Be Thou Faithful

prayer.jpg“Be faithful, even to the point of death and I will give you a crown of life” (Revelation 2:10).
Becoming a Christian means making a commitment. I know that sounds like a statement of the obvious, but it needs to be said. Think how the early Christians suffered, how the flames seared their flesh, how the lions tore them limb by limb, how the rats ran over their feet while they shivered in damp dungeons for their faith.
Yet thousands of Christians refused to surrender their convictions, refused to sell out their faith, remained faithful till death. So strong was their conviction, so mighty their witness that the very Roman Empire itself trembled. For two hundred years, the Roman Empire tried to persuade Christians to become pagan; in the end, pagan Romans became Christian.
Even today we are inspired by the courage of others. Did you know that Otis Gatewood risked his life repeatedly by entering the Soviet Union with Bibles on his person? Or what about H.B. Frank, a paraplegic and a missionary to France and England for twenty years? And we could all name brethren who suffer debilitating arthritis, yet still come to worship services, or Christians who have refused to take an action that is unethical, and lost a promotion.
God’s people have always inspired with their courage and conviction. If you want superheroes, don’t look to Ice T or Dennis Rodman for inspiration; learn about Peter and Polycarp, William Tyndale and William Wilberforce. Here are some real heroes!
So I have just one question for you. While others have surrendered so much, and stood so tall, why is it that we will surrender our faith because the thermostat was too high in the auditorium? Why do we “quit that church” because someone said something we didn’t appreciate? Why, in the face of the courage of others, will we give up our faith for a pittance?
As far as I can recall, the day I was baptized I took on the same Lord and took on the same responsibilities as Paul, and Stephen, and John did!


Why is it we surrender our faith for a pittance?

2 thoughts on “Be Thou Faithful

  1. Stan,
    You wrote:
    “So I have just one question for you. While others have surrendered so much, and stood so tall, why is it that we will surrender our faith because the thermostat was too high in the auditorium? Why do we “quit that church” because someone said something we didn’t appreciate? Why, in the face of the courage of others, will we give up our faith for a pittance?”
    Why, indeed. A great article, brother.
    Keep on writing and keeping the faith!
    In Him,
    Mike
    El Paso

  2. In 1980, I had the great pleasure of talking to Otis Gatewood for several hours. One story he recounted was when he would go into Czechoslovakia, where he had established a church. They met in one persons home and had a lot of literature stord there. If I recall properly they were doing some printing there as well. One of the sisters had an attraction for Otis and after several trips told her that he was not attracted to her. Talk about a woman scorned. She turned the church into the authorities, who promptly bulldozed the man’s house.
    In 1994 0r 95, I spent the good part of several days with Bob Hare who was a partner of Otis’ and who accompanied him to smuggle Bibles into Russia (USSR).
    Bob told me of the times when they would spend a couple days in jail after being discovered.
    One trip is especially memorable. They had some spare time and decided to take a train to the another town. They looked around and then went back to the train station. Not realizing they had crossed a time zone, the missed their train. Soon a woman approached them and asked of their business. She was a believer in Jesus and asked them to come to their worship service, the nest day, explaining that the communists allowed all believers to meet in only one building at the same time.
    So Bob and Otis went to the buidling and preaching to a no-standing-room-crowd from 9-11 a.m. They said they would return at 1 if they would preach some more. From 1-3 pm they preached to a no standing room audience and again from 5-7 pm.
    Oh that we had such thirst for the Lord today!!!
    Yes they spent a few days in jail for that “mistake” too.
    Otis related the times when he went to Moscow and started a small clandestine church. There were no baptistries of course and most bath tubs were not suitable. So they went into an outdoor swimming pool. He still bemoaned an chuckled at this diaper affair that the folks put on him. He said it was fortunate that it was in winter as the steam rising off the pool hid the baptisms he performed that day. So the baptisims did not attract the attention of those in charge.

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