Watchman Nee: I die because of my belief in Christ

Watchman Nee

View collection When the communists came to power, Watchman Nee, led by his faith and his desire to continue his work of evangelization, preferred to stay in China even though he knew the risks he ran, but he was ready to sacrifice everything for God.

Watchman Nee's work

Watchman Nee did not attend any theological or biblical institute. The depth and breadth of his knowledge about the life of the Spirit, the Church, and God's plan for men came essentially from reading the Bible and edification books. Early in his ministry, he devoted a third of his savings to purchasing Bible study and Christian edification books; thus he acquired a collection of more than three thousand of the best Christian books, including almost all the classic Christian authors. He also had a phenomenal capacity for understanding, discernment and synthesis, aided by a great memory. He was very influenced by certain authors, notably Madame Guyon (whose little text on prayer he translated into Chinese) and John Bunyan for what concerns Christian life and John Nelson Darby for the interpretation of the Bible and life. Christian. He is known for being the founder, with other Chinese evangelists and Christians, of the "local churches" movement based on his deep conviction that the Body of Christ on earth should not be divided and that it should therefore not be divided. have only one Christian church per town or village. He was also a prolific author. He indeed wrote numerous evangelical treatises, hymns, studies on certain books of the Bible and numerous articles which appeared in Christian journals such as Revival, The Present Testimony, The Christian, etc.; these writings range from simple evangelistic tracts to doctrinal studies, including biblical and edification studies. In 1928, while he was based in Shanghai, he founded a publishing house, The Gospel Book Room, in order to publish himself all the Christian literature necessary for his work of evangelization, both his own writings and translations into Chinese by Anglo-Saxon authors42. He had also expressed his interest in publishing very early on since in 1923, when he was only twenty years old, he had already launched the Revival magazine which he edited occasionally; it had real success since it was read as far away as Shanghai.
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In his work, Watchman Nee has addressed the most diverse themes but the essential concerns the life of the Christian, the life of the Church and the relationship between the Christian and the Church; he was in fact obsessed throughout his life with the unity of the church and he neither understood nor supported the separation of Christians between different denominations43. Watchman Nee was also very interested in the "end times", the parousia and the different visions of the rapture of the Church by Christ. In his later writings he focused primarily on the Church, the body of Christ (Ep. 4:23). Through his writings, Watchman Nee's theological influence extended beyond the borders of China and reached Christians around the world.

His conversion thanks to the testimony of his mother

Watchman Nee, whose real name is Nee Shu-Tsu, was born into a family from the town of Fou-Tcheou (Fúzhōu), the capital of Foukien province (Fújiàn). In February 1920, Dora Yu (Yu Tzu-tu), a then-famous evangelist in China, was invited to come to Fou-Tchéou to preach the Gospel in the Church of Heavenly Peace. His preaching was so convincing and powerful that after each meeting many people were converted. As Nee Shu-tsu's mother had known Dora Yu while she was a student in Shanghai, she invited the evangelist to her home and promised to go and hear him with her friends. She went there for the first time out of politeness but was very bored there, having already heard all this since her childhood. So she continued to play mahjong with her friends on the other days but, Dora Yu's words having made their way into her heart, she understood that a Christian could not indulge in the passion of the game and, on the third One day, she was unable to continue the game and declared to her friends that she would no longer play. Having been renewed in her faith, she then returned to the Dora Yu meetings in which she actively participated by interpreting the sermons in the local dialect. Lin Huo-ping then suggested that his son attend at least one meeting, but he refused because his mother had severely punished him a few days earlier for breaking a precious vase, even though he had nothing to do with it. , and although he did not protest, he did not admit this injustice. She understood the reason for this refusal, but she could not accept confessing her mistake to her eldest son, such behavior being totally impossible in China at the time. The next day, as she began to sing a hymn, she could go no further, realizing that she was at fault. She then suddenly turned towards her son and hugged him, saying, “I recognize that I punished you unjustly; please forgive me ". Watchman Nee was deeply upset by his mother's confession, never a parent in China having agreed to lose face in front of a child. He understood that if his mother had been so profoundly transformed by Dora Yu's words, it was certainly because something special must have emanated from her preaching. So he went the next day to attend a meeting and what he heard plunged him into a deep inner struggle for several days. In fact, he immediately understood that God not only wanted to save him but also asked him to serve Him, which he could not accept. He indeed had great ambitions that he did not want to sacrifice all of a sudden. On the evening of April 29, 1920, while he was alone in his room and still assailed by doubt, his first temptation was to give up believing in Jesus and becoming a Christian, but, on the other hand, he was difficult to give up salvation. He knelt down but no words came to mind to pray. It was then that suddenly he saw all his sins and, for the first time, he understood that he was a sinner. He also had a vision of Christ on the cross who welcomed him saying: “I am here waiting for you”. Overwhelmed by so much love, he could not reject it and he decided to believe in Him as Savior and Lord. As he himself said, “While usually I laughed at those who believed in the Lord, that evening I could not laugh.” References: Wikipedia Biography house church