An elderly man at a hospital in Los Angeles County, California, was beaten to death last week after a man he shared a room with became upset that he outwardly practiced his faith while recovering from the coronavirus, according to the sheriff’s department.
In a story that encapsulates the modern American cultural plague of Christian persecution, an 82-year-old man is dead following a deadly Dec. 17 encounter with a man he had been placed with in a hospital in the community of Lancaster.
The victim in the incident was hospitalized following a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, authorities said. Rather than receive some semblance of respect for his 82 years on this earth, the man apparently became a nuisance to his much younger roommate.
The sheriff’s department said 37-year-old Jesse Martinez became “upset” at seeing his older roommate praying, and an attack ensued.
Martinez allegedly used an oxygen tank to assault the elderly man, striking him with it.
That man, who has not been identified, clung to life until the next day after being brutally attacked, before dying from his injuries, police said.
Martinez was charged with murder, a “hate crime” enhancement and elder abuse. His bail was set at $1 million, according to the sheriff’s department.
Police reported that the elderly victim and Martinez did not know one another. From the information police are currently providing, it appears the attack was only initiated by prayer, which is particularly curious.
As is always the case, tragic incidents like this can be better understood in the context of God’s word.
Matthew 24:3-14, for example, tells us that such atrocities might occur in the final days before “the end of the age.”
“Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?’ And Jesus answered and said to them: ‘Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many,’” verses 3-5 read.
Verse 6 continues, “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”
Verses 9-14 conclude, “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.
“And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
In John 15:19, Jesus says, “If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”
Using scripture to explicate an apparently random murder could seem like a stretch for those who might not be sold on the links between the word of God and such senseless killings. Christ, of course, tells us that no person shall know the time of his second coming.
But he does say that many signs will point to that coming, that those signs include the offense taken by outward displays of gratitude toward our divine creator, and that some might resort to callous attacks against those who dare to express their faith.
If the events of the last year, and even previous years, have shown us anything, it’s that we appear to be arriving at an intersection in time where Christians are becoming victims of persecution and violence, even in places named for angels. Wars, rumored conflicts, blind hatred and scourges such as the coronavirus pandemic are also front and center.
The pestilence of the coronavirus may have led an 82-year-old man to pray at a time when he needed healing. As a result of him calling upon his Heavenly Father, he was allegedly killed in a hospital.
This occurred in the very disturbed state of our world, which is wicked in all its ways, and appears to mirror, more and more, all the things we know will come to pass.
We cannot know if we are in the end times. But a man hospitalized after contracting an illness being allegedly murdered for praying is a sign that, at the very least, we are culturally lost if not morally defunct.
Tragedies such as the one which occurred last week in Los Angeles County can show us that in the face of tragedy, we should be reminded of the wonderful promise of our final redemption and salvation.
A man tragically lost his life, but he was faithful until the end of his time in this world, as we all should be.
As Matthew 10:22 tells us, “And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.