To all who believe that Jesus is the Son of God:
“Wherefore seeing that we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let lay aside all weight, and the sin that so easily beset us and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1)
Have you ever thought about what happened to some of the saints that paved the road for you and me to be able to stand in church (at least those who do go to church)
Let me tell you:
John the Baptist: he was beheaded
Jesus Christ: He was crucified
Stephen: he was stoned
James the apostle: was executed about 44 AD
The apostle Philip: was sent to prison in 54 AD and crucified in Phrygia
The apostle Matthew: was sent to Ethiopia where he was nailed to the ground and beheaded in 60 AD
James the brother of Jesus: He was stoned or thrown from the roof of the temple in 66 AD
Andrew the brother of Peter: was crucified on an X-shaped cross
Mark: was torn to pieces by the inhabitants of Alexandria because he warned them against a religious festival in honour of an idol.
Simon Peter: he was crucified upside down because he did not think of himself of being crucified like Jesus.
the apostle Paul: he was in prison in Rome for years and was most probably sentenced to death and beheaded in 66 AD.
The apostle Jude: he was crucified in Edessa in 72 AD
The apostle Bartholomew: he translated the Gospel of Matthew into one of the Indian languages, but was later tortured and crucified.
Thomas: he was tortured in India by a raging crowd and his body was pierced and then thrown into a burning furnace.
The Apostle John: He was exiled to the island of Patmos where he wrote the book of Revelation. He was the only know saint not to die a cruel and violent death. Yet he had a pot of boiling water thrown on his face.
The apostle Luke the doctor: He was hanged for his beliefs from a tree in 93 AD.
I have nothing more to add to this overwhelming view of the heroes of faith who gave their lives to forward the Gospel to us. There are much more heroes in the Bible, see Hebrews 11 (It’s called the hall of faith.