In Memoriam: Christian Martyrs


Today is Memorial Day, a day set-aside to remember those who gave their lives in service for the country. It is a day to remember the lives lost protecting the United States of America and the freedoms. However, being a Christian I find this a day as well to reflect on those who have given their lives for the furtherance of the Gospel. While I am considered a citizen of the United States of America in reality I consider myself simply an Ambassador for Jesus the Messiah and the Kingdom of God. There is a battle that rages between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of this world. It is not about territory but about lives. It is about people finding salvation through surrendering self to the King of Kings. So in consideration of that ongoing battle I want to take some time to reflect on some folks who gave their lives for the furtherance of the Gospel and the Kingdom of God.

The Apostles: First of all when considering and honoring Christian Martyrs we have to start with the Apostles and the early Church believers who spread the good news of salvation through Jesus the Messiah at the cost of their lives. A listing of how some of these precious believers and how they died is listed: http://www.allaboutfollowingjesus.org/voice-of-the-martyrs.htm.

Assorted Martyrs: There are many other believers who have been persecuted and martyred over time. Fox’s book of Martyrs chronicles many tales of Christians giving their lives for the gospel and it is worthwhile to spend time learning about some of them.

Modern day Martyrs: Christian Martyrdom is alive and well even in this day and age. All throughout the world there are Christians daily facing death and persecution for the cause of the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah. Information on many of the troubling spots on earth for Christians can be found at www.persecution.com. Some places where Christians have lost their physical lives recently include India, China, Sudan, Iran, and many others. Of course in the recent past, the former USSR and Russia was also a place many believers in Jesus as Messiah met their physical deaths.

Future Martyrs: Time is fast approaching where countless many more Christians will lose their lives and join the ranks of the martyred. It may seem like a long way off at times but the reality is a time is soon coming when ascribing to Jesus as Messiah will be a guarantee of martyr-hood.

Famous Martyrs: There are some well known martyrs that are worth drawing some special attention to by name. Now these martyrs lives meant no more or less then the countless others who have died for the cause of the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah but it is worth honoring these servants none-the-less.

        Jim Elliott: He along with Ed McCully, Pete Cathers,Nate Saint, and Roger Youderian were killed by Aucas Indians but ultimately came to saving knowledge of Jesus as Messiah as a result of their deaths. A brief history of the event is found here: http://www.hyperhistory.net/apwh/bios/b4jelliot6ra.htm. Also the move The End of the Spear gives a good portrayal of the impact of these men’s death in advancing the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah.

        Dietrich Bonhoffer: This is the author of “The Cost of Discipleship” and he not died not only because of the Gospel but because he also stood up against evil presented by Hitler and the Nazi’s. He was hanged a week before the Allies arrived. A nice biography can be found here: http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bio/133.html.

        Watchman Nee: This man of God chose to return to Communist China to preach the Gospel. He is influential in the spread of the gospel and the house churches in China. He was falsely accused and sentenced to imprisonment. He died in a Chinese prison in 1972. His final written words were: “Christ is the Son of God who died for the redemption of sinners and resurrected after three days. This is the greatest truth in the universe. I die because of my belief in Christ.” Watchman Nee. A nice biographical summary can be found here: http://www.watchman-nee.net/watchman_nee/index.html.

 

Now there countless other Martyrs both men and women, young and hold. Some lead to others being reached for the Gospel, others impact is all known. They all laid down their lives so that others may know the freedom and peace of the Gospel and the Kingdom of God. They gave their lives so others may know true peace. This true peace is only found by accepting Jesus gift of sacrifice to pay for the consequences of our self-centered and selves. True peace is turning from seeking from self and own righteousness and recognizing that only by the sacrifice of innocence blood through Jesus the Messiah are we able to even approach the Creator. So please, think today about the men and woman who gave their lives so that others may know this true peace. Evaluate yourself, are you living your life for self? Have you given in your life in surrender to Jesus the Messiah and would you be filling to follow Jesus no matter the cost as did Jim, Dietrich, Watchman, and countless others, some known many unknown. Please feel free to comment on any Martrys that you want to give memorium too.

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2 Responses

  1. I have decided that I will no longer attend any church on Memorial Day unless I know for sure ahead of time that the church: 1. Will not pledge to the flag. 2. Will not sing patriotic songs. 3. Will not ask God to bless America. 4. Will not have veterans wear their military uniforms. 5. Will not have all veterans stand and be applauded. 6. Will not say that U.S. soldiers defend our freedoms. 7. Will not say that as Christ died for our sins, so U.S. soldiers died for our freedoms. 8. Will not recognise police and fireman as public servants worthy of our praise.

    I suspect that I will be staying home next year or taking the kids on a picnic. It is a disgrace that some or all of these things take place in American churches on Memorial Day Sunday.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/026927.html

  2. […] Kingdom of God well. Last year on Memorial Day some specific Martyrs were honored in this thread: https://peacebringer7.wordpress.com/2009/05/25/in-memoriam-christian-martyrs/. This year want to emphasize all those that have gone before us. It is a good time to remember the […]

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