If you've followed Kristen's blog recently, she took us on a tour of Israel and Rome. It has been fascinating, to say the least. One picture which caught my attention and has held my thoughts is of the Colosseum, built by Titus, ten years after his victory in Israel. It was in the Colosseum that many believers lost their lives, because they identified themselves with Christ, holding to their testimony of Jesus. Underneath the ground level of the Colosseum, the prisoners were kept in dark alleys and rooms until they were brought out to be slaughtered. I've been wondering what must have gone through their minds? Were they thinking about loved ones, praying for their strength? Did they draw strength from thinking about their Lord and what He suffered on their behalf? Were they wondering how much it would hurt? Did they think about Paul's words, that those who will live godly in Christ will suffer persecution? Did the words of Jesus, "I am with you always," ring in their ears? "I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Right before the end of the age we know there will be terrible persecution and the greatest slaughter of believers ever to occur. "I am with you always..." Those words are for you and me as well as those believers who were slaughtered under Nero. Those words are meant to bring us comfort. They remind us that we can endure through anything, and even to the end because we will always have His empowering presence until He returns to gather us before He pours out His wrath.
"I am with you always..."
Sweet, sweet words, aren't they?
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