I have always heard that one book a Christian should read is Fox's Book of Martyrs. It is amazing (and therefore, God glorifying) to me that people endured SUCH persecution (death was a blessing at this point in their torture) for the sake of Christ.
One extra amazing thing is that we (as in me, myself and I) am fearful of what others think. Think. I am not afraid of being dipped in boiling tar, burned alive at the stake or both (which is what many Christians suffered at the hands of Nero).
I am afraid of backing the line up at Walmart as I ask the cashier if she loves Jesus.
I am afraid that my friend will not be my friend anymore when I tell her something she already knows. She's a sinner and if she is not living her life for Christ, she does not have the assurance of salvation.
I am afraid that I will make others feel uncomfortable because they know when they are around me I will bring up Jesus.
What on Earth is wrong with me!? Let's wake up, Christian brothers and sisters. People are living and dying without the hope of Christ and we need to spread the good, no wait, best news.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
The disciples, turned Apostles, did just that. This is just a short synopsis of what happened in their lives after the ascension of Jesus into heaven.
Peter (Simon, Cephas) was a missionary to Lydda, Joppa and Caesarea. He was crucified at Rome AD 64 with his head downwards, as he himself had desired to suffer."This is why an upside down cross is generally accepted as a symbol of Peter, who would not have considered himself worthy enough to die the same way as his Savior.
Andrew is the brother of Peter and preached in Asia Minor and in Scythia, along the Black Sea as far as the Volga, Kiev and Novgorod. Hence he became a patron saint of Ukraine, Romania and Russia. Andrew was crucified upon a diagonal or X-shaped cross.
James the Greater (brother of John) - Herod had James executed by sword. He is the only apostle whose martyrdom is recorded in the New Testament. He is, thus, traditionally believed to be the first of the 12 apostles martyred for his faith
John (brother of James) preached throughout Judea (until the persecution from Herod Agrippa) and then in Asia Minor (Ephesus). According to Tertullian (in The Prescription of Heretics) John was banished (presumably to Patmos) after being plunged into boiling oil in Rome and suffering nothing from it. It is said that all in the entire Coliseum audience were converted to Christianity upon witnessing this miracle.
Philip the Evangelist was one of the seven appointed by the apostles to take care of the growing Christian community and to look after their widows and the needy (Acts 6:1-6). He went to Samaria where he preached and performed miracles (Acts 8:4-6). He converted Simon the magician (Acts 8:9-13). Philip received the message from an angel to meet a man from Ethiopia in Gaza, a eunuch of great authority under Queen Candace, and inspired the Ethiopian to be baptized (Acts 8:26-39). Later, Philip lived in Caesarea (Acts 21:8). Philip was crucified in AD 54.
Bartholomew/Nathanael was a missionary with Philip and Thomas. He is said to have preached the gospel in Armenia, India, Laconia, Mesopotamia, Persia and Phrygia. Bartholomew was flayed alive (skinned) and then beheaded.
Matthew the tax collector (Levi) also remained around Jerusalem for approximately 15 years. He then spread the Gospel to the Ethiopians, Macedonians, Persians, and Parthians. Matthew was killed by an axe in AD 60.
Thomas (Doubting Thomas) took the good news of Jesus to India. He was killed by a spear in Mylapore, Madras, India in AD 72.
James*, son of Alphaeus (James the lesser) was martyred when beaten to death with a fuller's club at Ostrakine in Lower Egypt, where he was preaching the Gospel.
Thaddeus* (also known as Judas son of James) – there is not a lot of information about what happened with Thaddeus’ life, but it is believed he was preaching in Mesopotamia and was beheaded.
Simon the Zealot* was with the others who received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. From there, traditions vary. There are some accounts which have him traveling from Britain to the Black Sea. Other strands put him in Egypt and Mesopotamia. His death is similarly ambiguous: some say he was crucified in Samaria; others say he was sawn in half in Suanir, Persia; still others write that he was martyred at Weriosphora in Iberia.
Matthias* first preached the Gospel in Judaea, then in Aethiopia (modern-day Georgia) and was crucified in Colchis.
* Not much is officially known about these apostles and the remainder of their ministry. This is based on the most widely accepted historical accounts.