There is a few things coming together for this post, so bear with me. Please track through Revelation 11, 2 Corinthians 4, and [in Part 2] Zechariah 4
Revelation 11 is a picture of the church age from the vantage point of believers. There are two witnesses given the power of Moses and Elijah (v. 6), but they are clothed in sackcloth (v. 3). Being clothed in sackcloth represents mourning. They are eventually killed by the beast from the Abyss, and the nations gloat. God breathes life into them again, striking fear into the nations, and they go up to heaven on a cloud. So in this church age witnesses for Jesus (all true believers are witnesses for Jesus) will mourn, some will die, but all believers will rise in the end to eternal life.
Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:7-12, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.”
That sounds like witnesses who should be wearing sackcloth to me.
Where did we get the idea that comfortable and carefree is the norm for Christians? Joyous, YES, that’s scriptural, but comfortable?
More about Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale coming in Part 2.