Saturday, April 21, 2007

Be Faithful unto Death, and I Will Give You the Crown of Life

Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. (Revelation 2:10)
The words quoted above come from Jesus' message to the church in Smyrna. Today in Smyrna, funeral services memorialize the death of Necati Aydin, a man one year younger (36) than I am. Aydin was born in Smyrna a Moslem. In his young adulthood he was born again to Christ. He worked at Zirve Publishing in Turkey distributing materials developed to present the gospel to Moslems—to share with others the same chance for spiritual freedom that he had received. Wednesday five young Moslem men burst into Zirve Publishing, accosted Aydin and two colleagues, bound them hand and foot to chairs, inflicted multiple stab wounds upon their bodies, and then slit their throats. All three died. Like me, God has blessed Aydin with a wife (Semse) and a preschool son and daughter. Today in Smyrna, they mourn the loss of a husband and father, and they look to God to learn what is next for their family. Today I'm praying for the Aydin family. And I'm praying for myself, too—that I would be the kind of man who would sacrifice family, future, and life itself for the cause of Christ. I do not know who delivered the message today, but Necati Aydin has preached his own funeral in the way that he was faithful unto death. I hope they mentioned Revelation 2:10 in the service. See more about the story here.


Matt Brady said...


I saw the story on Fox News the other day, but I never would have remembered that modern day Izmir is the ancient Smyrna.

What a fitting tribute. I believe I'll share it with my church tomorrow. Thanks for sharing it with us.

selahV said...

Bart: how blessed we are to know where this former worshipper of Allah is today. May the deaths of all these Christians bring greater glory to Christ and may we all remember to pray for those in Smyrna who face similar peril while following the Lord.

We sit and play politics and besmirch each other while people give their lives for their Savior. I am ashamed.

Thanks for this post, Bart. I'm just catching up on reading. selahV