2 Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. 3 But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison. Acts 8:2-3
There is a distinct contrast between verses two and the beginning of three. If this were a fictional story, Stephen would have been the hero while Saul would have been the villain.
But this was real life (and death). One was a godly man who deserved an appropriate funeral. The other was a murderous scoundrel who hated and persecuted. If we didn’t know the final ending, we would want to cheer for Stephen, and wish Saul a painful death.
But God didn’t write the final chapter of Saul’s life here. He would go on to lead the Church – the same church he harshly persecuted.
“Murderous” scoundrels are all around us. They may not have committed the act, but they are still big sinners with impure motives and actions. We would call many of them our enemies. We never know when God will change and use one of those scoundrels for His glory. And you and I may be the people who introduce them to Christ.