Great Controversy Project- John Wycliffe

Chapter Title: John Wycliffe   Read Online

Favorite Quotes:

“With whom, think you,” he finally said,”are ye contending? With an old man on the brink of the grave? No! With Truth–Truth which is stronger than you, and will overcome you.”–Wylie, b.2, ch. 13. So saying, he withdrew from the assembly, and not one of his adversaries attempted to prevent him. P. 90 [24]*

But his courage was unshaken. “Why do you talk of seeking the crown of martyrdom afar?” he said. “Preach the gospel of Christ to haughty prelates, and martyrdom will not fail you. What! I should live and be silent?…Never! Let the blow fall, I await its coming.”–D’Aubigne, b. 17, ch. 8. P. 92 [26]

Lessons I’ve Learned:

  1. John Wycliffe’s most important work was the translation of the Bible into the common language of the people. He realized that if he accomplished this feat, God’s word and Spirit would take care of the rest. The work we do for the Lord, which He has raised each of us up for, is the only true, substantial, and eternally impacting purpose we serve here on earth. All else is vain.
  2. John Wycliffe stood by his mission and beliefs against all odds and in the face of unbelievable threats and persecution from the Roman Catholic Church. If we seek God’s will and follow His commands, entering into a close, personal relationship with Him, we have absolutely nothing to fear: not soldiers, not kings, not imprisonment, and not even death itself.
  3. John Wycliffe fully understood that it was not a battle between men that he waged with the Roman Catholic Church, but a battle between principalities of good and evil embodied to the people in the philosophies that represented the characters of each of these principalities. We are part of a master plan that is infinitely greater than any of us can fully comprehend.


John Wycliffe voluntarily entered many situations in which the only possible outcome seemed imprisonment or death. Yet he did not do so on his own ambition but rather “Losing sight of himself, of his position, of the occasion, he summoned his hearers.” P. 90 [24]. In this way, it was not his power or words being felt by his listeners, but “The power of the Holy Spirit was felt in the council room. A spell from God was upon the hearers.” P. 90 [24]. The foundational element of John Wycliffe’s life and ministry was the fact that “Wycliffe accepted the Holy Scriptures with implicit faith as the inspired revelation of God’s will, a sufficient rule of faith and practice.” P. 93 [26].

 Discussion Questions:

  1. What was it that gave John Wycliffe his incredible passion and fearlessness? Can we, also, obtain these traits for Christ’s work, regardless of personality or upbringing?
  2. Wycliffe believed it was better to die than to allow the injustices and false teachings of the church to go unchallenged. What injustices and/or false teachings might be affected by your sphere of influence (work, school, play) if you challenged them? How might one go about challenging such opponents?
  3. Read the excerpts from the letter Wycliffe wrote to Pope Urban VI on page 91 [25]. How do the words of this letter display the character of Christ? The boldness of Christ? The love of Christ? How can we show these same characteristics in the way we live?

Family Worship Activity:

Perform a family play. Teach the youngest (able and willing) member of the family to play the part of John Wycliffe on trial before his adversaries. Give this person two or three short, powerful quotes. Then have the rest of the family ask, in stern tones, questions about whether the young “Wycliffe” will abandon his/her faith. When the young person responds, the rest of the family should cower in fear and slowly shuffle from the room downcast and defeated. Applaud the young Wycliffe impersonator and then explain the importance of standing up for what we believe in.

Hi I’m Jacob Serns. I grew up a pastor’s kid and had a great foundation of faith from my parents. However, I’ve found that the most important thing in life is that each of us finds a very personal, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, in addition to any spiritual knowledge we gain at home, school, or even church. I teach Bible and PE at North Dallas Adventist Academy.

* Numbers in brackets [ ] are page numbers from God’s Holy Word: Is It Still Worth Dying For.

The Great Controversy Project- Read It! Share It!

The Great Controversy is a book that gives a Bible-based outline of church history and Bible prophecy stretching from the Fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD to the final events of earth and beyond.

Since it was written in the 1800s it has been published in many languages and titles, including the recent four-part series- 1) God’s Holy Word: Is it still worth dying for? 2) America in Prophecy 3) Cracking the Code: Behind Enemy Lines 4) The World Out of Control.

Read or listen to it online at

Share it with friends. You can purchase copies at or Call 800-423-1319 for large quantity pricing.

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