The Fifth Seal Judgment’s Cry of the Martyrs

“When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held.”

Revelation 6:9 NKJV

What happens to martyrs who would choose to die instead of renouncing their faith in Christ?

The fifth seal judgment shows us a very special place in heaven where these people are waiting patiently for God’s justice. This seal reveals God’s abounding love, mercy, and grace toward anyone who has loved their testimony and the word of God more than life.

And they cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?’ Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.

Revelation 6:10-11 NKJV

Let’s begin with understanding the term martyr.

Merriam Webster defines a religious martyr as a person who voluntarily suffers death as the penalty of witnessing to and refusing to renounce a religion.

Jesus Himself prepares us in Matthew 24:9  for the possibility of facing persecution, hatred, and death for our testimony and our faith in Him. A commitment to follow Christ is a serious decision, and not one to take lightly. As wonderful as the free gift of salvation and assurance of heaven are, wisdom flags us to heed Christ’s warning. In our present day, the church and the world are rapidly falling into Satan’s traps of deception and apostasy, including Anti-Semitism and Anti-Christ sentiments.

For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.’

Mark 8:35 NKJV

Have any of us suffered as martyrs for our Christian beliefs?

Although not yet common in the United States, martyrs exist in other places around the world, such as the Middle East and Communist countries. This topic is unfamiliar in America and one we don’t often hear preached from the pulpit. Although we pray for innocent Christians around the world who are captured and killed for their faith , we can hardly grasp making a choice between renouncing Christ or losing our own lives. We can’t because we haven’t taken a walk in the shoes of these precious martyrs. However, a day may soon be coming upon the entire world where martyrdom becomes commonplace.

What would we do if we found ourselves in this situation?

Only God knows the number of martyrs who have been killed for their testimony and the word of God. Probably millions fall into this category, beginning with Abel in Genesis, to prophets and all of the apostles, and continuing down the centuries to 2023.

Let’s look at the biblical account of a well-known martyr for powerful inspiration.

Stephen’s Witness

Stephen, one of the most famous Christian martyrs, was stoned to death by a synagogue who claimed he had blasphemed. After delivering a defense that cut them to the quick, Stephen summed up their resistance to the Holy Spirit:

‘You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it.

Acts 7:51-53 NKJV

Upon Stephen’s witness of the Lord Jesus standing at the right hand of God in heaven, the brutal crowd cast him out of the city and stoned him to death. Stephen’s response as he died was, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin” (see Acts 7:54-60).

Jesus’s witness

Jesus predicted His own suffering on the cross. His blood had to be shed to forgive our sins. When God looks on a believer washed in the blood of the Lamb, He sees us through the blood of Christ’s righteousness (see Colossians 1:13-14).

From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.

Matthew 16:31 NKJV

The Apostle Peter’s encouragement

But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. ‘And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.

1 Peter 3:14 NKJV

Future martyrs will join those waiting under the altar in heaven. God will give each one a white robe and encouragement to wait patiently for that day when He will avenge the blood of all who have been killed for their testimony and the word of God. What a wonderful promise!

For more stories on Biblical martyrs, click HERE for Jewish Martyrs for Christ.

Let’s conclude with the Apostle Paul’s encouragement to Timothy.

So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.

For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.

2 Timothy 1:8, 12 NKJV

Dear Father God, thank you for your promise to avenge the blood of every Christian martyr. Let us follow in Your sufferings and glorify Your Name in all the earth. Give us courage and boldness to never be ashamed of the gospel and the Name of Jesus. In His Name we pray, Amen.

The Fifth Seal’s Judgment Cry of the Martyrs by Karen Jurgens copyright ©2023 All rights reserved.

4 thoughts on “The Fifth Seal Judgment’s Cry of the Martyrs

  1. Sobering thoughts my friend. Many Christians will say, “I’ll die for God, I’ll become a martyr”, but few (I believe) will be willing to do so should that reality occur. For pre-trip believers like myself, I am wont to believe that I will be raptured before I have to make the decision to accept the mark of the best or be beheaded (Rev. 20:4). Yet, there is a very real possibility that Christian Americans could face such a decision (deny Christ or die) well before mid-tribulation, and before the rapture. How many, if faced with deny Christ or die, will martyr themselves for their faith? How many, if faced with deny Christ or watch your spouse, children, or grandchildren be tortured and killed, will martyr themselves for their faith? If I’m honest with you, I will die before they can capture me to put me in that latter position. I think it easier to martyr ourselves when the cost is ours. But when the cost is those we love? Tough questions my friend.

    • Wow, good points! That would be a tough place to be, absolutely. The worst scenario would be denying Christ and then facing separation from God for eternity. But some scriptures come to mind that bring hope and comfort. Isaiah 51 is one of my favorite chapters, reassuring us that God is in control, and as we look to Him, will protect us from evil men. I also remember Simon Peter’s oath to follow Jesus and never deny Him, even if it meant death— and we all know how that turned out. Being human, we might have been scared into the same reaction. Peter is so relatable! And afterward he became such a strong leader of the church. God turns our fears and weaknesses into strength and victory, just like Peter.

      But if we ever face martyrdom, we know God will be present to give us courage to stand strong. For those who have experienced it, there is a very special reward in heaven. More about that later in our survey. 😊

      Also, I agree with you as a pre- tribber, which means we won’t be here to face the guillotine of the Beast. The current lukewarm Christians who miss the Rapture will likely fall into step with Anti-Christ out of fear. But the ones who find salvation at that time will most likely be those who had heard the gospel but never accepted Christ. Regardless of my theory, those who do understand it was the Rapture they missed and not Martians zapping out the church will be willing martyrs. Attaining heaven in those days will come with a heavy price tag. All the more reason to accept Christ today!

      I agree, brother JD, that this is a tough issue to consider. Personally, if God wills it so, I’d rather die for Christ than deny Him and spend eternity in hell. Thank you for your thoughtful response—there’s lots of good meat here. Blessings, my friend.

  2. Another great message. I would hope that if I were ever in a place to be a martyr, I would stay true to my faith.

    • Yes, I believe that if we are ever in that position, God will give us the strength to choose Him and be a witness to the lost world. ✝️❤️

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