Monday, January 18, 2021


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The Rev Andries Combrink is a Presbyterian Minister of the Gospel. He lives in Centurion, South Africa. 
To teach the Word of God is his calling,  based on the Reformed tradition. 

 

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‘Man shall not live on bread alone,
but on every word
that comes from the mouth of God.
Matt 4:4

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Mar 2

Written by: Andries
Monday, March 02, 2015 4:58:30 AM  RssIcon

There on the shore of Libya knelt 21 young Christian Egyptian men, all wearing orange jumpsuits. Behind each man is a radical Islamist, holding a knife.
And we all know what happened then...
 
If we thought that martyrs for Christ are only people we read about in the Bible and history books about early Christianity, the 21 men who were brutally murdered because they called Jesus Christ their Saviour and Lord, tell us it is not true.   Each one of these young men died as victims and heroes of the faith.  And each one of them is now with the Lord in heaven.
 
Sami Yacoub is the regional director for Focus on the Family’s Middle East outreach. He is based in Egypt. This despicable act of brutal murder has hit Sami Yacoub and his team in Cairo hard.
I would like to share with you some of Sami’s perspectives and insights that he shared with the world:
 
These young Christians were in their early to mid-20s. They went to Libya in search of work to help feed their families living in poor Christian villages in Egypt.
In the days and weeks leading up to their deaths, their ISIS captors tortured them and attempted to persuade them to deny Jesus in return for staying alive.
They all refused to deny Christ.
They all died on that beach with an audible prayer to Jesus on their lips.
Yet, Sami Yacoub does not call them mere victims.  He calls them “more than conquerors” in the words of Romans 8:37.  Their ultimate sacrifice is a powerful testimony to their faith in Jesus.
We should echo the sentiments Sami shared with the Focus on the Family headquarters:
The Gospel message of salvation rises out of this suffering and persecution. As the Middle East was the birthplace of Christianity, the fire of revival that once burned bright for Christ, now once again is lit by the sparks created by the cruel persecution by ISIS.”
 
What do we do now?
1. There’s a special prayer request from Sami Yacoub that I want to pass along. For various historical and cultural reasons, Christians in the Middle East have placed much importance on the proper burial of their dead. But because ISIS threw the bodies of the 21 young believers into the sea, the loved ones who remain are enduring an added dimension to their grief.
Please pray for the comfort and closure of these bereaved families!
 
2. While political leaders in the world did speak out against these atrocities, they seem reluctant to publicly recognize that this violence has been religiously motivated and that these men died because they refused to deny Christ.
Please pray for the eyes of all world leaders to be opened to the danger ISIS represents for Christians and for freedom of religion around the world, and pray that our leaders will receive the wisdom and courage to know how to properly respond.  May we all also reach out to our elected representatives and demand that they make their voices heard.
We should share the truth through every means at our disposal and pray that the self denial of these faith heroes will inspire passion for Christ in our lives and in all Christian churches, once again.
 
Can we ever again wonder what Jesus meant when he said: Deny yourselves!
Mark 8: 34 - 35:  “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.
 
And never forget the words in Revelation 6: 9 – 10:
“When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, ‘O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?’”
 
Self denial and the Egyptian Martyrs - Remember 21 young men martyred for their faith in Christ,  a sermon  in Mp3 format from Mark 8: 34 – 38.  
Down load a sermon responding to this act of terrorism at http://www.centurionwest.co.za/sermons.htm  
    

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