Would You be Willing to Die?

By Patrick Hawthorne

Paul-Silas-Jailer

“Would you be willing to die for your faith?”  That was a question I asked myself the other day.  “Pat, if it came down to it, would you be willing to die for a God who you have never seen?  Would you be willing to suffer the pain of being beat and humiliated for your faith all based on things you have read from a book?  Would you be willing to suffer fire, sword, imprisonment…?”

Tough questions, if we are really honest about it.  Even the disciples, who walked with the Living Word (Jesus) for three years ran when their faith was put to the test.  Granted, they were not yet filled with the Holy Spirit, but less men had died defending less causes.  What was different?

What got me to thinking about this was that I had just read a sermon written by John G. Lake from 1922.  In this sermon he wrote, “The reason men lived for the Word of God and died for the Word of God, the reason they were ready to endure dungeon, fire, and sword was because of the fact that the Word of God became a living reality to them – not just a theory.”

“…the Word of God became a living reality to them – not just a theory.”

From my initial question, more questions arose.  “Is the Word of God a reality or simply a theory to me?” Do I believe the whole of the Word or just the parts I find flavorful?  Do I believe the whole of the Word or just what my denomination, my pastor, my doctrine tells me to believe?

I know my answer.  What about you?  Be blessed.

“29 Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, 30 by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.” (Acts 4:29-31 NKJV)

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Posted in Christian, writing
16 comments on “Would You be Willing to Die?
  1. I’ve meditated on this as well.

    I’m fairly certain – and I’m just being brutally honest here – that there are few things that I wouldn’t do to escape torture. Death, I’m prepared for (I think). A painful, torturous death…not so much. I can imagine saying or doing almost anything to avoid that. I’m pretty confident I would endure it if it was to protect my children or grandchildren, but who can say for sure how one would respond?

    I do believe, however, that however my death comes about, I will go to my grave in faith. Not because I am so confident in the strength of “my” faith, but rather because God has promised that the measure of faith he has given me is *sufficient*, that He will bring me safely through ALL things, even unto death. That’s what I trust and cling to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • To question yourself simply means you are being honest with yourself. I do believe that there is a special grace for those who must endure such an end to their natural life. Just look at Stephen. He was so caught up in the glory that he did not even think of the suffering.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Patrick,
        “A special grace” – That’s an interesting observation and one that I’d never thought about before, but yeah, I’ve read about Christian who faced their martyrdom with eagerness, who considered dying as their Lord did as the ultimate glory.

        I find your idea of a “special grace” to be equal parts comforting and inspiring.

        Comforting, because even in the prospect of a martyrs death, our good Lord does not leave us bereft; and inspiring because it affirms that the Cross IS our glory and we can go to our deaths – even a horrible martyrs death – unashamed.

        Beautiful stuff.

        Like

      • Thank you very much…be blessed.

        Like

  2. Beautiful question, Patrick! I explored that question with the Lord a bit myself. What I discovered was a whole bunch if idols. It’s somewhat comical now, but the Lord quite clearly pointed out you would die for me but…. you wouldn’t give up coffee. You wouldn’t let go of your children and place them spiritually in my hands. You wouldn’t trust me here or here or here or here….ai yi yi! There were a whole bunch of places that needed some real work.

    I would cheerfully die for you Lord….. I am just not about to embarrass myself by singing Amazing Grace in the produce section of the grocery store! True story, a few weeks after that major revelation, I had call to do exactly that! We suddenly needed a rendition of Amazing Grace, and me unable to really sing, had to lead the way. It’s a small thing, surrounded by about five people and some apples, but for me it was huge. The Lord is kind to send us those kinds of tests that simply help us to gently realize who we really are and Whose we really are.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lol…Praise on aisle 3; worship in the produce section. As I pointed out to Lady above, I honestly believe that there is a special grace and faith that accompanies those who are about to meet such an end to their natural life. When ole Stephen was getting stoned the lights were on but nobody was home. He was so focused on God’s glory that he knew little about what was happening to his body.

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  3. SLIMJIM says:

    Surely it is more than a theory; it is true. Convicting question but one we should ask regularly.

    Like

  4. Jules says:

    This is a question I consider every time I pray for the persecuted church – ie regularly. And regularly I come to the same conclusion I believe God will give the grace to persevere as He always has and does today in many places.
    I think it is a question we should consider and one that should move us to joy and faith!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I was going to say about the same thing Sister Anita said in her opening comment. The death itself, I don’t consider a problem as I look forward even now to my “trip” home. The torture? I can only say I am happy we have the promised Guide and Counselor to help us with strength.

    What I truly love about your article is the underlying question, is the Word real to you? In so many of my articles I choose the term, “The Living Word,” because that is what it has become to me over the years. It is a part of me, of who I am in the Lord and it is no longer just words! I have taught this point concerning faith for years now: faith starts out as believing, as the “little children” that the Apostle John writes too in his Epistles, but as we mature in the Lord, as we become more intimate with the Father THROUGH Christ Jesus, we actually mature from simple believing (not belittling it either) to KNOWING. The Living Word is like that. In my youth, I believed (and practiced believing) it, but at my age now, I am truly KNOWING the Word in its intimacy!! (Still have more to learn, but oh so looking forward to it!).

    Thanks so much for the inspiration, reflection and encouragement!! God bless, greatly!

    Like

  6. Natan says:

    It’s foolishness to the natural man, but truth to the spiritual man. The Sprit makes the Word of God alive to us such that Jesus becomes more real than anything in that world. That’s what happens to me when I begin to worship the Lord. I feel like staying there forever. The Sprit makes Jesus real so such an extent that I become hungry for his glory than anything else in the world. The Holy Sprit makes all the difference! Through Him I can be able to pass through anything because He makes the love of God real to me and strengthens me to face anything.

    Like

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