This is the ninth and last in a series of short posts on the martyrdom of Stephen, described in Acts 6-7, exploring if this is a foreshadow of the end-time tribulations.
To start at the beginning, at the first post, please click here
Either listen to the short audio clip above or read the notes or both!
In this series we have explored how the tragic martyrdom of Stephen, brought victory to the fledgling early church.
Whilst the hateful stones were hurled through the air, Stephen was being wrapped in the eternal presence of Jesus, and his death was no more than a transition into the courts of heaven.
Whilst I began this series, starting nine days ago, the Taliban conquest of Afghanistan took place. The theology of Acts 6-7 has become an unfolding real-life reality.
We pray that the horrific persecutions of the fledgling church in Afghanistan will cause the church to go from strength to strength and that a wonderful harvest of righteousness will abound in that area.
We see this principle at work, in China and Iran. Whenever the enemy seeks to bring darkness, the bright light of the gospel of salvation shines ever more brightly!
Jesus knows the troubles that we face but he also knows the victory that is coming.
Revelation 2:9 ‘I know your afflictions and your poverty – yet you are rich.’
Those who hold unswervingly to the faith will know the great victory in Christ.
Jesus will come to gather his bride, his beloved church, to bring them into the heavenly courts.
Matthew 24:30a ‘They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.’
In the heavenly courts, Jesus will tend to those who have suffered in the tribulations.
Revelation 7:16 ‘Never again will they hunger, never again will they thirst. the sun will not beat upon them nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the centre of the throne will be their shepherd, he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’
And then, note carefully, King Jesus will return to earth once more, to bring justice and retribution.
Revelation 19:11 ‘I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire and on his head are many crowns.’
2 Thessalonians 2:8 ‘And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendour of his being.’
And then King Jesus will establish his blessed Kingdom on earth.
Psalm 72:19 ‘Praise be to his glorious name for ever, may the whole earth be filled with his glory, Amen, Amen.’
Isaiah 35:10a ‘They will enter Zion with singing, everlasting joy will crown their heads. gladness and joy will overtake them and sorrow and sighing will flee away.’
Hasten the day…
To go to the beginning, to the first post, please click here.