Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Polycarp's Martyrdom

"For eighty-six years I have been his servant, and He has done me no wrong.  How can I blaspheme my King who saved me?" ~ Polycarp, recounted in the Letter of the Church of Smyrna to the Church of Philomelium and recorded by Eusebius in his work The History of the Church

February 23, 156 AD Polycarp (a disciple of the apostle John) spoke these words at his trial before he was executed for being an "atheist" according to the Roman authorities. It is an incredible account of strength and faith that must be attributed to the promise Jesus gave the disciples in Luke 12:11-12: "And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say." How else could one have the courage to say, "Call for them!" when he is threated by wild beasts? It is a very encouraging account and Stand to Reason has it on their site.

By His Grace,

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