Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me,
he must deny himself, and take
up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will
lose it; but whoever loses his
life for My sake will find it."
Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children
will rise up against parents
and cause them to be put to death.
Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul;
but rather fear Him who is able to
destroy both soul and body in hell.
Revelation 6:11 Verse Concepts
And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told
that they should rest for a little
while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren
who were to be killed even
as they had been, would be completed also.
For some, being a Christian is all about
living a perfectly happy and peaceful life. While for others the Christian
life is one of constant danger and persecution. Which of these two is
Biblically correct? When in doubt, always go back to the source of all
truth. Seek the answer in the Bible.
Jesus never promised a life of peace and ease. In fact he spoke at numerous
times about how difficult life would be for those who chose to follow
him. His message was strong and consistent. If any wished to follow
him they would need to embrace the suffering of the Cross. Not an easy
thing to comprehend, let alone do. Which is why many of those who had
started off following him later left. Exclaiming that his teachings
were too hard. Yet the message was that those who attempted to preserve
their life here on Earth, they would lose their life later in Heaven.
How does this get expressed within society? Jesus explains that there
will come a time when families will be torn apart. Parents, children,
husbands and wives will be set against each other. A turn of events
that will stem from and arise when global persecution becomes and every
day occurrence. Something that we are seeing even in today's tragic
world. The survival of one will see the death of many others. As Rousseau,
the French Philosopher, would tell it; this is where human self love
and instinct for survival will be most strongly expressed.
So should we become focused on some sort of martyr complex. Looking
forward to torture and suffering all for the sake of Christ? Personally
I don't think so. We are called to be a light and a witness to the world
for the salvation of others. So how could we be that if all we do is
talk about how we look forward to suffering? People would naturally
turn away and the Devil will have had a small yet painful win. Perhaps
what is meant is a balanced understanding that suffering can happen.
It may not to us directly. But it can happen to others who will need
our support. Even to the point of dearth and martyrdom.
Death? A painful word in itself. Yet, as Christians we know that this
world is just half the reality we live. The other half is in paradise
with our Lord and Saviour. As Thomas Aquinas tells us, our one true
joy and happiness can only be found in our close relationship with God
and Jesus in that paradise we look forward to. So as Jesus tells us,
we are not to fear those who can kill the body but not the soul. It
is he, God the Almighty,. who we most need to fear, worship and revere.
So when will our earthly suffering and temptations end? When will this
perfect paradise finally open up to us? This secret is not for us to
know. As Jesus told his disciples, not even he nor the Angels know the
exact day or time. So for now we are called to be patient and steadfast
in our worship of God and the adherence to Jesus our Saviour. The book
of Revelations raises this question from the very lips of those saints
and martyrs who had died before us. They were told that there was still
to be a time for martyrs and a time for persecution. Yet no exact time
for how long this period would take had been given.
So for now, let us continue the journey of the Cross. Following the
Lords way and rejoicing that we are counted as Brethren and Family to
God and the Jesus the Christ. Let us never miss a chance to share the
Gospel message of Salvation to everyone who has ears to hear and hearts
to accept the truth.
I thank you for the Grace,
you have shown to me,
through your only begotten Son,
Jesus the Christ.
May I never miss a chance to,
Witness to your love,
Sharer the Gospel,
Be a light unto the world,
As you guide me home.