The Great Persecution


Journey through the Bible: The Great Persecution

Scripture Reading: James 5:10-11 "As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful." #1294

Introduction: Our Journey through the Bible has led us through the gospels about Jesus. We have seen His birth, baptism, teaching, death, burial and resurrection. We now start looking at the impact of His resurrection and the service we are to perform for the kingdom. We looked at the establishment of the church through the preaching about Jesus Christ confirmed by the Holy Spirit. Now we see the church spreading through the proclamation of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Proposition: We are to be faithful and share the Lord in all situations.

T.S.: Today we see Saul persecute the church and Philip preaching the word in Samaria.

I. We see the church scattered by Saul of Tarsus. Acts 8:1-4 #1175

-Saul approved of the execution and went a step further. Galatians 1:23 #1245

-The church scatters into the region of Judea and Samaria. Acts 1:8 #1166

-Saul went from house to house dragging people into prison. (Columbine)

II. We see the church preaching the good news about Jesus even in persecution. Acts 8:4-8 #1175

-We are to go about preaching the word about Jesus.

-Philip preached to Samaria and many listen to him carefully.

-They all then believe the good news and were baptized. V. 12

III. We see the coming of the Spirit to others. (The story of Simon) Acts 8:11-25 #1175-6

-Simon was a magician who had fooled many by his works.

-Even Simon could see the true power of God and was amazed. V.13

-The gift of the Holy Spirit. What does this mean? What kind of gift?

-Simon tries to purchase not just the gift, but the ability to give the Spirit.

-Answer, Repent and pray. Simons response, pray for me as well.

-The word of God spreads to all of Samaria.

Let us tell others the good news about Jesus no matter our circumstances.