Before I start on this subject, I’d like to acknowledge those at Talk Jesus who commented on my posts. Some I managed to respond to, others I tried, but I’m still trying to get to grips with the way the posting works and a couple of my posts seem to have gone astray and then when I pressed to post on one I found myself about to respond to another. It’s probably something I’m doing wrong. Hopefully I’ll eventually get it right.
The unsaved. To fully understand this subject, we first have to understand the reality of those of us who are saved and our purpose in being so. To be saved isn’t just a pathway to heaven; it’s far more than that. We are told that we are a royal priesthood, 1 Peter 2-9. What is the purpose of a priest? The purpose of a priest is to minister, this poses a question, if all the unsaved go to hell who are the royal priesthood going to minister too. I believe at present believers are being trained for a position that will, in due time, become apparent. I believe that we are in the process of moving from the carnal to the spiritual and I believe God achieves this by setting us against an enemy that can only be vanquished spiritually which causes us to pray and so move closer to our Lord and the helper the holy Spirit. The day is I believe fast approaching when our faith will be unacceptable in this world, we can already see Christians in many countries being persecuted often unto death. It won’t be too long before the Christian countries we live in receive a similar fate. When this happens we must be ready or fall at the ultimate trial. I believe that there is, if we hold fast, even unto death, an awesome adventure, but it will take courage and trust. I don’t believe that our Lord will desert us at that time. He promised that he would never leave us or forsake us. I think it wise to meditate on the death of Steven if we recall our Apostle Paul, then Saul held the coats of those who threw the stones. What was Stevens reaction to his situation, did he cry out in agony, whimper in fear, no, he was bold .After Steven finished his speech; When they heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. But Steven, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at God’s right hand. Look he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God. At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning him, Steven prayed Lord Jesus receive my spirit. Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep. And Saul was there giving approval to his death.
Things we need to understand from this narrative, first Steven was full of the Holy Spirit, (God was with him) I don’t believe that Steven was aware of his surroundings he was so in the Spirit that he could see the Spiritual realm, when he told the people what he was seeing the people lost it, dragged him out and started to stone him, what was his reaction to that, he asked Jesus to receive his spirit and then interceded with the Lord on behalf of the people who were killing him, he then fell asleep. I don’t believe that Steven suffered I believe that he was so in the Spirit that what happened to his body didn’t affect him. The Lord didn’t leave or forsake him.
I may be wrong, I’m not Steven but I’m sharing this to encourage believers to return to the story and see if our Lord has anything to share regarding facing adversity because this may well be our experience one day. It’s interesting to note Stevens’s attitude toward the unsaved in that scenario. Even when being murdered he ministered to the fallen and intercede for them. Bob Dylan wrote a song entitled ‘You’ve got to serve somebody’ the punch line is, ‘it may be the devil, it may be the Lord, but you’ve got to serve somebody’ If a person is not serving God in the kingdom of heaven then they must be serving the god of this earth here on earth and if they are then they are deceived by an adversary who they can never, without Devine help overcome. Steven knew that.