Rev.6:9 – “When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been killed because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained;”
Our western culture is unfamiliar with the concept of martyrdom; it has such a non-civilized feel that we are more comfortable ignoring it. Recently, we have seen the fall of Afghanistan right in front of us in the daily news. Sadly, the most important story, the plight of the martyrs, is being ignored. If you want to know the real story of Afghanistan, look to the purposes of God. His plan is the last day harvest. Our invasion of Afghanistan over the last twenty years has allowed Christianity to flourish there. A strong house church movement has been birthed by the missionaries who have seized this opportunity. Today, the Taliban are trying to root out this church and are killing many Christians. This is one of the great signs of the end of the age. The Lord will respond quickly to the blood of His martyrs. Here is how Matthew Henry describes today’s important verse:
“What was given to them—white robes, the robes of victory and of honor; their present happiness was an abundant recompense of their past sufferings. What was said to them—that they should be satisfied, and easy in themselves, for it would not be long ere the number of their fellow-sufferers would be fulfilled. This is a language rather suited to the imperfect state of the saints in this world than to the perfection of their state in heaven; there is no impatience, no uneasiness, no need of admonition; but in this world there is great need of patience. Observe, [1.] There is a number of Christians, known to God, who are appointed as sheep for the slaughter, set apart to be God’s witnesses. [2.] As the measure of the sin of persecutors is filling up, so is the number of the persecuted martyred servants of Christ. [3.] When this number is fulfilled, God will take a just and glorious revenge upon their cruel persecutors; he will recompense tribulation to those who trouble them, and to those that are troubled full and uninterrupted rest.”
What can we do as these events unfold? Pray for the kingdom to continue to expand in the Middle East. As we see the harvest increase, we can rejoice. The end of the age is drawing near.