Lydia, the First European Convert
Charles H. Spurgeon
We may laudably exercise curiosity with regard to the first proclamation of the Gospel in our own quarter of the globe. We are happy that history so accurately tells us by the pen of Luke when first the Gospel was preached in Europe and by whom and who was the first convert brought by that preaching to the Savior's feet. I half envy Lydia that she should be the leader of the European band. Yet I feel right glad that a woman led the van and that her household followed so closely in the rear.
God has made great use of women and greatly honored them in the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Holy women ministered to our Lord when He was upon the earth, and since that time much sacred work has been done by their patient hands. Man and woman fell together; together they must rise. After the resurrection, it was a woman who was first commissioned to carry the glad tidings of the risen Christ. In Europe, where woman was in future days to be set free from many of the trammels of the East, it seems fitting that a woman should be the first believer. Not only, however, was Lydia a sort of firstfruit for Europe, but she probably also became a witness in her own city of Thyatira in Asia. We do not know how the Gospel was introduced into that city, but we are informed of the existence of a church there by the message of the ascended Christ, through His servant John, to "the angel of the church in Thyatira." Very likely Lydia became the herald of the Gospel in her native place.
Let the women who know the truth proclaim it, for why should their influence be lost? "The Lord giveth the word; the women that publish the tidings are a great host." Woman can be as powerful for evil as for good. We see it in this very church of Thyatira where the woman Jezebel, who called herself a prophetess, sought to seduce many from the truth. Seeing, then, that the Devil employs women in his vice, let those women w ...
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