This is the fourth in a series of seven posts 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!
Preaching The Truth
Stephen knew how to preach a sermon! He was well versed in scripture and was able to recite from memory without the need for notes. He knew his history, the history of the Jewish people and he knew how to communicate this history with passion.
In recent years we have seen a sharp decline in the study of scripture within the charismatic church. Exegetical bible study seems to be a thing of the past. We pray that the love and devotion for scripture returns to the church.
Nehemiah 8:9 ‘Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, “This day is sacred to the Lord your God. Do not mourn or weep. For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.’
Blessed are those who diligently commit scripture to memory. And blessed are those who are walking closely with the Lord and are inspired from above with the gracious words of the gospel.
Matthew 10:18 ‘But on my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say for it will not be you speaking but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.’
Jesus prophesied that the end-time church would reach the whole world with the gospel.
Matthew 24:14 ‘And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations and then the end will come.’
Stephen did not hold back or pull his punches. He was going for the spiritual jugular and he preached fearlessly. We do not know how many responded to this gospel call but we do know that everyone present heard the clear and unmistakable message of the gospel.
Romans 1:16 ‘I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes, first for the Jew and then for the Gentile.’
And we do know that one person present would later surrender to the Lord.
His name was Paul of Tarsus!
Thank you for reading this!
- Revelation 16:1 Painful SoresAnd so we enter into a grim and melancholy chapter. There is little cheer to be found here. Those who have taken the mark of the beast, hoping to find some form of reward or relief, and having surrendered their soul to the worship of the beast in some shape or form, now find themselves reaping a bitter harvest of ugly and painful sores.
- Revelation 15:8 HolinessPlease click image and scroll down to see full picture. Once again, these precious verses remind us that God moves in heavenly righteousness. The seven angels are dressed in robes of perfect holiness and they carry the seven plagues that will purge and cleanse this corrupted world. The temple is filled with the glory of God as He brings perfect holiness and righteousness to bear down on this earth.
- Revelation 15:3 A Deeper UnderstandingPlease click image to reaf full post and scroll down. If you struggle with the horror of Revelation then you are certainly not alone. The absolute horror reflects the weight of sin that has corrupted man to the core. But as we embrace these sacred truths, they will bring us deeper, far deeper than ever before, into an understanding of the heart, into an understanding of the perfect holiness of God.
- Revelation 15:3 Moses and JesusPlease tap image to see full post The mention of both Moses and Jesus the Lamb in the same sentence strengthens the idea that Jesus will be the perfect Moses, who will deliver Israel, imprisoned or exiled by the antichrist and lead them victoriously back to Jerusalem.
- Revelation 15:1 Glass and FireThe bitterness of martyrdom gives way to eternal celebration. Their victory has always been dependent upon the strength that God provides and this is reflected in the harps given to them by God. And what a glorious celebration. The enemy has been defeated and the bowls of wrath will bring this evil age to a conclusion. The joy of eternity awaits!