Heroes of Faith – John Harper

Heroes of Faith

John Harper (29 May 1872 – 15 April 1912) was a Scottish Baptist pastor who died in the sinking of the RMS Titanic in the North Atlantic Ocean. Harper was born in the village of Houston, Renfrewshire, Scotland, in 1872. He personally embraced his parents’ Christian faith at age 14 and began preaching at 18. He supported himself in early adulthood by doing manual labor in a mill until Baptist pastor E.A. Carter of Baptist Pioneer Mission in London heard of his preaching and placed him in ministry work in Govan, Scotland.[1] In 1897, he became the first pastor of Paisley Road Baptist Church in Glasgow, Scotland. Under his care, the church quickly grew from 25 members to over 500 and soon moved to a new location on Plantation Street. In 1923, it moved into its present building on Craigiehall Street and was renamed Harper Memorial Baptist Church in his honor.[2]

At the time of the Titanic disaster, Harper was 39, a widower with a six-year-old daughter, Annie Jessie (Nana), and pastor of Walworth Road Baptist Church in London. He was traveling with his daughter and sister Jessie W. Leitch to Chicago to preach for several weeks at the Moody Church, where he had been guest minister the previous fall, when the ship hit an iceberg on the night of 14 April 1912, and was lost. His daughter and sister were put on a lifeboat and survived, but Harper stayed behind and jumped into the water as the ship began to sink. Some who survived told that Harper preached the Gospel to the end (especially Acts 16:31), first aboard the sinking ship and then afterward to those in the freezing water before dying in it himself. (Wikipedia)

“And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and thou shalt be saved, and thy house”
Acts 16:31

Quote for Today – John Knox

Quote for Today

 

“As touching nature I am a worm of this earth, and yet a subject of this commonwealth; but as touching the office wherein it has pleased God to place me, I am a watchman… For that reason I am bound in conscience to blow the trumpet publicly.”
– John Knox

A Strong Exhortation – The Day of Reckoning

A Strong Exhortation 

Faith and Works

“His lord said unto him,
Well done, good and faithful servant;
thou hast been faithful over a few things,
I will make thee ruler over many things:
enter thou into the joy of thy lord”
Matthew 25:21,23
(From the Parable of the Talents)

When the time came for the master to reckon with his servants, he did not say “well believed”; He spoke the words “well done”. True servants of God are not idle, nor slack concerning the gracious bestowal of talents. They invest their lives into God’s investment in them. They are faithful in the things entrusted to them. In this passage the one who was slack concerning God’s investment was reproved and cast into outer darkness. The talents were given to HIS SERVANTS and as such the Lord expected a work and a labour into that which was given. These were His people upon whom such privileges were bestowed. They were not given on the basis of individual merit, but according to each one’s ability. Men and women who declare they are not able to walk in such things declare God to be unjust in His estimation of their ability.

“His lord answered and said unto him,
thou wicked and slothful servant…”
Matthew 25:26

Whose Lord? The servant’s Lord. Let us make no mistake as to the meaning of this Parable. It is a false and foolish gospel that has robbed God of His rightful place as Lord in our lives. Let us turn from this deceit and embrace the responsibility and the great reward that awaits those who are found faithful to our Lord and Saviour.

In this Parable Jesus declares:

“After a long time the lord of those servants cometh,
and reckoneth with them”
Matthew 25:19

Rest assured His coming is nigh unto us. Can we not hear with the ears of faith?

“Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh
shall find so doing
Luke 12:43

Again, the word does not say blessed is that servant that he shall find “so believing”! His Day is upon us and we are to be faithful in so doing and admonishing others to the same.

And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins…”
Hebrews 10:24-26

Do we not hear the exhortation to stir one another unto “love and good WORKS”? Can we not feel the day approaching? It is a slothful people who do not exhort one another unto “love and good works”. Read the context of the above scripture; it is willful sin not to be doing this as we assemble together.

The lethargy and false comfort preached in our day blinds His Own to their responsibility to the talents given.

The Day of the Lord is a day of reckoning for His people.

(Please read 2 Corinthians 5:9-11)

“And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me,
to give every man according as his work shall be
Revelation 22:12

Ω

“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable,
always abounding in the Lord’s work,
because you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord”
1 Corinthians 15:58

Brian Troxel