What is the difference between persons who commit suicide because of extreme illness or a life on drugs and dissolute living and the case of the early Christians who, although warned that they would be crucified if they continued to preach the gospel, preached anyway and were put to death?
The difference, and is it a major one, lies in their motives. The person who chooses to take his life is completely centered on himself. The person who spends himself on preaching the gospel to the point of being martyred is completely centered on Christ. The person who is very sick and in great pain and accepts such pain as his cross is centered on Christ as well. Centering our lives of Christ makes all the difference.