We do not consider soul-winning to be accomplished by hurriedly inscribing more names upon our church-roll, in order to show a good increase at the end of the year. This is easily done, and there are brethren who use great pains, not to say arts, to effect it; but if it be regarded as the Alpha and Omega of a minister’s efforts, the result will be deplorable. By all means let us bring true converts into the church, for it is a part of our work to teach them to observe all things whatsoever Christ has commanded them; but still, this is to be done to disciples, and not to mere professors; and if care be not used, we may do more harm than good at this point. To introduce unconverted persons to the church, is to weaken and degrade it; and therefore an apparent gain may be a real loss.
All hurry to get members into the church is most mischievous, both to the church and to the supposed converts. I remember very well several young men, who were of good moral character, and religiously hopeful; but instead of searching their hearts, and aiming at their real conversion, the pastor never gave them any rest till he had persuaded them to make a profession. He thought that they would be under more bonds to holy things if they professed religion, and he felt quite safe in pressing them, for “they were so hopeful.” He imagined that to discourage them by vigilant examination might drive them away, and so, to secure them, he made them hypocrites. These young men are, at the present time, much further off from the Church of God than they would have been they would have been if they had been affronted by their being kept in their proper places, and warned that they were not converted to God.
It is a serious injury to a person to receive him into the number of the faithful unless there is good reason to believe that he is really regenerate. I am sure it is so, for I speak after careful observation. Some of the most glaring sinners known to me were once members of a church; and were, as I believe, led to make a profession by undue pressure, well-meant but ill-judged. Do not, therefore, consider that soul-winning is or can be secured by the multiplication of baptisms, and the swelling of the size of your church. What mean these dispatches from the battle-field? “Last night fourteen souls were under conviction, fifteen were justified, and eight received full sanctification.” I am weary of this public bragging, this counting of unhatched chickens, this exhibition of doubtful spoils. Lay aside such numberings of the people, such idle pretence of certifying in half a minute; that which will need the testing of a lifetime. Hope for the best, but in your highest excitements be reasonable. - C.H. Spurgeon
"Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious" (1 Peter 2:7).
Every believer VALUES Christ. Let others think of Him as they may — all who are taught of God, think highly of Him. They can never honor Him as they wish, or enjoy Him to their full satisfaction.
Every believer feels their NEED of him.
No weary traveler ever felt his need of rest,
no hungry laborer ever felt his need of food,
no drowning mariner ever felt his need of a life-boat
— as the believer has felt his need of Christ!
They need to be saved — and only Christ can save them.
They need to be happy — and only Jesus can make them happy.
They need His blood to cleanse them from sin, and procure their pardon.
They need His righteousness to clothe their souls, and justify them before God.
They need His Spirit to sanctify their nature, and make them fit for Heaven.
They need His intercession to secure them from evil, and procure for them good things.
They need His fullness of grace to supply all their needs, from earth to Heaven.
Every believer discovers the exact SUITABILITY of Christ to them.
He is just what they need — He has all that they need!
They are foolish — and He has wisdom.
They are unrighteous — and He has righteousness.
They are unholy — and He has holiness.
They are weak — and He has strength.
They are in bondage — and He has redemption.
They are lost — and He has salvation.
In a word, they are led to see that God has stored up everything in Jesus, and that possessing Him — they have all things!
Every Christian believes on Him to the saving of the soul. They trust Him to procure their pardon, peace with God, and everlasting life.
Their heart goes out to Him,
they repose confidence in Him,
they commit their souls to Him,
they build on Him — as God's foundation;
they hide in Him — as the sinner's refuge; and
they trust themselves with Him — as the almighty Savior.
"Unto you therefore who believe — He is precious!"
But Jesus is only precious to believers. Others do not feel their need of Him, do not see His adaptation to them, and do not depend on Him for pardon, peace with God, and everlasting life.
Beloved, do you have this saving faith — which renders Christ so precious?
If so, admire the sovereign and distinguishing grace of God, which has conferred so great a blessing upon you — for not all are given saving faith.
If so, realize the importance of this faith — which renders Christ so precious.
It is the eye — which sees the beauty of Christ.
It is the foot — which travels to Christ.
It is the hand — which lays hold of Christ.
It is the mouth — which tastes the sweetness of Christ.
It is the inward principle — which clings and cleaves to Christ.
Avoid therefore whatever weakens faith, or interrupts its exercise; and prize whatever strengthens it, and makes it vigorous!
