SCRIPTURES:   Acts 6:8-15; 

BOTTOM LINE:  The Battle is Coming!  Are we ready?  Can we see Persecution thru the Lens of God refining us?  Will we allow God to use our Persecution for the sake of His MISSION gaining momentum in the world?

QUESTION:  Are we Ready for Persecution?

DOWNLOAD:    Jesus told us that we would face Trials, Tribulations and even Persecution.  Expect It!  This is challenging for us to really wrap our minds around in this country, because the truth is, we don’t face much persecution for our Faith in the United States.  Check out India, N. Korea, China or Iraq if we want to know what that looks like.

Stephen is the 1st Christian martyr in the N.T. (aside from Jesus), and here in chapter 6, we find him being taken to trial, and we see God use even Stephen’s persecution to bring Glory to His name (which is our purpose right?).  Here’s the Download from these verses:

 

1.  STEPHEN’S SIGNS (vs. 8)  Acts 6:8 … “8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.”

 

2.  STEPHEN vs. The SYNAGOGUE (vs. 9)  Acts 6:9 … “9 Then there arose from what is called the Synagogue of the Freedman (Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and those from Cilicia and Asia), disputing with Stephen.”

3.  STEPHEN’S SPEECH (vs. 10)  Acts 6:10 … “10 And they were not able to resist the Wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke.”

4.  STEPHEN SIEZED (vs. 11-12)  Acts 6:11-12 … “11 Then they secretly induced men to say, ‘We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.  12 And they stirred up the people, the elders, and the scribes;’ and they came upon him, seized him, and brought him to the council.”

5.  STEPHEN SAID (vs. 13-14)  Acts 6:13-14 … “13 They also set up false witnesses who said, ‘This man does not cease to speak blasphemous words against this holy place and the law; 13 for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs which Moses delivered to us.”

6.  STEPHEN LOOKED LIKE AN ANGEL (vs. 15)  Acts 6:15 … “15 And all who sat in the council, looking steadfastly at him, saw his face as the face of an angel.”

APPLICATION:      6 KEYS TO DEALING w/ PERSECUTION

1.  PREPARATION

2.  PERSONAL HOLINESS

3.  PERSEVERANCE

4.  PATIENCE

5.  PURPOSE

6.  POWER & PRESENCE of GOD

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