“You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus… Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained” (2Tim 2:1, 8, 9)
My desire is to encourage you thru the Word of God. This encouragement never fails. As believers in Christ, we focus not on the outward circumstances, we focus not on ourselves, but on The Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Word of God ‘made flesh and dwelling among us’ (Jn 1:14). The Word of God is profitable always, but especially now, when there is so much anxiety in the world, because of this epidemy with C-Virus. My advice is that you read and retain the Word of God. Read your Bible daily. Pray for understanding. The Word of God is food for the soul and living water for the spirit. It will make you strong, wise and happy.
Listen to this story: Apostle Paul was in chains, in prison. He could not come out and preach. Writing from his cell, he said that the Word of God can never be chained by men or demons. He who was in prison was encouraging others who were free! This is the truth: The Word of God has no limitation; no barrier and it bows to none. “God’s word is not chained (bound or imprisoned)” (2Tim 2:9). Just think of this: Paul was in prison in Rome, on the death row. He was waiting to be called anytime to be put to death. Why? Because he was preaching the Gospel of Christ Crucified and Resurrected. He was telling the people of Rome that the Caesar (their king) is not God, as he claimed to be, he is only a mortal man. He was telling the people that Jesus Christ is God. Paul said: ‘stop worshiping Caesar and worship only Jesus!’. He told them that Jesus died for their sins. Jesus died once and for all. Jesus will never die but He will come back again to judge all men! In Him, we become a new creation, we have eternal life! In Him we lose all our fears and all our guilt. In Him we find peace with God and our real identity. Because he was preaching these words, the Romans decided to put him to death. Preaching truth was his offence. That is why they said that he is ‘an evildoer, a criminal’. Afraid that he will lose his worshippers, in 64 AD, Emperor Nero condemned him to death!
(Three years later, the city of Rome burnt down, and thousands of people died in the fire. I am not saying there is any connection between these two events, but this is confirmed history).
It is said that they did not want to kill him in the city so that the Christians will not revolt. So, the Roman soldiers took him from his cell in Rome and carried him outside the city, to a place along the road that goes to Ostia (the city used as the port of Rome). It was a busy road. Because he was a Roman citizen, they did not disgrace him, by killing him thru crucifixion. By law, a Roman citizen was to be beheaded for a quick and painless death. Tradition says that they tied Paul to a pillar and a soldier beheaded him. They said that his head fell of his body and bounced three times on the ground. On each spot, a spring of water came out. A rich Christian woman called Lucina, took his body and buried him on her land at that very place. Later, a church was built on top of the place where Paul was martyred. It is called “The Church of Saint Paul at the Three Fountains” (Chiesa del martirio di San Paolo alle Tre Fontane, in Italian). It is one of the oldest churches in Rome. The three springs of water flow till today.
On a busy road, without any brethren around, this is how the great Apostle Paul died. But his life is not a tragedy. He wrote more than three quarters of the New Testament. These are the Books that Apostle Paul wrote: The Books of Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon and possibly Hebrews. Two thousand years have passed since the great Apostle died. But his words can never die. Millions of people got saved by reading these books. His words can never be chained. Who remembers the words of Emperor Nero, the proud and coward king? But we all read the words of Paul and get encouraged by them. Even today! I encourage you to read, memorize and quote the Word of God. Because of circumstances, you may have to stay inside your house. But the Word of God is like a dove than no hunter can trap, and no king can kill. May the Word of God set you free! Praise the Living God!
(My husband and I visited the cell, of The Mamertine Prison in Rome, where Apostle Paul was imprisoned before he was killed. In the first picture: I took this picture myself: The prison cell where Apostle Paul stayed in Rome. It is from this place underground that he wrote many of his epistles. On the floor there is a hole from where water springs forth supernaturally (it is said that God provided water for the baptism of many of the poisoners who became saved there. The second picture shows “The Church of Saint Paul at the Three Fountains”, outside Rome, built on the place where Paul was martyred. In the third picture, inside the church you see the pillar where they tied Paul to be beheaded)