In today’s episode, the guys discuss the stoning of Stephen, the first recorded martyr of the church. When we look at faith preachers of today, figures like Stephen and Job are not their favorite to talk about, but the experiences of those two men reflect the promises of the Scripture which tell us that we will experience trials and tribulations throughout our lives before entering the Kingdom. We should all look at Stephen and ask God to help us have a heart like his should we find ourselves in circumstances like he experienced.
What makes Stephen’s story so powerful isn’t that he dies, but how he died. While he was being stoned, he cried out to Jesus to receive his spirit and not to hold this sin against his killers. In this, he echoed the words of his Savior on the cross. We are reminded that Jesus died for our sins so that we may follow His example. We all should want to live and die like Stephen, full of faith, trust in God, and the love of God. He even went out preaching in the open air. Christians sharing the message of God should be bold, courageous, and able to share despite persecution. The essence of the Christian law is to always keep our eyes on Jesus, which is precisely what Stephen did.
We are reminded that our lives are not our own. We have been bought for a price and eternity is coming, and Christians should move through the world with the mindset that all will be well. We should never stop sharing the gospel with others to let them know that the war against sin and death has been won. This is a message worth running for and worth dying for. There will come a day that we will be ushered into the Kingdom of Heaven, and on that day everything will make sense. Until then, however, things are bleak and dark. We must think back on those who gave their lives so that the truth of the gospel could be preserved and learn from their example. Stephen was not bitter at his death because he understood the reality of eternity. In closing, we are encouraged to be doers of the Word.