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21 PEOPLE OF THE CROSSThere they were, for all the world to see – 21 orange clad men  – kneeling on a beach.

Most were Egyptians, working in Libya, trying to make some money and a future, just like the rest of us.

They were captured by ISIS, tortured and threatened with death.

Their crime?

They were “people of the cross.”

Each one was given the chance to save their life by renouncing Christianity and embracing Islam.

They chose to say, “No.”

Egyptians 21Their last words were, “Lord Jesus Christ.”

People of the Cross

24-year-old Luqa Najati, a newlywed working in Libya to build a life for his family in Egypt. Najati didn’t know his wife was pregnant when he left to search for work. He never met his infant daughter.

Bishoy and Samuel Kamel—were saving for their weddings.

Samuel Wilson was working to buy a home for his wife and three children.

26-year-old Samih Salah Shawqi left behind a wife and baby daughter.

To My Friends, The Killers

The brother of Bishoy Adel Khalaf wrote to ISIS:

“You beheaded in cold blood 21 Copts, only because they are Christians and refused to leave their God and their faith…

I want to thank you because:

  • You made them kneel not before you but rather before their loving God who is going to judge the living and the dead.
  • You did not make them see your hating harsh eyes as their last image on earth but the eyes of their kind heavenly father.
  • You made us understand the huge difference between your God and ours… in one simple fact our God would shed his blood in love for his people, and his followers would gladly gave their lives for His love.
  • You showed us that those young men were not scared…. I challenge you that you were….and that is why you masked your faces. We saw their bravery in their faces and we saw the cowardice masked in yours.
  • You allowed us to hear… their last voices on this earth…not asking for mercy…not crying for release…not screaming to say the shihada …but praying My Lord Jesus Christ

When you shed the blood of martyrs…your war now is not with earthly states or kingdoms but with the Lord of Hosts. Remember the Roman Empire…you cannot because it is not there anymore…after they martyred thousands of Christians …the Empire withered. Our Coptic Church revives on every single pure drop of blood that was shed…….

  • Perhaps I am disgusted with your lack of humanity but I don’t hate you.
  • I cannot hate you because My Lord forgave his crucifiers on the cross
  • I know you want me to fear you and hate you; strangely you failed to do both.

Here is a profile of each of the 21 men.


APPLICATION: Please leave a comment below. Thank you.

I’m writing in order to help people grow their faith in Jesus, build strong relationships and make their leadership effective. If this material is helpful to you, please follow me.

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Bob Jones

Happily married to Jocelyn for 44 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vincent and daughter Jayda; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love inspiring people through communicating, blogging, and coaching. I enjoy writing, running, and reading. I'm a fan of the Double E, Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers


  • Mary Bluejay says:

    Thanx Pastor Bob for welcoming me to your church, the message impacted me, it’s realistic, as I’m an Arab and know personally of the situation in the Middle East . I’ll be visiting your church with my kids. Truly spirit filled congregation.

  • bob jones says:

    It was a pleasure meeting you on Sunday, Maria. I am looking forward to getting to know your family better and seeing you grow in your faith at North Pointe. God bless.

  • S Alexander says:

    More Observations About Getting Through. I liked #8. While proud people are seldom grateful, grateful people see every day a gift from God. I believe we as human beings need a shift in attitude, one of thanks giving and prayer. The cup is actually half full not half empty and if we pray the cup will overflow as it does in Psalm 23.

  • Patricia says:

    Alone but not all alone. I know what this is. After 4 years of losing many people, I believe I am coming near the end of the tunnel of grief. It didn’t matter how many people were around me, I still felt alone. Then I accepted God back into my heart. Trust, hope and faith come first. Everything else follows. No one can take your trust, hope and faith in God away from you. It has been most important in getting me through my dark tunnel. #9 Trust God to take care of you. One way God has done this for me is to lead me to North Pointe. I am thankful and grateful.

  • bob jones says:

    So true about attitude. Gratitude serves everybody well – both those expressing it and those receiving it. Thank you for commenting.

  • bob jones says:

    So glad that North Pointe has been a help in your journey and that you feel that the ministry has been able to add in to your life after so much has been taken away. Keep trusting!

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