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Persecution In the Third Century, Part 2 (The History of Christianity #57)

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Daniel Whyte III

Daniel Whyte III


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The History of Christianity #57

Our Scripture verse today is 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 which reads: "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."

Our quote today is from Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He said: "When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die."

Today, we are looking at "Persecution In the Third Century" (Part 2) from Dr. Justo L. Gonzalez's fine book, The Story of Christianity (Volume 1).

Persecution Under Septimius Severus (Part 2)
The most famous martyrdom of that time is that of Perpetua and Felicitas, which probably took place in 203 AD. It is possible that Perpetua and her companions were Montanists, and that the account of their martyrdom comes from the pen of Tertullian. In any case, the martyrs were five catechumens - that is, five people who were preparing to receive baptism. This agrees with what is known of the policies of Septimius Severus. These five people - some of whom were in their teens - were charged, not with being Christians, but with recently converting, and thus disobeying the imperial edict.

Perpetua is the heroine of the Martyrdom of Saints Perpetua and Felicitas. She was a young, well-to-do woman nursing her infant child. Her companions were the slaves Felicitas and Revocatus, and two other young men, Saturninus and Secundulus...