Archive for the ‘Endurance’ Category

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In:Endurance, Martyrs

Comments Off on The Martyrdom of Marinus (c. 262 A.D.)

(Account from Martyrs Mirror, pp. 140-141)

 

In the ancient records of the pious witnesses of Jesus Christ, an account is given of Marinus, a citizen of Jerusalem, of noble descent, who, although he belonged to the nobility, entertained a sincere affection for the true Christians, who at that time were oppressed beyond measure. On this account his enviers, who were jealous of the honor of his nobility, severely accused and charged him with being a Christian; which he also confessed, when he was brought before the Judge; yea, he declared with a loud and clear voice, that he was certainly a Christian. The Judge then gave him three hours’ respite to consider, whether he would die as a Christian, or whether he would sacrifice to the gods and the Emperor.

  As he went away from the tribunal, Theotecnes, the bishop of the church in that city, took him by the hand, and led him to the meeting, in the meeting-place, strengthened him with many words in the faith, and, placing before him the sword which he was wont to carry at his side, and also the Gospel [book], he asked him which of the two he would choose?

  When Marinus, with a firm faith, stretched forth his hands for the Gospel, choosing it instead of the sword, Theotecnes said to him: “O my son! keep that which thou hast chosen, and, despising this present life, hope for the eternal. Depart in good confidence, and receive the crown which the Lord has prepared for thee.”

  Marinus accordingly returned to the tribunal, and was forthwith called by the lord’s servant, for the appointed time had come; he did not delay or wait until he was asked, but said of his own accord: that he had considered the matter, and that it was established by the law of the fathers, that God must be obeyed rather than men. Eusebius Pamphilius [an ancient church historian] writes, that when Marinus had answered thus, the Judge immediately gave sentence that he should be beheaded.

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In:Endurance, Salvation and the New Birth, Sin

Comments Off on Peter vs. Unconditional Eternal Security

By Andrew V. Ste. Marie

 

Many people are of the opinion that once a man is truly born again, he can never lose his salvation.  The Apostle Peter did not share this perspective.

 

“For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire” (II Peter 2:20-22).

By Pablo Yoder

“What are you doing here?” was the question that God asked Elijah, the time that he ran, scared silly by the threats of a woman. Discouraged and tired from running, he was hiding in a cave, wishing to die. He had believed a bunch of the devil’s lies, and that is why this usually courageous prophet was acting so strangely. Then he heard that familiar voice, “What are you doing here?”

Fortunately Elijah was honest enough to answer truthfully to the owner of the voice. “I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts (true enough): for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain the prophets with the sword (again, true enough); and I, even I only, am left (Whoa! That’s a lie from the pit); and they seek my life, to take it away … (True again; but the God that made fire fall from the sky that was so hot that it even burned stones and water, that gave you the stamina to run for miles with the speed of the antelope, that baked little miracle cakes out of thin air, and that came up with little cruises of water from nothing can take care of you, my dear prophet friend) …”

Have you ever heard modern-day Elijahs whine the same way? “My church is full of problems and I am so alone. I am the only one left that really wants to serve the Lord or obey the Bible. Everybody is going liberal. Nobody loves me. Nobody cares. Nobody sees all the work I do for the Lord. I am worthless. I am so discouraged. I’m going to throw in the towel …”

Today God calls you to come out of the cave of your discouragement to stand before HIM. It’s time to quit believing lies and to look at God Jehovah. Will he have to rend your life asunder with the awful winds of trials? Or shake the very earth you stand on with the terrible earthquakes of upheaving circumstances? Or burn the dross from your gold with the hot fire of persecution?

Come out of the lonely grotto of your discouragement and listen for the still, small voice. The still, small voice of God says:

What are you doing here? Get back to the very place you ran from, and get to work. I have so much for you to do. Messages to deliver. Kings to anoint. Men to put to work for my kingdom …

My kingdom has not died. Stop believing all those lies. I am not done with the church yet. I am going to win this battle.

I, Jesus Christ, will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it!

And look around you. Open up your spiritual eyes. You aren’t seeing right and it’s hard for you to believe, but I have chosen 7000 that have not bowed the knee to nor kissed Baal!

The time for moping is over, discouraged brother. If you are getting old, find your Elisha to replace you and make sure he has a double measure of your spirit. If you are a church leader, get others involved in the battle and clean up the church. God is more interested in revival than you are!

It is time to enter the battle. This is war! Spiritual warfare! God bless you as you take up all the armor of God and enter the fray. And don’t forget to listen daily to the still, small voice!

