Are you familiar with the amazing true story of the Bible and the Bounty?
The Royal Navy vessel HMS Bounty, commanded by Lt. William Bligh, journeyed to the South Pacific in 1787. Many who signed on considered the voyage a trip to paradise. Bligh appointed a young friend, Fletcher Christian, to the post of second-in-command.
The Bounty stayed in Tahiti for 6 months and, led by the happy-go-lucky Fletcher Christian, enjoyed paradise to the fullest. But on April 28, 1789, Fletcher Christian staged the most famous mutiny in history. He and his mutineers set Bligh and his supporters adrift in an overloaded lifeboat.
The mutineers aboard the Bounty immediately began quarreling about what to do next. Fletcher Christian set sail for Tahiti, where he left some of the mutineers, kidnapped some women, took some slaves, and traveled with the remaining crew a thousand miles to uninhabited Pitcairn Island.
There the little group unraveled. They distilled whiskey from a native plant. Drunkenness, disease, and murder took the lives of all the mutineers, except for two. Ned Young taught John Adams, a.k.a. Alexander Smith, to read using the Bounty’s neglected Bible. After Young’s death, Smith found himself as the only man on the island surrounded by an assortment of women and children.
Then an amazing change occurred. Smith took the message of the Bible to heart and began instructing the little community. He taught the colonists the Scriptures and helped them obey its instructions. The message of Christ so transformed their lives that twenty years later, in 1808, when the ship Topaz landed on the island, it found a happy society of Christians living in prosperity and peace, free from crime, disease, murder – and mutiny.
Years later the Bible fell into the hands of a visiting whaler who brought it to America, but in 1950 it was returned to the island. It was first displayed at the Church in Adamstown, Pitcairn, and is now at a museum there as a monument to its transforming message.
The Bible has divine power to transform lives. Jesus declared in Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” Hebrews 4:12 proclaims, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” God’s word is powerful and constant!
Opinions change. Public attitudes and society’s acceptance of moral issues change. But the Word of the Lord does not change! Thankfully – in a world of changing values, principles and beliefs – the Word remains the same. It is the rock upon which we stand. It is the anchor for our soul. It speaks Life and Healing and Hope to us. Thank the Lord for His Word!
This Sunday, February 20, we will begin a new 7-week teaching series entitled, “Markers along the Discipleship Pathway”, featuring Seven Practices of a Spirit-Empowered Disciple: Bible, Spirit, Mission, Prayer, Worship, Service, and Generosity. Do you want to become more like Jesus? This teaching will give you a road map for the journey. Please join us at 10:35am in the building or online for the Live broadcast on either Facebook (Honolulu AG) or our YouTube channel (Honolulu Assembly of God). It will be uploaded later that afternoon here to our website.
Coming Up: We are hosting Oahu’s 2022 Connect East fun gathering for women and teen girls on Saturday, February 26. Sign up this Sunday with Shirley or online at hawaiiaog.com/event/connect-east-oahu/. If you would like to double your fun by serving, scholarships are available.
Aloha ke Akua!