“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 10:28-32
Life is valuable. Each person is significant to God. He knows all about us, even the number of hairs on our head. Nothing gets past Him.
This week I have been reading of horrifying events in the news. The group, ISIS, the Islamic State, is torturing and killing people in Iraq and Syria. If you visit the website, www.shoebat.com, there are graphic videos of the things that ISIS is doing. I could not stand by and do nothing. I called my Senator a couple weeks ago, and talked with his aid, about whether our leaders are aware of these things that are happening. ISIS acquired the Iraqi military weapons that we supplied them with. Consequently, we, the United States, has a responsibility to help these innocent people who are being beheaded, shot, cut in two, buried alive, and outright killed by these militants.
It is heartbreaking to hear of a five-year-old boy who is cut in half because he is the son of a Christian. It is unbelievable to hear the stories of those who have escaped ISIS when they tell of men being shot in the head, and their wives and children raped, and sold as slaves.
My only comfort when hearing these things is that nothing gets past God. He sees and knows and hears His people. Yes, his people will be persecuted, beheaded, and tortured for their faith. We have been told that we would have tribulation on this earth, but to take heart, because Christ has overcome the world!
In the book of Revelation, it talks about souls being under the altar of God who were slain for their faith. They are crying out to God, asking how long until their blood will be avenged on the earth, and when will God judge those on the earth for what they’ve done? They were given white robes and told to rest until the number of those who were like them, who would be killed as they were, was completed. Rev.6:10,11.
Then in Revelation, Chapter 20, John says, Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power; but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
Clearly God will judge those who kill His people. There is a special reward of reigning with Christ for a thousand years, for those who have been killed for their faith. To live is Christ, to die is gain!
ISIS represents themselves with a Black Flag, they are “against” Christ and Christians, which makes them a form of Anti-Christ, and they wear a headband with symbols that some claim add up to the number of the Beast. You can do a search for this, and find out for yourself if you are interested.
The question I have is like the souls who were slain for their faith, how long will God wait? When will the number of people who are slain be completed? I feel, with the things happening in the holy regions of the middle east, that we, as Christians, need to be prepared and ready for Christ’s return. Pray, give thanks, and have joy and faith, that God is aware of all that is happening, and we are of great value to Him. He has not forgotten us. If God can see a sparrow fall to the ground, and knows the number of hairs on our heads, then every intricate detail of our life is exposed to Him.
May God be with my brothers and sisters in the Lord, who are experiencing great tribulation and hardship during these times. Take comfort in knowing you are not alone. Be strong and of good courage! Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails! He is not slack concerning His promises, just patient, not willing that anyone should perish.