Russian revolutionary Vladimir Ilyich Lenin spoke of communists as “dead men on furlough.” Those dedicated followers of the atheistic philosophy were willing to die for the cause, and each new day was simply a reprieve.
If people were willing to risk everything for a cause based on a lie, how much more should we who know Christ be willing to do so for the truth! Jesus told those who wanted to be His disciples that they had to be willing to follow Him to death. It was to be a commitment of their entire life, no matter what the cost.
In his book One Crowded Hour, Tim Bowden describes an incident in Borneo in 1964. Nepalese fighters known as Gurkhas were asked if they would be willing to jump from airplanes into combat against the Indonesians. The Gurkhas didn’t clearly understand what was involved, but they bravely said they would do it, asking only that the plane fly slowly over a swampy area and no higher than 100 feet. When they were told that the parachutes would not have time to open at that height, the Gurkhas replied, “Oh, you didn’t mention parachutes before!”
Jesus calls us to follow Him with a similar kind of commitment and courage, willing to risk all for His sake.
Halfhearted! Master, shall any who know Thee
Grudge Thee their lives, who hast laid down Thine own?
Nay! We would offer the hearts that we owe Thee,
Live for Thy love and Thy glory alone. —Havergal
We may not walk to the martyr’s stake, but we must walk in the Master’s steps.