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Summary: Addressing the Columbine High School Tragedy

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Would you Deny Him...or Die for Christ?

Phil. 1:21-24

Date: May 2, 1999

By Cooper Abrams

INTRO: Most of us are fully aware of what happened in Littleton, Co, when two teenage boys took guns and pipe bombs into the their high school and cold bloodedly murdered 14 of their class mates and teachers.

Although our liberal news media has said little about it several of the students that were murdered were Christians.

Cassie Bernall, age 17, lost her life that day at the hands of one of the gunman. She had in the past greatly troubled her parents by her fascination with witchcraft and her talk of suicide. However, Cassie turned from all this upon attending West Bowles Community Church and came to be known as one who carried her Bible to school daily. She had a testimony among her fellow students of being a girl who loved the Lord and was an outgoing Christian. When the gunmen came upon her in the school library, one asked her: "Do you believe in God?" Cassie said she did, and the boy shot her in the head. Nearby students said it is clear to them that they killed her because she confessed to believing in God.

Lauren Townsend, 18, recently began to attend Southern Gables Evangelical Free Church with a classmate who is a member of the church. Twenty-six youth from that church attended Columbine. Two were wounded and are hospitalized, and Lauren was killed.

Rachel Scott, 17, was active in the Oakland Road Christian Center, and her classmates call her "a passionate Christian." Read the testimony of her father before the House Judicairy Committee - United States House of Representatives Thursday, May 27,1999 2:00 P.M. - 2141 Rayburn House Office Building

John Tomlin, 16, had recently moved from Wisconsin and his family joined Foothills Baptist Church. He recently went on a missions trip to Mexico to help build housing for the poor. Other students said the Trenchcoat Mafia considered him "too religious."

It is reported that these boys of the Trenchcoat Mafia committed this terrible crime because they hated athletes, people of color, and Christians.

These boys were heavy into the Gothic life style which is based in Satanic ritual, and everything that is evil.

I think it is clear that at least four of the fourteen teenagers who died can honestly be concerned martyrs who died because they had a testimony of being Christians.

Perhaps at the fatefully moment when the gunman asked her if she believed in God, Cassie Bernall didn?t think to lie about believing in God . We do not know what went through here mind, but it is clear that answering the gunman?s question in the affirmative may not have been smart, and it might have saved her life if she had denied her belief in God . But the fact was that she did believe in God, and her belief had recently changed her life and she was actively living for Christ and everyone knew what God had done in her life. May I ask you a question?

As a child of God, how else could she have answered?

How would I have answered?

How would you have answered staring down the barrel of a gun?

In 81 AD, Domitian was the Emperor of Rome and he especially hated Christians. When any Christians were brought before the magistrates, a test oath was proposed, when, if they refused to take it, death was pronounced against them; and if they confessed themselves Christians, the sentence was the same.

Laster, Emperor Trajan 108 AD, continued the long history of the persecution of Christians and He was followed by Emperor Adrian under whom more that than ten thousand Christians were martyred.

Later Rome decreed that "That no Christian, once brought before the tribunal, should be exempted from punishment without renouncing his religion." Rome thereby made provision that if a Christian recanted and denied his faith, offerred a sacrifice to the Emperor or Roman gods he would go free.

At the martyrdom of Faustines and Jovita, brothers and citizens of Brescia, their torments were so many, and their patience so great, that Calocerius, a pagan, beholding them, was struck with admiration, and exclaimed in a kind of ecstasy, "Great is the God of the Christians!" He then was arrested and suffered a similar fate.

During what is called the Fourth Persecution, under Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, A.D. 162, Germanicus, a young man, but a true Christian, was delivered to the wild beasts on account of his faith in Jesus Christ. God gave him dying grace and he behaved with such astonishing courage that several pagans became converts to a faith in Jesus Christ which inspired such fortitude.

Polycarp, the venerable bishop of Smyrna who studied under the Apostle John, hearing that persons were seeking for him, escaped, but was discovered by a child. He asked the guards who apprehended him, that he desired an hour in prayer, which being allowed, he prayed with such fervency, that his guards repented that they had been instrumental in taking him. He was, however, carried before the proconsul, condemned, and burnt in the market place.

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