The 21

“I saw underneath the altar the souls of men who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of this testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice saying, ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Revelation 6:9-10

Tertullian stated in 200 A.D., “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” He had witnessed the ultimate investment of Christian faith poured into a bankrupt Roman culture. When he saw the blood of Christian witnesses saturating the sands of the arena, or the public square, he did not see it being wasted. He saw it being planted. The harvest always follows the planting. This only happens…EVERY TIME.

“The 21” Egyptian Christians recently beheaded for their faith in Christ are 21st Century martyrs. They were not Crusading Christian warriors riding on their high horses to conquer Islam. They were workers seeking jobs to provide for their families.

“The 21” weren’t murdered by impoverished, Muslims job seekers. They were selected for extermination because devoted Muslims wanted their heads, not their jobs.

There is a special place in Heaven for those who have been beheaded for their faith. Of all those who have died a martyr’s death, those who have experienced the sword of persecution are elevated to a unique level of prominence in Heaven.

“Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them and judgment was given to them, and I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded, because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, “ Revelation 20:4

Faithful Christians know this passage of Scripture. Radical Muslims know it too. This is at the very heart of the recent beheadings of “The 21” by the Islamic terrorists.

The threat of the edge of the sword is designed to intimidate true believers into denying their faith. It is also meant to challenge the validity of God’s word. It not just a random tool used to take the life of an infidel. It is a weapon of choice.

In the 1st and 2nd Century Spiritual Awakening blossomed when early Christians died with the name of Jesus on their lips. When the seed of their faith was planted, there was a great harvest. People starving for life-giving faith in a world without meaning, turned their backs on false gods and turned their eyes upon Jesus. Pray that it will happen again in the 21st Century.

Nothing proves the spiritual bankruptcy of a religion of peace quite like the deafening silence of Muslim clergy who refuse to speak out against the atrocities done in the name of Islam. Millions of Muslims have expected more of their leaders and their religion. Pray they hear the voice of Jesus calling to them through the lips of the martyrs. Their final words of witness are given great power by their last drop of blood

The question remains. How long will this murderous persecution of 21st Century Christians go on? Scripture says it will continue until it is completed. It will end. It will be judged and avenged on earth, but it will not end until it is completed.

“And there was given to each of them a white robe and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also.” Revelation 6:11

The story of redemption is a message of hope because it is the character of God to overcome evil with righteousness. He chooses to take the worst of things and accomplish His will through them. God still does the best of things in the worst of times, in the name of Jesus. Pray for the next Great Awakening to be ushered in by the harvest that comes from the seed of the martyrs’ blood.

When Joseph revealed his true identity to his treacherous brothers, he spoke timeless words of wisdom. They are as true today as they were when he spoke them centuries ago.

“You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.” Genesis 50:20

NOTE TO SELF: Prayer and persecution are two powerful conduits for Spiritual Awakening. Pray for the persecuted church to stand strong and invest well in this evil world. Any life taken by agents of evil will not be forgotten. The word of God promises that martyrs like “The 21” will be avenged on earth and honored in Heaven. There will be more to come. Pray for those who hear their last gasp to call on Jesus with their next breath. TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!