Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Would You Die for Christ?

They triumphed over him
  by the blood of the Lamb
  and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
  as to shrink from death. – Revelation 12:11

Today’s Reading: Micah 4-5; Revelation 12

Some friends and I had a conversation recently that is still lingering on my soul. It centered on this question:

Would you die for Jesus?

I was surprised by how quickly so many people responded in the affirmative.
One person brought up the girl in the Columbine tragedy who was asked by her killer if she believed in Jesus. She said yes and he quickly pulled the trigger, ending her life.

Now as for me, I believe that I would die for Christ. This is what I mean. If America turned into a land of widespread persecution of Christians by penalty of death and the police raided my home and asked if I was a Christian I believe that I would confirm that I am, and pay the consequences.

However I say “believe” very deliberately. I’m not sure how we can say with any kind of certainty what we will or won’t do until that time comes. Yes we can say what we believe we will do but when it comes to a life or death situation, how do you know exactly what you will do? Won’t you be afraid? Perhaps your courage will waver. Then what?

I am reminded of two people in the Bible who faced such a thing. One was Peter. He was the boldest of the disciples but when the heat came he denied Jesus three times. Then on the other hand was John. He was the only one of Jesus’ twelve disciples who was there at the cross when Jesus died. You don’t hear him boasting as Peter did but when push came to shove he was there with his beloved friend.

I don’t think it is wrong to proclaim loudly what we believe. As a matter of fact I believe that it is very important. We should be witnesses of our faith that everyone can see in a transparent way. But, there is something about life and death decisions that I find extremely humbling. Knowing that Christians around the world are facing such decisions today really challenges me to dig deep and be really honest about how I feel in regards to this question.

If the time came for me to represent Jesus at penalty of death I believe, with a strong conviction, that I would step up to the plate. I’m so glad that I live in a country where this question is a theoretical one rather than a practical one.

My prayers go out to everyone around the world who has to face such a decision about what they believe in. I pray that they have strength and courage in the face of such evil.

Food for Thought: Is there anything that you believe in or love enough to die for?

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