Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
How long, O Lord? Just a little longer. In Revelation 6:9-11 the souls of those who have died for their faith cry out to God. How long? Are you ready yet to judge those who have rejected you and have killed us? When will you bring vengeance?
The Lord's answer to them is a resounding, "not yet." The mercy of God, that great mercy which has rescued all who believe on Jesus from eternal death, is not yet finished. The Lord is still calling people to himself. Just as he called those who cry out to him out of their darkness, out of futility, out of sin and death, he is calling others to himself. Those who despise him will continue their work for now, and the work of sinful man is to sin. Yes, this may include killing Christians. It does include killing Christians.
We may rightly be concerned about public health issues, with diseases killing thousands around the world. But it's also a public health issue when people are persecuted and killed for their Christian faith. So far the 21st century has proven to be a dangerous time for Christians to live.
How long? A little longer. Those who die in Christ are not eternally dead. By his resurrection Jesus showed that he conquered death. There is no need to fear. He is able to keep all who trust in him. The body they may kill. God's Word abides still. Jesus is victorious even over death. He can keep you and me also.
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