Preach the gospel, die, and be forgotten…

Ed Stetzer Ed Stetzer  (from twitter)-

“Preach the gospel, die, and be forgotten” (Count Zinzendorf).

Who was Count Zinzendorf?

Nicolaus Ludwig Zinzendorf

Nicolaus Ludwig Zinzendorf (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Who was Count Zinzerdorf? Here’s a bit of info from Wikipedia:

Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf und Pottendorf was the Imperial Count of Zinzendorf and Pottendorf (May 26, 1700 – May 9, 1760), German religious and social reformer and bishop of the Moravian Church, was born at Dresden.

Zinzendorf had a naturally alert and active mind, and an enthusiastic temperament that made his life one of ceaseless planning and executing. Like Martin Luther, he was often influenced by strong and vehement feelings, and he was easily moved both by sorrow and joy. He was an eager seeker after truth, and could not understand men who at all costs kept to the opinions they had once formed; yet he had an exceptional talent for talking on religious subjects even with those who differed from him. Few men have been more solicitous for the happiness and comfort of others, even in little things. His activity and varied gifts sometimes landed him in oddities and contradictions that not infrequently looked like equivocation and dissimulation, and the courtly training of his youth made him susceptible about his authority even when no one disputed it. He was a natural orator, and though his dress was simple his personal appearance gave an impression of distinction and force. His projects were often misunderstood, and in 1736 he was even banished from Saxony, but in 1749 the government rescinded its decree and begged him to establish within its jurisdiction more settlements like that at Herrnhut. He is commemorated as a hymnwriter and a renewer of the church by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

He did not mean to found a new church or religious organization distinct from the Lutheranism of the land, but to create a Christian association the members of which by preaching, by tract and book distribution and by practical benevolence might awaken the somewhat torpid religion of the Lutheran Church. The „band of four brothers” (Rothe, pastor at Berthelsdorf; Melchior Schäffer, pastor at Görlitz; Friedrich von Watteville, a friend from boyhood; and himself) set themselves by sermons, books, journeys and correspondence to create a revival of religion, and by frequent meetings for prayer to preserve in their own hearts the warmth of personal trust in Christ. From the printing-house at Ebersdorf, now in Thuringia, large quantities of books and tracts, catechisms, collections of hymns and cheap Bibles were issued; and a translation of Johann Arndt’s True Christianity was published for circulation in France.

He wrote a large number of hymns, of which the best-known are „Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness” and „Jesus, still lead on”. A selection of his Sermons was published by Gottfried Clemens in 10 vols., his Diary (1716–1719) by Gerhard Reichel and Josef Theodor Müller (Herrnhut, 1907), and his Hymns, etc., by H. Bauer and G. Burkhardt (Leipzig, 1900).

Here is a documentary on the life of Count Zinzendorf (see a movie based on Count Zinzendorf also at the bottom of this page)

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First fruits – Count Nikolaus von Zinzendorf

In 1732, two young Moravians left their comfortable community of Hernhut, Germany, convinced that they were called of God to bring the Gospel to the slaves in the West Indies. They went, willing to become slaves if necessary, to minister to these oppressed people. The Moravians pioneered a mission movement characterized by extraordinary commitment. Under the dynamic leadership of Count Nikolaus von Zinzendorf, the Moravians sent out more missionaries in 20 years than all the other Protestant groups had in 200 years. They were driven by two strong convictions: world evangelization is a prime obligation of the church, and every member of the Christian community has this responsibility. First Fruits unfolds the suffering which these young men endured for their missionary zeal and the agony of their community in deciding to send them forth at a time when missions to the heathen masses were unthinkable among Protestants. You will especially marvel over the “First Fruits” of their ministry and the impact of their vision on the course of Christian history.

Movie courtesy of TBN http://www.itbn.org

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