The Stoning of Stephen
Acts 7:58-59, “And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
The Jews hated THE TRUTH which Stephen taught, so much that they were filled with madness and killed him. The early Church in the Book of Acts went to the streets preaching THE TRUTH. The public either REPENTED or RIOTED.
Jesus said in John 15:19 that the world would hate as too, because we are not of the sinful world. If they hated Jesus, then they're going to hate us too, and they do! You can belong to any religion in the world nowadays and be accepted; but the world will NOT tolerate Biblical Christianity. The reason is because Biblical Christianity will NOT tolerate the religions of the world. The Bible stands alone! Salvation is NOT found in any religion; but rather, in a Person—The Lord Jesus Christ! God says that it's either His way or the highway. It's Jesus or Hell. There is NO other way of salvation (Acts 4:10-12).
In Matthew 27:63, evil men called Jesus a liar and a deceiver. In John 7:20 and John 8:52, evil men called Jesus demon-possessed. In Matthew 11:19, Jesus said that evil men slanderously called Him a glutton and a boozer. In John 8:41, evil men called Jesus a bastard. They literally accused Jesus of being a bastard? Can you imagine? John 1:10, “He [Jesus] was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not.” If they'll attack God, they'll attack you!
In Matthew 11:18, Jesus said that evil men called John the Baptist demon-possessed. This is the hard-heartedness of mankind. Most people simply don't want the truth. If they'll call the Son of God demon-possessed, and John the Baptist demon-possessed, and kill the Apostles, then we can expect the same type of harsh response from people when we tell them THE TRUTH. Many people today will laugh in your face if you mention the New World Order. Even though the Pope, all recent U.S. Presidents, and many world leaders have called for a New World Order, people still don't believe it. Most Americans barely believe that the earth is round. It's really quite amazing, and very sad, that people will deny things that have been reported in the mainstream news. That's how stupid some people are. Most people just don't care, and everything's a joke to them, and nothing is to be taken seriously, and they walk in darkness and don't know God, just as Jesus said in John 8:12.
The Book of Psalms mention the word “enemy” and “enemies” 104 times! King David had many enemies. Here are a few of the many dozens of references David made to his enemies in Psalms...
Psalm 18:3, “I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.”
Psalm 25:19, “Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred.”
Psalms 27:2, “When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.”
Psalms 41:5, “Mine enemies speak evil of me, When shall he die, and his name perish?”
David had sinned woefully, stealing a man's wife, impregnating her and then murdering her husband to hide the sin. Although forgiven by God (2nd Samuel 12:13), David was hated and despised by many people. People would see David and turn around to avoid him. Psalm 31:11, “For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed. I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me.” Oh, how David suffered because of his sins. But the wonderful Savior pardoned David, and strengthened him, and delivered him from his enemies.
David found a closer walk with the Lord because of his mistakes. God didn't look for someone with a better reputation to write the Psalms. No, God used David to write the Psalms, knowing fully what horrible sins David had done. Jesus didn't hang out with the Pharisees and tell them how wonderful they were; no, rather, Jesus spent time ministering to sinners, who were pure of heart and doing the best they could. Although David sinned horribly, he was man enough to admit that he was wrong and he repented. God forgave David. No wonder God called David, “a man after His own heart” (1st Samuel 13:14). Whereas self-righteous people reject, condemn and write-off sinners; God embraces those who repent, and uses them for His glory. 1st Corinthians 1:28 says the “things which are despised, hath God chosen...” Amen!
Just as king David had many enemies, so also did the Lord Jesus have enemies, and evil men conspired to have Daniel cast into the lion's den, and the Apostle Stephen was stoned to death, and John the Baptist was beheaded, and you can rest assure that you will be persecuted too if you live godly in Christ Jesus (2nd Timothy 3:12). Stephen was an innocent man. His crime was simply speaking the truth. The crowd hated him and killed him. Anytime a person speaks the truth, he or she will have enemies.
The firefighters who were at ground zero at the 911 attacks have been forbidden by a New York judge from publicly sharing the things they saw and heard. Yeah, the firefighters said they heard bombs going off, and the powers that be didn't want the truth to get out, so they put a gag-order on the firefighters. Sadly, over 200 firefighters gave their lives on September 11, 2001, and now the survivors can't even tell the truth which they saw and heard. The truth is so obvious... 911 was an inside job!
Nearly 2,000 years after Jesus walked this earth, evil men and women today still portray the Savior as being an adulterer, a conspirator, a bastard, a homosexual, a fraud and a liar. All because He spoke the truth, and is the truth.
If evil men found fault in the perfect Lamb of God, then then will certainly find fault in us, i.e., imperfect human beings. The wonderful thing is that no matter how much our enemies attempt to destroy us and our labors for God, they cannot do anything to us that God does not permit. Psalm 41:11, “By this I know that thou favourest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me.” God is still on His throne. It is not our enemies that we ought to be concerned with; but rather, pleasing the Lord (Luke 12:4). God determines the level of our affliction from enemies. Psalm 18:17, “He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me.”
Everything in the believer's life must first pass the desk of God so-to-speak. Nothing can happen to a child of God , or any person for that matter, unless God permits it. This is why many people get angry at God, because of the evils which he allows in this world. But it is man, and not God, who commits evil. God cannot commit evil, nor can he be tempted to commit evil, nor can he tempt any man to do evil (James 1:13). God is holy and just. It is mankind that is evil and insane.
Whom do you say Jesus is—Liar, lunatic or Lord? To those who believe, Jesus is precious!
John 8:32,36, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free ... If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
Jesus Came to Save Sinners