…At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.
3 As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison. 4 Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word
(Acts 8:1-4)

A quick overview of what is going on here, Yeshua instructed his disciples to preach the gospel to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the end of the earth (Acts 1:8). Up until this point the gospel was stuck in Jerusalem. Then, Stephen gives one of the boldest and most powerful sermons before the Sanhedrin (Acts 6:8 - 7:53). They carried him out and stoned him (Acts 7:54-60). After Stephen was stoned, Saul set out to kill all Christians; and the disciples (except for the twelve) scattered to other nations. When they scattered, they preached the Gospel wherever they went.

The trying by fire burns out the cowards and it purifies those who are serious. In Acts, it was by persecution of the church that the Gospel spread; and this has been proven through history. The most notable, that I can remember off the top of my head, is when France declared there was no God, and they burned Bible and Christian literature In the streets while whores danced around. It was by this act of France that the Bible Institute's arose and spread Gods Word through the nations.

On February 15, 2015, it was all over news that 21 Egyptian Christians were beheaded in Libya. Shortly after, a Arabic Christian television program interviewed, by phone, Bestir; who was the brother to two of the 21 Christians beheaded that day. In the interview (video below), Bestir says, “I am proud of them. One was twenty-five and one was twenty-three. They are a pride to Christianity, and they are my pride too. They make me walk raising my head up in pride. Isis gave us more than we can ask when they didn’t edit out the part where they declared their faith and called Jesus Christ. Isis helped us strengthen our faith. I thank Isis because thy didn’t cut the audio when they screamed declaring their faith.” Bestir continued, “Believed me when I tell you, that the people here are happy and congratulating one another. They are not in a state of grief but congratulating one another for having so many from our village die as martyrs. We are proud of them! Since the Romans times, we as Christians have been targeted to be martyred. This only helps us to endure such crisis because the Bible tells us to love our enemies and bless those who curse us. Today I was having a chat with my mother, asking her what she would do if she saw the member of Isis who had killed her two sons on the street. She said she would invite them home because they had helped us enter the Kingdom of Heaven. She said, ‘I will ask God to open his eyes and ask him in our house because he helped us enter the Kingdom of God.’”

Less than 36 hours after the beheading, an Egyptian Bible Institute wrote and printed a tract called “Two Rows By the Sea”. Within one week, the Word of God, by tract, reached a minimum of 1.65 Million people.

We Americans can learn something from Scripture and from those who are actually living in what Scripture describes to be normal for those who follow Christ (2 Timothy 3:12). We need to examine the vengeance and hate within our hearts and find out why we can’t love the way we were commanded (Matt 5:38-39, 43-48), why we feel the urge for retribution (Romans 12:19) in events that God uses for good (Romans 8:28). It’s not a shame that the twenty-one were murdered, from here they will receive their reward (Philippians 1:21), it’s a shame that we remain in a brutal and sinful Earth. It’s even more a shame that we conform ourselves to the worlds line of thinking rather than Gods. Let us repent of our ways and let us rejoice of the victory of these 21, along with the victory of the spread of God’s Word.

Video of interview with Bestir
Article about the Egyptian Bible Institute
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