As a Christian who lives in the United States, I’m not likely to think much about being persecuted for my beliefs. I take things like reading my Bible and praying in public for granted. When I go to church I’m going to a big white building that is clearly a Christian church. I can wear my t-shirt that says, “I love Jesus” and not be afraid when someone asks me about it. I talk about things like being the light of the world and wanting people to know Christ through me. I want people to see Christ in me. Like Peter and the other apostles, I’m ready to die for my faith. Or am I?

If you’re like me you’ve dreamed of being sent to a faraway country where people don’t know the Lord. You’re ready to do whatever the Lord wants you to do. From people in countries that need housing built to those that need mentors and leaders. You’re ready to go. And, if necessary, you’ll die for your faith. After all, if you die for your faith that means something, doesn’t it? The apostles, after being flogged by the Sanhedrin, rejoiced “because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name” (Acts 5:41 NIV). You would be in good company then if you were martyred for the cause. What greater test of our faith than to die for it?

If you’ve been reading this blog regularly then maybe you’ve read one of my devotions about the second coming of the Lord. I’ve talked about this subject from a few different perspectives. I’ve covered “soon” and how it means, “without delay,” and pointed out how God is patient with us, not desiring that any would perish but all would come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). I’ve told you that our personal redemption is more important than looking to the clouds and wondering when He’s coming back. When I read Revelation today, I caught hold of these verses from chapter 6.

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters were killed just as they had been.

Revelation 6:9-11 (NIV)

We can see from these verses that Jesus is also waiting for “the full number” of Christians to be martyred before He returns. A chilling prospect when you think about it. However, as we know today it’s a very real one. In fact, every day 13 Christians are killed for their faith. What I really want to know though, about myself, isn’t whether or not I’d die for Jesus. It’s whether or not I will live for Him and will I live for Him in persecution with the constant threat of death looming. You see, when I read about people who are dying for the Christian faith it’s not very clean nor efficient. It’s a dirty day-to-day process of trying to live for Christ without denying the faith when your neighbor, who you’re supposed to love as yourself, could be the same person who will turn you over to die because you love Jesus. It’s having to turn your phone off and go into hiding because you’re being hunted. It’s almost anything but walking down the street, like the apostles did, after being flogged and rejoicing for the Name. There’s nothing glamorous and there’s nothing glorious about it. On earth.

Therefore, my friends, if you’re like me, the next time you’re “suffering” through any of the horrible problems of our Western Christian world, I hope you’ll remember our brothers and sisters around the globe who are, right now, suffering for Christ.

Do you know God? God knows you and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so that we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.