George Jeltonoshko knew his government did not want people propagating the gospel of Christ, but he had a stronger conviction to obey the commandments of Christ—even if it conflicted with the laws of his country.
It was not a huge surprise to him when the police came to his door. He figured it was inevitable that they would find out about his ministry activities because of the literature he had been spreading. When his trial date came, he was given a state-appointed Communist attorney. George boldly told the judge, “I don’t want a lawyer. I feel I am right, and righteousness needs no defense.”
The judge asked him, “Do you plead guilty?”
He replied, “No. To spread the good news of God’s love is the duty of all Christians.”
judge then asked him to join the ranks of the “official churches,”
which were nothing more than state-run puppet churches. But George
refused. The state church followed the commandments of the state, not
the commands of God.
The judge was getting frustrated. “Where do you meet for worship?” he demanded.
George answered, “True believers worship everywhere.”
He was sentenced to three years in prison where George Jeltonoshko continued to carry out his work and worship. He was right. Righteousness needed no defense.
Doing the “right thing” may be a popular motto. That’s easier said than done, however, because what is right in God’s eyes often conflicts with popular opinion. The dispute between right and wrong often becomes apparent in a classroom, a workroom, and even a courtroom or church. We can’t rely on our environment to tell us what is right. People can persuade us to confuse compromise with righteousness. God’s Word is the only defense for determining what is right in every situation. Others may not understand or agree with the choices we make. However, God promises to honor our commitment to doing what is right. Those who observe us will see the light and feel the warmth of our righteous actions.