There was an Anabaptist, a Hutterite, as some called them, hundreds of years ago...

Europe in the 1500's was a time when the Church and State were not separated.  The Roman Catholic Church held great political power throughout Europe and they used that power to force people to believe what they thought was true.  They also used that power to persecute those who threatened their political authority.  Only God can judge the motives of those in authority in those horrible times, and He promises to do so.  But back to the story...

This is a brief story about a man who was arrested by the Catholic Church during a time of great persecution.  Contrary to popular teaching at the time, this man believed that just being a member of the Catholic church and following it's rules were not enough to save a man from his sins.  He claimed that the infant baptism practiced at the time was not the baptism that the Bible taught; primarily because Jesus said to "believe and be baptized for the remission of sins", and a baby cannot believe or understand yet.  therefore they recommended being baptized again after coming into an understanding of what Christ did on the cross to take away our sins. Hence the name given them: Anabaptist, which means "re-baptizers".  There were other teachings as well as practices going on among many Catholic leaders at the time that were not only questionable as far as being taught in the Bible, but there was outright corruption and greed on a vast scale.

This man was one of thousands who stood up to the corruption and spoke plainly what he believed the Bible taught, even though it disagreed with the authorities.   To make a long story short, he was arrested for his beliefs and told he must recant or take back the statements he made that were contrary to catholic teaching, or he would be burned at the stake!

They made the offer many times, and tried their best to convince him he was wrong.  Finally they gave up convincing him he was wrong, and tried a different ploy.

They told him he could go back to his family if he would only tell them that they were good Christians too.  He could go home and take care of his family instead of being killed as a heretic and leaving his family alone. They said if you do not really believe what you said was true, then you could repent at home after being released.  This way they don't have to kill him and he can go free.  He just has to repent later and ask forgiveness for lying about what he believes.

The man took thought of their comments, and knowing they were wrong in making this devious offer, he gave them the reply: "How do I know I will repent?"

 

He was put to death for his faith.

Jesus said if you deny me before men, I will deny you before my father in heaven.  This man was not about to deny Jesus.  What about us? 

Do we deny Him by our apathy? 

Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?  We must redeem the time because the days are evil.  He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

How do you know you will repent?  Make your life count for eternity!

Continuing a lifestyle that is not pleasing to God in hopes and plans that you can repent later is gambling with your eternity.  God is calling you to give everything to Him, to live as a missionary, an ambassador on this earth until He returns or until you leave your temporary home, your body. 

Even if you do live long enough and are of a frame of mind and heart to repent later, do you really want to waste your life living for the same things everyone else is living for?  Or would you rather hear "well done, good and faithful servant" when you stand in front of Jesus on the day He will judge Christians for how we lived our lives?

No one wants to be "saved yet as through fire", because the wood, hay and stubble (your life's works) are burned up.  Choose today to live for Him, get involved in your local church.  Get involved in your neighborhood.

Click here to see how the Love Your Neighbor Christian Network can help get you started.