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Commentary by Roger Oakland

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In June of 2004, I was invited to participate in a conference on the subject of Bible prophecy held in Edinburgh, Scotland. I had been to Edinburgh several times before but never to the location where these meetings were held. It was on Grassmarket Street where a monument is located in memory of hundreds of men and women who were killed or tortured for their faith in Christ in the 1600s.

The people who died at this location were Bible-believing Christians who loved Jesus. They refused to bow to the authority of the Roman Catholic Church. They were put on open display before the people as heretics. These were the Covenanters. Many books have been written about them. To read their testimonies and then stand in the exact location where they were killed for their faith is an emotional experience.

During the conference, I spent some time at the memorial, deep in thought. It was difficult for me to place myself in their place, imagining what these martyrs faced. What kind of faith is required to die for Jesus? Most people today have difficulty even telling others who He is.


Covenanter’s Memorial – Grassmarket Square


But there was another thing that was very obvious about this memorial site. I couldn’t find another person, other than myself, that looked the least bit interested. In fact, as the day went by, the area was packed with people who were clearly inebriated. Almost every other building on the street was a bar. Men and women were yelling and cursing in their drunkenness. The name of Jesus was being used extensively, but not in a glorifying way.

Stewart, my friend from Scotland, along with his wife Debbie who hosted the conference, told me that he had been part of a group who came to the area on weekends and sang gospel songs attempting to be a witness for the Lord. However, they were told by the city authorities they were no longer allowed to do this. The reason – they were disturbing the peace.

It was the comparison between the past and the present that troubled me. Obviously being denied the right to share the gospel is far different from dying for the gospel. But there is one thing that is the same. The reason there is opposition to the gospel, then and now, is because there is an enemy of the gospel. This enemy has one common goal – to hinder the gospel. It has been the same throughout human history. Absolutely nothing has changed through time.

Are you willing to stand up for Jesus and tell the lost of His saving grace? Think of all the people around you who are on their way to hell. For now, most of us can be witnesses without facing martyrdom. Remember, though, history can and will be repeated.

I am Roger Oakland. This has been a biblical perspective to help understand the time.


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