The Martyrs of Egypt

I awoke last Monday morning to a horrific sight. You’ve probably seen it as well.

Twenty-one barbarians from the group ISIS standing behind twenty-one Egyptian Coptic Christians dressed in orange suits (to resemble the prison garb of terrorists at the prison in Guantanamo, Cuba?).

I’m thankful I only saw the picture. The video showed the men being beheaded and their blood coloring the Mediterranean Sea behind them.

(Coptic Christians are generally described as the Christians of Egypt. Along with protestants and other followers of Christ, they make up about 11% of the Egyptian population. Specifically, the Coptics are similar to Russian and Greek Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Church. The Coptic Church has its own pope who claims apostolic succession from John Mark).

These are the Martyrs of Egypt. They were beheaded because they are Coptic Christians working in Libya. Before their death, they were given the opportunity to renounce their faith.

They refused to do so and were executed in this cruel fashion.

It is very apparent evil is alive and well.

In opposition to this evil and darkness, Jesus is the light of the world. He gives life to humanity (John 1:4).

What an amazing contrast to the butchers of ISIS. These people love the darkness because their deeds are evil. They cannot comprehend the light. They oppose the light.

John told us the truth. The darkness (evil) is in open and active hostility to the light, but the darkness could not and cannot overcome the light (John 1:5).

Nothing makes that more true than the resurrection of Jesus.

This execution was a brutal reminder that the darkness hates the light.

What did it do?

It showed us again that evil is real. The demons of Hell are active in our world. Can we really say that evil doesn’t exist? Can we assume evil is just the absence of good? Evil has showed itself.

It showed us the importance and power of faithfulness. Egypt has been fractured since the “Arab Spring.” There is evidence that the blood of the martyrs has helped to unify the Egyptian people.

It reminded us of what is happening in heaven at this very moment. “When [the Lamb] opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne; they cried out with a loud voice. ‘O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before thou wilt judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?’ Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been” (Revelation 6:9-11).

May God bless His church and may He give us strength to be faithful to Him.

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4 Comments


  1. Robert Lyster
    Feb 24, 2015

    I grieve for those being tortured and killed for their faith. I have been in a lot of discussions about the rapture — and I believe in a Pre-Tribulation Rapture. But I always end my part of the discussion by saying that whenever the rapture occurs, my prayer has been and continues to be that if I ever am confronted because of my faith, that I will be faithful to my Lord.


    • Waylon
      Feb 25, 2015

      Yes, these faithful people remind us that with all the unfaithfulness in the world, there are also great acts of faith.


  2. Mark Graham
    Feb 25, 2015

    Jesus told us that a time would come when blind pawns of Satan would think they were doing God’s will by killing us. And He always encourages us to persevere until the end, as He did. Our grandchildren are likely to endure more persecution than we have experienced if trends continue. And we need to prepare them for it as best we can and as deeply as they are willing to receive. We do this without fear, and without hatred of anything except evil. What an amazing example those Christian brothers set for us! I pray that the seeds of their martyrdom will bring tremendous fruit for God’s Kingdom on earth and earn them much joy in heaven.

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I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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[The Birth of Jesus Foretold] In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” — Luke 1:26-28 (NIV)