“you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.”
In Revelations, while Jesus is speaking to the churches concerning their spiritual welfare, he briefly alludes to this character Antipas and gives him commendation and praise.
On three accounts do I desire to be like Antipas:
- To receive the praise and pleasure of Jesus
It is an awesome thing to mentioned by the Lord. In a letter full of rebukes and exhortations, Antipas’ life and faith had touched the heart of Christ enough that He was compelled to mentioned him. What if he mentioned your name? Or my name? That your life of godliness pleased the Lord so much that He remembers you before the other saints?
- To be faithful, even to death
I desire martyrdom not for the ends of some kind of false glory, but for the ends of faithfulness. Antipas showed his true colors and stripes- he was a born again lover of Jesus, not just a fellow who grew up in a Christian home or whose faith was molded by any other social construct. His dedication to Jesus was real, and it mattered him not whether that would lead him to death.
In the end of days, Christians all over the world will be tested to show their stripes. Some will make it to eternal life, many will go the broad road of destruction.
- To dwell among Satan and witness
Jesus mentioned that Antipas “dwelled among Satan”. Antipas was an active witness to godless people, not someone who loved their comforts, or stayed at home and lived a quiet Christian life. How do I know? Well, because he died for his faith! People who keep to themselves don’t die for their faith. People who die for their faith are those who make noise for Christ, they bring Him glory among the gentiles, they preach the gospel boldly and unwaveringly.
For these reasons, I desire these things of Antipas. I will meet him one day and thank him for his life.