posted Feb 12, 2017, 5:50 PM by Dale Barnes   [ updated Feb 12, 2017, 6:12 PM ]

“I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!” (Jn.21:18-19 NIV) Years later, Peter was crucified in Rome.  

The apostle Paul was beheaded in Rome. Andrew was beaten and tied to a cross where he died a lingering death. James was killed with a sword.(Acts 12:2) Thomas traveling to India and was speared. Matthew was stabbed to death in Ethiopia.  Simon the Zealot was killed after refusing to sacrifice to the Sun God. Matthias was burned to death in Syria. It seems that all the original apostles were martyred while carrying out the great commission: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel.”  Only John died a natural death on the Isle of Patmos.  

These, and many others, have died for their faith in Christ.  They were followers of the one who died for them (and for all)  and rose from the grave. Jesus lives forever and sits at the right of hand of God. These men, dieing as they did, sealed the truth they were declaring. It was truth, and they testified to the value of it by giving  their own lives.    

The Gospel (Good news) of Jesus is such a wonderful message of God’s great love for all mankind.  We may not be called on to give our lives as they did .Yet we are to live and serve in such a way that this message of eternal life through Jesus Christ may go to all the world.