“But they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they did not cling to life even in the face of death.” (Revelation 12:11 from Revelation 12:1-17 )
In December of 2008 when I looked at this passage, I made the statement “We often ask ourselves and each other about how strong our beliefs are and what we would do if we needed to choose.” I think it is just as important an issue now as then, perhaps even more so. Life seems to have become so polarized; people seem more set in their opinions and perspectives then 5 years ago. And I am not the only one who has noticed this.
There seems to be many things we would be willing to argue about and challenge others about. But what is important enough for us to die for? NOT to send someone to die in our place, but would WE personally be willing to die for? If someone challenged you on something, how important would that something have to be in order for you to allow your self to die or be killed? Because the brave young men and women that we send overseas for combat are not going over there with the intention that they will die there. No, they fully intend to come back hale and hearty. That they DON’T is another matter all together, and not one that I am ready to take up.
No, what I am suggesting for conversation and consideration is what we would be willing to die for. That is, guaranteed, if we enter the arena on this issue our lives will be forfeit. That is what this passage from Revelation is saying, and that is what the writer of Revelation, John, is commenting on. Those who stood with Christ against the dragon (read the whole passage if you need the context) knew that it would mean their lives and yet they did not retreat or duck behind cover or anything like that. They continued to engage with and resist the evil forces, and their lives were taken from them as a consequence. When one considers that they were willing to give up their lives in order to achieve victory over evil, most other issues pale in comparison.
I do not know of any other issue in our world that is comparable to the issue in this passage of Revelation. How can I tell you to have the same courage and fortitude as these saints? But, let me say this. If you have the courage to die at Christ’s side for what our Redeemer considers important, I would hope and pray you have the same courage and fortitude to live for Christ. Selah! And may your day contain only shalom.