Killed For The Sake Of Christ
In a flagrant defiance of Diocletian, one of his most trusted soldier would not for anything - threats or riches, deny his faith in Christ. Angered by this, Diocletian subjected this soldier to the worst forms of public torture, but helped by God, he bore it all valiantly; and still preached about his Christ thought it all, untill he finally received a Martyr's crown.
Before the Great Persecution started, Diocletian’s resolve to wipe out Christianity had been tested in a very personal way. Diocletian had first asked all the members of his royal guard to prove they were not Christians by offering a sacrifice to the Roman gods. To Diocletian’s dismay, one of his most loved soldiers refused to make the sacrifice. Diocletian did not want to lose his most trusted member of the royal guard, so he offered him riches, properties, and titles if he would only make a small, insignificant sacrifice to the Roman gods, but the soldier refused.
. . . .
Diocletian became infuriated at the gall of the insubordinate soldier and decided to stop trying to protect him and instead was determined to make an example of him for all to see. The soldier knew the ultimate test of his life was coming, so he sold all of his belongings and gave the money to the poor.
Diocletian ordered that the soldier be strapped to a wheel with his body facing outward. Boards with swords facing the soldier were put in place, and as the wheel turned, the swords would filet the skin off of the soldier’s body. It was a gruesome display of torture and pain. As the crowds gathered around, however, something quite amazing happened—when the body of the soldier was removed from the wheel, the sky grew dark and the soldier stood up alive and healed!
. . . .
The crowds were convinced it was a miracle. They thought they were looking at an angel of the Lord.
Diocletian immediately had the soldier beaten with a whip until the blood flowed like water from his body. The blood flowed and flowed, but he did not die. Diocletian’s face went white with fear. He was certain the soldier was being helped by some kind of magic, so Diocletian brought in his most powerful priestess, who was a witch practicing black magic. The witch put a toxic potion together that would kill any man.
The soldiers standing guard were ready to force the prisoner to drink it, but they didn’t need to. He took it from their hands and drank it willingly, but still he did not die. The witch, knowing the power of her own potion, knew in that moment that the soldier’s God was greater than she was. She immediately confessed and accepted Christ as her Savior.
In front of the amazed crowds and royal family, the soldier started to preach about the power of God.
Diocletian ordered soldiers to behead him to prevent him from teaching any more, and on April 23, 303, the soldier received his crown of martyrdom when he willingly laid his neck under the sword.