A martyr is one who is killed for his faith. Only two individuals are specifically named as martyrs in scripture: Stephen (Acts 22:20) and Antipas (Revelation 2:13). The word itself appears only three times, twice in the singular form and once in the plural form, but each time, the writer associates the martyr(s) with the Saviour (“thy martyr”—Acts 22:20; “my . . . martyr”—Revelation 2:13; “the martyrs of Jesus”—Revelation 17:6). Scripture provides very few details concerning the life of Antipas. Yet, that which is mentioned conveys volumes. According to scripture, Antipas was a faithful man slain for his faith. He was a man who, like the believers at Pergamos mentioned in Revelation, held fast the Lord’s name refusing to deny the faith.
(For children): Many people in the Bible had faith in God and chose to die for that faith rather than to rescind their message or say they did not believe. Consider these examples: 2 Chronicles 24:20-21; Matthew 14:3-10; Hebrews 11:35b; Revelation 6:9; Revelation 20:4.
(For everyone): A man must meet two requirements in order to be identified as a martyr; he must be a man of faith, and he must die for that faith. How do we know these things are true of Antipas?
Why is it such a beautiful truth that the Lords martyrs are directly associated with Him each time in scripture? How does this demonstrate that Christ takes special ownership of His martyrs?
- Thank God for those who have loved Him enough to die for Him.
- Ask the Lord to give you a deeper love for Him.
PARDON ME, O MY GOD