Have you ever wondered why Christians were martyred in the Roman Empire? The Romans were a polytheistic nation. They had many gods so what difference would one more make? Christians in the first and second century were not killed because Jesus claimed to be God. Christians were killed by the Romans because they were declaring Jesus as Lord!
Lord, kyrios in the Greek, meaning he to whom a person belongs and that has power over him. It is also the same word used for the Roman emperor. The Christians were saying Jesus is Lord not Cesar is Lord.
It is so easy to say Jesus is Lord here in the United States. We have it so easy. No one breaks down our door because we confess our faith. No one threatens our family or our life because we have a Christian bumper sticker on our car. But that is not true in all parts of the world. The Center for the Study of Global Christianity, an academic research center that monitors worldwide demographic trends in Christianity, estimates that between the years 2005 and 2015, 900,000 Christians were martyred — an average of 90,000 Christians each year.
Now reread Romans 10:9-10. How much more weight do those words carry when put in proper perspective?
“Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” Mark 10:32-33.
“Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” Luke 9:26.
Our whole life, not just our words, is to confess Jesus is Lord to the world around us. I Jesus just a picture on the wall or is He Lord of all?