2005-11-17 - The Martyrs Speak Praises
Rev 7:9-12 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; 10 and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb." 11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying, "Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen." (NASB)
A vast army stands before the Lamb on the Throne. They all have one thing in common that makes them members of this particular group. They are martyrs. They were slain for their faith in Jesus Christ. Many of them were not simply killed, but suffered unspeakable pain and anguish for to honor their Lord. The loss of home and possessions, health, freedom, sight, limb, and spouses or children possibly slaughtered before their eyes, all because they would not deny the Lordship of Jesus.
It goes on today.
While there is some acknowledgement of the atrocities that are committed against these people who want nothing but the best for their tormentors, it remains largely a silent, hidden, brutal war. And, make no mistake, it is a war - a spiritual war for the hearts and souls of humanity for eternity.
In this scene, the number of the martyrs appears to be complete. They are all at home in Heaven. In the eyes of the world, they suffered humiliating defeat. In the eyes of eternity, their victory is complete over their adversary - the ememy of our souls. The assembled throng shouts, crediting the Lamb for their victory in salvation. As everyone in view falls on their faces in worship of the Lamb, the angels, elders and the four living creatures all affirm the cry of the martyrs. We will witness this one day.
Pray for Christians around the world who are under threat and being martyred, and for their oppressors. Pray for the believers that they will remain strong in their stand as witnesses for the Lord. And pray for their oppressors. Pray that they may be won over to Christ by the words and actions of those they persecute.