1 Peter 4:19
Therefore, let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.
One by one they died. James, the brother of John, was beheaded. Church history says that Thomas was killed in India. Simon was crucified in Egypt. Mark, the first bishop of Alexandria, was burned and buried in Egypt as well. Bartholomew was beaten, crucified, and beheaded. Andrew, Peter’s brother, was crucified in Rome. Matthew was killed with a spear. Phillip was stoned then hung on a cross. James, the brother of Jesus, was beaten to death after it was learned that his being thrown from the temple didn’t kill him.
Two years after writing his first letter, Peter was put to death in Rome. The records of the early church indicate that he was crucified. Eusebius—the “Father of Church history,” cites the testimony of an eyewitness named Clement who said that before Peter was crucified, he was forced to watch the crucifixion of his wife. As he watched her being led to a terrible death, Peter called her name and said, “Remember the Lord.” When it was his turn, he pleaded to be crucified upside down because he wasn’t worthy to die in the same manner as Jesus. Peter was nailed to the cross head downward.
The apostles followed hard after Jesus during their lives and in their deaths. They “entrust[ed] their souls to a faithful Creator.” They are not only great teachers; they are great examples of suffering according to God’s will.
- Thank God for the amazing examples of the apostles and others who have died for Jesus.
- Ask God to give you the strength to live for him today.
Father, give us the courage to die for you if need be. For only when we are willing to die for you can we truly live for you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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