Jesus said to His
disciples in John 15:13, "Greater love has no one than this, than to
lay down one's life for his friends." This, often quoted verse, has
reference to what Jesus was getting ready to do on the cross as He was
laying down His life for His "friends" (v.14). Believer's through out
the ages have had to pay a high price to follow Jesus. That is no
different today. Richard Wurmbrand, the founder of The Voice of the
Martyrs, who spent 14 years in a communist jail in Romania recounts the
I worked in both an official and underground manner until February 29, 1948. On that beautiful Sunday, on my way to church, I was kidnapped from the street by the secret police. I had often wondered what was meant by "man-stealing," which is mentioned several times in the Bible. Communism has taught us. Many at that time were kidnapped like this. A van of the secret police stopped in front of Me, four men jumped out and pushed me into the vehicle. I was taken to a prison where I was kept secret for over eight years. During that time, no one knew whether I was alive or dead. My wife was visited by the secret police who posed as released fellow-prisoners. They told her that they had attended my burial. She was heartbroken" (Tortured for Christ, p.33).
While Richard spent those eight long years in a communist prison, he underwent some tremendous torture. He writes, "Handcuffs with sharp nails on the insides were placed on our wrists. If we were totally still, they didn't cut us. But in the bitterly cold cells, when we shook with cold, our wrists would be torn by the nails. Christians were hung upside down on ropes and beaten so severely that their bodies swung back and forth under the blows. Christians were also placed in ice-box "refrigerator cells," which were so cold that frost and ice covered the inside. I was thrown into one while I had very little clothing on. Prison doctors would watch through an opening until they saw symptoms of freezing to death, then they would give the signal and guards would rush in to take us out and make us warm. When we were finally warmed, we would immediately be put back into the ice-box cells to freeze. Thawing out, then freezing to within minutes of death, then being thawed out - over and over again!" (Ibid., pp.34-35).
What was Richard's cause that helped him to endure such torture? Listen again to Richard's words:
I remember my last Sunday school class before I left Romania. I took a group of ten to fifteen boys and girls on a Sunday morning, not to a church, but to the zoo. Before the cage of lions I told them, "Your forefathers in faith were thrown before such wild beasts for their faith. Know that you also will have to suffer. You will not be thrown before lions, but you will have to suffer at the hands of men who would be much worse than lions. Decide here and now whether you wish to pledge allegiance to Christ" (The Triumphant Church, p.15).
Richard made the choice to pledge allegiance to Christ, what about you?
Brother Steven Miller.