How the Twelve Disciples Died

How the disciples died

HOW THE APOSTLES DIED.
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 Son of Zebedee 
He was a fisherman by trade when Jesus Called him to a lifetime of ministry. As a strong leader of the church, James was 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.
13. Paul
Was tortured and then beheaded by the evil Emperor Nero at Rome in A.D. 67. Paul endured a lengthy imprisonment, which allowed him to write his many epistles to the churches he had formed throughout the Roman Empire. These letters, which taught many of the foundational Doctrines of Christianity, form a large portion of the New Testament. (Jayar Landingin)


After Christ’s crucifixion, the disciples and other followers were disillusioned and discouraged, they were fearful and many were in hiding. The person they thought was the Messiah was dead. Their hope in Him as the savior of the world was crushed. They began to disperse and return to their former way of life.
     But after the resurrection, they came together and began boldly proclaiming the Jesus was alive. There can only be one explanation for the change in the disciples. Jesus was alive and the disciples had seen Him (1 Cor. 15: 5 & 7) and ate and drank with Him(John 21:12-15) (Acts 10:41). They knew with certainty that Jesus had risen from the dead.
     They faced a lifetime of hardship and persecution, and eventually died a martyr’s death. Could they have sustained such unwavering faith if they knew what they were preaching was a lie?
     Men will die for what they believe to be true, though it may actually be false. They do not, however, die for what they know to be a lie. (Paul Little “Know Why You Believe”)

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Forget the Past – The Future Matters

sunrise and man praising

Do you keep thinking about the mistakes and bad decisions you made in the past? Are there things that you keep thinking about, wishing you had done differently? Are there sins in your past that you remember with shame? We all remember the errors of our past occasionally and think about what we should have done differently, not realizing the negative impact it is having on our lives.

At Easter, we are reminded of the price Jesus paid for our sins on the cross. Before that, we lived by the law. Mankind was constantly coming before God with animal sacrifices, seeking His forgiveness. But at the cross, Jesus was the sacrifice for our sins. He shed His blood as the ultimate blood sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin once and for all.

Because of his blood, our sins are covered. “the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace..” (Ephesians 1:7).

“For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14).

When we ask His forgiveness, He will forgive us and never remember our past sins again. They are covered by His blood forever.

“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Jeremiah 31:34) (Hebrews 8:12)

Because we are human we cannot live without sin, but because of God’s amazing grace, we can remain pure in His sight. God’s grace is not a one-time whitewash of our sins. It is never-ending. We are going to make mistakes. We are going to fail. However, grace is an on-going cleansing process, as we daily surrender ourselves to Christ.  

We are washed as white as snow (Psalms 51:7)  (Isaiah 1:18).

If God has forgiven and forgotten our past, why can’t we? Satan will use our past against us. It is not just the past sin in our lives; Satan will use any mistakes, bad decisions, relations, and etc, that we have made. Anything in our past that we regret is fair game for him to use against us to drag us down with guilt, shame, or regret. If Satan can keep us dwelling on our past, then he is also keeping us from looking to our future and focusing on today and tomorrow. Dwelling on our past robs us of our joy for today and our vision for the future.

The past is over and done with. It is time to forgive ourselves and others. Ask for forgiveness if that is needed, then move on.

When we keep dwelling on our past, we are denying the power of the blood Christ shed on the cross at Calvary. In essence, we are saying His crucifixion was in vain. There is absolutely nothing we can do to change the past. It is over, done with, it is best by far to move on. 

With Jesus, our past is past, only our future matters. He loves us and wants us to be joy-filled and happy. He only wants what is best for us, and that is in our future, not our past.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

 

The Battle Within

Wolves Wolf Winter Predators Zoo WildlifeA Native American elder told his grandson about two wolves who live in every heart. One is Evil — anger, jealousy, pride, and selfishness. The other is Good — joy, love, peace, and humility.

The grandson asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?” His grandfather replied, “The one you feed.”

