Some things in life are simply too difficult to think about.
One the things that fits in that category for me is the near elimination of Christians in the Middle East. In Iraq and Egypt, the toll on the of followers of Christ has been catastrophic.
Amazingly, the war in Iraq has led to the demise of Christians and Christian churches. Saddam Hussein, for all his atrocities, protected Christians. When his regime fell, the protection of Christians ended.
It’s another sad story of unintended consequences.
The “Arab Spring” in Egypt has done almost the same in one of the lands to which the gospel of Christ first entered.
But the saddest event for me has been the deliberate targeting of Christians by the terrorist group seeking to establish an Arab Caliphate. ISIS (The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) has tortured and brutalized as it has marched through Iraq and Syria. This has included many followers of Christ.
Included in that number has been many children. While we do not know (and maybe will never know) the exact numbers or circumstances, the reports out of Iraq indicate that many Christians have been executed.
The most chilling and brutal reports speak of faithful Christian children who faced beheading rather than renouncing their faith.
While I don’t want to think of those painful thoughts, I am determined to remember their unwavering faith. The reports out of Iraq tell us that many Christian children were beheaded while their parents were forced to witness their cruel death.
We should honor these courageous believers.
Jesus told us to be faithful unto death, and they have.
The Book of Revelation was a message of God given for a time such as this. The message seems to be this: all earthly kingdoms are passing away but God’s kingdom reigns forever.
The day is coming when the “sorcerers and fornicators and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood” will be cast out and the family of God will reign forever. Those who wash their robes in the blood of Christ will have the right to the tree of life and will enter the city of God (Revelation 22:14-15).
The last message of the Revelation tells us Jesus is coming soon. To which the apostle replies: “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20).
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