(James Smith, "Christ Precious!" 1861)
Faith believes the word of God, but unbelief questions the certainty of it (Psa. 106:24).
Faith believes the word, because it is true; but unbelief doubts thereof, because it is true (1 Tim. 4:3; John 8:45). Faith sees more in a promise of God to help, than in all other things to hinder; but unbelief, notwithstanding God's promise says, "How can these things be?" (Rom. 4:19-21; 2 Kings 7:2; John 3:11-12). Faith will make you see love in the heat of Christ, when with His mouth He gives reproofs, but unbelief will imagine wrath in His heart, when with His mouth and word He says that He loves us( Matt. 15:22-29; 25:34).
Faith will help the soul to wait, though God defers to give; but unbelief will take offense and throw up all, if God makes any tarrying (Ps. 25:5; Isa. 8:17; 2 Kings 6:33). Faith will give comfort in the midst of fears; but unbelief causes fears in the midst of comforts (2 Chron. 20:20, 21; Matt. 8:26; Luke 24:25). Faith will suck sweetness out of God's rod; but unbelief can find no comfort in His great mercies (Ps. 23; Num. 12). Faith makes great burdens light, but unbelief makes light ones intolerably heavy (Mal. 1:12, 13). Faith helps us when we are down; but unbelief throws us down when we are up (Micah 7:8-10; Heb. 4:11). Faith brings us near to God when we are far from Him; but unbelief puts us far from God when we are near to Him (Heb. 10:22; 3:12-13).
Where faith reigns, it declares us to be the friends of God; but where unbelief reigns, it declares us to be His enemies (Heb. 3:18; Rev. 21:8). Faith puts a man under grace; but unbelief holds him under wrath (Rom. 3:24-26; Eph. 2:8; John 3:36; 1 John 5:10; Heb. 3:17; Mark 16:16; John 8:24). Faith purifies the heart; but unbelief keeps it polluted and impure (Acts 15:9; Titus 1:15, 16). By faith the righteousness of Christ is imputed to us; but unbelief shuts us up under the law to perish (Rom. 4:23, 24; 11:32; Gal. 3:23).
Faith makes our work acceptable to God through Christ; but whatsoever is of unbelief is sin. For without faith it is impossible to please Him (Heb. 11:4; Rom. 14:23; Heb. 11:6). Faith gives us peace and comforts our souls; but unbelief works trouble and tossings, like the restless waves of the sea (Rom. 5:1; James 1:6).
Faith makes us see preciousness in Christ, but unbelief sees no form, beauty, or comeliness in Him (1 Pet. 2; Isa. 53:1-3). By faith we have our life in Christ's fullness; but by unbelief we starve and pine away (Gal. 2:20). Faith gives us the victory over the law, sin, death, the devil, and all evils; but unbelief lays us obnoxious to them all (1 John 5:4; Luke 12:46).
Faith will show us more excellency in the things not seen, than in them that are; but unbelief sees more in the things that are, than in things that will be hereafter (2 Cor. 4:18; Heb. 11:24-27; 1 Cor. 15:32). Faith makes the ways of God pleasant and admirable; but unbelief makes them heavy and hard (Gal. 4:6; 2 Cor. 12:10, 11; John 6:60; Psa. 2:3).
By faith Abraham, Isaac and Jacob possessed the land of promise, but because of unbelief, neither Aaron, nor Moses, nor Miriam could get either (Heb. 11:9; 3:19). By faith the children of Israel passed through the Red Sea; but by unbelief the generality of them perished in the wilderness (Heb. 11:29; Jude 5). By faith Gideon did more with 300 men, and a few empty pitchers, than all the twelve tribes could do, because they believed not (unbelief) God (Judges. 7:16-22; Num. 14:11, 14). By faith Peter walked on the water; but by unbelief he began to sink (Matt. 14:22-33) (Excerpted from John Bunyan, The White Devil).
But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe
That which I have found most beneﬁcial in my experience for the last ﬁfty-one years in the public ministry of the Word, is, expounding the Scriptures, and especially the going now and then through a whole gospel or epistle. This may be done in a two-fold way, either by entering minutely into the bearing of every point occurring in the portion, or by giving the general outlines, and thus leading the hearers to see the meaning and connection of the whole.
1. The hearers are thus, with God’s blessing, led to the Scriptures. They ﬁnd, as it were, a practical use of them in the public meetings. This induces them to bring their bibles, and I have observed that those who at ﬁrst did not bring them, have afterwards been induced to do so: so that in a short time few, of the believers at least, were in the habit of coming without them. This is no small matter; for every thing, which in our day will lead believers to value the Scriptures, is of importance.