While not exactly a biblical illustration, it makes an important point: There is a battle raging in the heart of the Christian. As the Apostle Paul said when writing to the Galatians:

“For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.” (Galatians 5:17)

Becoming a Christian does not mean that our struggles are over. We are forgiven and we are a child of God, but we still retain our sinful nature. We will battle our sin nature as long as we live here on earth. We are given the Holy Spirit to give us the power to overcome the desires of the flesh.

The more we feed the Spirit by faith in Christ. The more we are obedience and in prayer, Bible study, worship, and holy living, the weaker the flesh becomes. The closer our walk with the Lord becomes and the easier it is to say yes to the Spirit and no to the flesh.

However, when we feed the sinful nature, our walk with the Lord becomes weaker. Every time we give into the lusts of the flesh, we are saying no to the Spirit. The more often we say yes to the flesh, the easier it becomes. If we say yes too often, some things can become an addiction with devastating consequences. Satan will not miss an opportunity to drag us down.

But, when we say no to the sin nature, we become stronger. Saying no to the flesh just one time makes us stronger. The more we say no to sin, the stronger we become and the desire of the flesh become weaker. If we keep saying yes to the spirit and no to the flesh, we will win the battle.

Don’t be discouraged if you cannot escape the struggle within. Instead, feed the Spirit through prayer and worship. Deny the lust of the flesh. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, you can win the battle within. The Heavenly reward will be beyond what we can comprehend. (1 Corinthians 2:9)

Feed the good wolf in you!

Forgivness

Our forgiving others is absolutely crucial to our physical and spiritual health. We cannot have a healthy relationship with God if we are holding a grudge against another person. It doesn’t matter if we are right and feel that we are justified to be mad at someone. Jesus stated the second most important commandment after loving God is to love others.  
“Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40)

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34)

There may be a few people in our lives that we love as much as ourselves, but without God’s help, it is impossible to love others as ourselves. As humans, we are very self-centered. For instance, when we look at a picture that we are in, don’t we look at ourselves first? Don’t we judge whether the picture is good or bad by how we look in it?

I’m just making a point here. Loving and forgiving others is not always easy. Sometimes it is impossible without God’s help. It may not be easy, but it is vital to our relationship with Christ.

The scriptures tell us that our forgiveness depends on our forgiving others. Continue reading

Living in God’s Grace

the-crossA young woman in a desperate financial situation yielded to temptation and stole from her employer. She was caught and arrested. However, when she came before the judge and told her story, he had compassion for her. He offered to pardon her if she would return the money, which she gladly did. Even though her employer forgave her, and the judge pardoned her, she still had an arrest record that would follow her for life. If the judge had erased the crime from her record, that would have been grace.

When we come to Christ, we are not only forgiven, but because of His grace, our slate is wiped clean. Our record is pure, it’s as if we never sinned. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

We view sin on different levels. For instance, a little lie is not nearly as bad as murder, which it isn’t. This is a worldview of sin, not God’s view. To God sin is sin. It is black and white. There are no gray areas.

Let me illustrate, If you had a gallon of totally pure water, you would have no qualms about drinking it. In fact, you would probably relish the idea of drinking water that was completely pure.

If you took that gallon of pure water and added one tiny drop of raw sewage, would you still drink it?  Probably not, because that tiny drop of sewage would have spread throughout the entire gallon of water. No longer is it a little isolated drop that you can push to one side out of the way.

It is the same with sin. One small sin, no matter how insufficient it may seem, will permeate our entire being. And God being pure and righteous cannot tolerate even the smallest sin.

As humans, it is impossible for us not to sin.If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). Unkind thoughts, envy, pride, prejudices, resentment, and jealousy are just a few of the things that we battle. Our minds are a battleground in the spiritual war that takes place between God’s goodness and the evil ways of Satan.

The devil has had thousands of years to perfect his tactics. We are no match for him. It is only because of God’s grace that we will be able to spend eternity in heaven. We cannot be good enough on our own to deserve heaven.

The disciples asked Jesus “Who then can be saved?” Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” (Luke 18: 26-27).

