What Happened to the Apostles
The apostles of Jesus Christ are responsible for bringing the gospel message (1 corinthians 15: 1-4) to the world. They ministered to both Jews and Gentiles alike. Not only did the apostles take the gospel to Europe, but to India and North Africa as well. They preached that God had come in the flesh to pay for the sins of the world with his life, and that they had seen him resurrected from the dead. They backed up this seemingly outlandish claim with their lives! These men were all willing to die for the cause of Christ and to get the gospel into the world. That is what Jesus told them to do.
Mark 16:15- And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
After Jesus ascended to heaven, the apostle got to work. At first they went around Israel preaching Jesus to their fellow Jews. Then God called Peter to go unto the Gentiles and preach the gospel. So, Peter went to Rome and ate unlawful things with the Gentiles and brought many Romans to Christ. His fellow Jews chastised him for such an act, but it was God's will. Around that time another man showed up named Paul who was also commanded to preach to the Gentiles. Paul was once Saul of Tarsus who brutally executed Jewish believers. Now, he was to go out into the world preaching Jesus Christ. All of this preaching was having an affect on people. No where more than in Rome, where Christianity was spreading like wild fire. As a result the Emperor Nero started a fire of his own. A fire that would burn down three quarters of Rome as reported by Roman senator Tasidus. Rome was in an outrage and Nero pointed the finger squarely at the Christians. He said they were radical terrorists and enemies of the nation. Thus began the Roman Empires brutal persecution of Christians. Christians were rounded up and tortured for their faith. This is no doubt a ploy of Satan to destroy the earlier church. Caesar Augustus had all the money inscribed with "Caesar is God," because that is how he saw himself. Anyone who used this money acknowledged Caesar as God. This was a precursor to the mark of the beast. The Christians refused to do so, to their own peril. Christians didn't fair much better in the rest of the world either. The devil was working all around them. They suffered beatings, imprisonment, stoning's, scourging's, and various forms of torture. The Apostles did not fair well any where they went. The book of Acts records the death of John's brother James.
Acts 12:1-Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church.
Acts 12:2-And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.
Another apostle had his death recorded in the Bible and that was Judas Iscariot. After betraying Jesus, Judas committed suicide by hanging.
Lets take a look at how the other apostles died. Peter was one of the greatest and most influential of the apostles, as well as one of Christ's favorites. He was arrested many times for his faith. He was no doubt tortured and beaten as well. Peter was crucified upside down, because he did not deem himself worthy to die in the same manner as Christ. This is documented by Clement of Rome. The apostle Paul was perhaps the greatest of all the apostles and suffered greatly, as documented in 2 Corinthians.
II Corinthians 11
24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
Like Peter, Paul was also in jail frequently, some say he spent most of his life in jail. Paul would ultimately be called before the Roman courts where he was charged and executed by beheading. This is documented by Ignatius of Antioch. James the brother of Jesus, doubted that his brother was in fact God. He doubted, up until he saw his brother in his resurrected form. After that he became a minister to the Jews in Jerusalem. Josephus documented that he was stoned to death, most likely by the Sanhedrin. The apostle Andrew was crucified in 60 A.D. in Patras Greece, on an X shaped cross. He, like Peter, did not deem himself worthy to die as the Lord did. The X shaped cross is referred to in many parts of the world as the cross of Saint Andrew. The apostle John was the only one who died of old age. Only after the Emperor Domitian dunked him in boiling oil in the Roman Colosseum. John came out unscathed, according to numerous sources. After that, he was exiled to the isle of Patmos for the rest of his life. Where he wrote the book of Revelation. The apostle Philip died by hanging. His body was wrapped in papyrus because he did not deem himself worthy to be wrapped in linen like his Lord. The apostle Bartholomew preached in India. He was seized, filleted alive and beheaded. The apostle Thomas like James doubted Jesus. Only after his resurrection did he believe him. Thomas was allegedly commissioned to build a palace for the king of India. He apparently spent more time preaching Jesus, because he was killed with a spear. The apostle Mathew was the first to write about Jesus Christ. He went south to Ethiopia to spread the gospel. While there he died a martyrs death. No one can agree on exactly how he died. The apostle James (brother of Jude) was captured and his body was sawn in pieces. This was a particularly brutal death. Jude his brother did not fair much better. He preached in Odessa near the Euphrates. There he was captured and shot with arrows. The apostle Simon is one of the little known apostles. It is recorded that he died by crucifixion. All of these men gave their lives so that you and I can have eternal salvation. These are the true hero's of history. They selflessly followed the path of their savior to help bring eternal life to all people. Jesus knew their heart, that is why he chose them. I thank God for these men and what they did. I am sure today they occupy a high position in heaven.
I hope you enjoyed this article. If you are not a Christian, I invite you to get saved now. Tomorrow may be to late. To get saved all you have to do, is admit that you are a sinner and that Jesus Christ died for your sins. The only way to take away sins is with the pure shed blood of Jesus Christ. Good works can not take away sins. If they could, then Jesus Christ died in vain. Jesus died, was buried, and rose from the dead as payment for all sins. Once you believe that, you are saved forever. You did nothing to earn it and you can do nothing to lose it.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.