This post is part of an ongoing series, highlighting the martyrdom of the apostles, deacons, and missionaries of the first century church.
“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:10-12
Meet (Simon) Peter the apostle
As if you needed an introduction, right? Many are already familiar with the apostle Simon Peter. He and his brother Andrew left their careers as fisherman to follow Jesus, when he called them by name (Matthew 4). Many times, he stood out as a leader with deep devotion for Jesus (John 6:68). He walked on water with Jesus (Matthew 14:26-33). He was zealous in his love for Christ, but was also corrected by the Lord for “missing the point” on a few well-known occasions (John 13:8, John 13:38). He fought to defend Christ when he was arrested (John 18:10-11). Peter is also the one who shamefully denied Christ three times when He was about to be crucified (Luke 22:55-61). In John’s gospel, Peter is the first person to enter the empty tomb (John 20:1-9). When Peter saw the risen Jesus out on a boat in John 21, Peter immediately plunged into the sea to meet his Lord (John 21:7)!
Following the ascension of Jesus, Peter was a missionary and preacher of the gospel without any shame. He delivered the open-air sermon at Pentecost (Acts 2:14-47). Two times, in the book of Acts, he was arraigned with the apostle John before the Sanhedrin. Preaching the gospel, he defied them both times (Acts 4:7-22; Acts 5:18-42). He continued to preach the gospel throughout Lydda, Joppa and Caesarea.
Peter the martyr
Again, the first of ten persecutions to hit the early church was stirred up by the emperor Nero around 64 A.D. Nero’s relentless rage against Christians was so fierce that the early historian Eusebius recorded, “A man might then see cities full of men’s bodies, the old lying together with the young, and the dead bodies of women cast out naked without reverence of that sex in the open streets.” In fact, many Christians in those days thought that Nero was the foretold Antichrist because of his savagery and abominations against Jesus’ early followers.
It was during this persecution that Peter was condemned to death. It is known that during this time that many Christians encouraged Peter to leave the city and avoid persecution. As the story goes, Peter was persuaded at first, but upon approaching the city gates, he saw a vision of the Lord Jesus that further aided in his understanding of Christian suffering. Peter then turned around and returned to the city where he was crucified upside down at his own request, saying he was “unworthy to be crucified after the same form and manner as the Lord was.”
LISA PARSON saysMay 16, 2011 at 1:47 pm
I enjoy the blue letter Bible ” devotion, reading, commentaries, women’s devotions & especially the Bible institute for more understanding of God’s word thank you
LISA PARSON saysMay 16, 2011 at 1:50 pm
also i enjoy Day by Day by Grace
Andy saysMay 16, 2011 at 1:52 pm
Great but a bit shorter than I expected 😛
Chris Poblete saysMay 16, 2011 at 2:18 pm
Sorry Andy! Anything in particular that you were looking for, regarding your study?
Rocky saysMay 23, 2011 at 11:07 am
Was looking for the right lace to pose this question, but alas, I did not find it..
In light of the rash of recent tornados, I wonder if tornados are mentioned in the Scriptures?
Rex Cleveland saysMay 31, 2011 at 10:24 am
Today I read all eight segments of your Faithful to the End series. A good work. Thank you.
Tragically, in today’s church, the deceivers are preaching the “health and wealth” doctrine that stands in open defiance of “share the sufferings (plural) of Christ”, 1 Peter 4:13; cf. Acts 14:22; 2 Corinthians 1:5; Philippians 3:10; Colossians 1:24; 1 Peter 2:21. As a result of that preaching, many in the church think that the infirm and poor are steeped in some kind of sin. I am so thankful for Watchman Nee’s book, The Spiritual Man, in which he comments that those in the body of Christ who are undergoing afflictions are most likely the most righteous because God is dealing with them on a personal basis.
On the morning of the day I broke my neck I signed up to be a YWAM constructor. Obviously, God had a different plan for my life. The following years were a time of skyrocketing spiritual growth. Learning to completely and absolutely trust in God’s provision, protection and perseverance has sustained me through my infirmity and poverty to this very day!
For those in similar situations here are some scriptures you should cling to during this time: the book of Job, Psalm 119:50,67,71,75; Isaiah 38:17; 2 Corinthians 4:7-11; Hebrews 12:11; James 1:2-4; 1 Peter 1:6-7, 4:12-*19. And always consider John 19:1-3 and remember that “a slave is not greater than his Master”, Johm 13:16.
Lastly, as to those naysayers regarding Chris’s resources, I understand their concern about the validity of the reported eyewitnesses’ accounts. However, since we should be like the Bereans (Acts 17:10-11), dilligent students of God’s Word daily, we should also trust in the writings of the saints who have preceded us for Romans 1:17 clearly states the phrase “from faith to faith”: that which has come from those believers who came before us is for us.
Again I thank you BLB for your faithfulness to God and His saints in providing this blessed ministry.
Yours in Christ,