What does it cost me…..

If you are a ‘born again’ believer and if you are serving Jesus as He desires then you can expect opposition. It comes with the territory. It is so easy for us to let our flesh and the world convince us that we deserve better or no opposition. That ‘why me’ thought process is dangerous to our spiritual health. And we do not typically remember that God’s ways and thoughts are not our ways and thoughts (Isa 55:8).

2 Tim 3:12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

Luke 9:23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.

The following is how the 12 Apostles lost their lives.

1. Matthew: Suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia; killed by a sword wound.
2. Mark: Died in Alexandria, Egypt, after being dragged by Horses through the streets until he was dead.
3. Luke: Was hanged in Greece as a result of his tremendous Preaching to the lost.
4. John: Faced martyrdom when he was boiled in huge Basin of boiling oil during a wave of persecution In Rome. However, he was miraculously delivered from death.
John was then sentenced to the mines on the prison Island of Patmos. He wrote his prophetic Book of Revelation on Patmos. The apostle John was later freed and returned to serve As Bishop of Edessa in modern Turkey. He died as an old man, the only apostle to die peacefully.
5. Peter: He was crucified upside down on an x-shaped cross. According to church tradition it was because he told his tormentors that he felt unworthy to die In the same way that Jesus Christ had died.
6. James: The leader of the church in Jerusalem was thrown over a hundred feet down from the southeast pinnacle of the Temple when he refused to deny his faith in Christ. When they discovered that he survived the fall, his enemies beat James to death with a fuller’s club.
* This was the same pinnacle where Satan had taken Jesus during the Temptation.
7. James the Great: Son of Zebedee, was a fisherman by trade when Jesus Called him to a lifetime of ministry. As a strong leader of the church, James was ultimately beheaded at Jerusalem. The Roman officer who guarded James watched amazed as James defended his faith at his trial. Later, the officer walked beside James to the place of execution. Overcome by conviction, he declared his new faith to the judge and Knelt beside James to accept beheading as a Christian.
8. Bartholomew: Also known as Nathaniel Was a missionary to Asia. He witnessed for our Lord in present day Turkey. Bartholomew was martyred for his preaching in Armenia where he was flayed to death by a whip.
9. Andrew: Was crucified on an x-shaped cross in Patras, Greece. After being whipped severely by seven soldiers they tied his body to the cross with cords to prolong his agony. His followers reported that, when he was led toward the cross, Andrew saluted it in these words: ‘I have long desired and expected this happy hour. The cross has been consecrated by the body of Christ hanging on it.’ He continued to preach to his tormentors for two days until he expired.
10. Thomas: Was stabbed with a spear in India during one of his missionary trips to establish the church in the Sub-continent.
11. Jude: Was killed with arrows when he refused to deny his faith in Christ.
12. Matthias: The apostle chosen to replace the traitor Judas Iscariot, was stoned and then beheaded.

Did you notice that 11 of the 12 were martryed for their faith. We live in a country where we will probably not have to be confronted with physical death for our faith. Our biggest obstacle is the peer pressure from our world. Which may actually be a bad thing that physical persecution is not around us. I remember reading a prayer many years ago that believers in another country had for believers in America. They were dying for their faith and they prayed that we would come up against the same pressures so that we would experience the same level of comfort and strength that the Holy Spirit was giving them. WOW!

Luke 9:23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.