I Remember John Sung (1976) by William E. Schubert
This is my second books on John Sung, Chinese greatest evangelist. First one is A Biography of John Sung (2004) by Leslie T. Lyall or previously known as John Sung: Flame for God in the Far East. This book is much shorter but compare to other biographies of Dr. Sung, this one is more personal because William Schubert “was Dr. Sung’s intimate friend… who knew him, prayed with him, worked with him and has shown sympathy for him in his difficulties.”
“John Sung,” writes Dr. J. Edwin Orr for a review, “was one of the most colourful characters of all time, an evangelist of striking spiritual power as well as a prophet whose eccentricities matched some of those known through the Old Testament.” Schubert wrote this in his first paragraph: “Dr. John Sung was probably the greatest preacher of this century. I have heard almost all the great preachers from 1910 until now, including R. A. Torrey, Billy Sunday, Henry Jowett, the great holiness preachers, the Methodist bishops, including Bishop Quayle, even Harry Emerson Fosdick, who set a great example of the homiletic art, though I did not agree with him, and finally Billy Graham. Yet John Sung surpassed them all in pulpit power, attested by amazing and enduring results.”
In 15 flaming years, since Dr. Sung came back from United States to his hometown China, he was on fire for the Lord blazing the Gospel throughout the nation, burning himself out for his God and Saviour Jesus Christ. Can you imagine, he preached on average 3 times a day, 2 hours each time (that 6 hours x 7 days = 42 hours per week!). He was like John the Baptist fearlessly rebuke people’s sins and thus drew countless thousands to repentance in tears. Churches were revived and Bibles sold out. Dr. Carleton Lacy of the Bible Society in China told Schubert that he “always knew where Dr. Sung was holding meetings by the increased orders for Bibles”. Schubert lists at least four secrets of Dr. Sung’s lasting success: #1 Immersed in the Word of God, #2 the Power of Daily Prayer, #3 Filled with the Holy Spirit, and #4 Trained new Converts to become Evangelists.
What amazing is that the Lord Jesus have revealed to Dr. Sung early in his ministry that his life would follow an outline of five periods (each three years) namely: “Water, Door, Dove, Blood, and Tomb.” First period, “Water” a preparatory time began in November 1927 when he was brought back to China. The second period was the “Door” period, from November 1930 to November 1933, where many doors were opened for him to begin a wider ministry in China. The third period was the “Dove” period, November 1933 to November 1936, where the Holy Spirit was poured out on the church in China. The fourth period was the “Blood” period, from November 1936 to November 1939, where wars happened and many Christians were persecuted. And lastly the fifth “Tomb” period, from November 1939 to November 1942, where many door closed and he was shut up too, hospitalized and officially no public ministry since. The Lord extended his time (like that of King Hezekiah in the Old Testament) to two/three years. Dr. Sung eventually died in 18th August 1944.
“So, as we remember John Sung,” wrote Schubert for his closing, “we pray that God will produce another, perhaps even greater, evangelist in this century. God often calls His leaders from the ranks of Jesus’ persecutors. When this man, or men, come on the scene, then China and the Far East will be aflame for God with the preaching of the irresistible Gospel.” To China and all the world, I pray, Amen.
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.