Most recent Sermons on Sermon Cloud All Time
Sermons about Persecution
Difficulties, persecution, and alienation will exist. This passage calls on the Church to continue preaching the Gospel in the midst of these times.
In this passage, we see that in the midst of persecution, the Church prays. And it is through prayer that God demonstrates His sovereignty in orchestrating all things for His glory.
How God used persecuton for His Glory.
As the church grew in numbers and diversity, its daily needs increased, as well. Acts 6:1ff marks a transition in leadership and location, where the apostles appoint seven, Spirit-filled servants to care for the daily needs of the church (e.g., food for widows). These servants were not merely tasked with administrative details, but also preached inspired sermons. Stephen's message, in fact, is an indicting message. He exposes the idolatry of his Jewish opponents and shows mastery of the OT Scriptures. His awareness that Jesus fulfills all that God intended in the OT story leads to his martyrdom and subsequent persecution that disperses the church. As the church goes beyond Jerusalem, she fulfills Jesus' mandate in Acts 1:8 to be a witness in Judea and Samaria, and the ends of the earth. Stephens example (and the other so-called 'deacons') provides a model of Spirit-filled service that expands God's reach.
Bible Studies and Sunday Worship will not deepen your faith in Christ as much as suffering for His Name. Hear Christ's call to be blessed and happy in persecution in Matthew 5:11-12.
"In The Face of Suffering" Sunday Sermon June 10, 2012 http://MountainRock.org
Success is not the measure of truth.