassette tape that someone had loaned me, and it was a message about the supremacy of God in preaching.
How to Develop a Strong Prayer Life
It is a massive abdication of scholarship that so many Christians do academic work with so little reference to God. My prayer is that through that ministry and everything else I do the great glory of our God and Savior Jesus Christ would be magnified as more and more people come to live out the obedience of faith more and more deeply. When John and his older sister were still young, the Pipers moved to Greenville, South Carolina where John spent the rest of his youth years. His father was an itinerant evangelist who ministered through international radio and Bible courses. John has written a tribute to his mother, who died in , in the booklet, What's the Difference? Studying Romantic Literature with Clyde Kilby stimulated the poetic side of his nature and today he regularly writes poems to celebrate special family occasions as well as composing story-poems based on the life of a Biblical character for his congregation during the four weeks of Advent each year.