"Are you a Christian?" A meditation on martyrdom

If you profess Christ as your highest good, your only hope, your only comfort, while staring down the barrel of a gun, you are a martyr. You have born witness to the character of the Christian faith, to the truth of the resurrection of the body, and to your risen Lord. You have acknowledged that the sufferings of the present time are not worth being compared to the glory that is to be revealed to us. You have testified that it is better to be absent from the body, for a short time, if you are present with Christ.

How bizarre. Something higher than bodily pleasure? A greater good than Me, Here, Now.

Most of us don’t know our Bibles, so probably don’t know that in the twelfth chapter of Luke’s Gospel, Jesus told his followers that acknowledging him before men could lead to their death: “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do… I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God… And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

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