An old pastor caught in the middle of a war on Christians in his country and was imprisoned in a concentration camp for his faith in Christ. There were literally thousands of Christians there being starved and tortured for their faith in Jesus Christ.
He was told of an escape attempt that was to take place that night and decided he would go with them to freedom. Shortly after midnight, the small band of men escaped under the barbed wire fence and made it to the tree line to freedom. They crossed the icy river and traveled to the base of the snow- capped mountain where on the other side they would find "freindlies" that would shelter and hide them. The grey early morning light was breaking at the cave they were huddled in and it was then that the Lord spoke to the old pastor.
"Son, I want you to go back to the prison camp. I need you there to show my glory to many."
"But Lord, he replied, I have never been a man of great courage, are you sure this is what you want me to do?"
"Yes my son, for I will give you astounding courage and your life will be a great testimony to my power over darkness, and many shall be saved."
With that the old pastor rose and told his fellow escapees what God had shown him to do. They all thought he had lost his mind but blessed him and bid him God speed.
The sun was high in sky as the Pastor approached the prison fence and gave himself up to the guards who quickly ushered him to the commander of the prison.
“Why did you return here you idiot when freedom was within your grasp? Do you not know that I will now have you beaten and tortured without mercy till you scream for death?”
The old pastor warmly smiled and said, “Commander, you have already lost the battle and you don’t even know it yet, but you will. For you see if you martyr me, everyone here will know it and become bolder in their faith because someone like me was willing to die for my God. Then you sir, will have a 1000 others like me on your hands!”
“Then I will put you in solitary confinement and starve you to death and no-one will ever see or hear from you again!”
“Not so sir, said the pastor, for in my confinement I will sing the loudest praise to my God and all the camp will hear it.”
“Then I shall shoot you myself right here and right now and feed your carcass to the wolves of the forest.”
“It is too late for that, the pastor replied, for many have already seen me surrender myself to you and they shall know that faith overcomes any death you can administer and they all shall be emboldened, and you sir, shall have a much larger problem on your hands.”
Thinking himself wise the commander responded, “Then I shall set you free outside this camp and leave you to the fate of your faith in a God who doesn’t exist!”
“It won’t work sir, said the pastor, for I shall stand right outside these gates and proclaim the victory of my God over you and all evil, and all within these walls shall hear it and have courage also.”
“Then I shall be nice to you, said the commander, and give you the best to eat and fine clothes and all in the camp will think you a traitor and that will squelch your witness forever.”
“Wrong again sir, for all that will do is cause me to give it all away to others in need and you sir, have just enriched the lives and eased the pain of the multitudes.”
“Then I will banish you from this camp and send you far away to another camp and you will be heard of no more.”
“Take him away, he told the guards I never want to see his face again.”
The pastor was taken to another camp in the hot and dry desert where from day one he became a loud voice for Christ Jesus in that camp. He had become a man of such strong faith that the commander there hated him for causing such discord in his camp and sent him back to his original camp.
Upon arriving the commander who could take no more of this took the old pastor to the middle of the camp, erected a cross and crucified him.
As the pastor was dying he look at the crowd and said, “This day I shall be with Him in Paradise. I shall see Him face to face and never know sorrow again. It is the destiny of all those who love Him and now my beloved be of good courage for I shall see all of you again. No man can take your salvation away, they may kill the body but they cannot rip Jesus out of your soul. We have already won the battle, because God has written each of your names in the book of life. Be strong for Him now, for it is impossible for us to lose, God is with you even until the end. I am a living testimony of His mercy and goodness and I am honored to die for my Lord.”
With that the old pastor gave up the ghost and entered into the kingdom of Heaven.
Those who stood and watched him boldly die, they received a double portion of courage and faith and became radically emboldened as the old pastor had foretold.
The end of the matter was that the commander could not deal with the stress and pressure from the new outbreak of boldness for God and quietly one night knelt and asked Jesus into his heart along with many of the guards. They felt that if such a simple old man could do what he had done then there must be something he had that they didn’t. Their names was written along side all the other saints in the Book of Life because of the old pastor’s testimony and those in the camp were treated well from that time on till the appearing of the day of the Lord.