DEAR REV. GRAHAM: I read the other day that more Christians have died for their faith in the last 100 years than in all the other centuries combined. Is that true? Why do they face so much opposition in some parts of the world? —L.D.
Dear L.D.: Yes, this is true. Over the centuries, men and women have been forced to suffer and even die because of their faith in Christ — but historians tell us this has been especially true over the last 100 years.
Why is this? One reason, of course, is that there are more Christians in the world today than ever before, so we might expect more to be killed for their faith. But this can't explain everything, for what we've witnessed in many parts of the world has been a fierce, determined effort to stamp out those who are followers of Jesus Christ. Sometimes this has come from atheistic political ideologies; sometimes it has come from other religions.
Behind it all, however, has been the evil hand of Satan and his followers. I can't help but recall Jesus' warning that in the last days before His return Satan will lash out in a final, desperate attempt to stop God's work. Then, Jesus said, "You will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me" (Matthew 24:9).
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Never fear, however. Christ is stronger than Satan, and some day he will be victorious over all evil and sin.
Are you on the winning side? Make sure, by committing yourself without reserve to Jesus Christ. His words are true: "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).