Let this serve as a reminder that Christianity did not survive in the early years after Christ’s ascension because of it’s political power, nor did the Apostles strut around in pomp and glitter. They paid the ultimate price just as their Master did so that the message of salvation could reach the ends of the earth.

Seeing what they went through will make our personal sufferings and discomfort as Christians a minor nuisance. Some of our fellow believers have endured the same treatment even at the present time. But they were inspired by the intense persecution and cold cruelty the Apostles and disciples of Jesus Christ faced in those times, and all because of their undying faith.

Suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia, killed by a sword wound.


Died in  Alexandria, Egypt, after being dragged by horses
through the streets until he was dead.


Was hanged in Greece as a result of his tremendous preaching to the lost.


Faced martyrdom when he was boiled in a huge cauldron 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 the Isle of 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.


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.

James the brother of our Lord

Just “The Leader” of the church in Jerusalem, he 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.”

James the Great

Son of Zebedee, James 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.


Also known as Nathaniel, he 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.


He 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.


Thomas was stabbed with a spear in India during one of his missionary trips
to establish the church in the sub-continent.


Was killed with arrows when he refused to deny his faith in Christ.


The Apostle chosen to replace the traitor Judas Iscariot,
was stoned and then beheaded.


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

We know Judas Iscariot died by suicide as an embarrassed traitor. But there are thousands of other portraits in God’s Museum of Martyrs. The first, and foremost, is Jesus of Nazareth. Also, Stephen who died as Paul stood by and watched. And down through the centuries thousands of portraits have been added. It is the greatest honor any follower of Jesus can receive. Do you think you would be willing to pay the price for your portrait to hang there? Jesus said that if you aren’t, then you are not one of His true disciples. – Dr. Robert R Seyda

About drbob76

Retired missionary, pastor, seminary professor, Board Certified Chaplain and American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Director.
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