Now those who had been scattered by the persecution in connection with Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, telling the message only to Jews. Acts 11:19
Church history books are filled with stories of the growth of the Church because of persecution. It’s a paradox that Satan himself must still be puzzled over. If he persecutes and kills many in the Church, it should die. He couldn’t be more wrong. The more the Evil One persecutes and kills those in the church, the more there is growth, and sometimes in great numbers!
We have this idea that those in the early Church were filled with the Spirit and tirelessly proclaimed the Gospel far and wide. They did. But in some instances, they were forced to go (and persecution is what drew them out).
We in the Western world find ourselves in a similar situation. For the most part, we’ve become lax and lazy. We don’t sense the urgency. We like our creature comforts. A day will come, though, when we may be persecuted for what we believe. I don’t wish it to happen; I don’t want it to happen, but it may nonetheless happen.
It will also be a time when those who are true followers will be weeded out from those who are religious and have no desire to be persecuted for him. When will that time be? I don’t know, nor does anyone know. Pray that when that time comes, we’ll hold strong and steady to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.