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Chuck Swindoll, in his book, "Living Above the Level of Mediocrity," tells about a church in the Soviet Union a few years ago that was forced to meet secretly because the holding of house church services was illegal.


They tried to be as inconspicuous as possible as they gathered on Sunday to worship the Lord, so they came at different times & casually walked into the house until they had all arrived. Then they would close the doors, pull the curtains, & quietly worship the Lord.


But one Lord’s Day, right in the midst of their worship service, two soldiers broke into the room, & at gunpoint lined the Christians up against the wall. One shouted, "If you wish to renounce your faith in Jesus Christ, leave now!"


Two or three quickly left, then another, & then two more. Again the soldier spoke, "This is your last chance. Either leave now & renounce your faith in Christ, or stay & suffer the consequences." Another left, & then another, almost hiding their faces in shame as they went out.


But the rest stood their ground, children standing beside their parents, trembling, some even crying as their parents stood with their hands in the air, fully expecting to be gunned down or imprisoned.


After all had left who chose to flee, the other soldier closed the doors, looked back at those who stood against the wall & said, "Keep your hands up - but this time in praise to our Lord Jesus Christ. We, too, are Christians."


The two soldiers explained that some time earlier they had been sent to another house church to arrest the Christians there. But in the process, they had heard the gospel & had accepted Jesus as their Lord & Savior, too. But they explained, "We have learned that unless people are willing to die for their faith, they cannot be fully trusted."

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