From the Ends of the Earth
“Listen to Me, you islands; hear this you distant nations… you are My servant Israel.. to restore the tribes of Jacob.. I will make you a light for the gentiles, that you may bring My salvation to the ends of the earth.” Isaiah 49:1-6
To the Ends of the Earth
“The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness…” Psalm 24:1
Our Creator, and Redeemer, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the eternal Judge is “The God of all the earth…” Isaiah 54:5
“The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness.” 1 Corinthians 10:26
“The whole earth is full of His Glory…” Isaiah 6:3
It is the earnest prayer of all believers: “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, and Your Glory above all the earth.” Psalm 108:5
Our Lord Jesus taught His disciples to pray: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” Matthew 6:10
The Lord’s Word is to be proclaimed “to the end of the world...” Isaiah 62:11
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The year was A.D. 155. The persecution against Christians had swept across the Roman Empire. It had come to the city of Smyrna. The Pro-Consul of Smyrna, swept up into this persecution, put out the order to arrest Polycarp, the Bishop of Smyrna, Polycarp. He was to be arrested and brought to the local Coliseum, for execution.
Polycarp had been warned to flee, but he had decided not to. He invited his captors in, treated them as friends, prepared them food and served them a meal. Polycarp just asked for one hour to pray before they took him away. The Roman officers overheard his prayers, which actually went on for two hours. They probably began to have second thoughts: "What are we doing arresting an old man like this?" A man well advanced in his eighties.
An Offer for Reprieve
The crowd screamed when they saw this famous Christian leader come forward. They wanted his blood. The Pro-Consul, however, offered him a way of reprieve. He said: "Pity your grey hairs old man. Just curse Christ and I will release you." Polycarp, the Bishop of Smyrna, responded: "Eighty-six years I have served Christ and He has done me no wrong. How then can I blaspheme my King who has saved me?"