The historian Eusebius records the last words of Agapius, a martyr who had been brought to the stadium to be murdered for the crowd’s entertainment. If they expected him to plead for his life, they were disappointed: Agapius instead tells the audience that they should all disregard what is mortal to gain an eternal Kingdom.
When they had led the martyr Agapius around in the stadium, they asked him in the first place if he would deny his God, but he shouted out with a loud voice to all those who were assembled together:
“All of you who are looking on at this trial in which I am now placed, know that it is not for any evil crime which I have committed that I am brought to this trial. I am a witness of the true doctrine of God, and I bear testimony to you all, in order that you may have knowledge of the one only God, and of the Light that he has caused to arise, that you may know and adore him who is the creator of the heavens and of the earth.
“And all this that has come upon me for his name’s sake, I receive with joy in my mind. They have not brought me to this place against my will, but I desire this of my own free choice, by which I stand even to death.
“Furthermore, I am contending for the sake of my faith, to give encouragement to those who are younger than I am, so that they too may despise death while they follow after their true life, and may disregard the grave in order to obtain a Kingdom; so that they should make light of what is mortal, and always remember the life of the Giver of life; and so that they should not have any dread of punishment that is momentary, but be in fear of those flames that are never quenched.” –Eusebius, On the Martyrs of Palestine
What mortal things are holding me back from placing all my trust in Christ’s Kingdom?
Lord Jesus Christ, through you all things were created, and you never abandon anyone who trusts in you. I acknowledge that there is no King but you.
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