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There are many things that God is doing to prepare the world for the second coming. We'll highlight two, both taken from 33 Ways God is Preparing the World for the Second Coming by Drew Williams.
With the exception of John and Judas, all of Jesus’s original Apostles met with terrible demise at the hands of their captors.
The following list illustrates the most popular version of the fates of the original Twelve Apostles of Jesus. Each of the original twelve men called by Jesus, with the exception of Judas Iscariot and John the Beloved, was summarily hunted down throughout the empire and either murdered on the spot or made part of a public execution.
|CAUSE OF DEATH||APPROX YEAR|
|Judas Iscariot||Committed suicide by hanging||34|
|Bartholomew||Beaten, crucified, and beheaded||52|
|Phillip||Crucified at Heirapole Phryga||52|
|Thomas||Impaled by lance||52|
|Matthew||Killed by sword in Ethiopia||60|
|James (son of Alphaeus)||Crucified in Egypt||60|
|James (Brother of John)||Beheaded by command of Herod||64|
|Simon Peter||Crucified head down outside Rome||66|
|Thaddaeus||Shot in Arafat by Roman soldiers||72|
|Andrew||Bound and crucified in Greece||74|
|Simon Zelotes||Crucified in Persia||74|
|John the Beloved||
Banished to the island of Patmos
Although there are many recorded interpretations on the actual method of death, what is important is that these men died for their holy cause.
Like most Christians of antiquity, the Christians throughout the empire did not congregate into single groups but would choose instead to meet in house churches and study the word of the Lord as referenced by Paul in his letter to members of the Church in Rome.
Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus...unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles...Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my well-beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ. (Romans 16:3-5)
With the last Apostles rounded up and executed, however, the Church no longer had direct leadership, and a whole new wave of people rose up to become self-appointed leaders. Consequently, religious chapters that were organized by the likes of Steven, James, Timothy, and Paul were left to their own designs and influences of the local cultures.
Many faithful followers of Christ believe that the modern rise in wickedness and the stronger adversarial forces tugging on the righteous are signs of the sunset of the human race. Their position that Satan's growing success is linked to advances in mass-communication is largely founded on the notion that modern technology brings increased corruption. Albert Einstein believed this to be true when he said, "Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal."
Christians have argued that Satan works to usurp thoughts and emotional responses through the use of easy access, multi-sensory programs and images, popular recording that not even contemporary artists would describe as music, as well as the excessive stimulus of physical senses.
The current affairs of a world in turmoil include a transition to a more humanistic society in which modesty and conservative viewpoints on God are out-of-fashion with the rise in self-identity, gender neutrality, and political correctness.