The proconsul turned his attention to Papylus, not far from where Carpus hung bleeding. “Do you have any children?” the proconsul asked. “Oh, yes, through God I have many children.”
One in the surrounding crowd shouted, “He means he has children by his Christian faith.”
Hearing this, the proconsul grew even angrier. “Why are you lying to me, saying that you have children?” he shouted.
“I am telling you the truth. In every district and city I have children in God.”
The proconsul’s anger was not appeased. “You will sacrifice or suffer the same fate as Carpus! What do you say now?”
Papylus answered steadily, “I have served God since I was young. I have never sacrificed to idols. I am a Christian. There is nothing I can say which is greater or more wonderful than that I am a Christian.”
The proconsul ordered him hung beside Carpus and flayed with iron instruments of torture. Papylus did not utter a sound, but as a courageous fighter he endured the treatment.
When the proconsul saw their outstanding steadfastness, he ordered Carpus and Papylus burned alive. They both descended on their own into the amphitheater, satisfied that they would soon be freed from this world. Papylus was nailed to the stake. When the flames leaped up he prayed quietly and gave up his soul.
Christians often worry about what they are to say when called upon to defend their faith. When the opportunity comes, we prod ourselves like a college student mentally rehearsing questions for a midterm exam. “What if they ask me to defend the Trinity?” “What do I say if they ask about the fate of those who never heard the gospel?” “And how do I defend the virgin birth?” In truth, we can find no better, more truthful, words than our own testimony of faith in Christ. “There is nothing I can say which is greater or more wonderful than that I am a Christian.” All the rehearsing will not convince a nonbeliever more than your willingness to sincerely share your love for Jesus.
The proconsul turned his attention to Papylus, not far from where Carpus hung bleeding. “Do you have any children?” the proconsul asked.
“Oh, yes, through God I have many children.”