Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men
Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven…Matthew 10:32
We recognize this scripture for it is a very popular verse for it is quoted quite frequently. We are witnessing the fulfillment of this scripture in this very day. Countless are the deaths and martyrdoms of Christians in many parts of the world. We have grown accustomed, grievously so, to the horrors of Islam and the open persecution of the followers of Christ. But now we see the violence in our back yard. Recently we learned of the massacre at Umpqua Community College in Oregon. Here in America, Christians were singled out and murdered. Witnesses have described the scene in which the assailant called out the Christians after storming 2 classrooms and opening fire. He commanded the Christians to stand and then they were shot. Others who did not confess were maimed with bullets to their extremities.
Our hearts have grown immune to the relentless news of death and violence in this world. We are numb to the images of death and destruction. We have become comfortable with the false belief that we are safe in this country. “Things like that don’t happen here”, some would say. The unimaginable is now set right before us. First there was Columbine, later Sandy Hook, then movie theatres, sporting events, Churches, Temples, and now Colleges. Many of these events share a common theme of hate towards a religious group.
To many, the memories of these past events has faded. We must never forget, we must ever remember our confession and never, ever be afraid to confess our love for our Saviour, even at the point of certain death. Our Lord will strengthen us in that hour as He has promised. Evil has grown stronger, the hearts of men have grown colder. The number of true believers continues to diminish but our Lord will never forget us nor His righteous one.
Precious in the sight of the LORD [is] the death of his saints. Psalm 116
The Orthodox faith boasts an immeasurable number of Saints and Martyrs, reminding us that persecution has always occurred and that the Evil one never sleeps. He seeks to devour us like a roaring lion – roaring first to frighten us so that our defenses our weakened.
Blessed [are] the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them. Revelation 14:12
Our Lord told us to pay heed for a time was coming that would be filled with sorrows and tribulation. These times are quickly drawing nigh. In this darkness we will always have the light and hope promised by our great and merciful God, for He shall be victorious and His reign shall be from everlasting.
And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, [and] over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous [are] thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true [are] thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for [thou] only [art] holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest. Revelation 15:2-5