The stoning of Stephen & the effects

December 4th, 2011

One of the Bible stories that really grabbed hold of me as a new Christian was the stoning of Stephen. I can remember reading it and being amazed at his faith and commitment to Jesus even while being threatened by death.

As a new Christian it really brought home the reality that bad things can happen to good people. And just because you commit to follow Jesus it doesn’t mean things will always be smooth sailing.

Over the years I have read and re-read the story of Stephen’s death and I came to realise that his death was not only a testimony of commitment to Christ, but it also opened the doors for a number of things to happen.

As a result of Stephen’s death and further persecution the church spread and grew and more people were impacted. Here are a few examples…

1. Philip went down to Samaria and preached the Gospel and performed signs, wonders and miracles. People were converted, set free from demon possession and healed (Acts 8:4-40)

2. Paul (Saul) was converted and became a follower of Jesus and a great missionary. Previously he persecuted Christians (Acts 9:1-30)

3. Peter went on a missionary journey to Samaria, Lydda and Ceserea with great effect. It says that he taught the new believers about the Holy Spirit and strengthen their faith (Acts 9:32-11:18)

4. The church in Antioch was founded. This was a pivotal church was in time was used as a base to further spread the message of Jesus to the region (Acts 11:19-21)

The stoning of Stephen really taught me some great lessons early on as a new Christian. I learned that bad things can happen to us as we follow Jesus and that often persecution can build faith and lead to growth in the church.

It also taught me that as Christians we have to live our life of following Jesus 100% committed. We can’t be lukewarm or half-hearted.

God Bless,

Dave