You may be familiar with the famous book, Mutiny on the Bounty, and its infamous captain, William Bligh.
In 1787 at age 33, Captain Bligh was given command of "The Bounty," a three-year-old merchant ship. The Bounty set sail on December 23, 1787.
In April, 1789 the famous mutiny took place, led by Bligh's one-time friend, Fletcher Christian. The following is an extract taken from Bligh's logbook entry for April 28 (original spelling): "Just before Sunrise Mr Christian and the Master at Arms... came into my cabin while I was fast asleep, and seizing me tyed my hands with a Cord & threatened instant death if I made the least noise..."
Bligh and 18 other crew members loyal to him were set adrift on April 28 in an open boat. In most cases such an act would have led to certain death for the men aboard, but Bligh was a magnificent seaman and landed in Timor, Java, without any loss of life on June 14. The journey of 3618 nautical miles took them 47 days.
Captain Bligh miraculously lived after the mutiny and returned to England to report the crime. Many of the guilty sailors were found and hanged. Several, however, could not be found.
Twenty years passed and the whole incident was forgotten until a sailing ship discovered an uncharted island. When the crew landed, they could hardly believe what they had found -- an utter utopia. There was no disease, no crime, no drunkenness, nothing but grace and harmony.
When the crew learned the reason for the change in the islanders, they were amazed.
Eight of the Bounty's sailors had fled to this island after the mutiny. They had ravaged the people and all but one of the sailors, Alexander Smith, had died.
In desperation Smith had rummaged through all of the other men's belongings, looking for more whiskey. In his search, he found a Bible
. He read it, believed it, and became a Christian. He introduced the entire population of the island to Christ and they, with him, believed and obeyed the Word of God, transforming their society.
I am reminded of the words of America's second President, John Adams, when he said, "Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every member would be obliged in conscience, to temperance, frugality, and industry; to justice, kindness, and charity towards his fellow men; and to piety, love, and reverence toward Almighty God.... What a Eutopia, what a Paradise would this region be."
God's Word is powerful. When believed and obeyed, it is transforming.
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
Copyright (c) 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. However, readers may copy and distribute this message as desired, without restrictions in number, as long as the content is not altered. Forwarding this e-mail to friends is encouraged. For many evangelistic and spiritual growth materials, visit the Campus Crusade for Christ Web site at ccci.org. See campuscrusade.com for Bill Bright's own materials.