You have to read the story behind this song, Even Unto Death, just released by Christian singer Audrey Assad. It is part of her new album, Inheritance, scheduled for release on February 12.
She wrote this song after watching the martyrdom of 21 Egyptian Christian men on the shores of the Mediterranean by the Muslim extremist group ISIS. In the video, ISIS led the 21 men, dressed in orange, to the beach where they were beheaded simply because they believed in Jesus.
To live, all these Coptic Christians had to do to was renounce their faith in Christ.
“You must remember that night, months ago, when I saw the video of those 21 precious Egyptian men kneeling on a Mediterranean beach. I stared at the procession … I knew that I was looking into the sickening, quaking black hole that is death.
The captives prayed, their lips moving silently, their eyes closed or raised to the heavens.
What were they whispering, in those last, fast-fading moments of their lives? Were they afraid?
What would I pray, if it were me kneeling on that beach?”
The Bible speaks of a new breed of Christians appearing in the end times, who in the face of extreme persecution will not fear death.
In the first pages of the Book of Revelation, an apocalyptic vision of the end times given the Apostle John, God urges believers to “be faithful until death” (Revelation 2:10).
As we move further into the Book, this is exactly what begins to happen. We are told that Christians did not love their lives even when facing martyrdom (Revelation 12:11).
Then at the end, God provides a special reward to those who stood for their faith during these horrific times and particularly those who were beheaded:
And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4 NASV)
Audrey’s song is a tribute to the faith of these martyrs.
Who is Audrey Assad?
Audrey, 32, is Catholic. She is a worship leader, Christian singer and song writer. Her first album, The House You’re Building, released in 2010 was chosen by Amazon as its number one Christian album of the year. Itunes awarded the album its Christian Breakthrough Album of the year.
She has toured with a number of Christian singers such as Jars of Clay and Chris Tomlin.
Born in New Jersey, her father was Syrian and mother American. Though raised a protestant, Audrey converted to Catholicism in 2007.
In an interview with Tony Rossi, host of the Catholic program Christopher Close Up, Audrey shared what led her to embrace Catholicism.
She had heard many opinions about the Catholic church, including views it wasn’t Christian and others describing it as the “whore of Babylon,” a term used to describe an organization supporting the Antichrist in the Book of Revelation.
Growing up in a predominantly Italian Catholic community, she was also aware of the lifestyle of many professing Catholics. But that changed when she met a Catholic man who was sold out to Jesus.
“He shattered all those preconceived notions with his knowledge and his zeal and, foremost, his passion for Christ,” she said.
Along with Matt Maher, Audrey looks upon herself as one of the “token” Catholics in the contemporary Christian music scene.
Through her ministry she has met many angry people who have been hurt by the Roman Catholic church. “I really can’t do anything about that. That is up to God to heal and them to surrender it, but it does make the conversation difficult,” said Audrey.
Though I have no doubt about Audrey’s sincere faith in Christ, I am very concerned about the direction Pope Francis is leading the Roman Catholic church.
Now married, Audrey and her husband live near Nashville and have one son born in 2014.