We have recently celebrated Easter, but many have forgotten the reason this day holds such a special meaning to Christians around the world.
No, it’s not about the Easter bunny, finding eggs, pretty dresses, and garden parties.
For the Christian, it’s about Jesus Christ dying on the cross. Then buried in a tomb, only to rise on the third day to defeat Satan in the ancient battle for the souls of mankind.
We are all familiar with the men who followed Jesus, his chosen disciples. However, do you know how they died? Most faced a brutal death for their decision to follow Jesus and spread his gospel to people of many nations.
You may say, “Why do I care how they died?” My answer to you would be, “Persecution still occurs all over the world today. There are dark forces alive today who strive to destroy all followers of our Lord, Jesus Christ through acts of unthinkable terrorism.
Unfortunately, these murderous acts are nothing new. Those who first spread the glorious news of salvation, laid down their lives for their faith.
- Matthew. Suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia, Killed by a sword wound.
- Mark. Died in Alexandria, Egypt, after being dragged by Horses through the streets until he was dead.
- Luke. Hanged in Greece as a result of his tremendous Preaching to the lost.
- John. Faced martyrdom when he was boiled in huge Basin of boiling oil during a wave of persecution in Rome. However, he was miraculously delivered From death. John was then sentenced to the mines on the prison island of Patmos. He wrote his prophetic Book of Revelation on Patmos. The apostle John was later freed and returned to serve As Bishop of Edessa in modern Turkey. He died as an old man, the only apostle to die peacefully.
- Peter. Crucified upside down on an x shaped cross. According to church tradition, it was because he told his tormentors that he felt unworthy to die in the same way Jesus Christ had died.
- James. The leader of the church in Jerusalem was thrown over a hundred feet down from the southeast pinnacle of the Temple when he refused to deny his faith in Christ. When they discovered that he survived the fall, his enemies beat James to death with a fuller’s club. This was the same pinnacle where Satan had taken Jesus during the Temptation.
- Bartholomew. Also known as Nathaniel, was a missionary to Asia. He witnessed for our Lord in what is present-day Turkey. Martyred for his preaching in Armenia, he was flayed to death with a whip.
- Andrew. Crucified on an x-shaped cross in Patras, Greece. After whipped severely by seven soldiers, they tied his body to the cross with cords to prolong his agony.
His followers reported that, when led toward the cross, Andrew saluted it in these words, “I have long desired and expected this happy hour. The cross has been consecrated by the body of Christ hanging on it”. He continued to preach to his tormentors for two days until he finally expired.
- Thomas. Stabbed with a spear in India during one of his missionary trips to establish the church in the Subcontinent.
- Jude. Killed with arrows when he refused to deny his faith in Christ.
- Matthias. Chosen to replace Judas Iscariot, was stoned and then beheaded.
- Paul. Tortured and then beheaded by Roman Emperor Nero in A.D. 67. Paul endured a lengthy imprisonment, which allowed him to write his many epistles to the churches he had formed throughout the Roman Empire. These letters, which taught many of the foundational Doctrines of Christianity, form a large portion of the New Testament.
These men died for their belief in Jesus. Over the centuries, the Jewish people are martyred only because they are Jewish. Many American soldiers have laid down their lives in the fight for freedom and justice against those hell-bent in forcing Islam on the world.
Martyrdom has occurred since the beginning of time, and for many reasons. Unfortunately, it continues today. It will happen on American soil if we don’t stand up for our freedoms and culture which are under attack each and every day.”
In fact, I consider 9/11 as one particular day filled with martyrs.
Would you lay down your life for your faith and the future of America?
God bless those on the front lines in this war we face today. God Bless America and God Bless President Trump!
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