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10/12 Acts 6-8

A lot going on in these three chapters.  The apostles appoint the first deacons, one of which is Stephen.  Stephen is brought before the Sanhedrin because evidently they didn’t like what he was saying.  After giving them a history lesson from Abraham to Jesus, he finishes it up with this:

51“You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit! 52Was there ever a prophet your fathers did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him— 53you who have received the law that was put into effect through angels but have not obeyed it.”

54When they heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. 55But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56“Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

57At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, 58dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.

As a result of this, three things happen.  First Stephen becomes the first Christian martyr and second, Paul is introduced.  The third thing is that persecution of the church starts and the disciples begin to scatter.  This is important because up to that time Christianity only really existed in Jerusalem and the immediate areas.  Now we see evangelists starting their work outside of Jerusalem with Phillip, Peter and John preaching in Samaria.

With Jerusalem as the central point of Christianity, the rest of the world was a wide open mission field for the church.  While there is no central point for Christianity today, there is much work to do.   Yesterday I posted that there are 2.1 billion Christians in the world today.  The world contains almost 7 billion people according to this website.  Looks like there is still a wide open mission field.  Looks like we better get started.

October 12, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,

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