This past week, the world witnessed yet another horror at the hands of the terrorist group known as the Islamic State or ISIS. Twenty-one Christians from Egypt were kidnapped in Libya, taken to a beach, and then cruelly beheaded. Based on the message ISIS sent along with the beheadings, those 21 men were killed for nothing else except for the fact that they were Christians.
In the video, it has been noted that the last words of some of those killed were “Lord Jesus Christ.” The brother of one of these brave martyrs thanked ISIS for not editing out the men’s declaration of belief in Christ because he said this had strengthened his own faith. He added that the families of the martyrs are “congratulating one another” and not in despair: He said, “We are proud to have this number of people from our village who have become martyrs… Since the Roman era, Christians have been martyred and have learned to handle everything that comes our way. This only makes us stronger in our faith…”
It is normal for people to grow fearful and anxious over the thought or threat of death. So, how is it that 21 men, hundreds of miles from their homes and families, can go calmly to their deaths? What did they have inside of them that stabilized them during an hour of great darkness. They had a promise from God — a promise shared by all believers in Jesus Christ — that is found in Romans 8. It reads like this: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Do you grasp what that means? Despite the knives at their necks, despite the inhumane slaughter that they faced, they were never separated from the love of God which they had experienced and known in and through Jesus Christ. They knew that they were loved by God and that they could face and conquer all things through Him. Psalm 116:45 says, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” These men knew that beyond death’s door lay a glorious paradise and the presence of the God who loved them. This is the hope of those martyrs and of every Christian martyr down through the centuries. Nothing — not even a cruel, violent death — could separate them from the love of God that they had experienced in and through Jesus Christ.
Have you experienced that kind of love and relationship?
You will probably not face death by beheading, but you could die in a car accident, during some criminal activity, or because of a terminal illness. Wouldn’t you like to have the certainty and hope that nothing you face could ever separate you from a loving heavenly Father and a home in Paradise? Wouldn’t you like to have the hope shared by those 21 brave martyrs? If so, let me show you how you can experience the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Fourth, accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2:8,9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Fifth, accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Sixth, with these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9,13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Finally, if you are willing to trust Jesus Christ as your Saviour, please pray with me the following prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and I want to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I want to trust Jesus as my Savior and follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! I want to congratulate you on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your new-found faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
Believe by faith. Share the faith. And keep the faith! God Bless You!