As you have seen all over recent nationwide news, the situation in Libya with 21 Christians kidnapped (and now believed executed) by the Islamic extremist group ISIS has left us speechless. To think that such brutality and evil could even exist, sometimes we are often left shocked or asking many questions.
We must remember that these 21 are our brothers and sisters. However, this persecution doesn’t surprise those who have heard Jesus’ words when he told the disciples that unbelievers would hate them just as they hated him.
These 21 have been called upon to give their all, literally their own lives, for the gospel of Jesus Christ. These 21 shared in the sufferings of Christ, and as their brothers and sisters, we cannot even image the overflowing joy they are experiencing now that they are finally with their eternal Treasure and Joy- Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 4:13)
President/ CEO of Open Doors USA Dr. David Curry, having been in Egypt in recent months, addressed the news: “My time this past year in Egypt has only reinforced the sorrow I feel at the martyrdom of these 21 Egyptian believers at the hands of IS. I’ve seen firsthand what God is doing in Egypt- He’s building a strong resilient church, but I know that this has to be very painful for my friends there. Keep them in prayer.”
As Revelation 12:11 says, “And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.” Jesus, we thank You that You have even conquered over death, and for these 21, this is only the beginning of their eternal lives in You.