By Pastor Richard Wurmbrand
The Bible teaches some words very hard to take: “Whosoever does not hate father, mother, child, brother, sister – cannot be My disciple.” These words mean almost nothing in a free country.
You probably know from The Voice of the Martyrs literature that thousands of children had been taken away from their parents in the former Soviet Union because they were taught about Christ. You must love Christ more than your family. There you are before a court and the judge tells you that if you deny Christ you may keep your children. If not, this will be the last time you will see them. Your heart may break, but your answer should be, “I love God.”
Nadia Sloboda left her house for four years of prison. Her children were taken from her, but she left her house singing. The children, for whom the police waited with a truck to take them as she left, told their singing mother, “Don’t worry about us. Wherever they put us, we will not give up our faith.” They did not.
When Jesus was on the cross He not only suffered physically; He had His mother in front of Him, suffering. His mother had the Son suffering. They loved each other, but the glory of God was at stake and here any human sentiment must be secondary. Only if we take this attitude once and for all can we prepare for underground work.
Only Christ, the Great Sufferer, the Man of Sorrows, must live in us. There have been cases in Communist countries when Communist torturers threw away their rubber truncheons with which they beat a Christian and asked, “What is this halo which you have around your head? How is it that your face shines? I cannot beat you anymore.” It is said of Stephen in the Bible, that “his face shone.” We have known cases of Communist torturers who told the prisoner, “Shout loudly, cry loudly as if I would beat you so that my comrades will know that I torture you. But I cannot beat you.” Thus, you would shout without anything happening to you.
There are other cases when prisoners really are tortured, sometimes to death. You have to choose between dying with Christ and for Christ or becoming a traitor. What is the worth of continuing to live when you will be ashamed to look into the mirror, knowing that the mirror will show you the face of a traitor?