The Martyrdom of Stephen 6

This is the sixth in a series of seven posts based on Acts 6-7 and the martyrdom of Stephen, exploring if it is a foreshadow of end-time persecution for the Church.

To go to the beginning, to the first post, please click here.

Please either listen to the short audio clip above or read the notes below or both at the same time!

Martyrdom

Acts 7:57  ‘At this, they covered their ears and yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him.’

The world has always hated Jesus and they will hate the Church in the same way. The path of martyrdom that Jesus walked is an example for many others to follow.

1 Peter 2:21  ‘To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his steps.’

Revelation 12:11  ‘They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.’

But yet the shed blood of the martyrs has never been wasted, not a single drop, and the advancement of the gospel throughout the world has been the blessed fruit of countless martyrs throughout the generations.

The more the world will persecute the end-time Church, the wider will be the spread of the gospel and the greater the harvest gathered.

Authoritarian governments endeavour to crush the growth of the Church in their nation, but their persecution only serves to purify and give strength to the Church.

The enemy thought he had scored a great victory by putting Jesus in the grave. When the stone was rolled away, the malicious grin of the enemy turned to horror.

Revelation 6:9 describes the comfort that martyrs find in the heavenly courts.

Revelation 6:9When he opened the fifth seal I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “how long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood.”

They are given reassurance.

Revelation 6:11 Then each of them was given a white robe and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow-servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed.’

Tomorrow we explore forgiveness in the face of persecution.

To go to the beginning, to the first post, please click here.

Thank you for reading this!

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