These are the words of Jesus.
I read an article this morning that over 90,000 Christians were martyred in 2016 for their faith. NINETY-THOUSAND. (link to news story) Think about that figure for moment as you sit in your cozy house with your cup of coffee, an abundance of food and behind the safety of locked doors.
Ninety-thousand men, women and children, each with a life and people who loved them. People who fell in love, celebrated birthdays, enjoyed friendships…the very same things you enjoy. Ninety-thousand souls who had committed their lives to following Jesus Christ.
Slaughtered. Because of Jesus.
We take so much for granted, never considering the value of the freedom to attend the church of our choosing, never considering those who face death if they simply have a Bible in their possession, if they identify as Christian or merely by speaking the Savior’s name, Jesus.
For those who lost their lives because they made the decision to follow Jesus Christ, this world is as close to hell as they will ever get. Their suffering is ended. Their eternity is promised in a place that is beyond description in mere human terms. The great Apostle John was given a glimpse into this place that Jesus has prepared for those who love Him. John described what he saw in Revelation 21 and in the fourth verse we are told:
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
For all of the precious souls who have been killed for their faith in Jesus Christ, there will come a day when God will exact His vengeance.
Vengeance is mine and I will recompense. Hebrews 10:30
If you have refused His call, this is as close to the heavenly place that John described as you will ever get. This world is as good as it gets for you.
For you lukewarm Christians who straddle the fence, loving the world and not fully committed to Christ, this world is as good as it gets for you.
So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Revelation 3:16
You can know every scripture from Genesis to Revelation but if you only have head knowledge, it has no value. You must have soul knowledge and you must be all in, unwavering, standing firm.
Consider your soul today, my friend. The hourglass of time on this world is dwindling down to the final grains of sand.
The prophecies of the Bible have come to pass and the way is prepared for the Lord’s return for His children. The voices of the saved that used to cry out in prayer for Jesus to delay His coming for just a bit longer so that loved ones can find salvation are growing quieter and are being replaced by the prayer:
Even so, Come, Lord Jesus. Revelation 22:20.
So many of God’s children have grown weary of this world and souls are groaning for home.
And this world has grown weary of us. A simple prayer to open a town hall meeting is shouted down and the crowd erupts in screams at the name of Jesus. Women take to the streets in vulgar costumes to support the murder of the unborn and are celebrated and lauded as heroic while pro-life Christians are mocked as intolerant. Our president refers to the Bible in a somber and respectful manner and the pundits roll their eyes in disgust. A Christian baker loses her business because she stands unwavering in her faith and her belief in the morality laid forth in the Bible. On and on and on it goes…
One day, this world won’t have to deal with the annoying Christians any longer. One day, and I believe that day is at the door, we will be gone and I’m sure this world will have a great celebration. But it will be nothing like the celebration that the redeemed will have with our Lord. As we read in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17:
15. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
My friend, if you do not know the Lord today, I encourage you to read The Plan of Salvation and make a decision for Christ today. Tomorrow is promised to no one.
May you be richly blessed, my friends, and if I don’t meet you again here I hope to meet you over there!