by Miles Seaborn

No. 1632
BBC, 8-31-86, p.m.
ACTS 8:1-8
Miles Seaborn


Missionary to Egypt shared how American missionary had seen a little drab
boy drowning in the ocean and went to rescue him. Through quirk of circumstances
the missionary-had-died and the boy was saved. Someone asked from the audience,
"Wasn't it pointless for a well trained and equipped missionary to give his life
for an illkept, penniless Arab boy?"

We might ask the same question in the life of Stephen. With all the capacities
Stephen had, his grasp of Old Testament history, his powerful presentation of
the gospel-- why should he have a ministry that was so brief? The situation cost
him-his life. Wasn't that pointless? Just negative results. It seemed to be the
rock that set off a whole avalanche of persecution to the church. It released the
anger of a Jew named Saul who tried to extinguish the church as rapidly as he
could. It seems just one tragic mess. Fractured the fragile fellowship

But to make that kind of evaluation is to misunderstand how the
Holy Spirit works! The Holy Spirit is in the business of turning
negatives into positives, taking disasters and turning them into
miracles. You can't blockade the Holy Spirit. Every hopeless
situation in the book of Acts just turned into an opportunity
to preach the gospel. Everytime persecution arose the -preaching
followed right on its heels. Like trying to stamp out a fire, the harder
you jump on it, the more it scatters and flames up all around. They
tried to stamp out the fires of the church in Jerusalem and it
started-fires all over the world! - - -

So don’t ever avoid-the negative situation. God can and will
turn it to His glory and good The first missionary thrust
started with persecution!

ILL. Turtullion says, "The blood of the martyrs has become the
seed of the church.''

ILL. Persecution was so tied in with preaching that the word for
witness Martaris fr ...

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