The days ahead will be awful for the grieving community of Sutherland Springs. But one thing is certain: Come Sunday, they will be gathered again, singing and praying and opening the Word. That church will bear witness to the truth that shaped them: Eternal life cannot be overcome by death. And over that church will be a cross.

If you doubt this, go read a history book about the persecution of Christians during the Roman Empire — or any other time in Christendom. The Apostle Paul wrote that " all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." Western Christians have had a reprieve from persecution over the last few centuries, but we're heading in the opposite direction now that we've fallen out of favor with the culture. Sadly, it seems we're perched on the precipice of a time of great trial for the faithful. It's a matter of "when" not "if."