By Ralph & Elizabeth Pyszkowski
According to the ACLJ, there have been more Christians martyred in recent years than at any time in history. Persecution has been fierce all over the world but especially in the Middle East with the spread of ISIS. Thousands of Christians continue to be beheaded, enslaved, raped, and are facing genocide in this area of the world. One such story in Christian World News includes Asia Bibi, a Christian Pakistani woman. She was sentenced to death for drinking the same glass of water from a Muslim coworker. Now, she is suffering from life threatening internal injuries in prison and may not survive to receive her sentence due to the horrific conditions in jail. In spite of this historic humanitarian crisis, very little is being done to address it.
Why have many of these victims embraced such a fate? In numerous cases, they were given a way out by just renouncing Jesus as the Son of God. They could have saved their lives and avoided the persecution but refused. It could have been that Heaven and pleasing God was more important to them than living a comfortable life. We can learn a lot from these heroic men and women of the faith. In the United States, it is rare that one would have to choose between his or her faith and staying alive. Yet many will sell out for money, pleasure, or power. Some are quick to deny Jesus just so they can be politically correct. Moreover, people do not have to worry about being beheaded for going to Church, but yet many stay home for mere convenience.
Jesus gave a sobering word in Mark 8:36: “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Many are chasing after the “American Dream” and focusing only on themselves. They search for a higher position, more money, and a great high. This is obtained in spite of who is hurt and what God commands. You can gain everything the world has to offer but miss what is most important. What would be worth losing heaven over? Its reward will make the treasures of the earth look like backyard rubbish. Your soul has such value that God gave his son to save you from a devil’s Hell. He may not be calling us all to give our lives in martyrdom, but he does call us to give up our sin. Make him your priority and your King. If you lose yourself for his sake, you will actually gain everything!
Ralph & Elizabeth Pyszkowski, Your Brother & Sister In Christ. (All comments are welcomed at [email protected])