This sermon was based on Acts 7:54 to 8:1-4
The Stoning of Stephen
54Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. 55But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 57But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. 58Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
Saul Ravages the Church
1And Saul approved of his execution.
And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2Devout men buried Stephen and made great lamentation over him. 3But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison.
- When trouble comes it is easy to question whether God is really in control. How should we respond when we suffer?
- We cannot understand these things with our own wisdom. God’s thoughts are not our thoughts.
- We can look to his wisdom and trust in his greatness knowing that he knows all things.
- Is God with us when we suffer?
- In the story of Daniel when his three companions were thrown in the furnace there was a fourth man seen in there with them. Jesus was there with them.
- We can look back at the cross and see that Jesus suffered, not for himself but for us.
- When we have troubles we need hope. Hope is something which is ahead of us. What do believers have ahead?
- Ahead of us we have the hope of our resurrection, our new bodies a new Kingdom where there is no more tears, pain or suffering.
- We mustn’t lay too much importance on things in this life, money, possessions etc. This is not our home, our home is the new Kingdom which is coming.