The first Christians had a remarkable saying with which they distinguished themselves from their contemporaries: “We Christians stand above destiny.”
Was it courage, presumptuousness, or hubris that led to this saying? One thing is certain: even when they had to die a horrible death, they faced their lot with unwavering trust. Bishop Cyprian of Carthage wrote in a letter to his congregation where that trust came from:
“We do not leave the martyrs unarmed, but we provide them with the shield of the body and blood of Christ. For those who are not armed for the battle are incapable of martyrdom, and the soul becomes powerless when it is not fired by the holy meal, the eucharist.” *
The first Christians knew from their own experience: a day will come when evil will reign. Every day they prepared themselves for this day with the sacrament of bread and wine, knowing that a time would come when they would have nothing to lose anymore and would make their last stand.
Paul, with his foresight, described in his letter to the Ephesians the time when evil would reign. In his own language, he called it literally “the evil day.” (Eph.6:13)
Although it is a long time ago that Christians were thrown to the lions, in our time the powers of the adversary, perhaps more than ever before, are having free play. The evil day—we are in the middle of it.
Whoever thinks they can handle the battle on their own power are the real presumptuous ones and will get the worst of it against the demons that are lord and master in our time. But whatever happens, whatever befalls us in the trials, those who make the Lord of Destiny their Lord and Master stand with Him above destiny.
–Rev. Bastiaan Baan, October 10, 2021
* 57th letter of Bishop Cyprian of Carthage (app. 210-258 AD).
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