Sunday, August 25, 2013

To God be the Glory

In the early 1950’s two men confronted each other in a Romanian prison.  One was lieutenant Grecu, an intelligent self-assured atheistic Communist, and brutal interrogator.  The other was a young Lutheran pastor named Richard Wurmbrand.

Lieutenant Grecu had spent the past several days interrogating pastor Wurmbrand.  On this particular morning Grecu sat with a rubber truncheon in his hand ready to “interrogate” pastor Wurmbrand once again.  Then at the end of the interrogation Grecu gave Wurmbrand paper and a half hour to write a confession of his crimes against the state.  Leaving Wurmbrand alone Grecu went out to beat other prisoners as he waited for the pastor to write out his confession.  Pastor Wurmbrand knew that he had to make a confession, yet he also knew that almost anything he wrote would either endanger fellow prisoners or be twisted and turned into evidence against him.  Finally at last he decided to make a confession - a confession of his faith in Jesus Christ.

When the half hour was up Lieutenant Grecu returned from beating the other prisoners.  Picking up the paper on which pastor Wurmbrand had written his confession he began to read.  In his confession pastor Wurmbrand confessed that as a disciple of Christ he loved his enemies.  He confessed that he prayed for them, prayed for their conversion so that they might become his brothers in Christ.  As Grecu read this he laid his truncheon down, looked up and said, “Mr. Wurmbrand, why do you say you love me?  This is one of your Christian commandments that no one can keep.  I couldn’t love someone who shut me up for years alone, who starved and beat me.”  Pastor Wurmbrand then courageously shared more about his faith, boldly telling him of Jesus, giving living witness of Christ to his tormenter.

Lieutenant Grecu had thought that he would always be an atheist, but as pastor Wurmbrand continued to speak God suddenly became very real.  Pastor Wurmbrand’s confession led to a series of discussions on Christianity.  Grecu saw Christ in Richard Wurmbrand and could not resist the power of divine love.  He became a believer.  Through a tortured prisoner who was not afraid to confess his faith God touched the heart of an atheistic communist lieutenant.