The Death Of A Gospel Preacher

“Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him.  And the witnesses laid their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul,” Acts 7:58

A few weeks ago the headlines read, “Two missionaries in Mexico murdered.”  The storyline focused on the consistent crime in Mexico driven mostly because of the drug cartel.  As I read this article, I could not help but be discouraged because the true tragedy was barely mentioned.  The true tragedy was the death of two individuals who were bearing forth the light of the Gospel in a dark place.

The problem in Mexico is not drugs. The problem in Mexico is the same problem as is in every other city in the world.  What is this problem?  The answer is sin.  All of humanity is corrupted by our sin nature.  This nature drives us to live a life for self that only seeks to fulfill the desires of the flesh.  The drug problem in Mexico is simply a symptom of our sin nature.

As we know, the answer to Mexico’s problem and our problem is Jesus Christ.  This is exactly the message Stephen is proclaiming in Acts 7:44-60.  However this is a message that the world does not want to hear.  This mornings scripture reading highlights this fact.

Notice with me the progression of the text: First, Stephen calls out the people, Vs: 51-53.  As we read this text we discover how the man of God calls out this people.  He points out their rejection of scripture, their rejection of the Spirit, and their rejection of the Savior.  Second: Stephen finds confidence before the people, Vs:54-56.  In these amazing verses we gain a glimpse of Christ standing in heaven.  Here we see Jesus as our advocate and our judge.  We see Jesus preparing to receive Stephen into heaven.  Oh the confidence we have in knowing that Jesus is for us and if He is for us, who can be against us?  Third: Stephen is confronted by the people, Vs: 57-60. To our shock Stephen is stoned to death.  But as he is being stoned he gives an amazing witness to the life of a gospel preacher, “Lord do not hold this sin against them.”

In this I am reminded of the heart of a gospel preacher.  He is or she desires the salvation of all men.  Their amount of sacrifice is of zero consequences because the gospel is what is important.

This morning, I remind you that as a child of God you have been called to be a preacher (Proclaimer) of the gospel.  Our Lord gave you this charge in Matthew 28:18-20.  Certainly I am not speaking of the office of a pastor.  I am speaking of the obligation of every person who is a born again believer.

When Stephen died, the gospel went forth, Acts 8:1-14. When the missionaries died in Mexico the gospel will still go forth.  The only question is, “will you be apart of this?”  Oh that we would be willing to take this gospel to the world.

For further study consider Acts 8 and consider reading “Christian History Made Easy” by Timothy Paul Jones.

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