Christian Martyrdom on the Rise
11 January 2014
This past week there have been a number of news articles online, like this one yesterday from Christians killed for faith nearly doubled in 2013, group finds. All of these articles cite a recent report published by Open Doors, which describes itself as "The world's largest outreach to persecuted Christians in the most high-risk places."

Christian martyrdom is clearly on the rise, with the vast majority of these deaths at the hands of Muslims, particularly in Syria, Nigeria and Pakistan. I think it would be safe to say that Christians in the West are pretty oblivious to it all, thinking that things like this happen only in (thankfully) faraway places, and could not possibly happen in our safe and comfortable societies. Such Christians had better think again!

The Open Door estimate of 2,123 Christians killed for their faith last year, compared to 1,201 in 2012, is still a drop in the bucket compared to the number of Christians worldwide. Even though each life is significant and each death is precious to God (Psalm 116:15), still, in the big picture, even 2,000-some martyrdoms is not tremendously significant.

But that will change! Our Islamic future is coming! At some point we will see tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, and perhaps even millions of Christians slaughtered for their faith each year! What? You don't believe me? Just read the book of Revelation, where God spelled it all out way ahead of time! One day it WILL come!

Most Christians in the West believe that they will escape such persecution and martyrdom in a so-called Pre-Tribulation Rapture. But as I wrote in my Brian's Bits article Weighing In On the Rapture:
Expecting a Pre-Tribulation Rapture is a whole lot of wishingful thinking on the part of lazy, wimpy Western Christians. These believers seem to imagine that they are so special and precious to God that there is no way He would ever let them suffer for their faith, let alone be killed for it! Although it is very true that we are special and precious to God, that fact in no way exempts us from suffering and martyrdom.

It is a display of astounding arrogance and staggering deception for modern Christians to think that they are too good to even have the remotest possibility of going through the Tribulation! I think such pride and arrogance are a good reason to believe that we WILL go through the Tribulation — obviously, we are very much in need of great suffering "so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end" as Daniel foretold (see Daniel 11:33-35).

The Western church is definitely NOT the "radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless" which Yeshua (Jesus, Isa) will present to Himself on the day He returns (see Ephesians 5:25-32). At this stage of things, we are much more like a prostitute than a virgin bride! But there is still hope! The only way we are going to get to where we need to be is by going through intense purification through intense suffering. Going through the Great Tribulation is the ultimate gift from God, the perfect opportunity to become the pure and radiant church Yeshua deserves!
So what can we do? The first step is to realize that persecution and martyrdom ARE coming to the West as well as the whole rest of the world. The second step is to realize how woefully unprepared we are as Western Christians to face this future. The third step is to prepare for martyrdom! A small beginning would be to read the entire article from which I quoted a few paragraphs above — Weighing In On the Rapture — as well as the other articles I have written about martyrdom on this Web site.

Finally, I strongly encourage you to buy a copy of the book Suffering, Martyrdom, and Rewards in Heaven. You can read some excerpts from this book in the following articles: These articles are a great start, but you really need to read the whole book. It is an excellent Biblical preparation for persecution and martyrdom. It could easily be the most important book you will ever read, and the most crucial to affect your eternal destiny! All this for only $15 — you can't afford NOT to get this book!