The early disciples of Christianity, and indeed, even today, people often DO die for their faith. I alway wonder if I found myself standing in front of an Islamist militant with a sword at my throat, telling me I must renounce Jesus or die…would I have the strength to die? I like to believe I would be able to proclaim that Jesus is my Saviour.
But oh, how easy it would be to renounce my Lord, knowing in my heart that I am not serious, and He knows I don’t mean it. But how could I live the rest of my life knowing that?
Those who would save their life, would lose it.
Ancient martyrs often DESIRED to die for Christ like this…knowing they would swiftly be taken up to Him after death. A part of me desires this as well…I would like to think that I would be able to endure a painful death for Him, but you know what…this is a selfish feeling on my part, because I believe a martyr’s death would probably eliminate some purgatory time!
Could I endure torture knowing that very shortly, I will be in paradise with God?
It scares me to recall Christ saying that if we deny Him, He will say He does not know us.
Death itself does not scare me…if someone were pointing a shotgun at my head saying they will kill me if I don’t deny Christ, that would be easy…death would be instant, and without even knowing I had been killed, I would be with Christ.
But torture is another thing…that is where I would pray for the grace and strength to “endure till the end”.
Am I making any sense to anyone?