There has been a lot to do to get ‘The Wonders of God in Creation’ ready to be blogged, so for today here is a short biography on the martyred Bishop Polycarp that I wrote. Be encouraged!
Polycarp lived in Turkey in the first century. As a young boy he was a slave and was taken away from his mother to another household. Later he realized that his mistress was actually bringing him up as her son rather than her slave. Though scholars do not know how it came about, when he was young man he became a Christian. Later when his mistress died she left behind her all her goods to Polycarp. With his new found wealth he blessed and helped many Christians in Turkey, spreading the Gospel with diligence. He became a pastor at a church in Smyrna, and his church grew and grew. In time the pendulum of the Roman Empire persecuting Christians swung back with full force, and many Christians were killed for the sake of the Gospel. Polycarp watched many, many members of his church be killed for Christ. Then one night he had a dream that he would be burned at the stake; a few hours later news arrived that the Roman soldiers were coming to arrest him. Some friends wanted to hide him but he said that he would not run away, he trust God for whatever would be done to him. Three days later Roman soldiers came and arrested him, and took him to the arena at Smyrna for trial. After asking Polycarp to renounce Christ, Polycarp replied, “Eighty and six years have I now served Christ, and he has never done me the least wrong. How then can I blaspheme my King and my Saviour?” Then the Judge passed sentence on him, he was to be burned at the stake. A few minutes later, Polycarp was with Christ in glory.
This man should be a great example of faith in Christ to us, and has inspired many in their day and ours to follow the martyrs example, not necessarily to die for Christ, but to give testimony that they would have faith to live or die for Jesus. May the Gospel give us the strength to do likewise!