After completing last week’s blog, I started reading the book “Jesus Freaks.” It is filled with short stories about martyrs, people who chose to give their lives rather than deny Jesus. On page 8, Michael Tait writes, “Our mission may not involve hanging on a cross, being jailed, or being burned at the stake here in America, but we have other, more invisible obstacles. Ours is a society built by pride, materialism, and dedication to the status quo. In a world built on free will instead of God’s will, we must be the Freaks. While we may not be called to martyr our lives, we must martyr our way of life. We must put our selfish ways to death and march to a different beat. Then the world will see Jesus.”
While reading “Jesus Freaks” this question came to mind. “Why did Jesus’ executioners put Him through more torture than any other criminal?” Upon contemplation, “His sin” in the eyes of his accusers was that He professed to be God and they wanted him to confess that He was not God. However, God cannot lie. Confessing that He was not God to gain relief from the pain of the torture was impossible. Once Jesus was given to the court authority there was no way out. His very death proved who he was! God.
It’s been said that we are entering into a time when Christian persecution is going to accelerate very quickly and it will be the worst in human history. It is also written that we will all be forced to make a declaration of faith and those that do not deny Jesus will be disqualified from buying and selling. Those who do not love God will receive the “mark of the beast,” which will allow them to buy and sell.
Martyring your way of life today will make you ready for the days ahead. Why is this important? The choices you make today lead you to the choices you will make tomorrow. Now is the time of preparation for what is soon to come. Do you accept Jesus and what He has done for you and will you stand for Him even if it means giving your life? My best advice if you decide Jesus is who He says He is, is this…..Stay focused on Him who is our perfect example and know that the suffering is temporary. It is nothing when measured against eternity’s bliss.