To read up about history, is to help you understand and learn yourself, God and the future.
After the Pentecost, came a time for the new Christians to learn, experience what it meant to be a Christian and die for. What it meant to say Jesus save me and gave me a new life, a purpose and a new future.
From 11 Disciples, the Christian following grew to large groups, spread from Northern Africa to wide spread areas through out the Romain empire (European countries, Asia Minor) within 60 years or so.
Let me take you to Smyrna, a Greek city, today located in Turkey, the year around 167 AC. The Christians where heavy prosecuted and martyred, by both Jews and non-believers. Just because you said you are a Christian – you were convicted to death, but if you sworn off your believe – then you wouldn’t be executed.
The Christians organized themselves, so that there was a bishop and a few deacons that assisted the bishop, for each congregation.
The apostle Johannes have done mostly mission work in Asia Minor. Polycarp from Smyrna was one of his students, which became later the bishop of Smyrna.
At the age of 86, he was dragged before a roman governor, to try and convince him to renounce Christ.
|Governor called out:||Take your years into consideration.|
And say away with the wicked.
|Polycarp, face stark, looked at the stadium, waived his hand over the crowed, looked up to heaven|
|And Polycarp said:||Away with the wicked!|
|Governor:||Renounce Christ and give Caesar your obedience. And I will let you free.|
|Polycarp:||86 years I have been serving him. He has done me no wrong. How can I then blaspheme my King and Savior?|
|Governor:||I have wild animals – I will through you between them?|
|Polycarp:||Call them! We cannot change our relationship if it means from bad to worst. But it will be a wonderful to change cruel to righteousness.|
|Governor:||If you mock the animals, then I will destroy you with fire.|
|Polycarp:||The fire you threaten me with, burns only an hour and then dies. But you are ignorant about the everlasting fire that comes with everlasting punishment – that are prepared for the wicked.|
Do as you please….
|Governor’s announcer announced 3 times:||Polycarp said he is a Christian.|
|Crowd stood up and screamed:||Burn him alive|
|Crowd stormed out and gathered wooed and build a stake|
|Polycarp prayed:||Father of your beloved and blessed Son, Jesus Christ, through which we learned more about You, the God of angels and all the powers and the Creation, of which righteous that live in your Presence. I praise You for finding me worthy for this day and hour – that I can die a martyrs death and may share the cup of Christ, and the resurrection to the eternal live of the body and soul in the imperishable Holy Spirit…|
|Men lit the fire and huge plans shot up in the air.|
Ausgewählte Kirchengeschicte, Herausgegeben von Pastor J. Schnackenberg
Die Geskiedenis van die Christendom, Dr Tim Dowley, Struik Christelike boeke.