Hebrews 9:27 tells us that, "... it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." and I love this passage because it gives me confidence in knowing that the Lord will not take me home to be with Him until that appointed time. So the story of John is inspiring and also draws us back to worship the One who made us. Be encouraged as you read this Extreme Devotion, and remember you can sign up to get devotions just like this in your email everyday by simply going to www.vomgroups.com and signing up.
What do you do with someone who is boiled in oil but doesn’t die?
It is said that Roman emperor Domitian commanded that the apostle John be boiled to death in oil, but John only continued to preach from within the pot. Another time, John was forced to drink poison, but, as promised in Mark 16:18, it did not hurt him. Thus John, the head of the church in Ephesus at the time, was banished to Patmos in A.D. 97.
John survived all of this because God had not finished with him yet. A “revelation” still had to come. While he was in a cave on the island of Patmos, John received a vision. This vision became the book of Revelation—the book that would act as the driving force for evangelism in the church age. It prophesied the events that surround the return of Christ. John wrote of Christ’s second coming and welcomed his arrival. Even today his writings inspire believers to anticipate the glorious return of Christ.
Two years after John’s exile, the emperor Domitian died, and John returned to the church in Ephesus. The youngest of the disciples lived also to be the oldest, dying in peace in Ephesus at the age of eighty after over half a century of resilient service to Jesus’ church.
It’s impossible to retire from God’s service. Just ask John. At a time when the average age of death was much younger, John lived on to be eighty years old, faithfully serving all the while. Perhaps you have been struggling with your own usefulness in God’s service. Perhaps you feel too old and find yourself thinking God could use someone younger in your place. Or perhaps you are young and single and wonder if a married couple might be more what God has in mind. Instead of letting you quit on your own excuses, God wants to build into you a spiritual resilience that is not readily discouraged. Start asking today for God to reveal your next steps in service to him.