Jesus promised His disciples that we would be hated as He was hated. We would be mocked, misrepresented, shamed, even killed for following Him. The persecution of Christians began within days of the birth of the church, and it will continue until Jesus comes.
In this text, we read about the first Christian martyr, Stephen. Not an Apostle or church leader, but an ordinary member of the church, serving Christ, and being used by Christ in amazing ways.
His story can teach us how persecuted Christians around the world – those who suffer much more than we in America – persevere with grace. But it can also show us how, in the face of cultural shifts that challenge us and cause us to hesitate to be Acts 1:8 witnesses for Christ, how to also persevere with grace for God’s glory and the spread of the gospel.
Scripture: Acts 6:8-8:3