Tuesday in my Biographies class we talked about missionary martyrs from the last century. My professor told us story after story, some of people who have made the news as they gave their life, and others who were friends of his that most people probably wouldn’t have heard about. Some of the people went through great torture before they were killed by rebels or terrorists. Others stayed behind instead of evacuating the country when violence or unrest erupted. I have always known that being killed is a very real possibility for missionaries. All of us will die at some point, though, and so I had never been discouraged or overwhelmed by it before. But as my professor listed each story I just kept wondering if it is worth it.
I was thankful that Dr. Garrett ended with some verses that helped put things in perspective for me. He talked about the two witnesses that appeared in Revelation 11. They are to preach and prophesy in the streets of the city for 3 years and during this time no one will be able to harm them because God will protect them. It is not until they have finished their testimony that they will be killed. I am trusting that if God has our days numbered, then we will not die until we have completed the work here on earth to which He has called us. Even in our death, God can be glorified and his Kingdom advanced.
One verse I read while I was in Cambodia also came to mind and it was encouraging as well.
Revelation 12:11: “They overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death”.
As believers, we have eternity to spend with God and so we should not fear death. Rather, we must be willing to put our lives on the line in order to share the hope of eternity with those who have not heard.