Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
We often forget that we have brothers and sisters in Christ who have to face incredible brutality because of their faith in Jesus. As they follow Jesus their life is placed at risk for the sake of the gospel. May the reminder of John the Baptist’s gruesome and awful death stir us to remember those who follow Christ in other parts of the world as well as in the United States who are suffering for the sake of the gospel and being martyred for the faith.
Justin D. Long emphasized the startling fact that more people died for their faith in the twentieth century than in all of the previous centuries combined. “During this century, we have documented cases in excess of 26 million martyrs. From AD 33 to 1900, we have documented 14 million martyrs. On the other hand, martyrdom has been on the decline for the past decade. The current rate is 159,000 martyrs per year.”
May we be encouraged and know that Christ will give us strength in our suffering and be in prayer for our brothers and sisters around the world who face danger because of their devotion to Christ!
Billy Flippin, Moravian pastor, Charlotte, North Carolina