This is the third episode of the month, which means we will be looking at a couple stories of martyrs for the Christian faith.
You might be wondering why anyone would want to read stories that are sometimes disturbing and end in death. It could be viewed as a morbid thing to do. However, it is good to remember those who stood up and didn’t deny Jesus. And it can bolster our faith to read about what they faced.
The Christian martyr, stands on the objective truth of Jesus Christ and the gospel. Not only do they have the Holy Spirit with them to strengthen and comfort them, but they have peace, joy, and hope. They have Jesus and Jesus has them. They know that Jesus already died for them, to atone for their sins, having mercy on them, to adopt them into His family as a child of God, to impute righteousness to them in the greatest act of love and grace. Jesus rose from the dead three days later, defeating death, and sent the Holy Spirit to live in His sons and daughters, to minister to us and comfort us, and point us to the promise of eternal life in heaven with Him. These martyrs have faith in that gospel message and hope for the sinless, perfect eternal life that awaits them with their Savior Jesus. They also have hope that other converts will come from people observing what happened to them, which many did, as a testimony that this God, this Jesus, is the One True God and is worth losing one’s life for – to not deny Him. This is deeper than worshiping an idol or made-up god or religion, which might only give some temporary pleasure in life on earth. This is the hope that we have, not a wishing type hope, but hope that has been backed up with action, that to live is Christ, but to die is gain. These martyrs also died so that the gospel message and the Kingdom of God might continue on. May their stories encourage you and point you to the Hope, the One True God.
1 Peter 3:14-16
- Stephen’s story is in Acts chapters 6 and 7, around A.D. 36 in Jerusalem.
- Wrunken was a maid in a Mayor’s house in Roneses, Flanders, Belgium in the 1500’s.
- Gul Masih’s story took place in Pakistan in 1992.
- Another podcast, also part of the Christian Podcast Community, that is doing episodes on martyrs and missionaries is Revived Thoughts with Troy Frasier and Joel Bourdess.
- Voice of the Martyrs ministry
- Book: Jesus Freaks by Voice of the Martyrs and DCTalk, published in 1999. [This is an affiliate link, which means that if you click it and purchase this book, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but it is no extra cost to you.] Or, there is an updated and expanded edition sold here: Jesus Freaks
- Book: Foxe’s Book of Martyrs (Pure Gold Classics) by John Foxe [This is an affiliate link, which means that if you click it and purchase this book, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but it is no extra cost to you.]
Keep reading your Bible!