These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. Hebrews 11:39-40
Up to four thousand years have passed since many of these men and women have slipped into eternity, many of them violently so. While they were living, they only got a glimpse at "what was promised," namely eternity. They knew the truth, lived the truth, and died bringing forth the truth. As the previous verse stated, the world truly wasn't worthy of them.
Are we then to seek to become like them, i.e., to be martyred and persecuted for our faith? I daresay none (or a rare, misguided few) sought martyrdom or persecution. They accepted it but didn't seek it. Based on my readings, I have seen that the church in China believes the church in America to be pampered, and unwilling and unprepared to be persecuted or martyred if push came to shove. I can't refute that idea outright because there's enough truth in it to be painful.
And yet, the time may come when we in the West are called to put our lives on the line for the Gospel of Christ. Are we ready? A more important question might be, are we willing? Could we do it if necessary? I can't answer that for you, and you cannot answer it for me.
But we still need to ask the question.