In Pursuit of the Faith
As we move from Acts 7 to Acts 8 we find that Stephen's killing was the signal for a widespread outbreak of persecution against many. It was led by Saul, who was present at Stephen's stoning (Acts 7:58) and gave approval to his death (Acts 8:1). There had been persecution already. The apostles had been beaten because they had refused to remain silent about the person and work of their Master. But that earlier persecution was against the apostles only, and here for the first time, we find persecution not only of the leaders but also of the membership of the church at large.
However, God is in control of everything, and the dispersion of the believers is also the widening of the church. It will be the fulfillment of what Christ told the disciples, they would be His witnesses from Judea to Samaria. We will also see Philip as one of the primary catalysts in the early church in bringing the Good News outside Jerusalem.
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