So Great a Heritage

Bill Brinkworth

Christians today, both in America and throughout the world, have so much to be thankful and grateful for. Our faith, Bible, doctrines, and our freedoms were obtained by high prices paid by our Christian predecessors. It cost many of them their lives and much suffering; yet we take for granted what believers of the past had to pay dearly for, and place little value on our heritage.

It should be expected that Christians would face persecutions, as its leader, Jesus Christ the Son of God, also received much. His righteousness and exposure of false religion were so grievous to the followers of man-man worship that it was they that made sure that the Saviour was beaten, ridiculed, mocked, and nailed to the cross. If God allowed His Son to not escape the world’s wrath and hatred for the things of God, Christians should also expect it.
“If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; ...” John 15:19-20

Millions upon millions of men, women, and children died for their faith in the past. The walls of Rome’s catacombs and other hidden places, to this day, reveal how many lived and died in fear of being caught and tortured for their beliefs. Millions have had to worship in secret places for fear of being killed or imprisoned for even attending a church service.

In a college’s collection of ancient Bibles is a Bible with fire-scorched pages. It was plucked out of the flames that burned its owner. He had refused to denounce his faith in Christ and in His Word, and was burnt to death because of it. Today his Bible is preserved as a reminder of what Christ and His Word meant to some, and how many died for reading it or making it available for others to have.

Today, with the freedom that most have, confessing Christians cannot even live for Christ; yet alone die for Him. It is very easy to attend a nearby church; yet there are countless reasons told for their not attending. Most households contain at least one copy of the Word of God; yet few have even bothered to read it. Baptistries are now heated and always available; yet few follow the Lord in believer’s baptism. Although we are quickly losing our religious freedoms in the States, it is still possible for a believer to obey the Lord’s command and tell others how to go to heaven; yet even fewer do it.

What does your faith in Christ mean to you? Does His Word mean so much to you that you not only read it faithfully, but that you would not sway from its teaching, even if it cost you your life? Does the price Christ paid on the cross for our salvation mean so much to you that you are living for Him no matter what it may cost socially or monetarily, or does the slightest possibility of someone’s thinking less of you make you hide the fact that you are even a Christian? Do the truths found in His Word mean so much to you that you share it with others no matter the cost in time, money, or others’ opinions of you?

We are nearing an end of an era where many can share and live their faith in Christ with others without paying a high price. Because many have not stood up for the beliefs and freedoms they had, the ungodly are taking those freedoms away from them.

For most of us, compared to what our predecessors have paid for their religious convictions, the cost to us has been minimal. That fact may change in the near future. Will you be willing to pay the cost, no matter what it is, for your faith? Many say they will die for their faith, but for most of us, God only requires that we live for Him. Are you living boldly for Him today?

“You cannot win without sacrifice.” — Buxton


This lesson was featured in The Bible View #263

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