 

Originally published in The Heartbeat of the Remnant (May/June 2012), 400 W. Main Street Ste. 1, Ephrata, PA 17522.

By Daniel Beachy

 

The church at Ephesus had many good works, they had much knowledge, but they had left the first love. How do we leave our first love? It seems we too easily get the idea we’ve lost our first love and don’t know how to find it. The way it really happens is we choose what will be our first love. It’s not lost; but left. Not forgotten, but forsaken.

 

It’s like a man walking alone carrying a burden for one he loves with all his heart. As he journeys towards his destination, he sees another bundle containing gold, silver, and other valuables. “Well (he may say), I can’t carry both bundles very far, but this looks like a good thing, this will allow me to live more comfortably. I will try it once.” And so he goes on for a while until he finds out that these two packages can’t be carried together; one will have to go.

 

“Why, I’ve hardly picked up this new bundle and I’m getting tired already.” After some deliberation he takes the first bundle off his back, finds a good place to put it by the side of the road, and proceeds down the road with the second. “I’ll come back and get that later,” he decides, “once I’ve found a secure place to store these other things.” Thus he leaves his first love, for the second one.

 

Originally published in The Heartbeat of the Remnant (March/April 2011), 400 W. Main Street Ste. 1, Ephrata, PA 17522.

By Andrew V. Ste. Marie

A bit of honest soul-searching is often good for us. Young people sometimes have the idea that they can be lukewarm in their devotion to Jesus Christ and get serious and holy when they are older. This is a tragic mistake.

On page 182 of Martyrs Mirror, we find a record of forty young people whose dedication to the Lord Jesus puts many of us to shame:

When the East as well as the West was exceedingly disturbed on account of the violence of the persecution, there manifested themselves in the East, namely at Antioch, forty pious youths, as valiant champions of Jesus Christ, inasmuch as they openly and boldly confessed the Son of God, Jesus Christ, as their Savior.

Notice that these forty “openly and boldly confessed” Jesus Christ. Boldness is a characteristic lacking in many people today. We need to break out of our “comfort zones” and do what Jesus Christ wants us to do. We need to take seriously His final command before leaving this earth: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Mt. 28:19-20 This command is given to all followers of Jesus, not just missionaries, elders, or evangelists, and we young people need to obey it as well as older ones! These forty young people from Antioch seem to have been doing just that.

We continue reading in Martyrs Mirror:

Thereupon, the Governor of that place, after they had been apprehended, strenuously exerted himself to move them from the faith; but when all his efforts proved unsuccessful, he had them stripped naked, in the coldest part of the winter, and cast into a very cold pool. But as they were still alive the next day, he caused them to be burned to powder.

This kind of dedication to the Lord Jesus is what He wants from us; it is what Martyrs Mirror is all about. These forty young people were so dedicated to the Lord Jesus that they were willing to forsake all—all—for Him. Think about it for a minute … imagine who these young people may have been. There were young men, probably looking forward to having a business and supporting a family. There were young women, looking forward to the day when they would be mothers and keep a home. There may have been some who were courting and others who were engaged. All were probably hoping for a long life of service to the Lord Jesus, whom they loved so intensely. Yet none of this moved them when they were called upon to suffer for the Lord Jesus, and nothing could move them from Him.

Knowing how the Romans and other persecutors operated, the Governor probably tried to make these Christians recant first with fair promises, then dire threats. How many of us could stay faithful to Jesus if faced with this? Many young people seem to have a hard time resisting the fair promises of the world, even without any threats. They seem to be allured by the “pleasures of sin for a season.” He. 11:25 We need to be like Moses, who “esteem[ed] the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt.” He. 11:26 We need to stand strong for the Lord against the enticing allurements of the world.

Looking at the other tactic the Governor probably used—threats—we need to ask ourselves how well we have fared when facing petty threats, perhaps not even ones which have been verbalized to us. Have we been afraid of the thought of our friends sneering at us, accusing us of being somehow “holier than thou,” or some other such petty fear? How have we fared under peer pressure? These forty youths would have been threatened with a lot worse experiences than being laughed at. The torture methods of the Romans were disgustingly horrible, yet Christians stood steadfast under them.

Finally, having stood steadfast under the threats, these young people stood strong under actual trial. They were faithful to Christ under the most difficult and humiliating experiences. They left us a noble example.

 The big tests might come once in a lifetime. The little tests will come many times a day. Let us use little, everyday tests to prepare us for the bigger experiences which the Lord Jesus may have in store for us later.

Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might!

 

 

Originally published in The Heartbeat of the Remnant (September/October 2011), 400 W. Main Street Ste. 1, Ephrata, PA 17522.

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