So many books have been written, sermons have been preached and studies have been conducted on the doctrine of Christian suffering. Yet nobody knows it better than those who have actually tasted it.
As you are aware by now, last Sunday evening 21 of our Coptic brothers found out what it is like to suffer for Christ, when they were executed by members of the extremist Jihadist group known as ISIS. Reportedly some of them were whispering the words “My Lord Jesus Christ” even while their perpetrators cut their heads off while others appeared to be praying silently. These brave men who experienced the highest form of suffering, have a very special message for us tonight. Here’s that message.
1. We must be hopeful
I. Because of the assurance of resurrection, (John 6:40)
II. Because of the assurance of eternal glory, (2 Corinthians 4:17).
III. Because of the assurance that we will be avenged, (Revelation 6:10-11)
2. We must expect it
I. Because Jesus warned us, (John 15:21)
II. Because righteous shall suffer, (2 Timothy 3:12)
III. Because God wants us to be ready, (1 Peter 4:12)
3. We must accept it
I. Because it is God’s will for his children, (Philippians 1:29)
II. Because it is the key to the Kingdom of God, (Matthew 5:11)
III. Because if we do we are blessed, (Matthew 5:11)
The executors of our brethren released a gruesome video entitled “A Message in Blood to the Nation of the Cross.” Little they know that to us death is not just the end, but the beginning of everything glorious we hoped for while we were still alive.