Thankfully Jesus paid for our sins on the cross. He redeemed us with his blood. Jesus is our kinsman redeemer. “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace..” (Ephesians 1:7). Because of his blood, our sins are covered. the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.(1 John 1:7)  “All are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24).

We are washed as white as snow (Psalms 51:7)  (Isaiah 1:18).

Our sins are forgiven, never to remembered again. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Jeremiah 31:34) (Hebrews 8:12)

It doesn’t matter how good we are or how much good we do. It is only by God’s forgiving grace that we can be saved. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

God’s grace is not a one-time whitewash of our sins. It is never ending. We are going to make mistakes. We are going to fail. However, grace is an on-going cleansing process, as we daily surrender ourselves to Christ.  It is only by the atoning blood of Christ and the gift of grace that we can come to God. The grace of God is so complete and encompassing that Paul, when speaking to the Roman Christians warned them to not go on sinning, simply to experience more of God’s grace.What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” (Romans 6:1-2)

We must not tempt the Lord by continuingly sinning, knowing that we are justified by God’s abundant grace. Such action would give Satan a toehold in our life and distance us from God.

For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14).

As Christians, our lives should be joy filled with a sense of freedom in Christ. If our lives are not joy filled, if our Christian walk feels burdensome, then we are probably not living as a free person. Rather, we are living as slaves under the law.

We have been made free of the law. The law no longer has jurisdiction over us. We are dead to the law (Romans 7:4) and free from the law (Romans 8:2). The law could not save; it can only condemn. God sent his son to save us and do what the law could not do.

The law demands perfection. Grace provides perfection.

Thanks to Christ we can live a joy filled life free from the burden of sin and free from the condemnation of the law. Our sins have been washed away, never to be remembered again. Our record is clean.

Thank you God for your amazing grace.

 

Are You Going to Heaven? You Can Know for Sure!

eastern-sky

Do you believe and put your trust in Jesus Christ?  If you said yes then you can know without a doubt that YOU are going to heaven!  You have God’s guarantee!

First, We are all sinners, none of us deserve heaven. Yet, Jesus made it possible. The Bible tells us that because one man sinned, sin and death entered the world. Because of that man’s sin, we are all born in sin. (Romans 5:12)

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23).

We are all sinners and undeserving of heaven. Just being a good person, isn’t good enough. We cannot be good enough to be deserving of Heaven. God cannot abide sin of any kind. Big sin or a little sin, it doesn’t matter. It is still sinning. “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8)

 Suppose you had a barrel of water and it had been filtered and distilled until no impurities remained. If someone asked you to drink it, you wouldn’t hesitate. But suppose someone put a single drop of raw sewage in it. Would you drink it? Of course not. The same is true with sin.

 Just like the barrel of water, a single sin, a unloving thought or a moment of anger will make us unfit for heaven. It is impossible for us to live without sin except for the grace of God. Only Christ walked upon this earth as a human and was without sin.

 Thankfully, God has made it easy for us to go to heaven. He sent His Son to die on the cross and redeem our sin with His blood (John 3:16). Jesus paid the price for our sins and redeemed us from the death that we deserve. Jesus paid for our sins with his blood, he is our redeemer, and therefore he is our only way to heaven. He made it possible for us to someday stand before God. Continue reading

The Power of Song

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Before coming to Christ, John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, traveled from England to Georgia as a missionary, but the experience was a failure. As he returned home in frustration, his ship ran headlong into a terrible storm. Wesley was terrified, but he couldn’t help noticing a group of German Christians aboard the ship. They trusted God so completely they held a worship service in the storm. In the middle of their singing, a wave rose over the vessel and bore down like Niagara. But the Christians didn’t miss a note. Wesley realized the German believers had something he didn’t have; and through their influence, he shortly afterward trusted Christ completely and felt his heart “strangely warmed.”

 Trusting Christ enables us to sing in the storm. Our Lord gives songs in the night, and He teaches us to sing songs of deliverance as we wait on Him.

  An old hymn says “Singing I go along life’s road, praising the Lord, praising the Lord.” Others, noticing the melody of our lives, will be drawn to Christ.(David Jeremiah)