Christ, dost Thou live indeed? or are Thy bones
Still straitened in their rock-hewn sepulchre?
And was Thy rising only dreamed by Her
Whose love of Thee for all her sin atones?
For here the air is horrid with men's groans,
The priests who call upon Thy name are slain,
Dost Thou not hear the bitter wail of pain
From those whose children lie upon the stones?
Come down, O Son of God! incestuous gloom
Curtains the land, and through the starless night
Over Thy Cross, a crescent moon I see!
If Thou in very truth didst burst the tomb
Come down, O Son of Man! and show Thy might,
Lest Mahomet be crowned instead of Thee!
7. And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
8. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
9. And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
10. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
11. And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
--------------------------------------------------------------I had an interesting conversation with an earnest young man, a devout follower of Christ and eagerly awaiting His return. We talked about the Great Tribulation and the different philosophies about the return of Christ and the Rapture of the Church. He is in the pre-millenial camp. I am not sure what I believe. It is a sore spot with many Christians, and it is exacerbated by rigid denominational views which keep the brethren fractious toward one another.
Many Christians in America believe that Christ will come before the Great Tribulation described in the Book of Revelation and in parts of the Gospels. That they shall not drink the cup so many Christians elsewhere are now tasting. Our relatively persecution-free lives are small comfort for the Bride suffering in in the rest of the world where she hounded, slaughtered, jailed, whose children are murdered or stolen from Her and converted against their wills. It isn't happening here, unless you call the hyperpanicked, anti-Christian whinging from the psychotic left in this country persecution. Consider it a foretaste, a free sample in the grocery store of what's to come.
We have yet to be truly persecuted in this country. Real suffering for the faith? It isn't happening. Yet.
We will be baptized into His death and resurrection the way the Christians have in the past and are in the present. That is a promise from Christ, Himself. With His words in blood red. And then we will understand what it is to truly suffer for the sake of Christ in America, land of the free, home of the brave.
We should not continue to turn away from the plight of our sisters and brothers. The Bridegroom's return may be imminent, but should He tarry, we ought to redeem the time, seeing that the days are evil.
Further excellent coverage concerning the plight of Christians around the globe, but especially in Africa, can be found at Lee Jay Walker's site.