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Not long after Paul was in prison there was a man, one of the early church fathers, by the name of Pollycarp. He lived his life for the sake and the glory of God. At eighty-six years old the officials called upon him. Even before this he had a vision that he was to by martyred. He could have fled but he said, no, the will of the Lord be done. The officials called this eighty-six year old man, Pollycarp and they said what harm is it if you would just say, “Lord Caesar,” and make a sacrifice to save your own life. Pollycarp’s great response was, “Eighty-six years I have served the Lord and he never once wronged me. How then shall I blaspheme my king who has saved me?”


The men said to Pollycarp, “If you do not do worship Ceasar we will bring out the wild beasts to kill you.” He said, “bring them on.” They said if the beasts do not scare you then we will burn you at the stake. Pollycarp said you threaten me with fire, which burns only for an hour, but soon is extinguished. The fire of future judgment and eternal punishment reserved for the ungodly you are ignorant of. Why do you delay? Do what you do.”


As they burned Pollycarp there was a great testimony that went out. It inspired the early Christians. Because when people stand for what they believe in Jesus Christ it produces a testimony that enables all to see that what Jesus claimed is true. How we live and how we react to our difficulties make a big difference in the testimony that we are giving before a lost world.


You need to know that people are watching you and wanting to know how you respond to your difficulties. They want to see how you will act when you yourself have these difficulties. How you react will make the difference to what kind of testimony you give.

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