The more they were persecuted, the more their numbers grew.
Imagine seeing these as newspaper headlines…
John the Baptist Beheaded
John the Baptist, Son of Zacharias and Elizabeth, beheaded in the castle of Machaerus, at the command of Herod Antipas, A.D. 32.
Jesus Christ Crucified
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, crucified at Jerusalem.
(Note: The death of Christ was not simply the death of a martyr, as many falsely believe. Christ died sacrificially - suffering the judgment of God as the Divine Substitute for the sins of His people.)
Stephen Stoned To Death
Stephen, one of the seven deacons of the church at Jerusalem, stoned without the gate of the city, by the Libertines, A.D. 34, shortly after the death of Christ.
James Slain With The Sword
James, the son of Zebedee, put to death with the sword, by Herod Agrippa, in Jerusalem, A.D. 45.
Apostle Philip Stoned To Death
The holy Apostle Philip, bound with his head to a pillar, and stoned, at Hierapolis, in Phrygia, A.D. 54.
James, The Brother of Christ, Beaten To Death
James, the son of Alpheus, or brother of the Lord, cast down from the temple, stoned, and beaten to death with a club, A.D. 63.
Barnabas Burned Alive
Barnabas, a companion of the Apostle Paul, dragged out of the city and burned, at Salamina in Cyprus, A.D. 64.
Mark Dragged To Death
Mark, (author of the Gospel of Mark) the holy Evangelist, dragged to the stake at Alexandria, died on the way, A.D. 64.
Apostle Peter Crucified
Simon Peter, the holy Apostle, crucified with his head downward, under Emperor Nero, A.D. 69.
Apostle Paul Beheaded
Paul, the Apostle of Christ, sorely persecuted, and finally beheaded, at Rome, under the emperor Nero, A.D. 69.
Aristarchus, a traveling companion of Paul, slain at Rome, under Nero, about A.D. 70.
Epaphras, a fellow prisoner of Paul, slain under Nero, about A.D. 70.
Four Friends of Paul Martyred
Four fellow laborers and relatives of Paul, namely, Priscalla, Aquila, Andronicus, and Junia, martyred at Rome, under Nero, about A.D. 70
Silas Scourged And Martyred
Silas, or Silvanus (ministry partner to Apostle Paul), scourged at Philippi, in Macedonia, and died a martyr, about A.D. 70.
Onesiphorus and Porphyius Tied To Wild Horses, Dragged To Death
Onesiphorus, a friend of Paul, and Porphyrius, his companion, tied to wild horses, and dragged, or torn to death, at Hellespontus, through the edict of Nero, About A.D. 70.
Andrew, the holy Apostle, crucified at Patras, in Achaia, about A.D. 70.
Bartholomew Tortured And Beheaded
Bartholomew, the holy Apostle of Christ, first greatly tortured, then flayed alive, and finally beheaded, in Armenia, by King Astyages, about A.D. 70.
Thomas Tortured and Burned In A Furnace
Thomas, (sometimes called “Doubting Thomas”) the holy Apostle of Christ, tormented with red-hot plates, cast into a furnace, and his side pierced with spears by the savages at Calamina, about A.D. 70.
Matthew, the holy Evangelist (author of the Gospel of Matthew), nailed to the ground, and beheaded at Nad-davar, under King Hytacus, about A.D. 70.
Simon Zelotes and Judas Thaddeus Slain
Simon Zelotes and his brother Judas Thaddeus, both slain for the truth of Christ - the one crucified, and the other beaten to death with sticks, about A.D. 70.
Matthias Stoned And Beheaded
Matthias, the holy Apostle of Christ (the apostle who replaced Judas Iscariot), tied on a cross upon a rock, stoned, and then beheaded, A.D. 70.
Luke, the holy Evangelist (author of the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles), hanged on a green olive tree, in Greece, A.D. 93.
Antipas Roasted Alive
Antipas, the faithful witness of Jesus Christ, burned at Pergamos in a red-hot brazen ox, A.D. 95.
Apostle John Banished
John, the holy Evangelist (author of the Gospel of John, The Epistles of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John, and the Revelation of Jesus Christ), banished to the Isle of Patmos, by Emperor Domitian, A.D. 97.
Timothy Stoned To Death
Timothy, (to whom was written the Epistles of First and Second Timothy) the spiritual son of the Apostle Paul, stoned to death by the heathen idolaters at Ephesus, about A.D. 98.
The world’s worst tortures could not make these believers deny the Lord Jesus.
These martyrs testified with their own lives that Jesus Christ is the resurrected Lord. Jesus Christ was so real to them, they were willing to joyfully suffer and die as martyrs for Christ rather than deny Him.