Grace For Your Day September 18

Several weeks ago, I gave a summary of how the apostles died during our study of church history. Afterwards, several people asked if I could send them a copy of it so here it is:

Bartholomew was nailed to a cross, skinned alive and then beheaded in Armenia.
Andrew was crucified in Greece.
Stephen was stoned in Jerusalem.
James, Son of Zebedee was beheaded in Jerusalem.
James the Less was thrown from the highest point in the temple on Jerusalem. He didn’t die, just broke his legs, so they, the chief priests, ran him through with a sword.
John the Apostle was placed in a pot of boiling oil in Rome. He didn’t die so he was banished to a prison-labor, Alcatraz-type island called Patmos.
Philip was either crucified or stoned to death in Samaria.
Matthew was nailed to the ground with short spears and beheaded in Ethiopia.

Jude, Brother of James was beaten to death in Edema, a small country outside of present-day Iran.
Simon the Zealot was crucified and tortured by a governor in Syria.
Paul was beheaded in Rome after a shipwreck, numerous beatings, imprisonment, and humiliations.
Peter, after watching the crucifixion of his wife, was crucified in Rome upside down because he said he wasn’t worthy to die as Jesus did.

As you read all of that, you have to admit that it is a gruesome list. The whole thing is very sobering to think about because it shows you what it was like to be a Christian at this time in history. It was very difficult because the government came after you. All of that violence and mayhem and misery was given at the hands of the political leaders in the Apostle’s time or due to their neglect which is a good reminder that Christians do not always have a good relationship with the world they live in. Sometimes we have a bad one.

Another way to say this is that, if the Apostles had a hard time getting along with their government, then surely we will do the same. If the men who walked with Jesus struggled to be at peace with it, then it will be no different with us. We cannot go through life naively thinking that the two of us will always be on friendly terms which is what we are going to talk about this Sunday morning at Grace Fellowship Church.

This week, we are going to continue the series entitled “The Christian & Civil Disobedience” by doing a survey of all the times someone disobeyed the government in the New Testament. We will explore the lives of Peter, James, John, Paul, and Jesus Himself in order to see how they interacted with political leaders like Herod, Pilate, and Annas (just to name a few).

The reason this is important is because the Bible makes it clear that, whether you lived in Old Testament or New Testament times, we have to be willing to count the cost (Luke 14:28), take up the cross (Luke 9:23) and be hated by all for Jesus’ name (Matthew 10:22). Sometimes that hatred is unleashed upon us at the hands of our family and friends. Sometimes it is unleashed at the hands of our co-workers. Other times, it is unleashed at the hands of the government. Either way, we need to be ready for it and it is the purpose of this sermon to help you do that.

If you would like to learn more about that, the service begins at 9:30 on Sunday morning at 46024 Riverside Drive in Chilliwack. The sermon will be recorded and placed on our You Tube Channel later for anyone who is not able to attend in person. I look forward to seeing you there!

– Jeremy Cagle