This is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, with the History of Christianity Podcast #152, titled, “John Chrysostom [CRYS-OZ-TOM] (Part 5): Return to the Wilderness.”
When I became a believer in Jesus Christ, I somehow had the false idea that Christianity began when I got saved. I had no concept of the hundreds of years of history that Christianity had gone through since the time of Jesus Christ over 2,000 years ago. I have found that many believers, young and old, have the same false idea. The purpose of this broadcast is to dispel this notion by sharing with listeners the history of Christianity from the ministry of Jesus Christ all the way up until the present day in an easy-to-understand format. You don’t have to worry: this is not a lecture. This is a look at the basic facts and figures of Christian history that every believer and every person needs to be aware of.
Our Scripture for today is Matthew 5:44 which reads: “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”
Our History of Christianity quote today is from Athanasius [ATH-A-NAY-SEE-US]. He said: “Christians, instead of arming themselves with swords, extend their hands in prayer.”
Today, in the History of Christianity, we are looking at “John Chrysostom [CRYS-OZ-TOM] (Part 5): Return to the Wilderness” from Dr. Justo L. Gonzalez’s fine book, The Story of Christianity (Volume 1).
The powerful could not abide that voice that challenged them from the pulpit of Hagia Sophia [HA-YAH SO-FEE-AH], the church of Saint Sophia–the largest in Christendom. Eutropius [YOU-TRO-PEE-UHS], who had made him bishop, expected special favors and concessions. But John was convinced that Eutropius [YOU-TRO-PEE-UHS] was simply another Christian in need of having the gospel clearly and unambiguously preached. The result was that Eutropius [YOU-TRO-PEE-UHS] repented, not of his sin, but rather of his error in having brought the meddlesome preacher from Antioch.
Finally a storm broke out over the right of asylum. Some fled from the tyranny of Eutropius [YOU-TRO-PEE-UHS] and took refuge in Hagia Sophia [HA-YAH SO-FEE-AH]. The chamerlain simply sent soldiers after them. But the bishop proved unbending, and did not allow the soldiers into the sanctuary. Eutropius [YOU-TRO-PEE-UHS] protested before the emperor, but Chrysostom [CRYS-OZ-TOM] took his cause to the pulpit and for once Arcadius [AHR-KAY-DEE-UHS] did not bow before the requests of his favorite. After that, the influence of the chamberlain waned, and many attributed this to his clash with the bishop.
Shortly thereafter, a series of political circumstances precipitated Europius’s [YOU-TRO-PEE-UHS’s] downfall. The people were jubilant, and soon there were mobs demanding vengeance against the one who had oppressed and exploited them. The chamberlain’s only recourse was to run to Hagia Sophia [HA-YAH SO-FEE-AH] and embrace the altar. When the mob came after him, Chrysostom [CRYS-OZ-TOM] stood in its way, and invoked the same right of asylum that he had invoked earlier against Eutropius [YOU-TRO-PEE-UHS]. Thus, Chrysostom [CRYS-OZ-TOM] was led to defend the life of his erstwhile enemy, first against the people, then against the army, and finally against the emperor himself. The crisis came to an end when the former chamberlain, not trusting what seemed the weak defenses of the church, fled from his refuge, and was captured and killed by some of the many he had wronged.
Next time, we will continue looking at “John Chrysostom [CRYS-OZ-TOM]: Return to the Wilderness.”
Dear friend, simply knowing the facts about Christian history without knowing the One on Whom this faith is based will do you no good. If you do not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, may I encourage you to get to know Him today. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can be a part of the church in this life and in the life to come. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Until next time, remember that history is truly His story.