Summary: We are not called to be martyrs in Christianity, but we are called to love God even to the point of readily giving up this temporal life if need be.
—The Martyrs Mindset—
"Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you."—Philippians 3:15
We find quite often nowadays in the news, stories like:
—'3 men summarily executed by Saudi authorities for converting to Christianity',
—'North Korea running secret detention and extermination camps for Christians', and the likes.
'Christian Martyrdom'—'the suffering of death on account of faith in Christ Jesus,' is an idea that to most Christians is still rather weird and inconceivable.
The thought of it gets some of them wondering,
—why not people just flow with the tide. God will understand. Or,
—Why waste one's precious life to prove a point. It's no wisdom. We are not called to die but live.
Yes, the Christian call is not a call to martyrdom.
However, underlying the martyring of every martyr is an untold story—one unknown to the unbelieving world. A story of love invisible to the onlooking world—of a 'Lover' and His 'beloveds'. The story of mankind intoxicated by his lover and Saviour's charm. Christ Jesus says, "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends."—John 15:13
It began with a bloody sacrifice on the cross of Calvary and has continued to enchant all that come into its loving embrace.
Yes, we are not called to die but to receive God's love manifest in Christ Jesus. We are called to cherish Him, adore Him, and treasure His finished work on the cross and the eternal treasures that He has acquired for us.
Stephen, considered the first martyr of Christianity, overwhelmed by the knowledge of Christ Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, only pleaded for the pardoning of his executors, considering their action as ignorance.—Acts 7:60
History is filled with records of martyrs who heartily sang hymns as they they are taken to the place of their execution.
The Bible refers to these heroes of faith as men "of whom the world was not worthy..."—Hebrews 11:38
They could only pull such stunts because of the knowledge they possessed.
Paul, the apostle, often will pray for believers that the eyes of their hearts be enlightened, that they may know what is the hope to which God has called us, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe.—Ephesians 1:18-20
It is our growth in the knowledge of the treasures in Christ Jesus that, like Paul, the apostle, we would begin to think in a spiritually matured way—'reaching forth to those things which are before, w wee wille press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.'—Philippians 3:13-14
We are called to be of martyrs mindset, for martyrdom is not in the act but in its resolve.
May God grant us the grace to understand and treasure the love of God as is manifest in Christ Jesus and live every moment to the glory of His name, in Jesus name. Amen.