They shall put you out of
the synagogues; yea, the time cometh that whosoever killeth you will
think that he doeth God service—John 16:2.
The persecutions of today
are more refined than in any previous period.
The faithful today are
not stoned with literal stones or shot with literal arrows or
literally beheaded, but it is still true that the wicked shoot out
arrows at the righteous, “even bitter words”; and many because of
faithfulness are reproved and slandered and cut off from fellowship
“beheaded for the testimony of Jesus.” Let all such emulate Stephen,
the first Christian martyr. Let their testimonies be given with
radiant faces like his. Let their eyes of faith perceive Jesus at
the right hand of the Majesty on high as their Advocate and
Deliverer. Let their words be with moderation as were Stephen’s, and
let it be true of them, as written of him, “full of grace and power”
and “filled with the Holy Spirit”.
Parallel passages: John 9:22,34; 12:42; 16:3; Acts 8:1; 9:1;
John 15:18-21; Rom. 10:2; 1.Cor. 2:8; 1. Tim.1:13; Psa. 11:2; 38:20;
44:22; 56:5; 94:5; Prov. 29:10; Matt. 5:10-12,44; 10:16-18,21-23,28;
23:34; 24:8-10; Mark 13: 9-13; Luke 6: 22,23; 21: 12-19; Acts 5: 29,
40-42; Rom. 8:17, 35-37; 1.Cor.