Yea, and all that will live godly in
Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
2 Timothy 3:12
It has been said that the blood of the saints watered the fields of harvest which catapulted the growth of Christianity around the world. The most famous of works that recorded these faithful martyrs was written by John Foxe in 1554, known popularly as Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. There was a time when all through-out the English speaking world, in a devout Christian home you found not only a Bible, but also Foxe’s book.
Why, you ask, would martyrdom be proof for the God of the Bible? Because, many a non-believer has come to the saving grace of Jesus Christ by witnessing the suffering and persecution of a believer in Him. The love that is displayed by a Christian for their persecutor has caused many to ask:
bullet “Why don’t they fight back?”
bullet “Why do they not hate them for what has been done to them?”
bullet “Where does such a love come from?”
Their stories are heart-wrenching, humbling, and thought-provoking. In Hebrews chapter eleven (popularly known as the “Hall of Faith”) we see what is true evidence.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Heb 11:1)
The martyr’s unwavering faith in Jesus Christ is the evidence of God. Their hope does not lie within the things of this world, but in those that are to come. And this faith has been the seed planted in the heart of the unbeliever that has led them to Christ.
Don’t be mislead; the persecution of the saints continues even today. Many still die for their faith in Jesus Christ under the hands of malevolent oppressors. Under unimaginable circumstances they still look to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with anyone. They do so because they do not fear the actions of men; but of their Father in Heaven.
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.