“If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” [John 15:10-12]
Here's something almost no one realizes: The Nazi's had no way of dealing with those who responded with non-violent resistance.
“B.H. Liddell-Hart, widely acknowledged as the foremost military writer of our times, discovered in his interrogation of Nazi generals after World War II that they had little trouble dealing with violent resistance except in mountainous areas of Russia and the Balkins, or where advancing armies were close. But they expressed complete inability to cope with nonviolence as practiced in Denmark, Holland, Norway, and, to a lesser extent, in France and Belgium.
But, sometimes it doesn't always result in repentance and transformation. And in those cases, we may die. But if we die, then we die, and in that way we "share in the sufferings of Christ". What greater honor can there be than to follow Jesus all the way to our death?
I don't know about you, but I would rather die because I was putting the commands of Jesus into practice than to kill another person because my Government said so.
For a follower of Jesus, death is where we begin our journey with Him:
"If anyone would follow me let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me." -Jesus
Self-preservation is not our goal. Obedience unto death to the Lord of Life and the Prince of Peace is.
Do we trust Jesus to take care of us as we put His commands into practice? And if we suffer for doing good, that's what it's all about, isn't it?
Yes, non-violence quite often does work, when it is put into practice by obedient disciples of Jesus who are following His example of humility and love.
And even if it doesn't end with our lives being spared, that's not the point. The purpose is to put on display the extravagant love of Jesus that has filled us, and the whole earth.