Nigerian terrorists killed eleven Christian hostages, beheading ten of them, as well as seven others on Christmas Eve.
“Then they will deliver you over to be persecuted and killed, and you will be hated by all nations on account of My name.”
– Matthew 24:9
Christ prophesied that fanaticism will lead to the persecution and the death of his followers. Muslim extremists around the world continue to persecute and kill Christians.
Terrorists from the Islamic State belonging to the Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) beheaded eleven Christian hostages on Christmas Day. The holiday was chosen to create the most impact.
A 56-second video was released showing thirteen male hostages, “captured in the past weeks.”
Three of the hostages were believed to be Muslims, and two of the Muslims were spared. One hostage was shot dead, while the other 10 were pushed toward the ground and beheaded.
ISWAP said the killing of the hostages was an act of vengeance for the killing of their leaders Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Abul-Hasan Al-Muhajir in Iraq and Syria.
The terrorist group is a faction of the Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram, which broke away in 2016 and now fights under the ISWAP banner.
The ISWAP terrorist group also killed seven other people on Christmas Eve in a raid on a Christian village near the town of Chibok in northeast Nigeria’s Borno state.
“They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God.”
– John 16:2
Some scholars view this passage as being better expressed as “will think that he offers to God a sacrificial service.” In other words, using the martyrdom of a Christian as an offering to God.
Prophetically, this was indeed fulfilled in the early years of church history as disciples were killed.
Jesus was warning his followers that evil people will kill Christians. Until the end of days, the world will continue to express hatred for Christians.
Jesus explained they will do these things because they do not know the Father God, nor me (John 15: 22). As Jesus had his sufferings, so will his followers.
However, Christians need to remain unshaken. They need to dedicate their love to God – not to the world.
Dedication and love to the world only brings the sorrow which comes from it. Those who persevere will go on to eternal life where there is no injustice.
Many Christians are imprisoned, tortured or killed each year by following “the great commission” of Jesus Christ to go out into the world to baptize and bring others to the Christian religion.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,”