The blameless spend their days under the LORD’s care, and their inheritance will endure forever. Psalm 37:18

The son of a North African veteran of the Roman army, the youthful Maximilian was brought before a court to be enrolled as a soldier but refused on account of his Christian faith. Maximilian told the proconsul Dio, “My army is the army of God, and I cannot fight for this world.”

The proconsul said that there were other Christians serving in the army. Maximilian replied, “That is their business. I am a Christian too, and I cannot serve.” His father was asked to correct his son but he answered, “He knows what he believed, and he won’t change his mind.”

When Maximilian was threatened with death if he did not renounce his faith, he replied, “I shall not die. When I leave this earth I shall live with Christ my Lord.”

He was sentenced to death, said farewell to his family and friends, and was beheaded, aged 21, around the year 295.

Faith is rest, not toil. It is the giving up all the former weary efforts to do or feel something good, in order to induce God to love and pardon; and the calm reception of the truth so long rejected, that God is not waiting for any such inducements, but loves and pardons of His own goodwill, and is showing that goodwill to any sinner who will come to Him on such a footing, casting away his own poor performances or goodnesses, and relying implicitly upon the free love of Him who so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son.

Horatius Bonar (1808-89)


Dr Patrick Sookhdeo is the International Director of Barnabas Fund and the Executive Director of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life.


Photo by Ben White on Unsplash


Maximilian (c. 295) – God’s Soldier

Originally appeared on Isaac Publishing


Graham, Phillip and Timothy Staines (1999) – Father and Two Sons Burnt Alive

Dr Patrick Sookhdeo is the International Director of Barnabas Fund and the Executive Director of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life.