Beshir Kamel, a Christian musician, lost two brothers to the Islamic State murderers last week. Following their beheading in Egypt, Kamel thanked the Islamic murderers for including the men’s declaration of their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ in the graphic video they made.
Appearing on the Arabic Christian TV network SAT-7, Kamel told Fayez Maher that he was proud of his brothers Bishoy Estafanos Kamel, 25, and Samuel Estafanos Kamel, 23, because they were “a badge of honour to Christianity.”
The video of their beheading has been videoed all around the globe as a witness for Christ, in which many of the men’s final words were “Lord Jesus Christ.”
Kamel’s thankfulness that his brother’s witness being included is nothing shy of understanding how the hand of God works in these situations. After all, I’m sure the Islamists deemed that their testimony and their martyrdom would cause fear to rise in the hearts of Christians not only in the area they are in, but also around the world. However, they fail to realize something that Tertullian wrote in the second century, hundreds of years before Islam was even known.
“The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.” (Apologeticus, Chapter 50)
“Since the Roman era, Christians have been martyred and have learned to handle everything that comes our way,” he said. “This only makes us stronger in our faith because the Bible told us to love our enemies and bless those who curse us.”
The show host asked Kamel if he would be able to forgive those who had murdered his brothers. He recounted his mother’s own words which she told him that she would say to any of the men who murdered her son.
“My mother, an uneducated woman in her sixties, said she would ask (him) to enter her house and ask God to open his eyes because he was the reason her son entered the kingdom of heaven,” he said.
Kamel also prayed for the murderers of his brothers in a manner reminiscent of the command of the Lord Jesus, who said:
Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. –Matt. 5:44
“Dear God, please open their eyes to be saved and to quit their ignorance and the wrong teachings they were taught,” Kamel prayed.
This sounds very similar to the prayers of the great Protestant Reformation Bible translator William Tyndale who prayed before being executed by strangulation and being burned at the stake, “Lord! Open the King of England’s eyes.”
God not only heard Tyndale’s prayer, but also answered it, as inside of two years King Henry authorized The Great Bible, largely Tyndale’s work that would be used to spread the Reformation across the English-speaking world.
However, prayers are where many Christians would stop. They would forget about the civil magistrate and his command as the minister of God to punish the evildoer and not hold the sword in vain (Rom. 13). Beshir is not in that camp and neither am I.
He wholeheartedly supports the Egyptian response to the murders, as do I and many others. “Only the length of the time period when we didn’t know where they were justified the air strikes for us. If they had been martyred on the same day they were kidnapped, we wouldn’t have asked for any retaliation.”
At the assembly I attend, we are very much believers that Jesus Christ is now Lord of the nations and that the kingdoms of this world are already the kingdoms of our God and of His Christ (Rev. 11:15). We are not waiting for it to be so. It is so now (1 Cor. 15:23-28; Psalm 2; Rev. 2:27). We often wonder how the Islamic world will come to Christ. Perhaps, we are seeing the manifestation of God’s answer to that question. Whether that is or not, we do know that throughout history, Christians have sealed the witness of their testimony of the risen Christ with their own blood, whether by Islamists, anti-theists or even among those that took the name of Christ in vain.
May God be pleased to answer the prayer of this brother and turn the hearts of the Islamists towards Him and may we see the death of Islam in our lifetimes and men bow the knee to the Lord Jesus Christ, the King of kings and the Lord of lords.