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Are You Willing to Die for Your Faith?

I have a quick question: Would you die for your faith? Earlier this year Coptic Christians were gunned down by radical Islamics in Egypt. Killed for their faith. That kind of thing happens all the time these days.  If you’re a Christ-follower in that part of the world, the questi…
By Seth Barnes

I have a quick question: Would you die for your faith?

Earlier this year Coptic Christians were gunned down by radical Islamics in Egypt. Killed for their faith. That kind of thing happens all the time these days. 

If you’re a Christ-follower in that part of the world, the question of dying for your faith is not an abstraction. Neither the Copts (who were in Egypt long before the Muslims) nor the Islamics are confused about their faith.

But we in the West are. We struggle to believe. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father except by me.” (John 14:6) We want to believe that Jesus is one of multiple alternatives. 

The real question is not “will faith survive in Egypt?” but “will it survive an America where less than 5% of our children believe the Bible?”

World Race & the Coptic community

When the first World Race squad was in Egypt in 2006 (read the stories here), they traveled to a Coptic community headed by Bishop Thomas. Bishop Thomas is a leader of the persecuted church in Egypt. A couple of years after we visited his community, he gave a speech talking about how Muslims in Egypt are killing Christians.

He was immediately denounced by Islamics. A Shiekh said, “Muslims who will spill your blood …. [M]y helpers will sever the legs of all those who assist the traitor [Bishop Thomas].”

That’s ironic. Thomas says, “we are being persecuted” and his persecutors threaten his life for saying that. Maybe I’m missing something, but didn’t they just prove his point?

Willing to die for our faith

I was catching up on the news recently – the Iraqi army had ISIS surrounded in the city of Mosul. And all of a sudden, there was a familiar face in the middle of all the violence.

It was our partner, Dave Eubank. As he shares in this letter, Dave is not confused about how to follow Jesus in a world racked by violence. He is prepared to die for his faith. Nor is he alone – his wife and children trust Jesus with his life and sometimes accompany him behind enemy lines to bring aid to the persecuted (as this documentary shows). 

The organization I lead exists to make disciples who are willing to die for their faith. Yes, we work hard to keep them safe and have a world class risk management system, but we look for young people who are sold out to Jesus and we seek to further strengthen their faith. 

In a world awash in bad news, we have heard and believed the good news. And we are eager to share it.

Not confused

A core group of missionaries at Adventures regularly puts their lives at risk. Some of us and many of our partners are not only willing to allow sheikhs to spill our blood in the name of Jesus, but we take that faith and put it to the test on the front lines. 

We are raising up young people who are not confused about their faith. When I emailed Dave Eubank, he wrote back, “I was just thinking if you how you follow Jesus and grow people so well – I keep meeting your team and some are with us – you add to His Kingdom and beauty.” 

Dave is talking about many of you. Many of you are standing with him. His life is a challenge to us. Let me encourage you to ask yourself, “Is my life more governed by fear or by a desire to make Jesus Lord no matter the cost?” Ask the Lord what he wants from you.

If you find yourself wrestling with this issue, you may want to check out the movie Silence or read The Insanity of Obedience and ask yourself the question about dying for faith again. It’s one of the most important questions you’ll ever answer.

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