2. The expounding of the Scriptures is in general more beneﬁcial to the hearers than if, on a single verse, or half a verse, or two or three words of a verse some remarks are made, so that the portion of Scripture is scarcely anything but a motto for the subject; for few have grace to meditate much over the Word, and thus exposition may not merely be the means of opening up to them the Scriptures, but may also create in them a desire to meditate for themselves.
3. The expounding of the Scriptures leaves to the hearers a connecting link, so that the reading over again the portion of the Word, which has been expounded, brings to their remembrance what has been said; and thus, with God’s blessing, leaves a more lasting impression on their minds. This is particularly of importance as it regards the illiterate, who sometimes have neither much strength of memory nor capacity of comprehension.
4. The expounding of large portions of the Word, as the whole of a gospel or an epistle, besides leading the hearer to see the connection of the whole, has also this particular beneﬁt for the teacher, that it leads him, with God’s blessing, to the consideration of portions of the Word, which otherwise he might not have considered, and keeps him from speaking too much on favourite subjects, and leaning too much to particular parts of truth, which tendency must surely sooner or later injure both himself and his hearers.- Expounding the word of God brings little honour to the preacher from the unenlightened or careless hearer, but it tends much to the beneﬁt of the hearers in general.
The main business and the principal concern of the Christian should be
that of thanking, praising and adoring that blessed One who has saved
him with an everlasting salvation, and who, to secure that salvation,
left Heaven’s glory and came down to this sin-cursed earth, here to
suffer and die the awful death of the cross, that His people might be
“delivered from this present evil world” (Gal.1:4). “Praise is comely
for the upright” (Psa.33:1). But to see the upright praising God is
something which Satan cannot endure, and he will employ every art and
device to turn aside the happy Christian from such blissful
Our great enemy is very, very subtil in the methods and means he uses.
He cares not what the object may be as long as it serves to engross
the believer and hinder his giving to Christ that consideration
(Heb.3:l) and adoration (Rev. 5:12) which are His due. Satan’s aim is
gained if he can occupy the believer with perishing sinners rather
than the Lord of glory. The tactics which the devil uses with the
saints are the same he uses so successfully with the unsaved. What is
the chief thing he employs to shut out Christ from the vision of the
lost (2 Cor.4:4)? Is it not getting them occupied with their own deeds
and doings? Assuredly it is. In like manner he deals with God’s
people: he seeks to get them engaged in “service” as a substitute for
communing with Christ. It is the dragon posing as an angel of light,
stirring up the feverish nature and restless energy of the flesh, to
find some outlet that appears to be pleasing to God.
Above we have said that the great aim and chief exercise of the
Christian should be that of worshiping and adoring his blessed and
wondrous Savior, which is, really, heaven begun on earth. Yet, let it
be pointed out, this ought not to terminate at the lips, our very
lives ought to show forth His praise (1 Pet. 2:9), our daily walk
ought to be pleasing and honoring unto Him (1 Cor. 10:31), our every
act needs to be brought into conformity to His holy will (Prov.3:6).
To these statements many, perhaps all, Christians will assent. But do
they perceive what is necessarily involved? We fear not. It involves a
life’s task. And what is that? This: a constant searching of the
Scriptures with a prayerful and earnest desire to find out what is
pleasing to Him, a holy determination to discover the details of His
revealed mind. This is the service to which God has called each of His
people: to serve Him, to take His yoke upon them, to submit to His
rule over them, to be in all things in subjection to His holy will.
But, we say again, the learning of what His will really is, in all its
fullness, is a life’s task which requires and calls for the utmost
attention in the cultivation of our own soul’s garden. “Exercise
thyself unto godliness” (1 Tim. 4:7). “Take heed unto thyself” (1 Tim.
