Marked with a Seal
There has been a lot of hand-wringing among Christians about whether or not we will be "strong enough" to withstand persecution or to resist receiving "the mark of the beast". True Christians should never have to concern themselves with that. We have just witnessed firsthand how Jesus gave strength to the 21 Christians from Egypt. They died with boldness, praying to their Savior. We also know that there have been children who have died refusing to renounce their Christian faith. That unyielding devotion in itself proves the authenticity of Christianity.
But how is that possible under so much duress? The answer is written in Ephesians 1. It is impossible for true Christians to take on the mark of the beast or renounce their faith because we have been ALREADY sealed with a mark. It is the indelible mark of the Holy Spirit - our guaranteed inheritance. This mark is as visible in the spirit realm as any "mark of the beast" will be during The Tribulation. We are marked as His. We carry the Holy Spirit in power and light:
"And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory." (Ephesians 1:13-14)
Make no mistake, however, who our real enemy is. It is the devil who is driving all of this hatred and bloodshed. He will always find willing hands to do his work. This is why ISIS hates Christians so much - because it is the devil who hates us - because of the One to whom we belong.
Part of the good news of the gospel is the full assurance that we have been permanently included in Christ when [we] heard the word of truth. No matter the circumstances or how much the enemy hates us, the victory is always ours. We never have to cover our faces or be ashamed of our faith or our actions. It's important to remember that when those 21 Christian men uttered, 'Ya Rabbi Yasou', (My Lord Jesus)*, and they took their last breaths, they were instantaneously with their Savior, Jesus. They have brought great glory to the Kingdom of God.
So as an honor and tribute to all Christian martyrs (including Jesus, Himself), we live our lives in great boldness. We go out boldly to the lost and bring them in because the time is short. We also walk in victory, knowing that nothing can touch our souls. We are ALIVE - always! The devil can never touch that.
the watchman's call
*Read this amazing article about the last statement of faith of the martyrs here: Brother of Slain Coptic Christians Thanks ISIS