INSIGHT: After appointing twelve men as His disciples (Matt. 10:1-4), Jesus gave them their first assignment to go and preach the good news that “the kingdom of heaven has come near” (v. 7). Jesus warned that people in the world would not want to hear about Him: “You will be hated by everyone because of me” (v. 22). We, too, may be ignored, opposed, rejected, persecuted, and even killed (vv. 16-22). It may cost us to share the gospel with others, and we may experience hostility even from our own family (vv. 35-36). To overcome these challenges, Jesus calls for a commitment to Him that is greater than any other (vv. 37-39). Sim Kay Tee
Many of the Old Testament prophets were slain. John the Baptist was beheaded. All of the original apostles, as well as Paul, were killed for their faith with the exception of John. There have been more Christians martyred for their faith in the last century than in the rest of the church age combined! Foxe’s Book of Martyrs includes many of the great saints throughout the church age who gave their lives for their faith. The only one not martyred in the book was Martin Luther.
Why did they give their lives? Because they loved their Lord like Patriot Nathan Hale loved his country:
Now, let us rephrase this quotation according to the committed Christian:
“I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my Lord.”
The cause of Christianity is MUCH greater than our lives. Never forget that: “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.”
~ Tertullian 197 A.D.