4:16). “Keep thyself pure” (1 Tim.5:22). “Study to show thyself
approved unto God” (2 Tim. 2:15). These are some of the exhortations
of Holy Writ which much need to be taken to heart by God’s dear people
in these hustling, bustling days. But, alas, they are unheeded by
And what is one of the chief causes of hindrance? What is it that in
these times so often prevents the child of God from “taking heed” unto
himself? This: he is far to much engrossed in attempting to “take
heed” for others. The woman who has spent much of the day in attending
to domestic duties, the man who has been toiling for his daily bread,
instead of spending the evening quietly in spiritual devotions,
prayerfully studying God’s Word, giving “attendance to reading” (1
Tim. 4:13), and thus feeding his soul, removing the world’s stains
acquired through the day, and conversing with his family upon the
things of God, has a round of religious meetings which he must attend,
numerous church duties which he must perform. So it is with many on
the holy Sabbath. Instead of that being, as God has designed, chiefly
a day of rest, only too often it becomes the busiest of the whole
week. No wonder that so many are little better than nervous wrecks!
And all because of departing from God’s arrangements.
It is greatly to be feared that when the saints shall stand before the
judgment-seat of Christ that everyone may receive the things done in
the body” (2 Cor. 5:10) that many of the redeemed will have to make
the sad lament, “they made me keeper of the vineyards; mine own
vineyard have I not kept” (Song of Sol. 1:6). Note carefully the first
word, it is not, “He made me keeper of the vineyards.” No, His yoke is
“easy” and His burden is “light” (Matt. 11:30); but “they.” Ah, it is
the Egyptian taskmasters who spur on the people of God to engage in
works in which the Lord has never called them to do. Martha is not
alone in being “cumbered” (weighted down) with “much serving” (Luke
The witness of our lives is far more weighty than that of our lips. If
we spent more time in secret communion with Christ, people would take
knowledge of us that we had “been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13). If we were
more diligent and painstaking to find out and to put into practice the
precepts and commands which God has recorded in His Word for the
regulation of our lives; if, in consequence, we were really walking
with Him, filled with that peace which passeth all understanding,
rejoicing in the Lord; then instead of our going to the people and
pressing upon all and sundry the precious things of Christ—thus
disobeying Him who has bidden His disciples, “Give not that which is
holy unto the dogs” (Matthew 7:6) —some, at least, would come to us
and ask “a reason of the hope” that is “in us” (1 Pet. 3:15).
But, as we have said above, the restless energy of the flesh longs to
find some outlet, and our hearts are only too eagerly inclined to
substitute service toward others for personal dealing with God for
ourselves. It calls for less exercise of soul to memorize a few texts
for the purpose of quoting them to someone else than it does to
measure myself by the Scriptures, confess my sad failures and beg God
to write His Word upon my heart. Ah, it is a comforting sop for our
conscience to persuade ourselves that, though our walk is so far from
being what it should be, yet we can “do our duty” in warning the
wicked, or engage in some form of “Christian service.” Yes, and Satan
will whisper in our ears, ‘You have been faithful there,’ and instead
of being humbled and chastened before God for our miserable failures
to live to Christ, our evil hearts are puffed up by the devil’s
flatteries that we have, at least, faithfully preached Christ.
Let not the reader conclude from what has been said that the writer is
opposed to either public worship or the Christian’s being engaged in
any good works for the benefit of others. Not so, though we would
earnestly warn against any attempt to worship with those who are not
walking with God, or engaging in works which are not really glorifying
to Him. Our main design has simply been to show the need of putting
first things first.
Our first great need is not seeking to minister to others, but
ourselves being ministered unto by the Lord. Our highest privilege is
not that of being engaged in service for Christ, but of enjoying daily
communion with Him. Our first obligation is not that of being
concerned over the welfare of our neighbors, but making our own
calling and election sure. Our first great task is not to serve our
fellowmen, but to serve our God by studying His Word, learning His
will, and then doing it. Our first circle of responsibility is not
towards strangers and distant acquaintances, but our own home. Our
chief ambition should not be the proclamation of Christ with our lips,
but the preaching of Him by our lives.
If we have not learned to worship God in the secret place, we cannot
do so in public assembly. If we are not ourselves really following
Christ, walking and communing with Him, it is but mockery to speak of
Him to others. If we preach Him in words but deny Him in our works,
then we are only a stumblingblock to those who hear us. If our
“service” for Christ is robbing us of the time so urgently needed for
the cultivation of our personal “vineyard,” then it is a snare and a
curse to us. Then “take heed unto thyself,” “lay aside” every weight
(Heb. 12:1) which hinders you from running the race which God “has set
before” us. As a well known hymn says, “Take time to be holy,” or,
better still, as a Scripture says, “The kingdom of God is...
righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he that in
these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men”
(Rom. 14:17,18). - A.W. Pink
What is worship? Praise? Yea, more; it is the adoration flowing forth from a heart which is fully assured of the excellency of Him before whom it bows, expressing its profoundest gratitude for His unspeakable Gift. There it is at once apparent that the first hindrance to worship in a child of God is lack of assurance. Whilst I entertain doubts as to my acceptance in Christ, as long as I remain in a state of uncertainty as to whether my sins were atoned for at Calvary, I cannot, really, praise and adore Him for His death for me; I cannot actually say, “my Beloved is mine, and I am His.” It is one of the favorite devices of the enemy to keep Christians in the “Slough of Despond,” his object being that Christ should not receive from them the homage of their hearts...
