Persecution and Preaching
“It is no surprise that the growing church encounters opposition, so it is not surprising that the apostles have been put into prison so often, or that Stephen has now been killed.
Yet the early Christians are probably caught by surprise when a more widespread, organized persecution arises. Yet despite the personal tragedies involved, their persecution actually becomes a blessing. Because of their zeal in sharing the gospel with others, the church thereby expands its boundaries far beyond Jerusalem.”
Read: Acts 8
Conversion of Saul
“Luke notes that an influential Jew by the name of Saul is among those in charge of imprisoning the Christians. It will not be long before Saul will face a crisis of conscience in which he must answer the call of Christ.
Saul will later become one of the most widely known and widely read of all the apostles, but for now Saul is known only as the great persecutor of the Lord’s church. He is feared by all who regard the name of Jesus as precious.
Unaware at this point of what the future holds for his life, Saul is seen now relentlessly searching out believers in Jesus (whose sect is known at this time simply as ‘The Way’) in order to arrest and persecute them.”
Read: Acts 9:1-31
All quotations taken from The Daily Bible.