"I beg you to take revenge . . . "
The readers of the letter from Spanish martyr, Bartolome Marquez, were shocked to see a call for revenge in his final letter. Then they saw that his call was not for human bloodshed to avenge him, but for more people to come under the blood of Jesus.
"I beg you to take Christian revenge by trying to do good to those who do me evil," Marquez challenged other believers. "I hope to see you where I will be soon, in heaven."
The Spanish Communists killed Marquez, along with many other pastors, in 1939. His final letter was an epistle of joy to his wife and Christian brothers and sisters.
"In a few hours, I will know the inexpressible joys of the blessed. How easy is the death of those persecuted for Christ's sake! God gives me an undeserved privilege: to die enjoying his grace.
"As long as my heart still beats," he wrote to his bride, "it will beat with love for you. When I was sentenced for defending the high ideals of religion, fatherland, and family, the doors of heaven were opened for me. In remembrance of our love, even more intense now, please consider the salvation of your soul as your supreme duty. Thus we will be united for eternity in heaven. There, nobody will separate us."
Those who suffer for Christ must have the ability to see the bigger picture. The Bible is filled with stories that teach us about individual lives. Those lives, however, fit into a greater schemethe battle between God and evil. The bigger picture enables us to see how Satan is behind oppression and suffering; therefore, we need not take revenge upon our oppressors. They are merely pawns in Satan's plan. Christian martyrs like Marquez remind us that there is no greater revenge for Satan's attacks on Christians than when the attackers are led to Christ. Pray for leaders of oppressive governments and regimes. Support those missionaries and others who are in a position to share the gospel with them.
THE VOICE OF THE MARTYRS presents