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Not An Option!

“Here is a trustworthy saying:
If we died with him, we will also live with him;” 2 Timothy 2:11

Jesus, our Lord, was crucified on a cross for claiming to be the Son of God around 33 AD.  Shortly after His resurrection from the dead, His disciples began to proclaim this ultimate validation of Jesus’ message and claim.  This made them targets for the same persecution that Jesus faced, and some would even die in the same way.
According to Foxe’s Book Of Martyrs, in AD 44, King Herod ordered James the Greater to be thrust through with the sword and was the first of the apostles to be martyred. Luke was hanged from an olive tree in Greece. Doubting Thomas was burned alive in India. Philip was crucified and preached from the cross with his dying breath. Matthew was stabbed in the back in Ethiopia. Bartholomew was flogged to death in Armenia. James the Just was thrown off the southeast pinnacle of the temple in Jerusalem, then clubbed to death by a mob. Simon the Zealot was crucified by the governor of Syria in AD 74. Judas Thaddaeus was beaten to death with sticks in Mesopotamia. Matthias, who replaced Judas Iscariot, was stoned to death and beheaded. Peter was crucified upside down at his own request. When John the Beloved survived being put in a cauldron of boiling oil, the Emperor Diocletian exiled him to the island of Patmos.
Now you and I will probably not be called to die physically for Christ, but dying to self is never portrayed to us as an option.  It’s a reality of the new birth; no one can come to Christ unless he is willing to see his old life crucified with Christ and begin to live in light of Jesus’ resurrection.
Are you willing to give up who you are for what you will become in Christ?
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