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In these passages is the account of Stephen being stoned to death by the Jewish Council in a rage, after Stephen had convicted them of killing Jesus the Messiah. 

The Council ignored their own Prophets who prophesied about Jesus. After Stephen was murdered, a great persecution arose against the church in Jerusalem.  

Jesus’ disciples were scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria. However, they kept spreading the Word, and the Church continued to grow. 

It again amazes me how God orchestrates events to serve His purposes. The death of Stephen sparked a rapid expansion of the Church. 

One of the lead persecutors of the Church who approved the murder of Stephen was Saul of Tarsus. 

Saul, who became known as Paul, was eventually converted to spread the Gospel and further expand the Church. The world persecutes the Church, but it cannot stop its growth.  

The Bible says that ‘the gates of Hades will not overpower the Church.’  This is great news, indeed!