I'm currently reading the book Cross and Crown. It details the last moments of notable Protestant martyrs of the Alps, of France and of England. These people were persecuted, tortured, imprisoned, exiled, enslaved and died for their faith despite being offered many opportunities to recant and be set free. Their love for Bible truth exceeded their love for their own lives and so they risked and lost everything while spreading the Gospel of Christ.
The book is excellent for its message. The accounts narrated therein of individual and collective martyrdoms are heartrending for the cruelty of the persecutors and inspiring for the bravery and endurance of the martyrs until their dying moments. If this book does not moisten your eyes even a bit, nothing will.
The prospect of persecution may seem remote today, but the lessons that may be learnt from these people's accounts are very important to our generation. There is danger in forgetting history. Many reforms that have come down the ages to be taken for granted in this day were dearly purchased by the blood of martyrs. For example, "freedom of information" as we know it today may never have come about but for brave children of GOD who resisted tyrannical censorship to print, translate and disseminate Bibles in the common languages. Nor would we speak of freedom of conscience except many had shed their blood taking a stand for it.
This is an era of great light, and great will be the repercussions of turning away from it, thereby slighting the sacrifice Christ's saints (following His divine example) made to secure it.
But many will face persecution in days to come. will we stand in the face of public hatred and universal ridicule, imprisonment, or even death? Others have done it before. Their blood was seed.