(This may be a difficult article to read in light of the recent beheading of an American journalist. However, I am committed to teaching the truth of the Bible, and scripture teaches that this form of death will be practiced in the end times. You may choose to read it at a later time).
The recent beheading of an American journalist shocked the world! My heart cannot begin to even imagine the pain that the family is experiencing. What the beliefs were of this victim is really irrelevant. It was a demonstration of evil at its worst. We do know that ISIS has stated that one must either convert to Islam, flee the country, pay a fine, or die. What is significant is just the fact that it even happened, and it is one of many incidents where people have died by this means at the hands of this sect of terrorists. This was just the most publicized. A question is, "Will it become more and more common?" Do we as Americans need to be concerned? (Edited on 9/27/14) According to news reports a woman was beheaded in Oklahoma this past week.)
Two things are leading up to the fulfillment of a prophecy given in Revelation. One, the fact that beheading is coming into use, and two, the persecution of Christians is on the rise, and will continue to get worse. Revelation 20:4 has a stern caution. "...I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the Word of God, who had not worshipped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years."
Revelation 20:4 tells us two specific things with clarity which cannot be swept aside as symbolic, or as any figure of speech. This verse can be taken literally. Why? The things it mentions are the things happening right now, literally. Christians ARE being persecuted for their faith, and the use of beheading IS being practiced. The third event given in this verse is beheading for refusal to take the mark of the beast, which has yet to occur, but it will happen during the Tribulation Period. The bad news is that millions of people alive right now are going to enter into this time of terrible judgment and persecution because they have refused to acknowledge God. They will have to make an awful choice between accepting the mark of the beast or face beheading. It will be a lose-lose situation resulting from evil at its worst.
The good news is that people can escape having to make that horrible decision. By accepting Jesus today as your Lord and Savior, you can be a part of God's exit strategy that many Christians refer to as the rapture. This is when all the true believers who have put their faith and trust in Jesus will be supernaturally called out and called up from the world. Until that happens, however, there will continue to be an increase in religious persecution and beheading. Be ready, people! I realize this might be difficult to accept, but it is the truth of scripture, and the average church in the U.S. is not talking about it. (Edited on 10/4/14, more have happened and more are threatened. Wake up. These people are relentless and unmerciful!) (Edited on 10/9/14. There was a threat of beheading grade school kids at elementary schools in three communities in Rhode Island. A large majority of parents are keeping their kids home.)
Thank you for this timely piece of Truth! While it is a difficult subject, our Lord and Savior warned us that this time would come. He meant for us to not only read it, understand it,and believe it, but for us to remind each other of it as we proclaim it!!
I appreciate that you are not afraid to approach the subject while giving the hope of Christ to those, who may be presently living what they believe is a hopeless existence. Well done...
The Church should teach it, for it is the only book in the Bible that promises a special blessing to the reader.. It is the "Revelation" of Christ as it was given to Him, and He loved us enough to share it with us, what a blessing!
Keep sharing the Truth in love.
I look forward to reading the other messages the Holy Spirit has placed on your heart.
Be blessed and highly favored.