“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?