How important was the doctrine of hell to the martyrs? This question refers to the martyrdom of Polycarp, Perpetua, and Felicity (not martyred at the same time), some of the Christians who were martyred by the Roman Empire. The doctrine of hell, although it may have been important in their conversion, was not very important in their martyrdom because they would have been thinking of their reward in heaven, not the penalty for disobeying.
Mat 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Mat 5:12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Mat 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Mat 16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
Mat 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
Mat 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
Mat 16:28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
Rev 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
Rev 2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
Although the martyrs probably wouldn’t know all of those scriptures they would have been familiar with the concept. They would have known that if they didn’t give in to evil they would be rewarded greatly. Sure they knew if they gave in to temptation they would be punished, but they would have been more focused on the reward than the penalty.