You will be persecuted
Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed amazing miracles and signs among the people. 9 But one day some men from the Synagogue of Freed Slaves, as it was called, started to debate with him. They were Jews from Cyrene, Alexandria, Cilicia, and the province of Asia. 10 None of them could stand against the wisdom and the Spirit with which Stephen spoke.
11 So they persuaded some men to lie about Stephen, saying, “We heard him blaspheme Moses, and even God.” 12 This roused the people, the elders, and the teachers of religious law. So they arrested Stephen and brought him before the high council.
I was doing my devotions today and I came across what happened to Stephen. Stephen was a man filled with the spirit of God but he was stoned to death for his faith. In the above scripture you see how the freed Slaves obviously not free on the inside deliberately lied about him. It got me thinking. Some people don’t want to change or be challenged especially the insecure when they meet some one greater then them “you could say”.
As a Christian you will come across people who will say all kind of evil against you to appease there own conscience while they are under convictions. People will accuse you of all kinds of things even lied about you to avoid there own stuff and accept that they may be not right. Shame, guilt and insecurity can do some horrible things to people to make them not own there own stuff. I believe a lot of gossip comes from this place.
But here you see Stephen stood his ground with the truth about his faith and he was eventually stoned. Jesus said don’t worry about what we give up because we will receive a 100times more houses land and family in this life but with persecution. But that not is mentioning your reward in heaven either. The devil is on a rampage to kill, steal and destroy the church and just people in general. In the church he causes divisions and false allegations and much more to keep Jesus’s body from working together. When the church realise we are not fighting each other but are fighting the devil. We will be a great force on the earth. We need to stop fighting each other and start fighting together.
We need to take a stand in what we believe when other oppose us. We need to especially give an account when it comes to those who don’t believe the gospel of Jesus. “Even if it cost our lives”. As you see Stephen here before he died he said, “Forgive them Lord”. He was thinking of them while testifying not of himself. He spoke truth because he cared for them.
We need to do likewise no matter the cost. This life is temporal, the after life is eternal. Its heaven or hell. A loving person does not want anyone to go to hell. Would you be willing to die for someone else. Then preach the gospel in season and out of season, all need to hear and find salvation. There is salvation in no other name but Jesus.
Preach the cross, the death, the resurrection, Salvation in Him only, repentance and faith. There are people who need to hear it. Forget the cost, and persecution just love people today. There are great rewards for this, this life and eternally. Don’t preach the comfortable, or stay in the comfortable. Preach Christ and him crucified.