Another great hindrance to worship is failure to judge ourselves by the Holy Word of God. The priests of Israel did not remain at the brazen alter in the outer court of the tabernacle. It needs to be pointed out that before they passed into the holy place, there to burn incense, they were required to wash at the laver. Approach unto the laver of brass speaks of the believer’s unsparing judgment of and upon himself (cf. 1 Cor. 11:31). The using of its water points to the application of the Word to all our works and ways.
Now just as the sons of Aaron were required under pain of death (Ex. 30:20) to wash at the laver before they entered the holy place to burn incense, so must the Christian today have the defilements of the way removed before he can suitably approach unto God as a worshipper. Failure at this point brings in death, that is, I remain under the contaminating power of dead things. The defilements of the way are the result of my passing through a world which is “alienated from the life of God” (Eph 4:18). If these are not removed, then I continue under the power of death in a spiritual way, and worship becomes impossible. This is brought out fully in John 13 where the Lord said to Peter, “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with Me.” How many Christians there are who, through failure to place their feet in the hands of Christ for cleansing, are hindered from exercising their priestly functions and privileges.
One other fatal hindrance to worship needs to be mentioned, and that is worldliness, which means the things of the world obtaining a place in the Christian’s affections, his ways becoming “conformed to this world” (Rom. 12:2). A solemn example of this is found in the history of Abraham. When God called him to leave Chaldea and go into Canaan, he compromised: he went only as far as Haran (Gen. 11:31; Acts 7:4) and settled down there. Haran was Half-way House, the wilderness lying between it and the borders of Canaan. Later Abraham fully responded to God’s call and entered Canaan, and there “he builded an altar [which speaks of worship] unto the Lord” (Gen. 12:7). But there is no mention of his building any “altar” during the years he dwelt in Haran! O how many children of God today are compromising, dwelling at Half-way House, and in consequence they are not worshippers. O that the Spirit of God may so work upon and within all of us that the language of our lives, as well as that of our hearts and lips, may be “Worthy is the Lamb”—worthy of whole-hearted consecration, worthy of unstinted devotion, worthy of that love which is manifested by keeping His commandments, worthy of real worship May it be so for His name’s sake.
One of the most fallacious charges against Calvin is that he did not fuel a passion for evangelism and missions. Others assert that Calvin was responsible for relighting the torch of biblical evangelism during the reformation and thus should be credited with being a theological father of the reformed missionary movement. Views of Calvin’s attitude toward evangelism and missions have ranged on the positive side from hearty to moderate support, and on the negative side from silent indifference to active opposition. Calvin’s teaching and his practice both confirm that he was a model evangelist. Calvin taught evangelism in a general way by earnestly proclaiming the gospel and by reforming the church according to biblical requirements. More specifically, Calvin taught evangelism by focusing on the universality of Christ’s kingdom and the responsibility of Christians to help extend that realm.
Calvin asserted that both God’s sovereignty and our responsibility are involved in evangelism. The work of evangelism is ultimately God’s work, not ours, but God uses us as His instruments. Calvin writes that the gospel “does not fall from the clouds like rain,” but is “brought by the hands of men to where God has sent it.” God “uses our work and summons us to be his instruments in cultivating his field.” The power to save rests with God, but He reveals His salvation through the preaching of the gospel. God’s evangelism thus causes our evangelism.22 He allows us to participate in “the honor of constituting his own Son governor over the whole world.”
According to Calvin, this convergence of divine sovereignty and human responsibility in evangelism means that we must pray daily for the extension of Christ’s kingdom.24 We should not become discouraged by a lack of visible success in evangelism but pray on, believing that “Christ shall manifestly exercise the power given to him for our salvation and for that of the whole world.” We must also diligently work for the extension of Christ’s kingdom, knowing that our work will not be in vain.
We evangelize for many reasons, Calvin says: God commands us to do so, God leads us by His own example, evangelism is our duty to God, we want to glorify Him0 and please Him,1 we are grateful to Him,2 and evangelism is our duty to fellow sinners.
