To have faith so strong that it is kept even unto death sounds unbelievable, yet the christian walk is one of persecution, suffering at times and even hated by their own family or friends. Jesus understood this walk very well and sadly was not accepted by His own! (John 1:10-14) 10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
We have a very vivid picture found in Stephen who was stoned to death for his faith as he spoke boldly the truth of His Saviour! He was full of the Holy Spirit and when he looked up and saw Gods glory and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, he then spoke words very similar to what Jesus had done before His death. Jesus called upon His Father and Stephen called upon Jesus saying Lord Jesus, receive my spirit (Acts 7:55-60) 55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. 57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,58 And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. 59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. 60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
In Hebrews chapter 11 we can read of many who like us had an undying faith in God, and just as us they too confessed they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth! (Hebrews 11:13-16) 13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
We must never be ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it truly is our life as we live and in the world to come!