Monday, August 06, 2007

Mark 13:13

Right now in the world is a startling display of Christ’s words and His Word manifest.  In Afghanistan, there are a number of South Korean Christians being held hostage by the Taliban. Most of the hostages are women. These Christians had gone forward to Afghanistan to serve their brothers and to spread the gospel. Unfortunately, proselytizing in Moslem countries is iffy business; no Moslem country allows Christians to convert Moslems and there is much official hostility on the part of local governments towards Christians.

Into that atmosphere, the Korean Christians took their message and their desire to help the least of their Afghan brothers. The Christians were like lambs to the slaughter, and were quickly captured by thuggish members of the Taliban. The Taliban are trying to force South Korea to leave Afghanistan and to force the Karzai Government and the US to release Taliban criminals who are being held in Kabul. The Taliban is deadly serious; they have already executed two of the male missionaries they have captured and threaten to do the same to the rest. There is little doubt that the Christians who still live are subject to the terrible degradations. The men are being tortured and the women are being raped. Since missionaries know nothing of any military significance, the tortures they are suffering do only two things for their captors: to exact punishment on infidels who have the audacity to reject Islam for truth and to satisfy the sadism that all these Moslems exhibit to their captives.

With the fate of the Christians in Afghanistan in my mind, I opened the Bible at random and read Mark, Chapter 13. The words in that chapter have reverberated in my mind all morning and all this afternoon.

10 And the gospel must first be published among all nations.

11 But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.

12 Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death.

13And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

I fear that the earthly lives of these Christians are at an end. I pray that they remain resolute in their faith and realize that they are in their eternal lives and will soon be seated at the right hand of the Father. I pray that their families stay strong in their faith as well. And I hope that were I in the same situation as them, I would maintain my faith secure in the knowledge that whatever happens to my body is irrelevant to the glory that awaits.