The price of following Christ. A poem I found while researching something.

Hello everyone. I sometimes will listen to a program called stories of great christians. This program recently has on one station anyway been playing the story of John and Betty Stam who were missionaries to China in the early 1930’s.
Due to everything that has been going on about this Iranian pastor I decided to see what I could find out what happened to these missionaries in China so I did a websearch. In searching for this info I found the info I was looking for and the poem I will share.
Before I do that though. I myself often think about what would I do if someone said I must do something or die for my faith. Or die simply because people wanted money or other things and no one could pay my ransom whatever that may be. Or whatever the reason.
My prayer is and always will be till I know differently that this Iranian pastor is not martyred. However I think we all need to remember that God is in control and although we may not understand why things go the way they do sometimes there is always a reason. And for Christians who are persecuted for what they believe and some who even die. God uses that is such a way that nothing can truly explain it except God’s hand working in a very sad very dark situation to make manifest His glory.
This poem which was written by a person who knew someone who died also for their faith in Christ like the Stams did asks us the question. I heard this poem a while ago I wish I could remember where but I don’t. Having it come up again though as I said I believe is God reminding me of things I have long forgotten and also showing me that there is nothing to fear really. That everything even bad things work together for good to those who love God and are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28. I love Romans Chapter 8.
Anyway the poem. And ask yourselves if your Christianity just a way for you escape hell. Or do you really love your Lord and Saviour and would you say I can not if someone asked you to renounce your faith and believe another religious beliefs just to save your life? What is more important to us? Living as Christ would have us live and letting His glory be made manifest. Or living our own lives as we choose maybe having a good time for a while but not content at all because we haven’t sacrificed anything for One who sacrificed all for us?
Here is the poem. If you wish to find John and Betty Stam’s story do a google search for it it will come up. And one of the first sites will also talk about this poem. Don’t misunderstand me death isn’t nice. And we should never sit back and wait for a person to die even if it is for their faith in Christ. But afraid. Are we afraid to speak the truth no matter the cost if it may cost us everything possibly even our lives to do so?

Poem:

The poem, entitled “Afraid?” was written by Presbyterian missionary E.H. Hamilton following the recent martyrdom of one of his colleagues, J.W. Vinson, at the hands of rebel soldiers in northern China. A small Chinese girl who escaped from the bandits related the incident that provided the inspiration for Hamilton’s poem.

“Are you afraid?” the bandits asked Vinson as they menacingly waved a gun in front of him.

“No,” he replied with complete assurance. “If you shoot, I go straight to heaven.”

His decapitated body was found later.

Afraid? Of what?
To feel the spirit’s glad release?
To pass from pain to perfect peace,
The strife and strain of life to cease?
Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?
Afraid to see the Saviour’s face,
To hear His welcome, and to trace,
The glory gleam from wounds of grace,
Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?
A flash – a crash – a pierced heart;
Brief darkness – Light – O Heaven’s art!
A wound of His a counterpart!
Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?
To enter into Heaven’s rest,
And yet to serve the Master blessed?
From service good to service best?
Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?
To do by death what life could not -
Baptize with blood a stony plot,
Till souls shall blossom from the spot?
Afraid? Of that?



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