The Word for the World

Confidence in the Word

Further Help & Thought

Challenge, Promise & Prayer

On this, our final main page, we invite you to be:
  • challenged by the account of John Roger's remarkable sermon,
  • encouraged by the Lord's promise; and
  • inspired by the two prayers with which we conclude.

It is our hope and prayer that these concluding thoughts will serve still further to enhance your Confidence in the Word.


John Rogers (abt 1572-1636

John Rogers, Puritan minister of Dedham, Essex in the year 1620, preached a memorable sermon on the theme of making the Bible an important part of daily life, at the same time allowing himself some pulpit dramatics.

First, he portrayed God addressing the congregation and saying: "I have trusted you so long with my Bible, but you have slighted it: it lies in your houses covered over with cobwebs, you care not to listen to it. Because of this you shall have my Bible no longer."

Removing the huge pulpit Bible from its place, he covered it over with a cloth, then kneeling down in the pulpit he impersonated the people crying: "Oh God, whatever you do, don't take the Bible away from us. Take our children, burn our houses, destroy our goods, but spare us the Bible."

Then, acting as God again, he said: "Say you so? Well, I will try you a little while longer." Replacing the Bible onto the reading desk, he said: "I will see from now on how you use it, whether you love it more, observe it more, practise it more, and live more according to it."

The result of this? The whole congregation dissolved in tears. Thomas Goodwin, who was an eyewitness to this occasion, said that he was compelled to hang for a quarter of an hour upon the neck of his horse weeping before he had power to mount, so strange an impression was there upon him and generally upon the people.

John Rogers had touched upon a very sensitive spot, for Puritanism, whatever else it might have had against it and with all its flaws, it was a Bible movement. They saw reverence of God as reverence for his Word, service for God as obeying his Word and disregard of Scripture as the greatest possible insult to its divine author. But should not all decades be like that?

Extracted from the article People of the Book by Selwyn Hughes, which appeared in the Christian Herald dated 13 November 1999, and used by kind permission of CWR.

(To view an online version of the current edition of the Christian Herald and to learn about the ministry of CWR, please proceed via our Links to Other Websites.)

God's Word for Today?

What, we wonder, would the reaction of the average 21st century congregation be to an appeal such as John Rogers made? Would it still have the same effect as in 1620? Or have we in the UK - even those of us who profess to be Christians - in the first decade of the new millennium moved so far away from the Bible that words spoken as from the Lord would fall on deaf ears and leave hearts unmoved?

We do not offer these thoughts to point the finger or to condemn, but as a challenge to all who claim to love the Lord to regain the same degree of Confidence in the Word as was shown by our forefathers. May the Lord of the Scriptures help his people in our time to become once again what they were at heart in John Roger's day - people of the Book.

We believe this is an urgent matter, for we dare to suggest that unless we take to heart the challenge given by John Rogers, the time may not be far distant when God will send upon the entire Western world not a famine of bread or water but of hearing the words of the Lord. (Amos 8:11-13).


In Revelation 1:3 we read that:

God blesses the one who reads this prophecy to the church, and he blesses all who listen to it and obey what it says. For the time is near when these things will happen.

(Click here to see the above verse in a variety of other versions.)

The Word of the Prophets

The word prophecy as used in the Bible includes not only predictions about the future, but also the proclamation of any word from God whether of direction, correction, narration, instruction or comfort. In particular, it refers to the interpretation of current events as given by direct revelation of the Holy Spirit. Prophecy is never the result of the prophets' own diagnosis of a situation, as is clear from 2 Peter 1:19-21 (NIV-UK).

Although, in context, this statement applies only to the Book of Revelation, by applying the general rule that what is true of any part of Scripture is true of the whole, it may by extension be legitimately applied to the entire Bible.

Scripture reading indeed brings many blessings to those who practice it regularly. The apostle Paul, writing to the Christians at Rome, says that the things written in the Scriptures long ago not only teach us, but also, give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God's promises (Romans 15:4).

But, as with so many of God's promises, there is a condition to be met! Look at that verse from Revelation again. Who is it that God blesses? All who listen to it (that is, his Word) and obey what it says. We not only need to read the Bible and take note of what it says but, above all, to put it into practice.

Do you remember what the apostle James says? He says that the person who looks into the Bible but fails to do anything about what they hear God saying to them, is like someone who looks in a mirror and then goes away and does nothing to improve their appearance. In fact they even forget what they look like! No, he says, God's Word is something to be acted upon and not merely heard (or read) (James 1:22-24).

But - James adds - if you keep looking steadily into God's perfect law - the law that sets you free - and if you do what it says and don't forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it (James 1:25).

(Click here to see the above verse in a variety of other versions.)

To Conclude ...

There is certainly great blessing to be received from our reading of God's Word, but only if we are willing to do what it tells us.

May the Lord help you not only to be someone who looks into his Word, but someone who does what it says as well!


You may like to use this prayer either before or after reading the Bible. It is the collect for the Second Sunday in Advent (traditionally known as Bible Sunday) from the Book of Common Prayer.

Blessed Lord, who hast caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning; Grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience, and comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace, and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Also, this hymn by Charles Wesley:

Charles Wesley (1707-1788)
Come, Divine Interpreter,
	Bring us eyes thy Book to read,
     Ears the mystic words to hear,
	Words which did from thee proceed,
     Words that endless bliss impart,
	Kept in an obedient heart.

     All who read, or hear, are blessed,
	If thy plain commands we do;
     Of thy kingdom here possessed,
	Thee we shall in glory view;
     When thou com'st on earth to abide,
	Reign triumphant at thy side.

(Visitors from A User-Friendly Book return to Main Text)

(Visitors from Biblical Meditation return to Main Text)

May the Lord of the Scriptures be pleased to give you ever-increasing Confidence in the Word as you read his own precious and completely trustworthy Word - the Bible - day by day.

Thank you for visiting this website. Although this is the last page of the two main sections of the site, the four pages which follow offer some insight into the the background of the site, the reason for the method adopted and the personal history of the author, together with a selection of Links to a number of other Christian websites. We commend these pages to you. But whether or not you choose to visit them, do please sign the Guest Book before you leave as we should love to hear from you.

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all (2 Corinthians 13:13)

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