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The Fox News Team Kidnapping: Part 2
What Would You Do?

Prophecy Central Commentary

Ron Graff - Sept. 4, 2006

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The kidnapping and release of two Fox journalists recently demonstrated the difference between the basic beliefs of Islam and Christianity. Fundamentalist Islam makes converts by force, while Fundamentalist Christianity draws people to Christ because of love.

There is another vital issue raised by this story. The two journalists were converted to Islam at the point of a gun. Later, of course, they said they had to do this because their lives were threatened. The next day a good friend of mine asked me what a true, committed Christian should do in a case like that. Would it be understandable because of the threat? Or shouldn’t we have the same courage and conviction that millions of other Christians have had during the last two thousand years to accept even death itself rather than deny the Lord who died for us? For some reason, I hadn’t really been thinking about that question. I was suddenly struck by the fact that we have reached a time in our history when any one of us could be forced to make this decision.

I have always wondered how I would have the courage to die for my belief in Jesus. Perhaps you have wondered about yourself. Having read about the martyrs of the early Church, and the intense persecution of Christians in some places even in our generation, I have felt that if God allowed such a thing, He would also give the special inner strength to accept it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, No temptation [trial] has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. - (New International Version)

So, the answer for my friend’s question had to be, “We should all be willing to die, rather than deny our belief in the Lord Jesus Christ.” But what if a true believer didn’t have the strength to be so bold, and faked his conversion to another religion while still believing in Jesus in his heart? Only God knows a person’s true thoughts. This might not be an “unpardonable sin.” But then my friend asked, “What about those who will receive the ‘Mark of the Beast’ during the Tribulation?” According to Revelation 13:11-18, that choice will be a conscious decision to worship Antichrist. And Revelation 14:9-11 says whoever receives the mark will suffer eternal punishment.

In Acts 5:41 the Apostles rejoiced because they were considered worthy to be persecuted for Christ’s sake. History shows that all of them actually died for their belief in Christ except John, who was also willing to die, and was rescued from a pot of boiling oil. If it ever becomes necessary to prove my love for Jesus by dying for Him, I trust that I will do it, by the power He will give me! How about you? What would you do?

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