Q: What happened to Jesus’ 12 disciples after he ascended into heaven? Did they continue to believe in him? And does the Bible tell us how they died? — L.R.
A: Jesus’ 12 disciples (with the exception of Judas, who betrayed him and then took his own life) not only continued to believe in him, but they spent the rest of their lives telling others about him. They took seriously Jesus’ command to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15).
Why did they do this, often in the face of fierce opposition and even death? The reason was because they believed beyond doubt that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, sent from heaven to save us from our sins. We have rebelled against God and chosen to go our own way, and as a result we deserve only God’s judgment. But God loves us, and by his death and resurrection Jesus Christ provided the way for us to be forgiven and cleansed of our sins.
This is good news! And this is why those first Christians were willing to risk their lives to tell others about Christ. As one of them said when told to stop preaching, “As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20).
The Bible doesn’t tell us exactly how those faithful disciples died, refusing to deny Christ even in the face of death (although later historians tell us they all died as martyrs). What about us? Are we convinced of the truth of the Gospel, and are we seeking to tell others the good news of Christ’s salvation? Make sure of your own commitment to Jesus Christ, and then ask him to use you to point others to his life-changing love.
Write to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201 or visit www.billygraham.org.