Calvin taught we must make full use of the opportunities God gives to evangelize. “When an opportunity for edification presents itself, we should realize that a door has been opened for us by the hand of God in order that we may introduce Christ into that place and we should not refuse to accept the generous invitation that God thus gives us,” he wrote. On the other hand, when opportunities are restricted and doors of evangelism are closed to our witness, we should not persist in trying to do what cannot be done. rather, we should pray and seek other opportunities. “The door is shut when there is no hope of success. [Then] we have to go a different way rather than wear ourselves out in vain efforts to get through it,” Calvin wrote.
“Difficulties in witnessing, however, are not an excuse to stop trying. To those suffering severe restrictions and persecutions in France, Calvin wrote: “Let every one strive to attract and win over to Jesus Christ those whom he can.”
Calvin practiced what he taught. His efforts can be categorized into four concentric circles. First, Calvin evangelized in his local congregation of Geneva, beginning with preaching. Calvin reached out to unsaved people through his preaching, impressing them with the necessity of faith in Christ and what that meant. Calvin made it clear that he did not believe everyone in his flock was saved. Though charitable toward church members who maintained a commendable outward lifestyle, he referred more than thirty times in his commentaries and nine times in his Institutes (only counting references within .21 to .24) to the small numbers of those who received the preached Word with saving faith. “If the same sermon is preached, say, to a hundred people, twenty receive it with the ready obedience of faith, while the rest hold it valueless, or laugh, or hiss, or loathe it,” Calvin said.
Second, Calvin used preaching as a tool to spread the reformation throughout the city of Geneva. On Sundays, the Genevan Ordinances required sermons in each of the three churches at day-break and at 9 a.m. at noon, children went to catechism classes. at p.m., sermons were preached again in each church. Weekday sermons were scheduled at various times in the three churches on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. By the time Calvin died, a sermon was preached in every church nearly each day of the week.
Third, Calvin sought to evangelize all of Europe. The reputation and influence of the Genevan community spread to neighboring France, then to Scotland, England, the Netherlands, parts of western Germany, and sections of Poland and Hungary. Calvin increasingly viewed Geneva as a kind of model for the reformed movement and for Christ’s reign throughout the world.
Inspired by Calvin’s ecumenical vision, Geneva became a nucleus from which evangelism spread throughout the world. In 1561 alone, 142 men were sent out from the Geneva academy on missions to different places in the world. That is an amazing accomplishment for an effort that began with a small church struggling within a tiny city-republic.
Finally, Calvin became involved in overseas missions, most notably, a mission effort among the Indians in Brazil. With the help of a Huguenot sympathizer, Gaspard de Coligny, admiral of France, and the support of Henry II, then king of France, Nicolas Durand (also called Villegagnon; 1510–1571) led an expedition to Brazil in 1555 to establish a colony. When trouble erupted in the new colony near rio de Janeiro, Villegagnon turned to the Huguenots in France, asking for better settlers. He also appealed to Coligny, to Calvin, and to the church in Geneva.
The Company of pastors chose two ministers and eleven laymen to send to Brazil. as Neal Hegeman writes:
The first protestant congregation in the New World was started in Coligny, Brazil, in april of 1557. The Coligny expedition turned out to be short lived as the Vice admiral Nicholas Durand de Vil- legagnon (1510–1571) betrayed the French Huguenots and the colonists. The fruit of the first protestant entrance into the New World was the martyrdom of Jean du Bordel, Matthieu Vermeil, and pierre Bourdon, who died at the hands of Villegagnon. These men wrote the “Coligny Confession,” the first confessional and theological document to be written in the New World.
Later, the Portuguese destroyed the remainder of the settlement. Calvin was clearly interested in spreading the gospel overseas, but that interest was limited by time constraints, his work at home, and by government restrictions. Nearly every door to the heathen world was closed to Calvin and fellow reformers. The world of Islam to the south and east was guarded by Turkish armies, while the navies of Spain and Portugal prevented access to the recently discovered New World. additionally, most of the governments in Europe were controlled by roman Catholic princes, kings, and emperors. The conclusion is seamless: both Calvin’s writings and practice showed his large heart for evangelism to extend the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth. establishing the heavenly reign of God upon earth was so important, Calvin said, that it “ought not only to occupy the chief place among our cares, but even absorb all our thoughts.” - Dr. Joel Beeke