Romans 12:1 says, And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him.
Joseph Ton served for many years as pastor of Second Baptist Church, Oradea, Romania. He was known throughout the country – by his friends and by his enemies. The majority of his ministry occurred during the reign of communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. One time he shared this story.
“Years ago, I ran away from my country to study theology at Oxford. In 1972, when I was ready to go back to Romania, I discussed my plans with some fellow students. They pointed out that I might be arrested at the border. One student asked, ‘Joseph, what chances do you have of successfully implementing your plans?’
“Ton asked GOD about it, and GOD brought to mind Matthew 10:16: ‘I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves’ – and seemed to say, ‘Tell
me, what chance does a sheep surrounded by wolves have of surviving 5 minutes, let alone of converting the wolves?’ Joseph, that’s how I send you: totally defenseless and without a reasonable hope of success. If you are willing to go like that, go. If you are not willing to be in that position, don’t go.’
“Pastor Ton wrote, After our return, as I preached uninhibitedly, harassment and arrests came. One day during interrogation an officer threatened to kill me. Then I said, ‘Sir, you know my sermons are all over the country on tapes now. If you kill me, I will be sprinkling them with my blood. Whoever listens to them after that will say, ‘I’d better listen. This man sealed it with his blood.’ They will speak ten times louder than before. So, go on and kill me. I win the supreme victory then.’
“The officer sent him home. ‘That gave me pause,’ Ton wrote. “For years I was a Christian who was cautious because I wanted to survive. I had accepted all the restrictions the authorities put on me because I wanted to live. Now I wanted to die, and they wouldn’t oblige. Now I could do whatever I wanted in Romania. For years I wanted to save my life, and I was losing it. Now that I wanted to lose it, I was winning it.’”
John 12:25 says, Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity.