1309) A Little Experiment

From I Am ‘N’ published by ‘Voice of the Martyrs’ organization, pages 233-235 copyright 2016.  Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand were the founders of ‘Voice of the Martyrs.’ ( http://www.persecution.org )

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Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand

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     Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand were married in 1936.  Both were Germans of Jewish descent.  Richard, intellectually gifted and fluent in nine languages, worked as a stockbroker and participated in leftist politics.

     Two years after getting married, Richard and Sabina both became Christians. They joined the Anglican Mission to the Jews in Bucharest.  Richard was ordained, first as an Anglican and after World War II as a Lutheran minister.

     During the war, they preached in bomb shelters and rescued children from ghettos.  They were repeatedly arrested and beaten and, at least once, nearly executed.  Sabina lost her Jewish family in Nazi concentration camps.

     After the war, the couple stood for Christ even though it meant certain persecution by the Communist Party.  Richard distributed Bibles to Russian troops, and in 1948, the secret police arrested and imprisoned him.  He would not be completely free until 1965.  Meanwhile, Sabina was imprisoned for two years and forced to work as a laborer on the Danube Canal.

     Ultimately, Richard and Sabina became known as “the voice of the underground church.”  In 1967, they began The Voice of the Martyrs ministry.  But for all they accomplished on a global scale, their greatest legacy may be their penchant to forgive.  In his book In God’s Underground, Richard wrote about an incident in Romania involving a man named Borila, who was responsible for killing Sabina’s family in a Jewish death camp in the early 1940s.  Richard and Borila were introduced by their landlord.  As they talked, Borila boasted about the huge number of Jews he had killed during the war.

     “It is a frightening story,” Richard replied, “but I do not fear for the Jews— God will compensate them for what they have suffered.  I ask myself with anguish what will happen to the murderers when they stand before God’s judgment.” .

     Borila reacted as if he were going to pounce on Richard, but the landlord diffused the situation.  Knowing the man loved music, Richard offered to play the piano for him.  “I remembered how, when King Saul was afflicted by an evil spirit,” he wrote later, “the boy David had played the harp for him.”

     After a few songs, Richard turned to Borila.  He nodded toward the bedroom where Sabina slept and said, “Her parents, her sisters, her twelve-year-old brother, and the rest of her family were killed.  You told me that you had killed hundreds near Golta, and that is where they were taken.”

     This time Borila looked as if he would strangle Richard, who then said, “Now let’s try a little experiment.  I shall wake my wife and tell her who you are, and what you have done.  I can tell you what will happen.  My wife will not speak one word of reproach.  She’ll embrace you as if you were her brother.  She’ll bring you supper.  Now, if Sabina, who is a sinner like us all, can forgive and love like this, imagine how Jesus, who is perfect Love, can forgive and love you.  Only turn to Him, and everything you have done will be forgiven!”

     Borila sobbed.  For years, he had been consumed by guilt, unable to sleep, his shame covered by his boasting.  “I’m a murderer,” he managed to say.  “I’m soaked in blood.  What shall I do?”

     Richard cried out, “In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I command the devil of hatred out of your soul.”

     Both men fell to their knees, then stood up and hugged.

     It was time for the experiment.  Richard gently awakened Sabina.  “There is a man here whom you must meet,” he said.  “We believe he has murdered your family, but he has repented, and now he is your brother,”

     Sabina came out, put her arms around Borila, and embraced him.  Both wept.  Then, as Richard had foretold, she went into the kitchen to make him supper.

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Hebrews 9:27-28  —  Just as it is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

Luke 4:35  —  “Be quiet!” Jesus said sternly.  “Come out of him!”  Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him.

Matthew 6:14-16  —  (Jesus said), “If you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

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Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

–Jesus, Matthew 6:12

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