World Magazine received a two-minute video of Islamic militants beheading a man for becoming a Christian. The article is called “Brutal Beheading”. I hope many of you read it.
Because we can’t get into the reality of most of the Bible without some real emotional connection with terror. Every book of the New Testament has terror in it, something like a beheading. The situation in the first century, when these books were written, was more like Afghanistan than America.
Without the help of horrific news we will likely romanticize the New Testament. Some of you they will kill (Luke 21:16). Be faithful unto death and he will give you the crown of life (Revelation 2:10).
We are soft. Mentally and emotionally soft. The thought that we might one day be beheaded with a knife, not a sword, or might have to watch someone beheaded, is itself so traumatizing that we can scarcely allow ourselves to think about it.
The miracle of the peace of Jesus (John 14:27) that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7), will appear as miraculous as it really is, when we experience it not by escaping this news, but by preparing for it, and trusting God in it. Including when our own time comes.