This guest post by Ray Hawk addresses some concerns I have as well. JD

In 1563 a book was published called Acts and Monuments. It’s popular title became known as Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. This was finally shortened to Book of Martyrs. It is a description of the Catholic Church’s persecution, in that period, of Protestant believers, due to the belief that they were heretics.

Throughout my church experience I often heard prayers which included these words, “Lord, we thank thee that we may assemble free of molestation.” Few, if any ever thought the day would arrive when modern day Christians would forfeit their lives rather than deny Jesus as their Savior. Yet, recently, twenty-one Coptic Christians were lined up and murdered for that very reason. What kind of reaction has there been to these murders?

Some are like believers in Germany in 1938. They knew Jews were being rounded up and shipped out to concentration camps. Their attitude was, “They’re Jews, not Christians.” An almost equal view was held by some in the United States. “It’s in Germany, not here. No business of ours.”

Some see the term, “Coptic Christians” and shrug off the atrocities because “they aren’t members of our church.” Some are sympathetic, but that’s so far away and what can I do? So prayers are offered that strangely seem to be detached. Some even dismiss the apostle’s statement, “because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (1 Peter 5:9) due to the view of who is a real believer. Others look at it as middle Easterners fighting among themselves.

What can we do? The atheistic Russian government seems to be more interested in protecting those Christians than ours does. Our government, if it isn’t apologizing for the conduct of Islam and attempting to portray it as peaceful and loving, is apologizing for our actions believing they caused these deserved problems. The politics of the day seems to be one of appeasement. “Give the terrorist jobs and they will be happy,” is one liberal’s solution. “Sit down and talk with them and apologize for opposing their terrorism and they will quit,” is another pseudo wise answer. These resolutions seem to be an excellent example of Satan’s deception on those who want to leave a foolish legacy!

Neville Chamberlain returned to England on September 30, 1938 waving an agreement signed by Adolph Hitler. He shouted to the crowd, “Peace in our time.” Their applause only proved how blind they were. We have politicians on both sides of the aisle, as well as believers in Christ, who are wearing Chamberlain’s attitude as eyewear.

Economists, generals, conservative think tanks, and others are warning us of a total collapse which will make the Great Depression pale in comparison. Rather than listen, we continue our mad rush to eat, drink, and be merry. Like Judah and Jerusalem, in the book of Isaiah, we don’t think it will happen. No nation can rush blindly into hell without getting burned! I hope such a course can be averted. If not, then we need to stand up as Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 3:14-18). We need to pray for those who are being murdered as well as their families. We need to pray for our leaders that they will open their eyes and return this nation to honoring Yahweh (1 Timothy 2:1-3; 1 Peter 2:17).

Pray? What good will prayer do? Absolutely nothing if we possess that attitude. The kind needed is, “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:16). Do we believe? If so, pray!

“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand” (Ephesians 6:13).

77777Ray Hawk is a retired minister living in Jackson, TN.