Those words have gotten many people killed down through the centuries. It’s part of the cost of being a follower of the Prince of Peace. Jesus promised that it would happen (cf. Mt. 5:11; 10:23; 23:24; Lk. 11:49; 21:12; Jn. 15:20) and the disciples followed suit (cf. Rom. 12:14; 2 Cor. 4:9; 2 Tim. 3:12). History has given ample evidence that Jesus knew the future.
The United States, for most of its history has been a relatively safe haven to be a Christian. But that is changing.
At Columbine, students were killed because they were Christians. In 2007, it happened at an Amish school house. It happened at a Christian College in 2012. It happened in a Charleston, SC Bible Study. And now it has happened at an Oregon Community College, students were singled out because they were Christians and systematically killed or maimed.
And maybe that’s why this quote from John MacArthur’s Slave: The Hidden Truth About Your Identity in Christ, took on new significance today.
“For these faithful believers, the name ‘Christian’ was much more than just a general religious designation. It defined everything about them, including how they viewed both themselves and the world around them. The label underscored their love for a crucified Messiah along with their willingness to follow Him no matter the cost. It told of the wholesale transformation God had produced in their hearts, and witnessed to the fact that they had been made completely new in Him. They had died to their old way of life, having been born again into the family of God. Christian was not simply a title, but an entirely new way of thinking–one that had serious implications for how they lived–and ultimately how they died.” (p. 9)
I saw a meme today on Facebook that said simply:
- Pray for the families of those who lost their lives yesterday in the deadly shooting in Oregon.
- Pray for the friends who knew them and grieve today for their lost.
- Pray for the family of the killer.
- Pray for the boldness of Christians to continue to stand up for the One who saves us from terrors of this life to glories of life with Him.
Jesus said, … “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (Luke 11:25-26)
We who believe answer yes, even when there is a gun to our heads.