If you can do any of these things ... it is because of the men and women who have been willing to die for the sake of the Gospel since the day Jesus ascended back into heaven. From that moment, the apostles fought for truth. They willingly suffered at the hands of those who hated Christ and began a legacy of martyrdom that has kept Christianity alive and powerful ever since. God uses the lives of these individuals, who are totally surrendered to Him, to reveal His power, His provision, and His mercy as He sustains them and holds them up through the most horrifying of circumstances. When you read what these brothers and sisters endure it evokes such powerful emotion it is hard to tell if it is righteous indignation or pure revenge that stirs your soul.
That is how I felt reading Tortured for Christ. Dr. Wurmbrand does not give graphic details, but he offers enough to cause the reader to understand and be pulled into deep emotion and wonder - how did they do it? How did they sing songs of praise in feces covered cell floors? How did they share the love of Christ with the very man who literally dug holes in their bodies, raped them, and murdered their children before their eyes? How did they do it?
But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. II Corinthians 12: 9,10
As I read through this book I was moved in every way. I was reminded of every missionary and martyr I have studied and am simply awed by their passion for God, their passion for the lost, and their complete and total surrender and JOY to die for the sake of the Gospel of Christ. There really are no words.
So let me share his. These are direct quotes from Tortured for Christ. (Dr. Wurmbrand was a Christian in communist Romania in the 60's and was imprisoned, and tortured, for over 13 years for preaching and sharing Christ. When released, he began working with the underground church and began The Voice of the Martyrs ministry.)
~ After sharing a story of two daughters of Christian martyrs who turned to a life of prostitution and then police informers, he says this: Don't just say this is ugly and immoral - of course it is - but ask yourself if it is not also your sin that such tragedies occur, that such Christian families are left alone, are not helped by you who are free.
~ It was not only that they (fellow Christians in free countries) gave us the Word of God, but we saw that we were beloved. They brought us a word of comfort. During the years of brainwashing we heard, "Nobody loves you anymore ..." Now we saw Christians who risked their lives to show us that they loved us.
~ We must win rulers, leaders in politics, economics, science, and the arts. They mold the souls of men. Winning them, you win the people they lead and influence.
~ A man really believes not what he recites in his creed, but only the things he is ready to die for. The Christians of the Underground Church have proved that they are ready to die for their faith.
~ A flower, if you bruise it under your feet, rewards you by giving you its perfume. Like wise tortured Christians, reward their torturers by love. We brought many of our jailers to Christ. And we are dominated by one desire: to give those who made us suffer the best we have, the salvation that comes from our Lord Jesus Christ.
~ ... names of saints and heroes of the faith in the twentieth century. I bow to kiss their chains, as the first Christians kissed the chains of their fellow believers when they were led to be thrown before the wild beasts.
~ The Underground Church is a poor and suffering church, but it has few lukewarm members.
~ Persecution has always produced a better Christian - a witnessing Christian, a soul-winning Christian. Persecution has backfired and produced serious, dedicated Christians such as are rarely seen in free lands. These people cannot understand how anyone can be a Christian and not want to win every soul they meet.
~ When you listen to those who loudly deny God, it seems that they really mean it. But life shows that many of them, although they curse God with their lips, in their hearts have a great longing. And you hear the groaning of the heart ... They seek something and wish to cover their inner emptiness with their godlessness.
~ Christians, even if they fight against an enemy, understand and love him. "Love your neighbor as yourself." "Love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you."
~ ... there is a beauty in the hearts of men, women and even children who refuse to renounce Christ.
~ I am the voice of those who are voiceless; of those who are muzzled and never represented in the West. in their name I ask great seriousness in faith and in handling the problems of Christianity. In their name I ask your prayers and practical help for the faithful, suffering Underground Church in persecuted lands and other captive nations today.
Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.
I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the Word of God.