Then the high priest asked Stephen, “Are these charges true?” Acts 7:1
The high priest may not have been among those who conspired against Stephen, so his question is an honest one. At this point, Stephen was clearly outnumbered, but the high priest is willing to give Stephen a hearing. Little did he know that Stephen would launch into a full length sermon. Not only were there religious leaders near him, but there were bystanders too. This is the very definition of a “captive audience.”
As we all know, it will be Stephen’s last sermon as well. And yet, we get to benefit from his teaching as well.
As we will see in the next few days, Stephen was martyred for his faith. The Center for Studies on New Religions found that during the year 2016, 90,000 Christians were killed for their faith around the world. We are the most persecuted religion in the world. We don’t see persecution so much in the West but the rest of the world is seeing it daily.
Pray for persecuted Believers in South Sudan, Sudan, Nigeria, North Korea, Iran, Iraq, and Somalia. They need our prayers. They need to know that someone else is lifting them up before the throne room in heaven.