In recent news we have heard again of the deaths of Christians for sake of being “Christian.” Twenty-one Christians were beheaded by ISIS in Egypt sparking sorrow, grief, and outrage around the world’s Christian community.
We are being reminded again and again that this world is not our home, we are just travelers here. Many well-known and respected Christian leaders and church leaders have spoken to remind us that this is only the beginning. We will see this same brutal, merciless behavior continue unless Christians stand up against the brutality.
I do not make light of these deaths. I am heart-broken by this kind of depravity and it shakes me to my core to think of the families who are mourning their sons, husbands, fathers, and brothers. I also look to those who stood before, facing death on this earth and facing eternity– those who were killed, burned at the stake, drawn and quartered, and crucified for the name of Christ.
Paul, Peter, Bartholomew, Matthew, Simon the Zealot, Jim Ellliot, Nate Saint, Pete Fleming, Martin and Gracia Burnham, and so many whose names were never recorded for the masses to know and remember.
We are standing in the days, we are kneeling in the days, we are serving in the days, where our actions and our inactions will tell others what we really believe. Do we really believe that God offers us eternity? Do we really believe that when we say we will follow Jesus “no matter what” we will follow Him?
We are in the days when we need to decide if we will choose Christ regardless of what someone threatens to do to us, or to families, or to our children. Will we choose Christ?
I know that by my choosing Christ I will never be separated from Him. I found this verse when I first became a believer and to this day it has brought me comfort and encouraged me to continue to choose Christ–even in the difficult moments– because He is with me always.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 NIV
If Jesus will not be separated from me or me from Him no matter what happens, then I pray I will stand strong when the seas rage and foam and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea (Psalm 46). The day is coming.
Who will you choose?
As for me, I choose Christ.