Now the church begins to “Go.”
And Saul approved of their killing him.
On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria…
But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison.
Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.
Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there.
When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. So there was great joy in that city. Acts 8:3-8
Until the stoning, the gospel was limited to those in Jerusalem and the few who came to the city and were touched by the word of God.
Now, the followers of Jesus were driven out into the towns and villages of Judea.The city was no longer a safe place. But wherever they went they preached. Signs and wonders followed. Life would never be the same again.
The experience of Jerusalem was transported into the country side and Jesus’ command was finally being obeyed: “GO!”
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
It took a persecution, but the word of God now began to move into Israel.
The world was about to be changed. The persecution intended to destroy the church suddenly spread a fire to the whole countryside that would soon be felt to the ends of the earth.
When we do not obey the word we receive, we may find ourselves compelled by forces that are not of our choosing.
God will accomplish His will; how we participate is our choice, but as His children, we will participate.