Berean Bible Heritage Church
November 21, 2017; 5:37 pm
Jerusalem Time

Polycarp

by Gideon Macomber, when 12

Polycarp was born in 70 A.D. and he was martyred on January 26, 156 A.D. He was 86 years old when he was martyred and may have been the “Angel of the Church of Smyrna.” Polycarp lived in Smyrna and he was out in his home in the country when he was taken to be martyred. Polycarp lived in Smyrna as a pastor for the church there. Polycarp knew John, and he loved to sit children around him and tell them about John and what he preached. Polycarp also would use some of John's sayings in his sermons.

When Polycarp was martyred, the Roman soldiers came to the house he was hiding in, to get him and bring him to the prison. Polycarp's friends had planned an escape route for him in the attics of all the neighbors houses but he decided to give himself up. He could have hidden from the Romans, but he chose to give himself up, and fed the soldiers that came to get him. He told them that he was the man they were looking for. The soldiers were surprised because they thought they were looking for a young man, not an eighty-six year old man. They took him in their chariot, and on the way to the city, they tried to get him to confess, but he refused. One of the soldiers kicked him and he fell out of the chariot and broke his foot. He got up and limped the rest of the way to the city, and was executed. Polycarp was hoping to witness to Herod at the stadium, but the people were too wild. He did not get the chance to speak. When Polycarp was about to be burned, he was asked to confess, but he refused and said "I have served Christ eighty–six years and He has done me no wrong. How can I blaspheme my King? I am a Christian." They tried to burn him, but the flames did not touch him. They had to kill him with a dagger and then burn his body. After Polycarp was burned, his friends came and took his bones to give them a proper burial. Also, when he was at the stadium the rulers commanded him to blaspheme God. Polycarp said "We are taught to give honor unto princes, and those powers which be of God; but such honor as is not contrary to God's religion."

Sources

Foxe, J. Foxe's book of martyrs (electronic ed.). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000.

Douglas, J.D., Comfort, P.W., & Mitchell, D. Who's who in Christian history. Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House, 1997, c1992.

George Grant and Gregory Wilbur. The Christian Almanac. Nashville, Tennessee: 2000. Page 63

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