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Eighty and six years have I served Him, and He never did me any injury; how then can I blaspheme my King and my Savior? Bring forth what thou wilt.

These are the words of Polycarp, a man whose name is obscure as his testimony. It is interesting that when unbelievers claim of that the Bible has inconsistencies, that the authors had no substantial evidence, that Christianity is full of hypocrites, that all roads lead to God, that Christianity was spread by power-hungry religious leaders – they forget to mention a man like Polycarp.

Polycarp, born in 69AD, and according to the historic account detailed by Irenaeus, had been a personal companion of John, the author of the book of John in the Bible and one of Jesus’ closest disciple. He also communicated with others who had seen and walked with Jesus and was converted to Christianity by the apostles along with being consecrated as a bishop. Polycarp had visually witnessed the martyrdom of many who had been saved through faith in Christ, the very God-man they walked with and talked with. Many ignorant men die for a lie they believe is true, but no one dies for a lie they know is a lie.

I skip ahead to year 155AD in the city of Smyrna in Asia Minor. A persecution broke out against Christians and some were put to death for their faith. The frantic mob sought after the leader of the church, the old Polycarp. The believers hid Polycarp in a farmhouse because it was rightly taught that no one should seek out martyrdom. When the angry mob found Polycarp, he welcomed them as if they were old friends and offered them drink and food. He asked for an hour to pray before being taken and they conceded to this request. After one hour became two the men who overheard Polycarp’s prayers began to speak as to why they were arresting a man of this honor.

Nonetheless, Polycarp was brought into an arena. The proconsul pleaded with this old man to simply curse Christ so he would be released. To which Polycarp quoted loud and clear:

Eighty and six years have I served Him, and He never did me any injury; how then can I blaspheme my King and my Savior? Bring forth what thou wilt.

He was burned alive and it is recorded that there was a joyful radiance on Polycarp’s face as he died. An authentic link to Jesus, an authentic Christian, an authentic humble man of God – Polycarp was a man who would not deny Christ, no matter what the cost.

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