"The blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church." - Tertullian
a person who is put to death or endures great suffering on behalf of any belief, principle, or cause.
The very reason the Church still exists today is because the early emissaries of the Lord continued to speak Truth despite persecution. Take Stephen, for example, mentioned in Acts 7. He spoke the unpopular Truth, and for that, he was stoned to death. But even as they grew angry with him, he continued to look to Jesus and speak His Word. No, Stephen wasn't trying to commit suicide. He didn't want to die. But he knew that the Truth must always be spoken, so he went ahead and spoke it anyway.
Too many churches today are being built on popular culture, and are so 'Grace-filled' that anything goes. We live in a culture of compromise, and I wonder what the future of the Church is, if we as the Church, continue to compromise? See, the decisions we make now as part of the Church are leaving a legacy for the generations to come. If we're not willing to be martyrs, then what is the future of the Church?
No, I'm not saying we should go and do crazy things til we get killed. I'm saying we need to be willing to die for the Truth. If fighting for a cause means people want to kill us - we have to be willing. We who know the Truth have to always be willing to speak it, even when it's unpopular. Even if it means being 'socially martyred.'
I know Churches don't like to take a stand on a lot of issues, because they will lose popularity, they will lose people, but what does that leave for the next generation?
The blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church.
Christians - we have to have a martyr spirit. When this world is screaming tolerance, we speak Truth. When the world celebrates gay marriage, we hold fast to what Scripture says. When people are protesting for unborn babies to be killed, we take a stand for life. When the world celebrates freedom from slavery, we continue to fight knowing there are still 27 million slaves worldwide.
No, we don't do it in hate. We speak the Truth in love. But we must speak. We must act. For if we don't, then maybe the Church doesn't have a future. If we're not willing to speak and live the unpopular Truth now, then don't expect the future Church too either.
We don't compromise, Church. We don't decide it's too hard to live the way God asks us too. We continue to look to Him and run to Him. Yes, it's challenging. It's tiring, and there are some seasons where it will cost you everything. But the decisions we make now, the martyr spirit we continue to have, plants a seed for the future Church.
Check out David Bowden's spoken word piece 'No Excuse.'