Ready?

Are you prepared?

The dictionary defines a martyr as “a person who is killed because of his religious or other beliefs.” Interestingly enough, the English word martyr is really a word transliterated from the original Greek martyr, which simply means “witness.”  The first martyr is Stephen who is found in the Book of Acts: 6 &7. I was re-reading John Foxe’s “Christian Martyrs of the World”. It was first published in 1554. It was not based on a pleasant or feeling good about ourselves book. It’s certainly not a self-help book. However, generations were brought up on John Foxes which, according to some, was the most readily writings that was read aside from the bible, during the 16th century. It is a Christian who believes and puts into practice the teachings of Jesus.

The martyr in Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress” is the hero. In today’s world, we are all of different people groups, or of different countries, and backgrounds, but, if we are truly Christians, we are no longer just that, we are members of the body of Christ…no matter where we were born, raised, background, or language. Being a Christian is not a matter of country or association or denomination, it’s a matter of HIM who called us to be one with his body. “For as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, is one body: so also is Christ.” 1 Cor. 12:12

As I read and listen to the news of today, I wonder what St. Paul listened too. It was not CNN or Fox News. Perhaps, he and others were more concerned with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and less concerned with the ongoing trouble of the time.  “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Rom. 8: 38-39. At the end of the day, what really matters, 2 Peter 3:8–9 ‘But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.’ So, it really does not matter what the news is. The Lord is coming. Maranatha!