RTM- Nothing In All The Earth

Persecution is nothing new to the people of God. From the first century to the twenty-first the enemies of the Gospel have sought to destroy it and its followers. As I was reading the story of Polycarp to my kids this morning I couldn't help but think of our modern day martyrs all over the world. Recently, the attacks by ISIS against our Christian brothers and sisters in the middle east have made this all the more relevant in our churches today. Martyrdom is not just a thing of the past. It isn't limited to Hebrews 11 and the stories of the early church fathers. It's alive and happening all over the world, all the time. In fact, while you are reading this post another Christian will die for their faith.

This is why we cannot forget the truth spoken in Romans 8. The truths of this passage form the core of the song I'm memorizing this week. It's a truth we all need to be reminded of. Romans 8:31-39 is incredibly encouraging as we think of martyrdom. It states that nothing shall separate us from the love of Christ. Not famine, tribulation, distress, danger, or even the sword. The swords used to take the life from the recent martyrs in Libya were completely useless in separating Christ from His followers. They may have looked threatening, but instead of insuring death they opened the passage to eternal life, secured by the love of Christ.

The center section of this passage, a quote from the Psalms, is especially prophetic in regards to recent events:

"For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered."

Oh, that we would each long to have the attitude of Paul as he said to live is Christ and to die is gain (Phil. 1:21). Are we willing to be counted worthy of the sufferings of Christ? (1 Pet. 4:12-19) The list of things that try to separate us from the love of Christ is long. Tribulation, distress, and danger cover a multitude of ways we could potentially suffer. Yet, as this week's song says,

"Nothing in all the earth, not any height above,
Could ever tear us from Your everlasting love!"

As we gather for worship, let us remember those who "are being killed all the day long" for their faith. Let us remember God's faithfulness in the midst of our own sufferings. Let us respond with joy and cry with a loud voice that we are more than conquerors in all these things through Him who loved us.


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