I have read some of the ways early Christians were persecuted. They were whipped, beheaded, flayed, stoned, crucified, dipped in oil and set on fire, fed to wild animals, imprisoned, and countless other acts of torture I cannot even begin to imagine. What depth of faith one must have to choose an agonizing death rather than recant their faith in Jesus as The Christ.
It is because of the power of the Holy Spirit working in the lives of the first believers to strengthen their faith that Christianity was able to not only endure, but also to turn the entire world upside down. Over the last two thousand years the fires of Christian faith have consumed lives on every continent. It has established cities, countries, and nations. It has changed lives, marriages, and homes. Even today, persecution fans the flames of faith into an inferno which melts the hardest of hearts.
This Sunday as we study Acts 8.1-3 we will see there is power in persecution. Will you please join us at Living Oaks Baptist Church Sunday at 10:45 a.m. as we worship Jesus and study His Word.
Directions to Living Oaks Baptist Church
I have been preaching God’s Word for over twenty years. I have preached all over the United States, Brazil, and London. I’ve preached messages that were meant to challenge, change, and convict those listening. Sometimes I have been soft-spoken, while other times I just cleared a spot and pitched a fit (that’s preacher talk for “I got loud!”). I try not to plan how I am going to preach, but I spend a great deal of time on what I am going to say. I want to make sure the message God has laid on my heart is what comes out of my mouth. There is nothing worse than spending several hours preparing and then laying an egg on Sunday. My greatest desire is to be obedient to the task.
In Acts 6.8-7:60, we can read a killer sermon by Stephen, one of the first deacons. I say “killer sermon” because after he had finished preaching, those listening took him outside and stoned him to death. They didn’t kill him because he was an inexperienced preacher, was too boring, didn’t use enough illustrations, or spoke too long. Nope, they killed him because he was right! Everything Stephen said was 100% correct, and they didn’t like it–so they literally killed the messenger!
This Sunday as we take a closer look at Stephen’s message, we will examine what he said, what caused such a reaction, and how this applies to us today.
I hope to see you at 10:45 a.m. this Sunday morning at Living Oaks Baptist Church.