Post by Lee Stephenson on May 13th, 2013
Yesterday we talked about the important of not giving up when it comes to our faith walk. Specifically, we walked through Galatians 6:9…
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9 ESV)
I am so glad that some of the forefathers of the faith and the Church never gave up. Here are some stories of what the apostels faced and what they went through to finally get to Harvest. Let them be both a sobering moment for you but also an encouragement of what took place to build the Church of today.
James was put to death with the sword, likely a reference to beheading.
Peter was crucified upside-down on an x-shaped cross in Rome in fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy (John 21:18).
Matthew suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia, killed by a sword wound.
John faced martyrdom when he was boiled in a huge basin of boiling oil during a wave of persecution in Rome. However, he was miraculously delivered from death. John was then exiled to the mines on the prison island of Patmos. He later died as an old man, the only apostle to die of natural causes
James, the brother of Jesus (not officially an apostle), was the leader of the church in Jerusalem. He was thrown from the southeast pinnacle of the temple (over a hundred feet down) when he refused to deny his faith in Christ. When they discovered that he survived the fall, his enemies beat James to death with clubs.
Bartholomew, also known as Nathanael, was a missionary to Asia. He witnessed in present-day Turkey and was martyred for his preaching in Armenia, being flayed to death by a whip.
Andrew was crucified on an x-shaped cross in Greece. After being whipped severely by seven soldiers, they tied his body to the cross with cords to prolong his agony. His followers reported that when he was 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 died.
Thomas was stabbed with a spear in India during one of his missionary trips to establish the church there.
Matthias, the apostle chosen to replace the traitor Judas Iscariot, was stoned and then beheaded.
Paul was tortured and then beheaded by the evil Emperor Nero in Rome in A.D. 67.
The fact that all of the apostles were willing to die horrible deaths, refusing to renounce their faith in Christ, is tremendous evidence that they had truly witnessed the resurrection of Jesus Christ.