Forty Brave Soldiers for Jesus. A song by Tom Green
You can find this song at: http://www.swordofthespiritministries.us/
1600 years ago the pride of the Roman army the 12 legion was stationed at sebaste just south of the black sea.It was mid winter, and a harsh order had just come by messenger from the capital at Constantinople. Reigning as emperor at this time was valerious lycinus, who’s vicious hate for Christianity had caused the death of untold thousands of martyrs. Snow was falling as the new emperor’s orders was read to the soldiers standing at attention. Under penalty of death, read the commander all members of the Roman army must at once offer sacrifices to the emperor and acknowledge him as the one true god.No one blinked an eye. They were Roman soldiers, the most highly disciplined in the world. But every mind went immediately to the 40 among their ranks who were Christian. The same thought went through each soldiers mind. The Christians will never sacrifice to the emperor they will never desert their God.Forty brave soldiers for Jesus. Forty brave soldiers for Christ. We’ll be true to our God and stare death in the face. Though we perish on this lake of ice. We’ll be 40 brave soldiers for Christ. As soon as the soldiers were dismissed a captain came to the commanders tent and announced that there were 40 soldiers who would not perform the sacrifice to the emperor. They were immediately arrested and put in the custody of Aglios the chief jailer, who marched them off to military court. The commander opened the trials formality by saying, Of all the soldiers who serve the empire, none are more loved or needed by us than you. Do not turn our love and respect to hate and contempt. How important can this Jesus be? Bow down to the emperor and this will all be over. But the leader of the 40 said firmly, The word of God says Thou shall not have any gods before me. We have made our choice. We will not sacrifice to the emperor; we will devote our love to the living God.Forty brave soldiers for Jesus. Forty Brave soldiers for Christ. We’ll be true to our God and stare death in the face. Though we perish on this lake of ice. We’ll be 40 brave soldiers for Christ.Because he did not have the authority to sentence the Christians to death, the commander had to wait for the arrival of the Inspector General, who would be making a visit to the 12 th legion in about a week. The Christians were put in the custody of Aglios the jailer for that entire week. When the General came, he agreed with the decision of the commander and gave the Christians a choice: Worship the emperor or be delivered over to torture and death. The Christians remained firm. You can have our armor, they said, Our names, our very lives. We have made our choice, we prefer God. Then the soldiers heard their sentence. They were to be bound with strong rope and lead to the shore of the near by frozen lake. For at sundown, they were to be stripped and marched out to the middle of the ice. At any time, they could change their minds and go through the ritual of sacrifice to the emperor in a heated bath house on the lake shore.Aglios the jailer, who had been caring for the soldiers for a week, watched as the soldiers were stripped and marched shivering onto the ice and into the darkness. Guards were posted all around the shore to make sure they did not try to escape. As they marched, they sang. Forty brave soldiers for Jesus. Forty brave soldiers for Christ. We’ll be true to our God and stare death in the face, though we perish on this lake of ice. We’ll be forty brave soldiers for Christ.For a while, their song echoed all through the camp. But as the hour of midnight approached, and the temperature continued to drop, their voices grew more and more weak. Then one of the forty was seen emerging from the darkness. He was giving up. He would sacrifice to the emperor. He fell to his knees on the shore and began crawling to the bath house. Only Aglios the jailer was still awake to hear the thin voices of the ones on the ice shiver, Thirty nine brave soldiers for Jesus. Aglios watched the man enter the bath house and emerge quickly. Apparently overcome by the heat. He saw the man collapse on the ground and lie still. At that moment something happened to the heart of Aglios the jailer. What it was, only he and God will ever know. The guards reported hearing a great cry which jerked them awake. Rubbing their eyes they watched as Aglios the jailer wrenched off his armor and ran out on to the frozen lake shouting:Forty brave soldiers for Jesus. Forty Brave soldiers for Christ. We’ll be true to our God and stare death in the face. As we perish on this lake of ice. We’ll be forty brave soldiers for Christ.