Most of us are familiar with the story of the 21 Coptic Christians from Egypt who held fast to their faith and were beheaded by ISIS in February, 2015.
But did you know that only 20 of them were actually Copts from Egypt? Did you know that one of the martyrs was from Chad, and he had not been a Christian prior to the day of his beheading?
Although this story was previously reported, I had not heard it before this week.
But at this week's World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians hosted by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, a Coptic leader shared the account.
It is a remarkable story. All 21 men had been working in Libya when they were kidnapped by ISIS.
The Coptic Christians were given a choice to deny Jesus or die. They refused to deny Him, knowing it would cost them their heads.
When the terrorists ordered the man from Chad to deny Jesus or die he answered, "their God is my God," thereby sealing his fate.
That is how moved he was by the faith of these Christians. Their refusal to deny their Savior, even at the point of death-literally at the point of a knife to their throats- moved him to make a profession of faith. One that would cost him his head as well.
The man had not been a believer. All he had to say was, "I don't believe in Jesus" or, "Jesus is not the Son of God," and he could walk away a free man. He would be with his family again. He would not die a brutal death. He would live to see another day.
Instead this man chose to proclaim "Go ahead and behead me," Your god is not my God Their God is my God."
That is the power of the gospel, and that is how we overcome Satan, by not loving our lives to the point of death. (Revelation12:11) May our Lord strengthen His people with these words.