33 “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? 34 Therefore I am sending you prophets and sages and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. 35 And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation. Matthew 23:33-36
Jesus spoke these words 2000 years ago but he could have been speaking today. Many have carried on the tradition of these men.
Thousands of men, women, and children have been martyred every year at the hands of people who hate them and believe what they are doing is good for the world. The Spirit of anti-Christ is alive and well in this world.
An early church father, Tertullian, said, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” It was as profound in AD 197 as it is today.
We hear stories of people who preached and preached for years only to be martyred. Years, sometimes decades later, a church springs up where those seeds were planted.
It was the day to day faithfulness of those who have come before us that enables us to have the liberties and Gospel we now enjoy.
Jesus spoke the harsh words against the leaders of the day but it’s also a reminder to us that Jesus forewarned us about such people.
Those in the trenches serving Christ, keep at it.
Day by day.
You are not serving man alone but Christ also.
And when it’s difficult, know that He is giving you strength to serve another day.
It’s worth the struggle.
It’s worth the blood sweat and tears.