A FAITH WORTH IMITATING
Does martyrdom appeal to you? How does dying for your faith in Jesus Christ strike you today? If you think the question is outdated, let me remind you that more people have given their lives for the cause of Christ in the twentieth century than in all other centuries combined! When the writer of Hebrews encouraged his readers to imitate the conduct of those who led them, it is very likely he was referring to the martyrs of the early Church. Is that the kind of life you would like to imitate?
A friend of mine returned from Romania after spending some time with spiritual leaders there. One man, Josef Sun, had survived years of communist rule and persecution. My friend asked him why Romania saw so many people come to Christ when freedom finally came. Josef answered this way: “So many have been killed in Romania through the years for believing in Jesus Christ, that when freedom came, these Christians were willing to introduce people to Christ at any cost.” My friend then asked Josef about the persecution he endured, and he told him that just before the communist dictator was overthrown, a group of his henchmen came to Josef and said, “If you do not stop talking about Jesus Christ, we will kill you.” Josef calmly told the group, “If you take my life, you will sprinkle blood over every pamphlet I have written and every sermon I have preached. Your weapon is killing. Mine is dying. If you use your weapon, I’ll be forced to use mine.” They did not take his life. They were afraid of the power of his weapon.
Remember those who led you, who spoke the Word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.
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