“About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. He killed James the brother of John with the sword, and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also… “ vs.12:1-3
All of the 12 disciples ended up enduring persecution and suffering.
· Peter: A Fire in Rome, under Nero, He blamed Christians and began persecuting them. In 60AD, Peter, was crucified. He is stated to have said he was not worthy to be crucified the same way as Jesus and asked to be crucified upside down. He was crucified with praise coming from his lips
· James: Son of Zebedee, faithful, and he was beheaded for his faith. The martyrdom of James is recorded in the New Testament of the Bible, in Acts 12:1-2. He was executed, with a sword, by order of King Herod Agrippa I in the year 44 AD:
· Phillip: "He labored diligently in Upper Asia, and suffered martyrdom at Heliopolis, in Phrygia. He was scourged, thrown into prison as a crippled, and afterwards crucified, A.D. 54."
· Matthew: served in Parathia and Ethiopia, among the cannibals. In the latter country he suffered martyrdom, being slain with a halberd in the city of Nadabah, A.D. 60."
· Andrew: the bashful brother of Peter, he did not end up bashful. He became a missionary to many lands. He was the first missionary to Russia, The cythians, probably the most barbaric people of the first century. Andrew might have been martyred in Achaia or Patrae, both of which are places in the western part of Greece. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, It is generally agreed that he was crucified by order of the Roman Governor, Aegeas or Aegeates, at Patrae in Achaia. Taken under arrest and scourged by 7 men with rods. And then he was bound, not nailed, to the cross, in order to prolong his sufferings. The cross on which he suffered is commonly held to have been an X shaped cross, the decussate cross, now known as St. Andrew's Cross. His crucifixion martyrdom took place during the reign of Nero, on the 30th November, A.D. 60.
· Thomas: Called Didymus, Doubting Thomas, no. He preached the Gospel in Parthia and India, where exciting the rage of the pagan priests, he was imprisoned, tortured by the priests, and martyred by being stabbed repeatedly with spears.
· John: ministered in Emphasis for many years, founded churches in Smyrna, Loudiosia, Thia, Pergamous, Philidelphia, and others. He was Captured by the emperor who threw him into a pot of boiling oil. Miraculously he escaped with scars.. The emperor was superstitious of him. So he put him on The Island of Patimous where he was haunted and hunted by enimies for his faith. Only apostle we believe to die from natural causes.
· Bartholomew: According to Eusebius, Christian writer who lived during the 4th Century of this era (about 1600 years ago), Bartholomew traveled to India to preach to the people there, leaving behind a copy of the Gospel of Matthew. Bartholomew was martyred by King Astyages in Armedia: He ordered the holy apostle Bartholomew to be beaten with rods; and after having been scourged, to be beheaded."
· James son of Alphaeus: according to Foxs' Book of Martyrs, was beaten, stoned and clubbed to death.
· Judas: Judas Iscariot was not a martyr. He killed himself after betraying Jesus.
· Thaddeus (Jude): was crucified, "Jude, the brother of James, was commonly called Thaddeus. He was crucified at Edessa, A.D. 72."
· Simon: Surnamed Zelot, preached the Gospel in Mauritania, Africa, and even in Britain, in which latter country he was crucified, A.D. 74.
I don’t know what your future is, and I do not know what mine is. We may see a day when we are called to pay for our faith with our own blood. However, I know one way you can pretty well make sure you won’t be called to martyrdom. That you won’t be persecuted, that you won’t endure suffering. How?
Continue to adhere to and follow the others idols in the world as well as Jesus.
Continue in materialism and drive new cars, but put an Ichtus on the rear bumper.
Continue To build and live in nice, comfortable homes with back decks, but hang a cross on an interior wall.
Continue to invest, in wear, and advertise materialism to the world, but wear a gold cross hidden under your shirt.
Continue to believe that “church” is a building and being a “disciple of Christ” simply means attending that building once a week.
Continue in to be silent in conversations when Christ is being mocked or sin is being exhalted.
Continue to be silent in sharing the talking about Jesus to your co-workers, classmates, family, and friends.
Continue to turn you head and cling to your resources when confronted with injustice, starvation, homelessness, and suffering in the world and your neighborhood.
If You continue to do all this, I can almost guarantee you will never be persecuted or suffer for your faith.
But then nothing will ever come of your faith.
Everyone of those who were martyred Exhibited Immediate Costly Radical Obedience (IRCO).
Everyone of those who were martyred, were active in their faith.
Everyone who died was an “all in” disciple of Christ.
Everyone who was martyred could have avoided it.
None had to die! None had to go through Persecution or suffering for their faith.
Everyone that did, went through it because they knew Jesus is worthy of it.
We cannot on our own, no matter how religious we may try to become or what restrictions we place on ourselves in our flesh, without the indwelling of and pushing deeper into and receiving the Holy Spirit personally into our lives, form a heart and soul that truly trusts, risks all, obeys, and believes that God is worthy of all and any suffering and persecution we may endure for our faith.
My family, I pray today that you as an individual and we as a church can embrace lives of faith in which Jesus is worthy of it all. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you what that looks like in your life and us as a community of faith. In Jesus’ name. Please pray the same for me. God bless you my friends!
Please share your reflections to this post or the verses and reflections the Holy Spirit led you into in Acts 12.
Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower
One Direction Community
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