Under the Nazi regime led by Adolf Hitler, approximately six million Jews were killed. What is staggering about this fact is not only the horrendous number of deaths but the indifference of the church during this period.
Our founder Richard Wurmbrand faced a similar scenario. During the reign of communism in Romania, the church was largely asleep. During the Congress of Cults – a meeting organised by the Romanian communist government in 1945. Religious leaders boldly stepped forward and pledged their allegiance to communism with the promises of improved wages and the preservation of their religious positions. From what we know about this time, Richard was the only person who stood up at this meeting to oppose what was taking place. The majority were indifferent, fearing the uncomfortable consequences that standing up for Christ would bring.
It is easy to look retrospectively at these events and criticize the church for their complacency and silence; however, we have to ask ourselves a serious question: Do we not find ourselves in a similar position today? Or, more personally: Do you not find yourself in a similar position today?
Because of the technology we have today, we both have the somewhat unfortunate privilege of knowing how our brothers and sisters are suffering for their faith – it is right before our eyes. There are approximately 260 million Christians suffering for their faith; 70% of Christians who practice their faith live in areas of persecution. Knowing this, we sometimes harden our hearts and do little in terms of praying, advocating or giving, letting it take place on the altar of our own comfort.
Scripture states, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels” Luke 9:23-26.
Notice, it says ”take up his cross”. This is an intentional decision in the face of opposition and pain. Loving our brothers and sisters is sacrificial and painful but we do it for the sake of love and obedience to God.
We may protest but the Bible says: “Let God be true though everyone were a liar” Romans 3:4.
This month’s challenge: Ask yourself whether you are hardening your heart. Ask God to make you sensitive to His Word and to His children.