The question is simple and direct. Are you willing to suffer and die for the faith you believe in? Let’s take a look at some of those that did. All excerpts are taken from FOX’S BOOK OF MARTYRS. Although certainly not all inclusive of those who have suffered and died for their faith in Jesus Christ … below are some who were closest to Him in the 1st century church.
Stephen was occasioned by the faithful manner in which he preached the Gospel to the betrayers and murderers of Christ. To such a degree of madness were they excited, that they cast him out of the city and stoned him to death.
James the Great The account given us by an eminent primitive writer, Clemens Alexandrinus, ought not to be overlooked; that, as James was led to the place of martyrdom, his accuser was brought to repent of his conduct by the apostle’s extraordinary courage and undauntedness, and fell down at his feet to request his pardon, professing himself a Christian, and resolving that James should not receive the crown of martyrdom alone. Hence they were both beheaded at the same time. These events took place A.D. 44.
Philip was born at Bethsaida, in Galilee and was first called by the name of “disciple.” He was scourged, thrown into prison, and afterwards crucified, A.D. 54.
Matthew was born at Nazareth. The scene of his labors was Parthia, and Ethiopia, in which latter country he suffered martyrdom, being slain with a halberd in the city of Nadabah, A.D. 60.
James the Less At the age of ninety-four he was beat and stoned by the Jews; and finally had his brains dashed out with a fuller’s club.
Matthias of whom less is known than of most of the other disciples, was elected to fill the vacant place of Judas. He was stoned at Jerusalem and then beheaded.
Andrew at Edessa he was taken and crucified on a cross, the two ends of which were fixed transversely in the ground. Hence the derivation of the term, St. Andrew’s Cross.
Mark was dragged to pieces by the people of Alexandria, at the great solemnity of Serapis their idol, ending his life under their merciless hands.
Peter Jerome saith that he was crucified, his head being down and his feet upward, himself so requiring, because he was (he said) unworthy to be crucified after the same form and manner as the Lord was.
Paul who before was called Saul, after his great travail and unspeakable labors in promoting the Gospel of Christ, suffered also in this first persecution under Nero … the soldiers came and led him out of the city to the place of execution, where he, after his prayers made, gave his neck to the sword.
Jude the brother of James, was commonly called Thaddeus. He was crucified at Edessa, A.D. 72.
Bartholomew was at length cruelly beaten and then crucified by the impatient idolaters.
Thomas called Didymus, preached the Gospel in Parthia and India, where exciting the rage of the pagan priests, he was martyred by being thrust through with a spear.
Luke the evangelist, was the author of the Gospel which goes under his name. He travelled with Paul through various countries, and is supposed to have been hanged on an olive tree, by the idolatrous priests of Greece.
Simon surnamed Zelotes, preached the Gospel in Mauritania, Africa, and even in Britain, in which latter country he was crucified, A.D. 74.
John the “beloved disciple,”was brother to James the Great. From Ephesus he was ordered to be sent to Rome, where it is affirmed he was cast into a cauldron of boiling oil. He escaped by miracle, without injury. Domitian afterwards banished him to the Isle of Patmos, where he wrote the Book of Revelation. He was the only apostle who escaped a violent death.
Barnabas was of Cyprus, but of Jewish descent, his death is supposed to have taken place about A.D. 73.
This ends the excerpts from FOX’S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
Over the centuries, many, many more people gave their lives in brutal and heinous manner while declaring their faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ who died for their sins and was resurrected from the grave. Likewise, many people have suffered and died cruelly so that we might have the Word of God translated in many languages thus giving us access to the very Word of God.
The Gospel [Good News] that these people were willing to die for is our one and only hope of salvation. As the title asks, “Are you willing to suffer and die for the faith you believe in?” Would you?