WHY DID STEPHEN DIE?

by Kevin Rutherford

 

What caused the high priest and the Jewish leaders to throw Stephen out of the city of Jerusalem and then cast stones at him until he died?  What caused them to become angry to the point of violence?  What terrible crime had Stephen committed?  Stephen had committed no crime.  Stephen simply preached a basic sermon on the background of the Jewish people and their current condition.  For this they killed him.  And yet, he told them truth.  If they had listened to the truth their souls would have been saved.  Stephen died because he tried to save the souls of some men (Acts 7).

What causes friends and families members to turn against us?  What causes co-workers and neighbors to ridicule us?  What makes them angry?  What crime have we committed against them?  We have committed no crime. We simply speak the truth and live the truth before them.  We seek to save their souls.  For this reason we are despised.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are you when they shall revile you and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.  Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you (Matthew 5:10-12).”