Many believers have entered their final reward in Christ this year as martyrs for the faith. It is reminiscent of the warning about persecution that Jesus gave us about that latter days. "And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake.And it shall turn to you for a testimony." Luke 21:11-13. Sometimes we forget that the gospel costs us our lives, and these faithful men, women, and children are a reminder of the true cost of salvation. As disciples of Christ we are called to give our lives to Jesus for Him to rule and reign and work God's good will in our lives. I will end this with a quote from another martyr who makes this point clear using the confession of Peter at feet of the resurrected Christ. The writer has just reminded us that Peter was fishing again as he was when the Lord first called him. "This grace was certainly not self bestowed. It was the grace of Christ himself, now prevailing upon the disciple to leave all and follow him, now working in him that confession which to the world must sound like the ultimate blasphemy, now inviting Peter to the supreme fellowship of martyrdom for the Lord he had denied, and thereby forgiving him of all his sins. In the life of Peter grace and discipleship are inseparable. He had received the grace that costs." Dietrich Bonhoeffer; The Cost of Discipleship.
Here are a couple of signs that persecution is headed our way. Get grounded firmly in Christ my friend!
Technology and the Last Days