In 1917, a small handful of men set out to start a world-wide revolution following a man named Lenin who said, “We must train men and women who will devote to the revolution, not merely their spare evenings, but the whole of their lives.” Within a few decades, Lenin gathered between 6-8,000 individuals to help bring Communism into reality. They would build an empire that held one third of the world’s population (100 million people) in its grip. How did it happen?
At least in part, the answer lies in their devotion to a cause and their willingness to sacrifice their lives for that cause. Their mission and the outcome of their efforts were undeniably evil. Yet, the rise of the Communist Party is one of the most striking examples in history of the meaning of total surrender.
Now, where did Lenin get this idea of total surrender? I believe, Lenin was a student of history and possibly read how Christianity spread rapidly in the first three centuries after Jesus ascended, because those who believed in Jesus Christ were totally surrendered to the cause.
In his perverted way, Lenin took this idea of total surrender and applied it to his evil cause. Lenin was able recruit these individuals to make Socialism the center of their existence. Even the Devil knows how to have good strategies.
But evil makes promises that it cannot keep. And Lenin’s empire eventually failed.
This spurs us to look again at the root of Christian history and to examine ourselves. Jesus called his followers to total surrender (Mark 8: 34-38). And as long as they did, Christianity spread rapidly, converting half of the known world by 270 AD. Then Constantine legalized Christianity and lessened the requirements of being a Christian. And Christianity has been losing ground ever since.
In this day of Christian decline in America, it is important to ask, “As a Christian, is my relationship with Jesus Christ the center of my existence? ”
Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live.”
Living for Jesus, Ron McCaskill