What mission was so important that Paul was willing to give his life to see it fulfilled?
From Jesus’ words to Paul: But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me. (Acts 26:16-18 ESV)
He was sent in order that through the proclamation of the gospel message, people would have their eyes opened so they may turn from darkness and Satan, thus receiving the forgiveness of sins and be adopted into the family of God.
This was Paul’s mission, given to him by the Lord Jesus (Acts 20:24). For this mission, he eventually gave his life.
Because we have the great commission in Matthew 28:18-20, each follower of Christ shares this same mission. Whether or not we attempt to fulfill this mission rests on us. May we each seek to fulfill the mission Christ has given us with the same fervor and intensity shown by Paul. And, when (not “if”) we face persecution and suffering, may we endure it with similar joy, knowing that “To live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Phil. 1.21)